Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Death of Conservatism?

In his latest Derb Radio, NRO's John Derbyshire argues, among other things, that conservatism is dead.

I agree with him. In the end, it is the fault of us conservatives ourselves. Why? Because the GOP, which was supposed to be the standard bearer of conservatism, decided the K Street Project was more important than principles.

It is not all George Bush's fault. Yes, he threw money at everything and had a program for every ill. As for Iraq, he went to war without being serious about it. But it comes down really to us ourselves.

I have decided in the end I can be a Republican or a conservative, not both. So I have decided to be a conservative. The role of conservatives for the next 25 years or so will be to stand athwart history shouting stop, instead of trying for actual power itself.


Rodak said...

the K Street Project was more important than principles.

What principles, Anthony? American conservatism is founded entirely on the protection of property rights, which protection extends to the right of acquiring and hoarding a limitless amount of property/wealth without culpability for so doing, regardless of the circumstances of any other person.
Since the majority of Americans are Christian, this conservatism should be in obvious, radical conflict with their professed relgion. Strangely, dissonantly, however, this is not the case. So American conservatives are one minute professing their political ideals, and the next minute professing religious ideals that are in absolute conflict with those political ideals; yet they can't see the contradiction. They are simultaneously professing two conflicting value systems.
To an outsider, therefore, the "principles" of an American conservative always appear to be false in the larger context.

William R. Barker said...

Just curious, Anthony, were you ever directly involved in politics? I mean, have you served as a Committeeman, run for office perhaps?

I was active in Orange County NY politics for many years. In the end the experience burned me out and so now I stick to "chatting" rather than doing. (*SHRUG*) I'm not proud of having dropped out, but I'm less disgusted with myself than with the vast, vast, vast majority of my fellow citizens who will never over the course of their entire lives actually walk the walk as opposed to simply talking the talk. (*SHRUG*)

You seem upset that conservatism is dead? Why? You're a McCain fan. If McCain is your idea of "conservatism" then don't worry, "McCainism" is alive and well in the GOP. (Obviously!) (*SMIRK*) (*SNORT*)

Don't worry, Anthony, you'll be ok. Lawyers are always ok. (*SHRUG*) (*SMILE*) Those who write (and judge) the rules of the game always end up on the winner's side to one extent or another. Not enough work for lawyers... write more laws, require a lawyer or other "certified professional" to be involved as a middleman, to get a cut off the top. (*SHRUG*)

Your kids will be o.k. After all, you're their father. (*SHRUG*) You'll make sure their futures are assured. (Nothing wrong with that - not a critique, just a prediction.)

Frankly... (*SHRUG*)... I'll be o.k. too.

The country's f--ked. (*SHRUG*) But we knew that. We - you and me - knew that as soon as George Herbert Walker Bush became president and started dismantling Reaganism. (*SHRUG*) Be honest. You knew it back when George W. Bush started campaigning on "compassionate conservatism" and the promise that no family of four earning less than $45,000 would have to pay federal taxes - in other words, would have to bear the financial responsibilities of citizenship. (*SIGH*)

I'm tired, Anthony. Tired. Frustrated. Angry. I know over at RT I tend to go off the deep end on occasion in terms of "aggressive" and "personalized" debate, but that's because I see so much ignorance coming out of BOTH the so-called "Left" and so-called "Right" that it reminds me how truly screwed my daughter's America and my eventual grandchildren's America is going to be compared to the ideal I was brought up to revere.

It may not be "all" George Bush's fault, but it's overwhelmingly George Bush's fault - both Bush the Younger and before him Bush the Elder. I'd say that as a Family the Bush's have done more to hurt this country than any other political family in history.

Anyway... rant off.


Anthony said...

Yes Bill, back when I was in college, I was on the state board of the NYS College Republicans and also served on my county committee. I was being groomed for something bigger, but realized I was not into it. The last straw came when somneone complained to me that at the same time, (i) she could not sell her house, (ii) houses in the county were too expensive and (iii) the county was overdeveloped. My solution was to cut her house price in half, use the sale proceeds to buy a field, and pitch a tent on the open field to live in.

Earlier this year, my ward committee in Chicago wanted me to run for state Rep (as a sacrificial candidate) but I was planning on moving, so I turned it down. I did say though that one of my policies would be limited drug decriminalization (which shocked my wife when I told here that would be part of my platform).

William R. Barker said...

Good for you, Anthony! Thanks for sharing part of your personal political resume.