July 31, 2012 8 Comments
That is, if you go by what “conservative” used to mean. Andrew Sullivan makes the case for why “true” conservatives (or at least those with an appreciation for the meaning beyond the present American political context) should support Obama. Of course, I’d argue that liberals should to. Anyway, more than anything it is an interesting look at just how truly radical, rather than conservative, the modern Republican party has become. Here’s a bit:
Michael Brendan Dougherty recently checked in on the Obamacons and found them a little chastened, but still adamant about the degeneration of the GOP and salvaging the term “conservative” from religious fanatics, supply-side fantasists and foreign policy utopians. The eyes roll, I know, when I cling to the word “conservative” like others cling to their, er, Second Amendment rights. But I’d be dissembling if I did not argue that on a whole array of issues, Obama is simply and unequivocally the more conservative candidate. One commenter on the piece put it pretty simply:
What do you call:
1. Nationalism, without the interventionist foreign policy.
2. Taxation equal to public spending, rather than just cutting taxes without making the hard choices to spend less.
3. Slow and careful to adopt change, but realizing that change is necessary sometimes.
I view conservatism as the practical engagement with policy and political institutions to adapt modestly and incrementally to social and economic change with the goal of maintaining the coherence and stability of a polity and a culture. It is a philosophy of moderation and balance, constantly alert to the manifold ways in which societies can, over time, lose their equilibrium.
Wow, you put it that way, and conservativism certainly sounds pretty good. But again, historically speaking, it has very little in common with today’s Republican party.