Abstract conservatism

by | Jul 16, 2013 | NC Politics, NCGOP | 1 comment

Theodore Roosevelt said: “The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists property must be the servant and the not the master of the commonwealth.” Paul Ryan said: “We need to defend the morality of a system in America that says you are free…to make money, to create jobs and to do it however you want so long as it’s legal.” Josh Stein said: ““You shut [the clinics] down and women are still going to want to have abortions. We as a state and a nation have been there in the ’60s and ’70s, we know what the consequences are. Please, let us not go back to those days.” Paul Stam said: “In North Carolina you can get an abortion for any reason…That’s something we’ve got to deal with.”

It is clear that Republicans, in North Carolina and nationally, are not true conservatives. If they were, they would not be threatening to return us to the troublesome conditions of the past. For that matter, our Republican leaders have forgotten about the conditions that existed in the first place. Consequently, they think only about ideal scenarios, not the aftermath of repealing successful policies. In short, past liberal successes transferred “conservatism” to the realm of the abstract.

The New Deal buttressed the legitimacy of capitalism, giving free-market fundamentalists the luxury of visualizing a world where everyone accepts the inequities of the market. Roe v. Wade allowed religious fundamentalists to focus on the imagined purity of the fetus rather than the misery of unwanted children. Pro-education, pro-growth Democrats spared North Carolina Republicans from the sight of true poverty.

True conservatives revere the wisdom of history. But a Whiggish hubris animates the Republican agenda. They ignore the dangers of radicalism because of their contempt for our past. McCrory’s complacency stems from this same present-minded ethos. He has never been “rather conservative” in the true sense of the word. It will prove his downfall.


1 Comment

  1. John Lofton

    FORGET, PLEASE, modern “conservatism.” It has been a failure because it has been, operationally, de facto, Godless. In the political/civil government realm it has ignored Christ and what Scripture says about the role and purpose of civil government. Thus, it failed. Such secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God they are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson’s Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

    ”[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.


“American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth.”

    In any event, “politics,” for the most part today, is whoring after false gods. It will not save us. Our country is turning into Hell because the church in America has forgotten God (Psalm 9:17) and refuses to kiss His Son (Psalm 2.) See, please, 2 Chronicles 7:14ff for the way to get our land healed.

    John Lofton, Recovering Republican
    Editor, Archive.TheAmericanView.com
    Active Facebook Wall

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