Conservatism–Long Lost Theory

For years I fought against anything conservative….I thought that their policies were harming a large portion of the society…..but starting in 2010 I became afraid of what conservatives had become….a political tribe that had no real policies that benefited society and the conservs of old were not so bad after all……

It is no secret that I am not a fan of our current president…..I find is approach to politics as uncouth as it can get…..

Analysts of all stripes have been peering through the political dust of 2017 to figure out what the hell happened. The academic monographs and bombshell memoirs stand side by side on the already groaning bookshelf devoted to explaining the Trump phenomenon. In all likelihood it will take decades to get a proper perspective on the year in American history that has irrevocably transformed the political landscape.

That transformation is deep-seated. It has not only created a schism separating competing ideas; it has pried apart the very conceptual frameworks that shapes those ideas, a gestalt change that signals we have reached a turning point in history. What we are witnessing is a watershed shift in philosophical first principles. The first irony to be observed is that this sweeping philosophical transformation was occasioned by perhaps the least philosophically minded president in United States history.

Before, years gone by, there was an intellectual component to conservatism….a component that had substantive debates with the Left….but those days are gone….now it is boiled down to slogans and insults…..the conservatism of old is dead….

Had conservatism a Cassandra, she might, amidst the current mood of triumph, point out that whereas 50 years ago the American Right boasted several political theorists destined to exert a lasting influence, today it has not one to its credit. In the 1950s and ’60s, James Burnham, Richard Weaver, Leo Strauss, Harry Jaffa, Russell Kirk, Friedrich Hayek, and Willmoore Kendall (among others) were all at the apex of their powers. No figure of similar stature remains.

To be sure, this does not mean that conservatism has gone into intellectual decline. We may, on the contrary, be living through the high summer of conservative ideas in America. If in 1950 all the right-wing intellectuals in America could fit into a single living room, today they could fill Madison Square Garden; if in 1950 one could read their combined monthly output in a single sitting, today one could not possibly keep abreast of the voluminous popular and scholarly literature that they produce. From journalism, politics, and law to religion, economics, and international relations, self-identified right-wingers abound.

I long for the days of the intellectual conservative and I think conservatives are also longing for those days gone by.


17 thoughts on “Conservatism–Long Lost Theory

  1. I’ve always considered myself a Conservative, and still do……though I don’t consider the GOP to be very Conservative at all. Likewise, my political ideology might be better labeled and classical liberal, but the American left [who label themselves as Liberal] don’t fit that definition, in my view.

    I think many intellectual Conservatives have found some refuge with the Libertarian ranks [like myself]; philosophical camp perhaps more than party itself.

    I agree that the modern right has lost the ability to have rational and sound debates….but I don’t see much difference in that on the left.

    1. You are right…..classical conservatism is all but dead…..I am told that I m on the Left and I do not consider myself a liberal…..I think that the so-called Left these days has a better debate platform than the Right…..both depend heavily on emotions and not on facts and truth…..chuq

  2. Methinks modern Conservatism is more about Christian Nationalism. Why does it seem that every single conservative political blog contains Bible verses and Christian pontifications? Are liberals not allowed to dabble in Christianity?

    1. I feel you are right and has little to do with true conservatism…..they try to say that they have a corner on the morals….and we know how full of crap most of them are, right? chuq

      1. Exactly! There was a day when the so-called moral majority would have been screaming about the likes of Trump. Now it’s.. “Well, what he does in bed with whores and hookers is consensual and occasional pussy-grabbing can be forgiven… but he making America great again!” Dumb asses.

  3. Over here, Conservative is the name of the right-wing political party that is currently in power. If we refer to any other sort of conservatism, we always add, “With a small ‘C’ “.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. I’m just barely old enough to vaguely remember when Republicans were the conservative “adults” in the room. They had fixes for most problems, but they were “boring” & slow moving. They talked a lot of numbers & “nipping & tucking”. The Lefties were the demanding rabble. Now, it’s all been switched around.

    Most conservatives today are anything BUT conservative. They are the chair throwing, screaming, nut-jobs making ludicrous demands. They offer few solutions beyond, “Me hate this! Me want that!” They’ve become the children in the room.

    Even the term doesn’t hold much meaning anymore. Many actual political conservatives share almost nothing with their party brethren. Many now run from the term. “Independents” and “Libertarians” have become much more “in” things to call yourself. Even before Trump, it was hard to define it anymore.

    As for intellectuals…Jesus, if you’re an intellectual, you’ve probably purchased a spot in a Survival Bunker by now.

      1. If you really want to get drunk & cry, just re-watch the last 1980 Republican debate between Raygun & Bush. Lots of numbers and policies that even Ronnie seemed on top of. Everything was on the line that night, but it was ALL above the belt. Nobody even talked over anybody. They even had a couple nice things to say about some Democrats and the 3rd party candidate, Anderson.

        No corporate sponsors controlling content, or commercial breaks. No insults. No Tweets from the Twit Zone. No measuring of dicks. And no accusations of being involved in the Kennedy assignation (See: Bush’s CIA connection vs Cruz’s dad’s non-connection as a direct comparison) It was something that was actually useful to voters!!! (Imagine dat.)

        Unfortunately, the wrong guy won and started America down the wrong path, but things were still 1,000 times better then than today.

      2. Ah, little Mary Hopkin. Did you know she married Tony Visconti? She’s back home in Wales now though. Can’t take the girl out of the valleys for too long. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.