When Ralph Hancock reports that “it is not clear just what is left to
conserve of the morally and religiously grounded freedom that once defined
America” he supposes that what is lamentably lost, is entirely Christian
in origin and substance. It is not. The moral compass of a devout Deist (the
faith of many of our Founding Fathers), humanist, pagan, Jew, Muslim or Hindu is
surprisingly similar to a Christian. Of course there are small differences (such
as positions on sexual mores), but when it comes to the basics (Thou shall not
kill, for instance), they’re pretty similar! So if there
really is more of a difference in style rather than substance, perhaps French
really does have the right of it! “Neutral” pluralism isn’t
naÏve, it just isn’t inherently Christian, and that makes a lot of
"White Culture" conservatism is solely based on the preservation of
Re: "So many American conservatives . . . threw everything away for
[T]rump and a couple court picks."No, we just made the logical
choice between bad, and way, way, WAY worse. It's a proud American
tradition -- no voter ever gets everything he/she wants.The Supreme
Court picks, alone, may save the Nation -- at least for awhile. And, as a bonus,
there's no honest quibbling over the beneficial effect of several more of
Mr. Trump's policies. These confirm that holding my nose and voting
Republican was the correct -- and moral -- choice.It's also
increasingly clear that the correct and moral 2020 choice will also be Mr.
Trump, with Dems jockeying for positions further and further to the loony left
of one another.I've been a Democrat for nearly 50 years, but it
looks like my Party will not offer me a single 2020 statewide or nationwide
candidate for whom I can vote with a clear conscience.Truly sad.
To "one old man" actually no. The Democrats are doing everything they
can to destroy the US. Just look at the states that are making laws to give all
of their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the popular vote. Democrats
have always been for ruling using un-elected bureaucrats who don't answer
Re: "From where I stand, it certainly seems that "conservatives" are
doing nothing less than working to simply destroy American democracy."It'd be interesting to find out what third-world outhouse you must
be standing in. Seeing the havoc wrought on our once-strong Nation
by -- well just pick any list of liberals -- then suggesting the moral,
spiritual, and physical rot America suffers from today is the fault of
conservatives is, of course, laughably misleading.It does bring on a
wave of nostalgia, though. It's been since before the wall came down, the
last time I heard this kind of Pravda/Izvestia rhetoric.
A new conservative is emerging, but they have to wait for tht old guys in power
to die off.New conservative wants:1. Less intrusion and less
de-platforming of those who disagree with them2. Mutual tolerance
(different than respect)3. Less, less spending. Reforming social benefits
is part of this4. Fight socialism at all costsUnfortunately, I
think Trump/McConnell really believe in number 4 only. The new conservative will
need to wait for age to take it's toll.
From where I stand, it certainly seems that "conservatives" are doing
nothing less than working to simply destroy American democracy.
@viejogeezer"In 1860 the Democrats were the conservatives , the
Republicans progressives." Republicans gave us the Civil Right
Act of 1964 (signed into law by Lyndon Johnson, but more Republicans voted for
it than Democrats, and Democrats staged a 54 day filibuster against its
passage.)You can try to create a fantasy narrative about
"conservatives" and "Progressives", but the truth remains that
conservatives were and are trying to conserve our founding principles. The term
"progressive" was not even used in 1964. Every slave holder in the USA
was a Democrat, and the Governor of every Southern State with Jim Crowe laws was
a Democrat. Republican conservatives opposed them. Not a single Republican in
the USA ever owned a slave. All you need to do is find one to prove me wrong
RiDalSurely you are know your history better than that. In 1860 the
Democrats were the conservatives , the Republicans progressives. In 1964
southern Democrats, along with their northern Republican supporters were the
conservatives. I was around in 1964 and watched conservatives blow up churches
and bash heads of those seeking to vote or eat at a Woolworth lunch counter and
Republicans up north cheer them on. Those same conservatives are now
@Makid And here we have "No True Scotsman".
We’re witnessing the collective ego go through a state of inflation.
Boundless liberties will eventually lead to their own demise. What will follow
will not be a return to arbitrary authority, but a connection to the individual
Self (or consciousness). We can’t return to institutions that failed to
provide meaning in the first place, and which people naturally rejected, unless
those institutions offer a connection to the Self.
We can see that influence of moral neutralism has inevitably led to the death
even of common sense neutralism at the altar of political correctness (such
liberalism has indeed led to the closing of the American mind) and it is now so
pervasive that there is a real threat that this neutralism and its spawn will
win the day in popular and common culture and even in “conservatism”
with a complete victory and result in the elimination of constitutional freedoms
of all kinds—including speech and religion. Thus, this
“French-ism“ approach is just as much an enemy of freedom as is the
undiluted progressivism of the so-called left. They both are founded upon the
same value neutral and relativist principles. Classical liberalism, including
the true modern American conservatism founded on the absolute moral truths of
natural law and human nature—with necessary support from traditional
religion—have always been the only foundation upon which freedom and
liberty in law can survive.
