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Friday, September 14, 2012

Obama Is the Actual Conservative Candidate in This Race

I am not in love with Obama as our president. But I want him to win, and I want him to win because he is the more conservative candidate. Of course, by "conservative" I mean conservative in the original sense of the term: more prudent, less prone to over-reaction, more deliberative, more respectful of precedent. (Yes, there are problems with him in this regard: think the contraception hub-bub. But it is another conservative trait not to make the perfect the enemy of the good.) By my criteria of being conservative, most of today's modern "conservatives" like Hannity and Limbaugh are revealed as angry, radical populists. And Romney is willing to cater to them in order to win office.

Obama: the conservative choice.

1 comment:

  1. That's a strange definition of conservatism. Perhaps in the context of a traditional state such a definition would have more meaning, where the leadership serves more the role of a steward.

    For one thing, you seem to be ignoring the conservation of culture and heritage as essential to conservatism. Your conservatism seems rather abstract, universalistic and deracinated in the context of the modern incarnation of liberalism. Your description of conservatism might warm the heart of a risk-averse technocrat!

    If I remember a recent post of yours on immigration, in which you confessed to lacking an imaginative solution to the immigration problem that doesn't violate some kind of a kindness ethic you've adopted; but you do think that current immigration policy needs repair. I'd be curious to know specifically why, if not how? Is immigration just an economic concern, or do you believe that there is a culture/heritage component to it? Do you believe that there are any significant negative social externalities to increased diversity, as discussed in R. Putnam's infamous paper?

    I know you tend not to like to answer direct questions and prefer to be coy, Gene, so take those as rhetorical questions if you like.

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