Comments about ‘The rich tradition of conservatism is in danger’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, May 23 2014 7:21 a.m. MDT

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Wow. Just WOW.

- this hits every major issue with today's GOP and nails them all PERFECTLY
- How did she get this in the DN? (I applaud the DN for posting. THey gonna get some pushback)

"It promotes politicians whose comments constantly offend the educated observer"

She left out the pettiness that seems to play so well with the base. Palin perfected it and others are now right there.

Hold up a gun and the crown goes wild
Question Obamas birth certificate and its a winner
Threaten nuclear war and get an ovation

They are easy applause lines and work every time.
Its like "potty humor" to elementary school kids.

How about this GOP. Grow up.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

"Conservatism... values intelligence, education and high culture."

Well there's the whopper of the day.

Try to get a contemporary conservative leader or candidate for high office to talk about the age of our planet or biological evolution and watch them run for the nearest exit.

They'll fall all over themselves endorsing STEM education, but ask them about global warming and they start spouting gobbledygook.

High culture? Ask today's GOP leaders how they feel about the NEA and the NEH.

Face it, today's GOP is fully in the thrall of the Tea Party, a retrograde, fundamentally anti-intellectual movement within which intelligence, education and culture are held in deep contempt.

ECR
Burke, VA

Outstanding. Thank you for stating the truth in such eloquent and pragmatic terms. Another essay in this morning's paper discusses Senator Hatch's long record of reaching across the aisle to work together for the good of the people. Dare I say that was the mindset of most members of Congress - Democrats and Republicans; liberals and conservatives - until the beginning of this century. Honorable men and women waged honorable battles in the halls of Congress to promote their particular ideology but in the end, it was the American people's interests that they tried to represent. And yes, I will admit, that is an optimistic analysis of days gone by. But I believe the comparison between those those and our current state of affairs relating to our elected officials will show a stark contrast in attitudes and accomplishments. An honest examination of who and what we are, such as this essay offers, will go a long way to resolving some of the ills that currently stop our country from progressing in to the future.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Are Republicans Conservative? Well . . . yes and no, but mostly no.

Republicans are "Conservative."

And Modern "Conservatism" is a distorted representation of true Conservatism.

It's like a misproportioned cartoon compared to a portrait.

Modern "Conservatism" is a cruel caricature of true Conservatism. It's a grotesque rendering that greatly accentuates the most peculiar, unfortunate, and unkind characteristics inherent to Conservatism, while it minimizes the decent, sensible, and attractive qualities.

Modern "Conservatism" is a malformed, deformed, distorted, twisted, gnarled, mangled, misshapen, hideous representation of true Conservatism.

And tellingly, its adherents can't tell the difference.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Mary Barker's article is a MasterPiece!

This is beautiful - and it hit the nail right square on the head!

FYI -- The Republicans -- commandeered by the radical Tea-Party - comes across more like the villagers in Monty Python and the Holy Grail with it's "witch" trial, than pragmatic, problem solving, sitdown with both sides to issues, share opposing views, and plan an intelligent solution, Statesmen.

Jon Huntsman Jr. is the closest "conservative" the GOP has, and look how they treat him.

FT
salt lake city, UT

When I think of conservatives, Teddy Rosevlet comes to mind. Which is why it has become more and more difficult to support today's GOP. Any party that hands it microphone over to radicals like Mike Lee, Ted Cruz or intellectually chanllenged politicans like Sarah Palin or Michelee Bachman has lost my support. The GOP won't win back the WH until they win back their party.

Gandalf
Salt Lake City, UT

Great op-ed. Thank you for providing the political theory backdrop. The GOP has strayed far from his philosophical and historical roots.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Let us be clear. The conservative tradition is being ruined by notions of political correctness.

Political correctness is an outright ban on any speech, writing, thought, or even idea that might be the least bit offensive. This has led to the even more false I notion that, because someone has the right to be free from any offense, no one has the right to express ideas that any possible person could possibly take offense at.

The current administration in Washington has put enormous pressure on universities to silence all speech and writing that does not meet the administration's view of what is politically correct. This includes any speech or writing which supports traditional moral values.

How ironic that the dogma of political correctness has been used as a sword to attack all dissenting viewpoints. Indeed, only one view is given freedom of expression. Too many conservatives have allowed themselves to be silent in the face of this attack.

slcdenizen
Murray, UT

Somebody call the brethren, a SL Trib piece was accidentally published in the DN. Common sense and restraint? That's not the conservatism that we know in Utah. We know under-the-table dealings, deference toward the wealthy, blaming the poor for their circumstances, and high minded self-righteousness. Why is this lady trying to rock the boat?

Karen R.
Houston, TX

Ms. Barker knocked this one out of the park. In conjunction with the judicial opinions coming out of the SSM debate, this gives me hope that America does still house the kind of thinking that is grounded in "concrete reality; what is happening right in front of our eyes." This doesn't preclude anyone's speculations about or need for something beyond the concrete. It just puts things in their proper order.

