Which kind of conservatism?

Matthew Continetti has written an essay that is sure to get attention, as the Republican party tries to put itself back together.  Entitled “Crisis of the Conservative Intellectual,” the piece traces the longtime conflict between “conservatism” (that is, the classic version that seeks to preserve institutions and that opposes modernity’s love of change) and “populism” (which opposes existing institutions and wants to change society).

This has come to a head in Donald Trump’s candidacy, which opposes the “establishment,” including the Republican establishment.

Continetti’s essay takes a historical look at this conflict, as well as the times when the two philosophies worked together, for example, to elect Ronald Reagan.  In the course of doing so, he also talks about other competing versions of what conservatism is, such as the New Right, neoconservatives, social conservatives, the the religious right (which, he says, combined populism with the institution-conserving conservatism of the William F. Buckleys).

Excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

“America needs a religious right”

New York Times Ross Douthat offers a defense of the Religious Right.  In fact, he argues that America needs a religious right in order to save conservatism from its own darker impulses.

[Read more…]

More on the Constitution Party

We’ve blogged about the Constitution Party as an option for conservatives who cannot abide either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  It has been around since 1992. The party’s presidential nominee is Vietnam Veteran and attorney Darrell Castle and his running-mate is businessman and academic Scott Bradley.  They are on the ballot in only 12 states.

Consider the party’s Platform and Seven Principles, given after the jump. How are these folks like Trump and how are they different?  Would you be for them if they had any chance of winning?

HT:  John Frahm

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Similarities & differences between libertarians and conservatives

In the course of an essay on the history and negative consequences of progressivism, Bradley J. Birzer discusses its two main opponents, conservatism and libertarianism.  He gives both what they agree on and what they disagree on.  See what he says after the jump.

Is libertarianism really a major opponent of progressivism, or is it rather, with its dismissal of traditional authorities, a particular manifestation of it?  If conservatism has a communal dimension, as opposed to libertarian individualism, does that put it closer to the corporate emphasis of progressivism?

But here is the big question, highly relevant to the current election:  Given the differences between these three ideologies, does it make sense for a conservative to vote libertarian against a progressive presidential candidate?  Or is the gulf between conservative and libertarian too wide for that?   [Read more…]

Young voters prefer socialism, reject conservatism

A poll of first and second-time voters, age 18 to 26, has found that two-thirds prefer socialism or even communism to capitalism.  A majority believe that America is no better than any other country.  And only 15% favor Republicans.  This may spell doom for Republicans and conservatives in general for the next three decades.  So says pollster Frank Luntz.

I would say that once this cohort gains some life experience, some of their political beliefs will change.  That’s usually the pattern.  It certainly was for those of us in the Sixties generation.  I also suspect we are seeing the fruit of today’s educational system.  The founders believed that a free republic requires an educated citizenry.  Not just any kind of education, but a “liberal” education, the term coming from the Latin word for free citizens.  That is, the classical liberal education that expanded the mind, taught discernment, stressed the lessons of history, and studied the high points of our civilization.

When that kind of education is jettisoned in favor of relativism, revisionism, and leftist political indoctrination, what can we expect?  Why wouldn’t they think that socialism and communism are “more compassionate” than capitalism, if they know nothing about economics, history, or objective reality? [Read more…]

Where is your town on the political spectrum?

A “political technology” company called Crowdpac has analyzed the campaign contributions of nearly 5,000 towns and cities in the United States and has ranked them on a liberal/conservative spectrum.  Thus we can determine the ten most liberal and the ten most conservative cities in America.

But most fun is a tool that enables you to enter the name of any town with a population over 6,000, whereupon you can see how it ranks on the scale.  (I found, though, that it doesn’t include every town over 6,000.)

Go here, type in your town’s name, and see how liberal or conservative it is. [Read more…]