Monday, January 08, 2007

Is Conservativism Dead?

Nope - and it's probably not going anywhere either. But that doesn't stop Conservative commentators from writing articles explaining that Conservativism isn't dying. I suppose these articles are more enjoyable than the articles they were writing two years ago about how liberalism is basically over and conservatives are going to run things from now.

Todays article is from Suzanne Fields, and she argues, unsurprisingly, that Conservativism is not dead. Specifically she is talking about Reagan conservativism, which is a smart move. Reagan is one of the more unifying figures in Conservativism, someone both free market libertarians and family values voters can agree on. The article might not be as much about conservativism as it is about those who honor Reagan's legacy, which it seems clear many will still do.

How will George W. Bush fit into this legacy? Probably not well.
George W. Bush is not Ronald Reagan, but in some ways he echoes the earlier president's foreign policy vision. He has not fought the war in Iraq with the competence we expected, but his vision sounds like the vision Ronald Reagan shared with the British parliament in 1982: "We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable right of all human beings. It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy."

We'll have to wait and see whether this can apply in Iraq. That will be the president's legacy, for better or worse, no matter how we characterize his ideology.
It is a noble vision I admit - it's just a shame that said vision lead America through Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and our eventual defeat in Iraq. But I suppose that's the lack of competence fields notes.

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