Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There seems to be no good working definition of "conservative."

The Cornell Putz:
Newt’s conservatism isn’t something concocted by campaign strategists, he’s lived it his entire political life and fought battles which would have made lesser candidates run against conservatism just to get elected.
George Will:
Gingrich … embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive. And there is his anti-conservative confidence that he has a comprehensive explanation of, and plan to perfect, everything. …

Gingrich, who would have made a marvelous Marxist, believes everything is related to everything else and only he understands how. Conservatism, in contrast, is both cause and effect of modesty about understanding society’s complexities, controlling its trajectory and improving upon its spontaneous order. Conservatism inoculates against the hubristic volatility that Gingrich exemplifies and Genesis deplores: “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.”
Republican partisans toss this word around all the time, but as far as I can tell, it has absolutely no meaning these days other than "opposing things that liberals like, updated daily."

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