Thursday, November 20, 2008

The conservative manifesto

Over at another site I was debating the nature of conservatism. My interlocutor claimed that he was standing up for "true" conservatism. The conservatism of Burke and Russell Kirk. You often hear this kind of thing, often from the same kinds of people who say they are "real" liberals, by which they mean the kind of liberals that existed back in the 17th or 18th Century, but never since then.

These guys commonly argue that McCain, and even Bush, are not real conservatives, bt that if the American people knew what real conservatism is, they would be.

So in this discussion I thought I'd point out what I think the elements of real conservatism are. Maybe some of them will look familiar to you.

Bush is what conservatism is:

Favors the wealthy over the disadvantaged at every opportunity.

Militaristic to the point of imperialism.

Simplistic, dualistic view of international dynamics.

Hostile to civil liberties, and evidencing a fondness for repressive police and military policies.

Committed to using the powers of government to enforce conservative moral and religious values.

Opposed to using the powers of government to serve the common good or to redress the legitimate grievances of disadvantaged groups.

Hostile to environmental protection or other impediments to unrestrained capitalism.

Oh, and if you haven't noticed, Burke left the building a long time ago.

1 Comments:

Blogger Stevem said...

I think I can understand what your interlocuter was saying. I also agree with you that, whatever people think of classical conservatism, the crap that our conservatives espouse is immoral and unconscionable (I had to look that one up for spelling!).

November 25, 2008 9:38 AM  

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