In truth the “’neutral’ pluralism” contended for by
French is essentially a doctrine supporting relative truth against the doctrine
or philosophy of absolute truth at the foundation of classical liberalism. This
“French-ism” approach has given us in America (and it also arises
from) the historicism of the early 1900s which was heavily influenced by the
German nihilist influence which came to America in the late 1800s that joined
with the John C. Calhoun type philosophies of the slavery South that also gained
increasing influence throughout 19th century America. From the rise of these
influences we now have in the “academy
the media and elite
culture” modernist and post-modernist philosophies where agenda equals
truth and where even reason, science, and obvious common understanding of things
like family, male and female, and weather patterns are placed at the altar of
A "True Conservative" is someone who will stand up against both the Left
and the Right. They put the Country first in all situations rather than
Party.To see this, you only need to look at Congress. How many
Republicans are standing for impeachment? 1. That is how many True
Conservatives are in Congress right now.A True Conservative does
what is best for Themselves, their Community, and their Country. This is to be
a betterment rather than a detriment. A True Conservative seeks to help the
helpless while also holding those with greater means to a higher standard of
service.Conservatism started in France and was popularized with the
Musketeers - All for One and One for All. We all look out for each other, no
matter the station and we will all succeed.Unfortunately, many
people have forgotten about this and hide behind fake Conservative flags or
Party notions of superiority. Roughly 50% of the ideals of both the Republican
and Democratic party platforms are conservative.Lastly, if someone
is claiming to be a "True Conservative" and still defends the Party
system and Donald Trump, they are not a "True Conservative".
@viojogeezer"Douglas a Democrat, Lincoln a Republican.George
Wallace a Democrat, MLK a Republican. The list goes on and on.Give
me a Republican every time.
So many American conservatives saw what was and is coming and threw everything
away for trump and a couple court picks.
@2 Bits, @RiDalIt'll be unfair to act like conservatives are mostly
Republican, and that Republicans are mostly conservative, when that's no
longer true.But both data and public perception agree on this: most
conservatives are Republican, and most Republicans are conservative.@10CCWhen have conservatives *ever* cared about "human rights"
or "privacy"? The Right to Privacy, found by the SCOTUS in Griswold v.
Connecticut, and re-affirmed (and expanded) in Loving v. Virginia, Roe v. Wade
and Lawrence v. Texas is one of the things conservatives have been complaining
about and denouncing as an "invented right" for decades.
Being a Constitutionalist with a PhD in Physics, I want to see real evidence,
not just words.Trump has real evidence of being a Constitutionalist
and a Conservative. I'm still waiting for any evidence that Romney
believes in the Constitution or is a conservative.
Hancock's general question is one many Americans - conservative and other -
share. What does it mean to be conservative, anymore?The identity
crisis on the right reveals either theft of the conservative mantle, or a rapid
redefinition of what "conservativism" means.The
conservatives I've known were for fiscal responsibility, free trade,
immigration, human rights, privacy, etc.2019 conservatives are
comfortable with $1.2T deficits, accept tariffs against former allies as the
tool of a temperamental executive, seek to chop legal immigration by 50%, look
the other way as the POTUS embraces authoritarian dictators, shrug at how
Americans' personal information was used by foreign governments.Will conservatives regain their moral compass? Or is it now just
a nationalist / ethno-nationalist movement, with a Christian veneer?
True conservatives stand up for the constitution, and are not afraid to take on
the left who are trying to destroy our nation.
...and just to be accurate: Don't conflate "Conservative" with
"Republican". There is a lot more conservatism in the Republican Party;
but they are also a huge disappointment on many conservative issues. They get
voted for only because they are more conservative than the Democratic
Just so we have our definitions straight, go look up the definition of
"Classical Liberalism". Classical Liberalism was a "new,
progressive idea" at the time of the founders. If you check the definition,
you see that it is every principle that conservatives now stand for. America
was founded upon these ideas, so they seem "old" in the context of
American history. "Conservatives" are trying to conserve these
original founding principles of personal liberty and small, limited government.
This is why "Conservative" in America, has a different connotation
that the worldwide connotations of liberalism and conservatism. "Modern Liberals" in America are merely socialists. They call that
"Progressive" because they want to "progress" beyond individual
freedom to the socialist utopia, where the government controls everything and no
one has personal responsibility. The idea that freedom imposes
responsibility has been replaced with the idea that freedom means "freedom
from personal responsibility". Socialism is still socialism even if
you put "Democratic" in front of it. North Korea is a "Democratic
People's Republic". They all are.
