Saturday, February 20, 2016

Conservatism losing due to sacrifice of principles

The Right Needs Principle, Not Unity | Tim Moen - Huffington Post:

February 19, 2016 - "There was a time when conservatism was synonymous with small accountable government, protection of property rights, frugal government spending, a society organized around Burke's little platoons (family, business, charity, community, the church), fierce advocacy of free market capitalism, minding one's business, and an aversion to taxation. Those days are long past. Now the term conservatism is synonymous with a hawkish foreign policy influenced by Trotskyism, Christian fundamentalism, a fixation on muslims, a surveillance state, closed borders, a command and control economy, and dogmatic opposition to social freedoms.

"Once upon a time you could accuse a conservative of being principled. Newly elected party leader Maggie Thatcher said 'that's what we believe" and smacked down a moderate with Hayeks' The Constitution of Liberty in response to his pleas for caution. Now conservatism is nothing more than a constellation of feelings and platitudes shifting with the zeitgeist of a left leaning culture. Conservatism has become an aesthetic in opposition to 'the left' rather than an ethos anchored in philosophical bedrock. Conservatives have traded away their soul and now we are all paying the price....

"What explains Stephen Harper's Keynesian apologetics and auto industry bailouts? What explains Brad Wall recently calling for federal money to employ oil and gas workers? How does Preston Manning explain his advocacy for taxing the primary energy source protecting us from a hostile climate in the name of 'climate action'?

"On what principle would Mr. Harper oppose a subsidy to Bombardier, or Mr. Wall oppose government green energy projects, or Mr. Manning oppose uniting all the parties under one giant feel-good umbrella? How does a conservative that loves socialized healthcare oppose socialized food production and distribution? How is a social conservative who rallies vociferously to get the state involved in marriage (ie to prohibit gay marriage) going to oppose a state agenda on marriage imposed on their church? How does a conservative who supports invasion of privacy vis-a-vis Bill C-51 and C-13 oppose a surveillance state interested in quashing conservative dissidents? What principle will a cannabis prohibitionist use to oppose banning sugary soft drinks?...

"I posit that the fall of conservatism in the West is because key leaders in the movement have sacrificed principle in order to win. In fact the problem is that their definition of winning is entirely misguided. The metric of success shouldn't be whether one wins a popularity contest or not. If you have to be Trotskyist on foreign policy, Marxist on healthcare and supply management, Keynesian in economic and monetary policy in order to get the win, well you haven't won anything worthwhile have you? The metric of success should be a society and government aligned with the enlightenment principles that undergird western civilization....

"We are in trouble not because of particular politicians but because of a culture devoid of an ethical compass, driven by base fears, that views government as a wish-fulfilling committee of virtue rather than a necessary evil to be restricted.

"The only thing that will turn this around is a shift in culture. To win an election you must reflect and reinforce status quo culture, but to create the kind of government conservatives want requires a cultural shift. Government emerges from culture. Do you want a conservative government or a conservative in charge of a socialist government?"

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