Sunday, September 12, 2010

On American Conservatism

Over at the American Thinker today is an excellent piece on the nature of American Conservatism and its counterpoint, that goes by many names including "liberalism," progressivism, Marxism, Fascism, Socialism, Communism, and whatever they are dreaming up at the moment to try to hoodwink us. The piece, by Joel F. Wade is entitled Yes, in Fact, We Are Radical. It's a theme I have brought up occasionally several times, but I haven't seen an extended article before that makes the point. Conservatives in America are not the same as conservatives in the old world. Old world conservatives are trying to conserve the ancient regime, whether it be the monarchy, or some other autocratic thugocracy. In America, on the other hand, we are trying to conserve a radically new method of governing ourselves.  Yes, the Constitution represents the latest thing in government.  It was such a radical idea, that it was born only because of a fortuitous confluence of men and events, that was never seen before, or will be again.  Indeed, the founders thought of it as Divine Providence.  Almost on its heels, the French revolution fought to replace a monarch with a dictator.  They placed their trust in a man, we placed our trust in God.  But, in Mr. Wade's words:

As conservatives in America today, we seek to conserve our founding principles. This is fundamentally different from, say, a Russian conservative who seeks to conserve the traditional state power of mother Russia, or an Iranian conservative who seeks to conserve his theocracy, or a North Korean conservative who seeks to conserve his communist dictatorship.

In this sense, to be a conservative in America is to be misunderstood. Seeking to conserve our radical founding principles is linguistically confusing. In the same way, to be liberal in America today is philosophically tangled -- they seek to liberalize America by imposing more stringent controls and regulations upon her citizens?
Which gets us to why so-called "liberals" can never say what they are thinking or planning in plain, straight forward language. Because if they did, they know we would react in horror. When Glenn Beck exposed Anita Dunn saying that one of her greatest philosophers was Mao, and knowing what Mao did and stood for, did you not react in horror? When Hilary Clinton says she admires Margaret Sanger, (if you don't know who Sanger was, see here and here.) do you not react in horror. Such people were evil, and anyone who admires them is either terribly misguided, which means they should not be near the reigns of power, or they are evil themselves.

Again, in Mr. Wade's words:

So it's true: we are radicals. Our founding principles -- the vision of our Declaration of Independence and the structure of law based on practical idealism contained in our Constitution, ideals which are consistent with human nature and which transformed the ancient principles of human government at the root -- are the most radical political principles in existence today.

Those who have worked for the past hundred-plus years through progressive policies to undermine and replace our radical vision and structure of human governance are not radicals. They are conservatives of the worst sort. In common parlance, they are control freaks. They have brought political ideals from nineteenth-century autocratic Germany to America and fashioned them as some kind of visionary blueprint for bringing out the best in people.
So the next time someone calls you a radical, you now know what to say. Oh, and by the way, if you are a young man looking to become involved in a radical cause, here ya go.  There is none better.

Update:  On the other side of the coin is the Marxist/Progressive/Fascist/Socialist/Communist or liberal ideal of life, Life under communism by Charlotte Cushman. Go read the whole thing. It made my blood run cold.  This is what you get if you go down the "liberal" route.


  1. sofa,

    Thanks. I had started this post, and was having trouble with it, when I saw Joel Wade's article, and realized it said it better than I could have. Fortuitous all the way around!