Tuesday, August 24, 2004

This guy has really made me think. He wrote an article that argues that trying to defend the tradition of conservatism (against such apologetic terms as "neoconservatism") is useless - in our age, conservatism is violence:

Indeed, the very meaning of conservatism is to reject all that smarmy liberal stuff about human rights and peace and face the productive power of war and conflict. True morality is embedded in the cold hard steel of tanks, bombers, and prison bars. Government by Democrats should be limited but government by Republicans should be expensive, global, militarized, unchallenged, omnipresent, and if you don't like it, what have you got to hide?

Organized conservatism dishes out this message to you in a package you prefer. For the illiterate there is talk radio. For geeks, there are innumerable e-zines. For the religiously minded, there is the version with scriptural proof texting and its associated rhetorical apparatus. For those with intellectual pretensions, there are professors of ancient history to tell us that Sparta had the right way about it, and that the Roman Empire at its height might have lasted forever had it not been for weak-kneed Christians that hindered the triumph of the will.

Oh, and for those who don't go for the rah-rah stuff, and find base nationalism a tad unseemly, there is the contemplative brand of conservatism that requires quiet reflection on higher things, with noses in the air even as the blood rises to the ankles, knees, and hips.

Or maybe policy wonkery is just not your bag. You care about the "moral issues." In that case, the GOP has a package for you that will whip you into a frenzy about abortion, gay marriage, and stem cells -- it really doesn't matter so long as you continue to cheer the commander in chief and do your part to keep the dangerous Democrats out of power.

Yes, I've heard all the arguments that this is "phony conservatism," or "neoconservatism," or "conservatism that has sold out to the Republican Party," but all of these qualifications and apologies are increasingly strained.

What we find in these disgraceful tracts is plain and simple orthodox conservatism: violent, blood-thirsty, and anti-intellectual. All the years that the party of freedom warned about the dangers of the left and what do we find? We find that the real hammer blows to American liberty are being delivered by an unexpected source: the right you might once have thought represented a freedom-minded alternative to Clinton and Carter.

You were lied to.

I can't stress the importance of this article enough. It pains me, but I agree with Tucker's thesis: the conservative movement has been lost to the statists. If you believe in limited government, you no longer have the ideological luxury of voting Republican. The Republicans have become the worse of the two evils, and the right is now adopted the garb of fascism.

It does seriously make me consider voting Democratic.

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Written on Tuesday, August 24, 2004