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AMERICAN CONSERVATISM IN 2008 AND BEYOND

 
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2008 07:11 am
Everything is that isn't it.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2008 01:36 pm
A 'conservative' wishing to revitalize or rehabilitate their party and movement could do far worse than to look here... http://www.amazon.com/Reclaiming-Conservatism-American-Political-Lost/dp/0195335589

Quote:
Review
Mickey Edwards is a rarity--a long-time professional politician with a deep sense of history and philosophy, someone who combines a knowledge of politics and policy with an intellectually sophisticated framework. Even more rarely, he is someone who has a strong and consistent political philosophy and does not bend it to fit the times or short-term political circumstances. Edwards brings all these traits, along with an elegant writing style and a passion for the American Constitution, to his book Reclaiming Conservatism. Another rarity--this book is accessible to the layperson but will resonate to constitutional scholars as well. It should be read by every high-school student studying civics--and by every politician, and especially every presidential candidate, who pontificates on the American political system and the US Constitution."--Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

"A clarion call for American conservatives to return to their philosophical roots: a strong and independent Congress, limited and decentralized government, personal liberty, and peace through strength. Writing with passion, wisdom and lucidity, former conservative Republican House member Mickey Edwards provides a scathing critique of the Republican Congress's acquiescence in the dangerous and unprecedented concentration of power in the Bush presidency and offers an alternative strategy for governance that is consistent with our constitutional system and conservative principles. Reclaiming Conservatism is a tour de force--it deserves the widest possible readership, among activists and concerned citizens."--Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

"Mickey Edwards, one of the founders of the modern conservative movement, has written a book that rings as clear as the Liberty Bell, warning of the threat today's conservatives pose to the Constitution and the rule of law. He and I disagree about many things, including his assessments of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, but his unflinching assessment of our endangered political order ought to be read by every American citizen. It's a message that is all the more important because of the messenger."--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University

"A champion of Barry Goldwater and a long-time leader among conservatives, Mickey Edwards minces no words in this stinging indictment of the men and movements that he blames for betraying conservative principles. George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Denny Hastert, Pat Robertson, neo-conservatives, neo-racists--all those and more come in for a lambasting. A good many Republicans will hate this book, but Barry Goldwater would likely have had a different view--that it is a courageous effort to help regain the conscience of conservatives."--David Gergen, Professor of Public Service, Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University


short interview here... http://movies.crooksandliars.com/bmj_mccain_hagee_unitary_executive_030908.wmv
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2008 11:11 pm
Re: AMERICAN CONSERVATISM IN 2008 AND BEYOND
Foxfyre wrote:
It has been widely speculated that President Bush and the GOP fell into widespread disfavor and lost majority control of Congress when they abandoned basic conservative principles.

It is a given that most American liberals didn't like President Bush to begin with and didn't vote for Republicans for Congress either. Therefore, it can be concluded that the GOP lost power when it violated those issues most important to their base generally imbedded in an ideology known as modern Conservatism.

As a replacement for the "Bush aftermath" thread which is drawing to a close, perhaps this thread could be a place where we could discuss where conservatives got it right, where we went wrong, what we need to do to regain the confidence of the Conservative base, and other GOP/Conservative issues.

1. The Bushes were never conservatives.
Reagan chose a Bush to balance his own conservatism on the ticket; an error.

2. Tho I believed and believe that overthrowing Saddam
was necessary to American security from very loud radioactive noises
manifesting in American port cities,
Saddam is no longer a threat.

We shud have left as soon as we caught him.
Waste of our troops' lives and tons of American cash
cost us the good will of the electorate.

Remaining in Iraq is pointless and irrational.
Enuf is enuf.

David
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 01:53 am
In my opinion, the topic here has been blurred by philosophical ramblings. Conservatism is not complicated. It is simply common sense that works. Basically, it says, believe in the rights and responsibilities of individuals. And what individuals can't do for themselves, let government help, but make that government activity as local as possible. Small government, efficient government, and responsible budget management are conservative values. Free enterprise and private property rights are cornerstones to conservative policy.

