Right-wing could mean libertarian. (3+ / 0-)It struck me that true Conservatives would be as appalled by the Bush Administration's behavior as true Progressives. So where is the outrage from the conservative side? When was the day that Conservatism died?
Genuine libertarians are appalled by the administration's assault on civil liberties.
To try to find out, follow me...
To begin my search for the day Conservatism died, I went looking for what a live conservative would look like. I came across this 50 year old document, The Essence of Conservatism, written by Russell Kirk in 1957:
Conservative principles shelter the hopes of everyone in society. And conservatism is a social concept important to everyone who desires equal justice and personal freedom and all the lovable old ways of humanity.Look again at these words used to define conservatism by the man who:
gave shape to the amorphous post-World War II conservative movementThese words bear repeating:
conservatism is a social concept important to everyone who desires equal justice and personal freedomDoes anybody believe that really describes the so called conservatives of today? And if not, who killed those conservatives?
So called "social" or "family values" conservatives seem to rule the political right today. What are their values and how do they compare to Russell Kirk? It didn't take a lot of digging to find out. From About.com - Conservative Politics: US we get first What Conservatives Are Not :
A little look at some misrepresentations of conservatives and conservative views - to dispel the myths and smear efforts and to set things straight.Interesting that today's "conservatives" start off by defining themselves as what they are not as opposed to Kirk's:
conservatism is a social concept important to everyone who desires equal justice and personal freedom and all the lovable old ways of humanityPressing on, we get again from About.com - Conservative Politics: US, Conservative Values Part 1: Social Issues:
Social conservatives are concerned about maintaining a social order where the family can stay strong and healthy.Interesting again that today's conservatives are:
concerned about maintaining ... orderand not about equal justice and personal freedom of Kirk's conservatives of 50 years ago.
But there is more. We also have a discussion about today's fiscal conservatives:
Fiscal conservatives want to encourage low taxes, free trade, and small government.Really? Let's look at this a little more closely.
On Business and the Economy we get:
The government should avoid meddling in business. ... Class warfare should be avoided and unions should remain accountable to the workers they represent.There's freedom - for business. But be sure to avoid that class warfare thing and definitely hold unions accountable. Conservative?
It gets better. On Energy and Environment:
The United States government should enact policies that would encourage smart energy use and an increased supply of clean, efficient energy sources. ...The government should open access to domestic oil sources and thus reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. It should eliminate policies that place undue restrictions on companies with little benefit to the environment.Well, that started off pretty good, but quickly deteriorated into that don't mess with them oil drillin' fellers conservatism. Apparently alternative, renewable energy is not on the agenda of today's conservative values.
And finally on Spending, we get:
government spending should be limited to activities that are are outlined by the Constitutionthey then go on to quote Thomas Jefferson about government spending. The same Thomas Jefferson who executed the Louisiana Purchase, the authority for which can be found nowhere in the Constitution.
The conservatism of the post World War II conservatives is dead in this country. The social conservatives and the Grover Norquists' of today have killed it. In place of the:
equal justice and personal freedomof the old, dead conservatives, we have today's conservatives who value:
maintaining ... orderNowhere in today's lists of conservative values and principles do we see the concept of equal justice and personal freedom.
low taxes, free trade, and small government
The government should avoid meddling in business
The government should open access to domestic oil sources
government spending should be limited to activities that are are outlined by the Constitution
I don't know what day conservatism died in America. But it is most assuredly dead.