Seems to me the only thing conservatives have ever conserved is their power and
wealth.Pharoah was a conservative, Moses a progressiveAnnas a
conservative, Jesus a progressiveKing George a conservative, George
Washington a progressive.Hamilton a conservative, Jefferson a
progressiveDouglas a conservative, Lincoln a progressiveLilburn
Boggs a conservative, Joseph Smith a progressiveMckinley a conservative,
Teddy Roosevelt a progressiveHoover a conservative, FDR a progressiveGeorge Wallace a conservative, MLK a progressiveThe list goes on and
on.Give me a progressive every time
Intellectual conservatism is simply just being a little too clever by half, with
a pinch of insufferable showboating of esoteric vocabulary. And to this end,
Ralph Hancock is its patron saint, or milquetoast token, rather.
"There remains precious little conservative liberalism to conserve, and so
we must rise to the higher challenge of a liberal conservatism — the
challenge of regrounding freedom in a classical and Christian concern for the
common good."Had I ever let such nonsensical writing, such
convoluted word salad, such rhetoric bereft of analysis, such unsupported
assertion and obvious bias, into my papers in Dr. Hancock's classes, I
would have recieved a failing grade and been called in for a "talk".What have we come to when the professional political philosophers lack
coherence and rigor?!
@liberal larry 10:29RE: "Wealthy conservatives have funded right wing
"think" tanks"...---Are you seriously pretending wealthy
conservatives are the only people who fund think tanks, PACs and "special
interest groups"?What about George Soros, Ariana Huffington,
etc?Most of the top political donors donated to Democrats. And many
of them aren't even Americans!Google "Top Individual
Contributors: All Federal Contributions- OpenSecrets"...While
we're on foundations and think tanks... What about ACORN, the Open Society
Foundations, Clinton foundation, Tides Foundation, Center for American Progress?
There's a bunch out there.I know that's what about-ism,
but you seem to be oblivious to anything that doesn't your narrative.
Anything that doesn't fit your bias. Just making sure it's not
painted as just one-side's problem (as you seem to think)===RE: "The ballooning deficits under Bush/Cheney, and
Trump!"...---Thanks for pointing that out. Good point. But you
completely ignored the ballooning deficits under Obama/Biden. Why? Any
coherent reason to skip over those? They were leaps and bounds bigger than the
Bush/Cheney budgets or any budgets in US history.
@Invisible Hand,The 42% do have a voice. The exact same voice any
American gets... one vote.They have a voice. They just aren't
organized (like the other 2 groups).It's been said that
organizing Independents is like herding cats. They are all over the place.
They will never be organized and herded like the other 2 groups.And
that's why it SEEMS like they don't have a voice. Because they
aren't organized. They don't have a Party, a platform, or a
candidate.Even when they do have an "Independent" candidate
on the ballot... they only appeal to a fraction of the 42% (again, because they
are all over the place, kinda what "Independent" means).By
their nature, they're not going to think alike. They are
"Independent". They don't think alike, they don't vote alike
(like the drones from the 2 parties).They still have a voice. They
are just forced to give it to the Rs or the Ds (because they are organized and
have real candidates, viable candidates).
Right now, conservatives are being massively censored by monopolist social media
companies, with the companies clearly violating their terms of service. Also,
fake conservatives like Mitt Romney praise violent communists like antifa, while
attacking true patriots. Modern conservatism has plenty to fight for, and
plenty of liberties under attack that need to be preserved.
To "Bloodhound" liberals won't debate conservatives because they
know that the current liberal dogma doesn't hold up when questioned.To "2 bits" the better poll is the Gallup poll from January
asking people if they are conservative. See "U.S. Still Leans Conservative,
but Liberals Keep Recent Gains" at Gallup where they found that 35% of the
US considers themselves to be conservative compared to 26% liberal. The
remainder call themselves moderates.
@ 2bits: It's nice that 42% of Americans don't identify with either
party but it would be nicer if they participated enough to ensure that more
palatable candidates survived the primaries. Electoral reform that included rank
order voting and one common primary would be the best solution. Then maybe those
42% independents would actually have a voice.
