This former Eagle sings a Bruce Hornsby-penned tune from his third solo album of the same name, released in 1989.
Conservatism is a peculiar ideology that maintains reverence for the way things have been done in the past. It is wary of major change that may be untested. And it is easily criticized for looking at the past through rose-colored glasses.
Henley likely isn’t a conservative well-steeped on the writings of Edmund Burke, and it’s a safe bet he isn’t a subscriber to William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review magazine. But the song looks to a better time before U.S. president Ronald Reagan, when baby boomers weren’t all materialistic and militaristic. In this sense, it is a very conservative message, albeit pining for a return of liberalism in the American sense.
This highlights the positional nature of conservatism, that in looking backward, can even be fond of the dominant world views of the times it misses. Even if that world wasn’t conservative?!?