Saturday, October 28, 2006

Guiding Principles
Yet Sullivan has continued to think of himself as a conservative. And he has been forced to ask himself the question that many conservatives have been forced to ask themselves: If I am a conservative, and I detest many of the things this conservative administration is doing, then what kind of conservative am I and what kind of conservatives are they?

Â?The Conservative SoulÂ? is SullivanÂ?s answer to that question. His book is important, not only because he is willing to re-examine his own views relentlessly, but also because this is a moment when conservatism is in tumult, with old alliances breaking down, new divisions widening into chasms.

So writes David Brooks in the NYTimes. He's reviewed Andrew Sullivan's
The Conservative Soul - an important polemic that argues how today's ruling conservatives have abandoned core principles in pursuit of power. His book is to reassert those core principles and detail what true conservatism means - while showing how far some conservatives have drifted.

Sullivan's book, and Brooks' response is important to read for its own sake - the debate between these two thoughtful conservatives is an indication of how much some conservatives value the philosophical underpinnings of the ideology. I think most non-conservatives think the wellspring of conservatism emanates from Rush, Hannity, and Ann Coulter. That these people are the founding fathers of the movement and stake out its guiding principles. Sullivan's book and Brooks' review provides an understanding for conservatives and non-conservatives alike that's there's more to conservative thought than is generally revealed in our superficial public political discourse. The rich philosophy of conservatism extends back centuries and has roots in the writings of maeminentant minds of the Enlightenment. A true conservative knowledgeableble of this philosophical tradition - or should be.

On the otherhand, I wonder if today's garden variety liberal has any cognizance of their ideology's philosophical roots? It interests me to know what motivates a person - from a philosophical foundation - to choose liberalism as a guiding approach to values and politics. I've never seen liberals discuss their philosophical foundations (much less debate them with other liberals) anywhere near the same degree as conservatives. I just don't get the sense that liberals (those that I know) have any awareness of the philosophical roots of their chosen ideology. Of liberals that I know, I don't think they'd be able to name for me the people that have contributed to the formulation of the liberal philosophical tradition. Given this, I can only believe that someone arrives at liberalism simply because of a belief in the oft-repeated "It's okay as long as it doesn't hurt anybody." mantra - and that this is good enough for them. That's as deep as it gets I guess!

The depth philosophicalcal debate within conservative circles and the dearth of philosophical debate within liberal circles is glaring. The knuckleheads in Media that guide our national conversation cover up for liberals' philosophical deficiencies. All too often a conservative spends ridiculous amounts of time trying to explain the things they advocate (many times painfully outlining the guiding conservative philosophies that support these arguments), whereas the liberal rebuts with the simplistic "Somebody will get hurt if we do this!. There is not one issue out their that our Media fails to portray in this manner.

One would have to ask why someone would choose to be a conservative when its so much easier to be a liberal. It's so much easier to choose Anything Goes So Long as Nobody Gets Hurt than it is to choose a philosophy of limits. I'd love to hear about the philosophical tradition that supports this guiding liberal mantra, but I haven't heard it yet and I suspect that it doesn't exist. Conservatives will continue to debate with each other on what it means to be a conservative. The conversation between Brooks and Sullivan reveals this. Anyone wanting to delve deeper into understanding the philosophy of conservatism will do well to read both Brooks and Sullivan. As for understanding the philosophy of liberalism, I don't think you'll get far even if you ask a liberal. There's just not a lot there.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Here Come the Clowns
'This notion that elections are stolen and that elections are rigged is so common in the public sphere that we’re having to go out of our way to counter them this year,' said Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist.

Hahahahaha. Man, what fools. They spend all their energies convincing people they're disenfranchised and now have to do an about face to convince them otherwise. What f*cking fools!

Think Dubya's dumb? He's only warmed us up to the coming inevitable: hands down THE most moronic, mindless, dumf*ck people - Nancy Pelosi et al - are coming to lead and to save us.