A Critique of Current Conservativism

For a thought-provoking piece on conservatism, one would do well to read tomorrow’s opinion piece by Stephen Hayward in the WaPo. The author takes conservatives to task for, well, not being Bill Buckley (among other things):

Consider the “tea party” phenomenon. Though authentic and laudatory, it is unfocused, lacking the connection to a concrete ideology that characterized the tax revolt of the 1970s, which was joined at the hip with insurgent supply-side economics.

In defense of the “tea partyers,” it is more difficult for a defense to be focused when one is being attacked from every point of the compass. I found the following perhaps the most incisive statement in the mix:

Others among the right’s leading talkers, such as Sean Hannity, seem unremittingly angry and too reflexively partisan on behalf of the Republican Party rather than the conservative movement (they are not the same thing).

Of course, it is hardly difficult for me to see the truth in a statement that says conservatism and Republicanism are not two names for the same thing. Part of the reason I’m an independent is that I believe Republicanism (as practiced by elected persons who claim that title) has nearly as much to do with conservatism on non-election years as does the opposition.

Go ahead and read the whole piece and consider what we might be doing well or doing better.

3 thoughts on “A Critique of Current Conservativism

  1. “attacked from every point of the compass”? I won’t immediately accept that premise… although if it’s true, I might suggest that attack from every direction could suggest “conservatives” did something to deserve that attack.

    Even so (continuing to play with the metaphor), attack from every direction is still no excuse for a disorganized, ineffective response. If you want to get out of Little Big Horn alive, you better get a plan and a leader somewhat sharper than Custer.

    And if neither party is offering what you want, you still have to come up with a coherent movement to practically challenge one or both of them. I await the discovery of a Fox commentator or Tea Partyer who can do that.

    1. By “every point of the compass,” I mean that we (should you permit me the premise that I am one of the aforementioned conservatives) are currently trying to defend ourselves against massive policy attacks coming from those who wish to socialize health care, those who wish to expand the role of government in business and banking, those who wish that we would be more of a team player with the UN, etc.

      That is, we are having to fight on so many different policy fronts that we are at times disorganized and lacking in a single definitive message. As to whether it is ineffective, only time will tell (though skirmishes have not all been disappointing).

Comments are closed.