Thursday, May 07, 2009

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.


Blogger steven andresen said...

What is it that makes the self described conservative writers on these blogs, or others, worth reading?

I have a number of concerns.

I have wondered whether the 'conservative/liberal' dispute is overblown in order to mask a more fundamental conflict between the powerful few vs. the large numbers of unorganized weak. As I suspect there is much truth to this suspicion I am sympathetic to 'conservatives' who do not demonize their opposition. From what I've seen Rep. Paul is willing to work with Kucinich on issues because, for him, it's not the liberal's fault, but the problem is about getting away from basic agreements and the 'rule of law.'

I have my own problems with the arguments between conservatives and liberals and, as a result, have put the conservatives down as being, by definition 'stingy.' And, along those lines, as Bush spent and spent, hypocritical because they did not criticize one of their own who 'went off the reservation,' so to speak. I suspect that they aren't just 'tight with a buck,' and therefore unwilling to have anything done about people suffering. Maybe they think the people themselves have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, or have private organizations do the work. I don't know. But, from just what I haer, it's all about having people 'sink or swim.'

I also do not know of any conservatives who are very self -reflective about their positions. That is, I sometimes understand what their conservative view is, i.e., less government, but not why they've come to such a position. There's not a lot of justification going on. So, a conservative blog, writer, who would try to justify themselves as , maybe, a better position than their rivals, would be an interesting read.

Do these two conservative blogs answer my concerns?

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rightwing Nuthouse and Little Green Footballs are NEOconservative sites, not conservative.

As the previous poster pointed out, someone along the lines of a Ron Paul would have been a better example of where conservatism is going.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Joseph Cannon said...

You're out of your gourd, Gary, I say that respectfully.

If the Republican party were a stock, I'd invest right now. If the most nutball conservative wing of the party were a stock, I would invest in THAT.

All it takes for a resurgence of conservatism is the failure of the present administration to right our financial wrongs. I think that this would be very possible, even likely, even if Obama were a different and better man.

Two, three years of 10% or worse unemployment -- mixed with another big terror strike -- and you could have a true permanent Republican majority.

Am I the only guy in the blogosphere who thinks more than two moves ahead when he plays chess?

4:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter Blog Directory Anti-Bush Newsgroup Blogarama - The Blog Directory