Ahmari represents a chilling undercurrent among conservatives. Conservatives
used to be for small government, but now a growing group of them want a muscular
state that works to install the primacy of of their idea of "highest
good". Those of us who value freedom have no place in either political
party today, as the Democrats insist on building an economically repressive
nanny state and Republicans increasingly seem to want an authoritarian police
@liberal larry and other liberals,You either didn't read, or
didn't understand what I said.You seem to be completely stuck
on denouncing Republicans. But in reality Republican does not equal
Conservative. And Conservative does not equal Republican. It's only that
simple in the politico's minds. But in reality it's not that
simple.More Americans are "Independent" than D or R.Google "What percentage of Americans identify as independent"...---Gallup31% Democrat,24% Republican,42%
Independent.Lot's of Conservatives are not Republicans.Lots of Republicans are not Conservative.It's not a
Republican=Conservative, or Conservative=Republican relationship like you keep
pretending. Those absolutes don't work in reality.Most
Americans (Conservative or Liberal) are neither R nor D.Conservative
Americans don't have to be Republicans. But they may tend to vote for more
Rs than Ds. But that seems normal, not something inherently evil or bad.
Presently there is no coherent conservative philosophy! The republican party
is a coalition of people who want low taxes (the top 1 or 2 percenters),
advocates for the abolition of the inheritance tax, the gun lobby, anti
abortion supporters, and the religious right.Wealthy conservatives
have funded right wing "think" tanks to support their monetary
interests, and thrown in plenty of rhetoric to keep the gun supports, and
religious right in tow.They've even abandoned fiscal
responsibility as is seen by the ballooning deficits under Bush/Cheney, and
Modern conservatism is rooted in a nostalgic, fetishized view of the Reagan era
- that's cool, but times have changed drastically since the 1980's;
Technology, academia, and our mass culture has accelerated more in
the last 20 years than it has in the entire century before. More content has
been created by humans in just the last three years than in all of history up
until the year 2004! The advent of the internet and the ability to have a wealth
of personalized information in your pocket along with improved communication
capabilities have made the world a much more globalized place since 1980. We are also set to loose about 8% of the world's plant and animal
species over the next decade due to the effects of global warming. In our own
country, "conservative" attitudes towards corporate America have let the
richest 3 individuals own more wealth than the entire bottom half of all
Americans do combined.American's fixation with conservatism has
allowed other nations to surpass the US in everything from education and
literacy to crime levels to health care and civil rights. It's
time to embrace a new set of progressive solutions or get left in the dust.
Hancock mentions conservative intellectuals in passing. I'm afraid this is
an oxymoron in Trumperica. The Republican Party of old, which had some tether to
a central philosophy, is now tethered to a narcissistic, amoral, vulgar
ignoramus who is interested only in his own power. And
Hancock's philosophical point that he gives the Tweeter-in-Chief is
misplaced, since Trump doesn't really care about any duty to the people.
This is just a political ploy he employs to get easily fooled voters to place
him in power, where he can devote full attention to trying to satisfy his
infinite need for adulation. In the meantime, he has systematically
gone about dismantling our democracy, kowtowing to brutal autocrats, enriching
the already obscenely wealthy, destroying the environment, and disrupting
relations with our allies. The conservatism Hancock yearns for does
not exist, except in the heads of a few people who now have no home in the
political universe of America. Most conservatives have simply caved in to the
wave of raw authoritarian power-craving that has consumed the GOP. You want to
understand the nature of modern conservatism? Look no further than Mitch
Mr Hancock seems to say the president is bad, be a liberal progressive looks
him to be good.
An informative article. I've been conservative all my life, even when I was
an atheist for a few years. I used to enjoy arguing with liberals in college. We
didn't hate one another and debated freely. I don't believe I would
feel comfortable debating the modern left in today's universities.
Progressives are illiberal liberals. Most won't listen and many refuse to
debate conservatives. Instead, they label us (i.e. racist, sexist, bigot, etc.)
and say case closed in their favor. It's really sad.
RE: "What is left for modern conservatism to conserve?"...---FreedomLibertyConstitutionEnergyMoneyetc.There's lots of things left we can (and should) conserve.Seems the writer has fallen into the trap of saying
"Conserve/Conservative" and ignoring the traditional-definition and only
thinking about the Political-definition (which are two very different
things).Don't fall into the fallacy of thinking anyone who
Conserves is Conservative (Politically). Or the false-narrative that all
Conservatives are Republicans, they aren't. I'm a good example.There are liberal Rs. And there are conservative Ds.It's a false notion that all Republicans are Conservatives. They
aren't. There are some Very Liberal Republicans, who don't care to
conserve any of the above, and love to spend money (instead of conserving it)
just like Liberals. Some are in Congress and the White House today.Stereotypes and grouping people by Assumptions based on other characteristics
is a flawed and overly-simplistic lazy way of seeing people. Don't snap
judge them and extrapolate and Assume you know everything about them because you
know a few things about them. They may surprise you.