Conservatism requires a citizenry that is responsible. If too many citizens are willing to sacrifice freedom and personal responsibility in return for government handouts, then our form of government is in real danger. We are currently drifting in that dangerous direction. Modern culture, in conjunction with the media and a lousy education system are promoting the idea that government is supposed to not only allow for the pursuit of happiness, but to guarantee it. Although there are some reasons to hope for a turnaround, I am not particularly optimistic that the current political trends toward liberalism and increased socialism will be reversed.
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 02:50 am
okie wrote:
Conservatism requires a citizenry that is responsible. If too many citizens are willing to sacrifice freedom and personal responsibility in return for government handouts, then our form of government is in real danger.


Communism requires a citizenry that resposible. Funny that while it is far removed from classical conservatism, it fails for the same reason... the human factor.

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 03:37 am
okie wrote:
Although there are some reasons to hope for a turnaround, I am not particularly optimistic that the current political trends toward liberalism and increased socialism will be reversed.


I can understand that it is sometimes difficult to follow ideas on the left and right side of one's own position; something what happens to all fixed on one idea, especially on a political.

When you watch the modernizing, antitraditionalist ideas of liberalism or/and the failure of socialism in history (or in Cuba, as the last country following socialism), conservatives surely must feel ... disturbed, but hoping that the good old days wilöl come back some time.


The term 'conservism' was first coined by the supporters of the newly restored Bourbon monarchy in France (1840) - quite significant, I think.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 08:09 am
IMO modern American conservatism cannot be equated with European conservatism nor a dictionary definition nor, any more than any other ideology, is it exemplified by its most radical or extreme manifestations.

I can't speak for all conservatives of course as none of us walk lockstep with anybody. But I think most modern Conservatives will agree with most or all of the following:

1) America must have a strong federal government and a strong defense capable of defending itself against all enemies, domestic and foreign, and capable of defending the U.S. Constitution plus enforcing such regulatory processes as necessary for orderly and effective interstate and international banking and commerce and control of particular hazards. A smaller, leaner government is far more effective toward that end as a swelling and bloated bureaucracy will inevitably venture into areas never intended for the Federal government to address.

2) The Constitution is a worthy and efficient document that covers the basics of what the federal government should be about. The 10th Amendment should again be taken out of its poor stepchild status and restored as an important component. The States, the counties, and the communities should be left to order their lives according to the community values and moral standards.

3) The Supreme Court best serves when it holds to Constitutional constructionist principles.

4) A government of the people, by the people, and for the people will put its faith in the people. It can provide incentive, encouragement, and information for the people to be able to be the best they can be, but will get out of the way and not get involved in processes and activities that can be managed more efficiently and effectively in the private sector.

5) The goverment cannot be all that everybody wants it to be or provide all that everybody wants it to provide. To expect the government to provide the precise environment amd standard of living we want without the people themselves being accountable and taking responsibility for that pushes us further and further into the arms of socialism until we are so deep we will never be able to extricate ourselves.

This of course does not cover every point or every issue, but it could be a place to start.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 09:26 am
We need to bear in mind that both conservative and liberal
have no meaning in and of themselves;
thay have meaning only insofar as thay RELATE to something else,
to some practice, or to some body of rules.

The words conservative or liberal describe the absence or the presence
( respectively )
of DEVIATION from something.
For instance,
a man who wears a dark suit n tie is dressed conservatively,
because he adheres closely to the paradigm of clothing style.

In other words, he does NOT deviate from that style.

To the extent that my fonetic spelling deviates from and repudiates
the historical paradigm of non-fonetic spelling, it is liberal.
To the extent that someone else uses the old paradigm,
with no deviation, his spelling is conservative; he is conserving that norm.


In the interpretation of a contract,
there can be rigid, inflexible adherence or
there can be deviations therefrom.
If there were no deviations from the contract
in carrying it out, then it was done CONSERVATIVELY,
in that all signatories thereof kept their words.

Liberalism cannot exist without deviation.
Deviation is the LIFE, the essence, of liberalism.

The Classical Liberals deviated from the authoritarianism of Monarchy,
choosing instead for libertarianism.

If Dad tells little Johnny to be home by midnite, or no ice cream tomorrow,
and he shows up at that time, there is no deviation therefrom:
thus, he is being conservative.

If Johnny shows up at 12:30 a.m., he is being somewhat liberal
as to the midnite standard.
If he shows up at 3 a.m., he is being more liberal.

If he comes back 2 weeks later, he is being even MORE liberal,
regarding the midnite requirement.

