The Death of Conservatism

I am reading in this week’s issue of “The Economist” (a British publication) a review of Sam Tannenhaus’ book, “The Death of Conservatism” (Random House; 144 pages)

Quote: “The recent implosion of the conservative movement is one of the great puzzles….

(other excerpts)
Four years ago the party was in charge of the White House and both chambers of congress.

… today the party is confused and dominated by its KNOW-NOTHING fringe..

… 2008 was the death throes of the Conservative political movement…

The Conservatives are locked in the past: obsessed by problems that the rest of the country has gone beyond (such as gay marriage) and INCAPABLE of offering solutions to real calamities, such as the recent economic crisis….

As policy makers struggled to save the economy from collapse earlier this year, conservative activists railed irrevelantly about “liberal fascism” [ and isn’t it ODD that one “Family Guy” episode featured a Nazi officers uniform with a McCain/Palin button, which made me gasp ‘truth in jest’].

Bush did more than Reagan or any other president to give the conservatives what they wanted.. tax cuts, bans on stem-cell research, war with Iraq

… the party has become latter-day Jacobins – slogan-spouting ideologues who want to destroy government rather than reform it.

They are SO BLINDED by partisanship that they are incapable of seeing any vices in their own side or any virtues in their opponents, and so consumed by anger that they define themselves by what they want to destroy rather than what they want to CONSERVE…

(end of excerpts)

I have discovered that I have very liberal left-leaning views. Some of the conservatives that I see on line regularly impress me as surly, angry, gun-loving war-loving bigots who, if they have had any liberal education at all, have let it roll off their back like water off a duck’s back. I try to read what such people regularly say, because it is very important to try and listen to what the other side is saying, and how they say it, no matter how distasteful that may be at times.

One thing that is very obvious to me, is the knee-jerk instinct of surly conservatives to ridicule candidates and also fellow posters, by distorting their names in a childish name calling fashion, as B.O., Jimmuh (Carter), “dear leader” (and me they like to dismiss as “billy boy” or BUELL. I really feel like I have turned a corner and found a surly crowd loitering outside a low-class saloon.

Whenever I converse with moderates or liberals, I see some balance of views, and a great measure of civility.

Anyway, the above review sounds quite accurate to me.

I wonder what Joe the Plumber is reading right now….

I do hope he is reading a manual to pass the plumbers exam because the last time anyone looked, he was practicing his trade illegally without a license even though his great DREAM (the great American conservative dream) was to one day own his own plumbing company so he could profit from the labor of other underpaid unlicensed plumbers.


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