The future of the conservativism
I have been giving this some thought lately. This country may or may not be at the beginning of a transformational political moment where the Republican Party goes the way of the Whigs, but conservativism isn't going to go away. Nor should it, in my opinion. We need liberals and conservatives. And moderates and radicals for that matter. Accordingly I have added two conservative blogs to my links, Rightwing Nuthouse
and Little Green Footballs
. I have also removed the Wingnut Watch section. Blogs by honest and principled (and noncrazy) conservatives like these two are well worth reading. Blogs like Atlas Shrugs really are not, except in a clinical sense.
Where will tomorrow's conservatism come from? Unfortunately, probably not I fear from blogs like these. Today's conservative movement is getting crazier as it gets smaller. And more fractured and incoherent.
One faction, the Paleoconservatives, is represented, at its best, by Pat Buchanan, who is also worth reading. Paleos however are conservatism's past not its future. At their worst they are racist and anti-semitic. One hopes though that tomorrow's conservatism will move at least a little in their direction on foreign policy. Not all the way to isolationism but an end to neocon foreign misadventures would be good.
Another faction, the Religious Right, will be around for a while, but is getting smaller. They have lost, or are losing, on most of their social issues--pornography, abortion, school prayer, and gay marriage. As a recent poll showed, today's young people are less religious and this does not bode well for religious conservatives. Many of them may just take their marbles and go home.
The neocon faction has had an influence that is disproportionate to their numbers, especially in the Republican Party, but their imperial dreams are in disarray. "Real men invade Iran" isn't looking too good these days.
That leaves the wingnuts, the followers of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter. For the near future, I fear that they are the future of conservativism but they lack both the intellectual substance and the intellectual honesty to form the basis of a lasting political movement, at least one with a chance of mainstream power. They might, however, conceivably evolve into a far-right fringe movement akin to some of the fascist parties of Europe.
Looking at today's conservatism, I have to say that Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan are looking better every day. But still not as good as John Kennedy.