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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Conservativism


Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart dies at 43

These were the headlines at CNN.  And it set off a wave of wild internet comments attacking him and then others attacking the attackers as "typical liberals gloating over someone's death."  

I think it is very sad that 1) people would attack a person who just died (they did the same to Ted Kennedy it was pointed out), and 2) CNN called Breitbart a "conservative"--which keeps setting up this ideological stereotyping.  

Breitbart was NOT a conservative--at least not in the strong American Conservative tradition of Alexander Hamilton, Robert Taft, Dwight Eisenhower, Reinhold Neibuhr, Russell Kirk, John Kekes, WF Buckley, David Brooks, and to some extent George Will.  

My father was a Republican and a strong defender of conservative values (free enterprise, local self-determination, fair wages, social contracts).  He was also a strong social justice minded Catholic and the first plant manager in GM to put black persons in higher management positions and led the process in Cleveland to segregate schools peacefully after the Courts ruled. 

American Conservatives are positive.  They are for, not against.  Far from being antiscientific, they are a thoughtful and happy lot who value rational problem-solving over rash quick-fix actions.  They do not stereotype or demonize liberals and actually claim their own liberal roots in economy, education, and especially political decision-making.  They represent an important corrective in American politics to ensure that government does not dominate private decision-making while at the same time assuring safety and fairness.  They point out collateral damage or unintended side-effects that might occur if government over asserts itself at home or abroad.  They are often a check on military action and actions that discourage initiatives.  They promote caution when radicals of left and right are often pushing quick or unilateral action.  They warn against populism  of the left and the right, (the KKK Southern Democrats and the John Bircher/ McCarthyites), but always in the name of a pragmatic and rational plan for the future.  

Breitbart was not a conservative in this tradition.  Nor do I think that the people who are now dominating the Republican Party are conservatives.  

I want to start a project to restore true American Conservatism by going back to the masters and showing what that tradition is and how important it is to American progress.  Anyone want to help?

We strongly need a Conservative party in the US today.  I was hoping that Mitt Romney might lead such an effort.  But. . . .
We have enough swaggering hit-men out to shoot down "liberals" and "moderates" and "Rinos" by calling them names or sending out scurrilous information and so appealing to what is worst in American citizens.  

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