If he moves out and never comes back, he is being RADICAL
( i.e., to pull up by the root ).

In America, the social and political contract
is the US Constitution, which was laid upon a foundation of libertarianism,
individualism and l'aissez faire free enterprize.
To the extent that there is deviation from the social n political contract,
there is liberalism; to the extent that there is NO deviation therefrom,
there is conservatism; i.e. government is keeping its word,
as set forth in that instrument.

If a poker player grabs for the pot, claiming to have a diamond flush,
when he has 4 diamonds and a heart, he is being liberal with the rules of poker.
If he gets caught 4 flushing, he declares:
" that 's close enuf; don 't be too technical. "

Conservatism = rigid, inflexible adherence to a standard ( e.g., a contract ).
Liberalism = deviant flexiblity, or loose interpretation thereof.

David
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 09:43 am
Foxfyre wrote:
IMO modern American conservatism cannot be equated with European conservatism nor a dictionary definition nor, any more than any other ideology, is it exemplified by its most radical or extreme manifestations.


My reference above was just and only to the time when the term 'conservatism' was first mentioned anywhere in the sense of a political idea.

Certainly there are many spectra of conservatism - conservative social democrats follow a different idea than conservative nationalists and the conservatives in any national conservative party have different aims as well.

However, as well as you can 'assemble' social democratic parties under one 'umbrella' you can do it with liberal parties and conservative parties.
And that's done so.

With conservatives it's the International Democratic Union, the Republican Party (GOP) being the only member party from the USA.
Quote:

Declaration of Principles agreed by IDU founders, London 1983.

HAVING REGARD to their common convictions that democratic societies provide individuals throughout the world with the best conditions for political liberty, personal freedom, equality of opportunity and economic development under the rule of law; and therefore

BEING COMMITTED to advancing the social and political values on which democratic societies are founded, including the basic personal freedoms and human rights, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; in particular, the right of free speech, organisation, assembly and non-violent dissent; the right to free elections and the freedom to organise effective parliamentary opposition to government; the right to a free and independent media; the right to religious belief; equality before the law; and individual opportunity and prosperity;

HAVING REGARD to their common beliefs in an open society, where power is dispersed widely amongst free institutions, dedicated to creating conditions that will enable each individual to reach his full potential and to carry out his responsibilities to his fellow man; and where the central task of government is to serve the individual and to safeguard and promote individual freedom; and equally

STRESSING the moral commitments of a free and open society, supporting the institution of the family as its fundamental social and cohesive force, as well as social responsibility towards the weak and less fortunate, particularly by encouraging self-help and individual enterprise and choice in the provision of services;

BEING DEDICATED to a society of individuals working together in partnership for the common good;

HAVING REGARD to their common views that political democracy and private property are inseparable components of individual liberty and that the socially-oriented market economy provides the best means of creating the wealth and material prosperity to meet the legitimate aspirations of individuals, and of tackling social evils such as unemployment and inflation;

BELIEVING that this is the most effective and beneficial way of providing individual initiative and enterprise, responsible economic development, employment opportunities, low taxation and consumer choice;

HAVING REGARD to the threats posed by the extreme Left and the extreme Right;

REJECTING any form of totalitarianism, which brings so much suffering and restricts so many freedoms today;

HAVING REGARD to the important global tasks which render necessary and desirable a closer and efficient collaboration of their parties, inspired by their common conviction;

PLEDGING THEMSELVES to work towards ever-closer co-operation among all the peoples of democratic nations, while recognising the right of each individual nation to preserve its identity and to safeguard its vital interests, to use their influence and above all their political values for the greater good of the world, especially by promoting the mutual responsibilities of all nations for global economic development;

DECLARE their dedication to a just and lasting peace and freedom throughout the world; and

FURTHER DECLARE that the cause of peace will be advanced by adherence to the principles expressed in this Declaration; and in

ACTIVELY INVITING other parties to subscribe to them;

AGREE to create a working association in pursuance of their common beliefs, hereinafter referred to as the INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRAT UNION.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 09:54 am
How about American conservatism being applied to conserving constitutional principles? That seems simple enough. I agree with OmSigDAVID in the definition of the word without restricting the word to political interpretations, but as I said, I think the best political interpretation of American conservatism can be applied to the conservation of constitutional principles, the Bill of Rights, rights and responsibilities of the individual vs the state, free enterprise, private property rights, etc. There are always going to be disagreements among conservatives on the details of such policies, but at least I would think there should be agreement on the broad interpretations of it.

In contrast, liberals seek to propagate the constitution as being a living breathing document, subject to change, and there is a broad and constant push toward more and more socialism. We as conservatives have a tough time knowing just where liberals want to stop this change, but I suspect some of them have a hidden agenda, they want to go all the way to communism. Socially, liberals also want to break down all the moral constraints upon society that they possibly can. They view religious constraints and moral constraints as shackles on their freedom, not recognizing the economic and cultural chaos that results.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 10:42 am
okie wrote:
In contrast, liberals seek to propagate the constitution as being a living breathing document, subject to change, and there is a broad and constant push toward more and more socialism. We as conservatives have a tough time knowing just where liberals want to stop this change, but I suspect some of them have a hidden agenda, they want to go all the way to communism. Socially, liberals also want to break down all the moral constraints upon society that they possibly can. They view religious constraints and moral constraints as shackles on their freedom, not recognizing the economic and cultural chaos that results.


I agree, okie that e.g. Hobbes', Locke', Mill's views on religion are still seen quite radical by some, perhaps even a-moral.

And it might well be that the US doesn't need a living constitution but a static one.

I like it better, when a constitution is breathing, follows the progress of a maturing society, like European conservatives think, too.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 11:07 am
H. Ross Perot wrote:
Go to Rome, go to Paris, go to London. Those cities are centuries old. They're thriving. They're clean. They work. Our oldest cities are brand new compared to them and yet… go to New York, drive through downtown Washington, go to Detroit, go to Philadelphia. What's wrong with us?
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 11:28 am
I haven't been to Paris or Rome, but I have London, and you couldn't pay me to live there. It is a miserable place in my opinion.

By the way, Washington, Detroit, or Philadelphia can hardly be blamed on conservative policies.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 11:34 am
Quote:
By the way, Washington, Detroit, or Philadelphia can hardly be blamed on conservative policies.

Not much can be. You have the Truth and the Light on your side.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 12:34 pm
Yes, professor.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 01:17 pm
Re: AMERICAN CONSERVATISM IN 2008 AND BEYOND
OmSigDAVID wrote:
Foxfyre wrote:
It has been widely speculated that President Bush and the GOP fell into widespread disfavor and lost majority control of Congress when they abandoned basic conservative principles.

It is a given that most American liberals didn't like President Bush to begin with and didn't vote for Republicans for Congress either. Therefore, it can be concluded that the GOP lost power when it violated those issues most important to their base generally imbedded in an ideology known as modern Conservatism.

As a replacement for the "Bush aftermath" thread which is drawing to a close, perhaps this thread could be a place where we could discuss where conservatives got it right, where we went wrong, what we need to do to regain the confidence of the Conservative base, and other GOP/Conservative issues.

1. The Bushes were never conservatives.
Reagan chose a Bush to balance his own conservatism on the ticket; an error.

2. Tho I believed and believe that overthrowing Saddam
was necessary to American security from very loud radioactive noises
manifesting in American port cities,
Saddam is no longer a threat.

We shud have left as soon as we caught him.
Waste of our troops' lives and tons of American cash
cost us the good will of the electorate.

Remaining in Iraq is pointless and irrational.
Enuf is enuf.

David


Now you tell us! Talk about hindsight!
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 02:23 pm
bookmark
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 02:46 pm
The following is long, but is so appropriate to a discussion on ideology, I hope some will enjoy it.

An except from "The Village Voice":What about the role of government? Well, in the abstract, coming from my time and background, I thought it was a rather good thing, but tallying up the ledger in those things which affect me and in those things I observe, I am hard-pressed to see an instance where the intervention of the government led to much beyond sorrow.

But if the government is not to intervene, how will we, mere human beings, work it all out?

0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 03:41 pm
I am interested in better understanding actual conservative thought and positions (not the stereotyped versions, or the ultra-biased versions), and of course arguing against them respectively, and where I feel the need to.

I hope this thread can remain somewhat civil.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 04:54 pm
That is my hope too, Maporsche. Thank you.
0 Replies
 
 

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