And, yes, let's absolutely develop policies with an eye to what we know about "the limitations of human nature." This nonsense about deregulation willfully ignores what we as a species have proven to be true time and time again: that we will do things we would not ordinarily do if we don't think anyone is watching. So why, why would we think that deregulating the financial system is a good idea?

Can we please, PLEASE get real again?

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

This is an amazing piece of dissection of the problems with conservative thinking today. I could easily respect any conservative viewpoint which came from the traditional conservative. I can not say that today, since our conservative political party (and most conservative thinkers) resort to the kind of debate and opinion formation that is described here.

It is interesting that the one comment so far to dispute any of this, and defend today's conservative thinking resorts to an argument that has nothing to do with the patterns of thinking and argumentation of today's conservative. Political "correctness" is a silly argument advanced by conservatives to claim the mantle of victimhood. It is not an argument against rationalism.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Mary makes the common mistake of assuming Republicans are the keepers of Conservatism.

Republicans are NOT necessarily "Conservatives"! So you don't define "Conservatism" by looking at Republicans.

SOME Republicans are "Conservatives" (just as SOME Democrats are Liberals). But not ALL Republicans are examples of "Conservatism", and not ALL Democrats are examples of being "Liberal".

====

We need to quit looking to the various political parties that are SUPPOSED to fit our stereotypes... and not only expect them to behave correctly (for our stereotype)... but also expect them to portray purity in that stereotypes that we attribute to them (Liberal or Conservative).

If there's a flaw with liberal thinking today... it's expecting everybody to fit your stereotypes for them. Especially political rhetoric inspired stereotypes.

Quit seeing people as the GROUP/Cast you have place them in... and then expect them to always behave according to your stereotype.

Quit seeing people as their GROUP. As your stereotype for them... IF you must judge, judge them as individuals... and you will come closer to reality.

Conservatism is what it has always been (same for "Liberalism"). It just isn't canonized neatly into political parties like you expect...

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

This article is the perfect example of why so many of us have said many times that we use to be Republicans until... Saying that does not in any way say that I or any one else thinks the Democrats have it right. It does say that conservatives and ergo the Republicans have completely lost their way.

Personally (and maybe it's just me) I think conservatism has lost it's way through an obsession with personal liberty. Personal liberty is an easy sell when you're trying to promote a personal agenda. Anything from lower taxes, gun rights, bans on abortion, fossil fuel energy, religious agendas, etc. etc. all fit very nicely in the envelope of you're taking my liberty.

As the author points out conservatives have always been the champions of liberty but within the context of society. Not any more. It's just me, me.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

John Charity Spring said: "The current administration in Washington has put enormous pressure on universities to silence all speech and writing that does not meet the administration's view of what is politically correct. This includes any speech or writing which supports traditional moral values."

Do you just make stuff up now?
How have they done this and what evidence do you have?
Is there a letter on White House letterhead that say to stop any Moral Speeches?

To be taken seriously, you should probably not bare false witness against the POTUS continually while talking of high morals.

Deja vu

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@GaryO,

Modern "Liberalism" is a cruel caricature of true Liberalism. It's a grotesque rendering that greatly accentuates the most peculiar, unfortunate, and unkind characteristics inherent to Liberalism, while it minimizes the decent, sensible, and attractive qualities.

Modern "Liberalism" is a malformed, deformed, distorted, twisted, gnarled, mangled, misshapen, hideous representation of true Liberalism.

And tellingly, its adherents can't tell the difference.

========

What I'm trying to point out is... that the exact same things COULD be said about Liberalism (and Democrats).

Your same arguments (while true) could be said about modern political "Liberalism" as well. Modern "Liberalism", and Political "Liberalism", and Democrat "Liberalism"... It's not the same as the dictionary definition of being "Liberal". It's a caricature of what being truly "Liberal" means.

She could have written the exact same article about "Liberalism" and "Democrats".
So don't be too smug...

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

2 bits,

You said: "If there's a flaw with liberal thinking today... it's expecting everybody to fit your stereotypes for them. Especially political rhetoric inspired stereotypes". So are you calling the author and the majority of posters Liberals? If so isn't that the same stereotyping that you decry when it comes to republicans and conservatives?

andyjaggy
American Fork, UT

This is a great article and pretty much sums up why I no longer identify as a Republican. It's been a long while since there has been anyone I've been excited to vote for. Romney would have been one, if he hadn't pandered to the extreme right in an attempt to win.

mcdugall
Murray, UT

An exceptional piece!

Spangs
Salt Lake City, UT

Excellent essay. This should be mandatory reading for conservatives and liberals alike.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Conservatism today isn't good ideas and good leadership. It's a blend, ideology, religion, and unabashed redneckism, if one can coin a phrase. Is the republican party conservative? Somewhat, but hopefully it can cure itself.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments