2004-09-15

End of American Conservatism

Again, we can only hope.
Austin Cline has some smart words here:

Andrew Sullivan writes:
"[C]onservatism as we have known it is now over. People like me who became conservatives because of the appeal of smaller government and more domestic freedom are now marginalized in a big-government party, bent on using the power of the state to direct people's lives, give them meaning and protect them from all dangers."

American conservatism has become associated with smaller government because over the past 40 years or so, liberals have tended to advocate big government programs that had, as one effect, a negative influence on many traditional social structures.

Conservatives who weren't very honest about what they wanted framed their arguments around less spending and smaller governments.


What Cline does not address is Sullivan’s “more domestic freedom” remark. By domestic freedom, I’m assuming Sullivan means personal freedoms/civil liberties. How Sullivan can look at the political viewpoints and histories of conservatives and liberals and conclude that conservatives are the ones most likely to support personal freedom is simply beyond me. Conservatives have supported anti-miscegenation laws, sodomy laws, segregation laws, censorship laws, racist restrictions on citizenship, sex toy bans, etc. Where is Sullivan’s head?


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