The Death of Conservatism?

Has the conservative movement exhausted itself, and marginalized itself by letting radicals take over? That’s the argument Sam Tanenhaus (famous as the biographer of Whitaker Chambers) makes in his new book, and in this Newsweek interview:

I wouldn’t say conservatism is dead. But the Republican party is in trouble.

Their biggest problem is that their base - whites, seniors, and Christians - is shrinking, while the democratic base - minorities and young liberals - is growing.

When you have such a limited constituency, you can’t afford to ignore their views - no matter how crazy they are.

What would really help the demise of the GOP is if the economy recovers. Then they won’t have to way until their demographics become to small to matter.

“Conservatism” isn’t dead. It is, and can be, an incredibly important, intelligent movement that helps our country. Small government, restrained spending, and an emphasis on individual rights can, and should, be a large part of our nation.

Don’t write off conservatism, because our country needs it to truly flourish.

Oh please. Today’s conservatism prides ignorance and closedmindedness, and is only <scare quotes>incredibly important</sq> insofar as it’s <sq>incredibly dangerous</sq> and ignored at our collective peril. Today’s conservatism is so far removed from the ideals of small government and restrained spending that it’s downright laughable whenever the RW embarrasses itself by claiming it. And do you really want to get into an argument about how today’s conservatives feel about individual rights for those who don’t quite fit into a 1950s era Norman Rockwell painting?

…or perhaps yours is a woosh.


I was under the impression that the number of seniors is growing, both in rel terms and as a proportion of the population.

Wishful thinking from the loony left. Today’s young liberals will be tomorrow’s conservatives. Age and real world experience will cure many of liberalism’s ills.

That’s funny. It worked the other way around for me.

Until Conservatism starts peeling away what we old farts consider our (Dad and Grandma had it!) rights. Then you are (it’s a technical term) fucked.

Perhaps after a fashion. But I’d be comfortable wagering that most conservatives in my dotage probably won’t be the fat, racist, sexist, homophobic, proudly uneducated, xenophobic troglodytes who still pine for the stars and bars to this very day. (bolding mine)

Conservatism will come back if the current experiment in liberalism fails. That’s pretty much the way it works. When the next election comes, if the economy is humming along and the deficit is coming down and America isn’t getting pushed around internationally, then you won’t be able to elect a Republican as dog catcher. If, on the other hand, unemployment is 10%, the deficit is spiraling out of control, and inflation is creeping up, America will suddenly rediscover Conservatism, or perhaps this time classical Liberalism, which is Conservatism without the social/religious baggage.

Republicans are enjoying a pretty healthy comeback right now, but in spite of who they are, not because of it. Basically, they are gaining the support that Obama is losing through his own mistakes and ideological choices. At some point, the numbers will stabilize and we’ll know just how big Obama’s real constituency is. We’ll also know how much popularity conservatism still has.

Don’t we hear this argument about the losing party after every election?

And you’re not the only one. There’s a big difference between us “younger seniors” and our parents’ generation.

Wait, weren’t the Republicans set for permanent majority status a couple weeks ago? Or was that a few years? Certainly within the past Bush term, no? Conservative (not to be confused with Rush-like dickery of the same name) principles aren’t fading, are they? Small government, lower taxes, freer markets, etc., have been subsumed by the Beckinstiens of the media, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lots of folks who hold those ideals yet also hold their nose at Palin.

I think Steele was a mistake, and the image of the Republicans as ignorant is one crafted by their mouthpieces. Granted, there is a lot of financial momentum to keep it that way, but the general ideas and differences between the parties are not locked into the Joe the Plumbers of the world.

It has been a long time since the Republican party did anything but pay lip service to any of this. The whole war one terror has been a 1 trillion dollar boondoggle at the most conservative estimate of the cost. It has greatly expanded the government. It has also taken a huge toll on individual rights.

Most conservatives today aren’t like that either. Unfortunately, many young liberals are too foolish and bigoted to understand that disagreement on a political issue does not make the other side evil or immoral.

Ah, I see. So…liberals are the ones whose party base is screaming that the other party’s base is going to burn in hell? HowEVER did I turn that around?

Born in the Forties.

For cripes sake.

In a “Democracy” might it be understood that we want what is best for the most?

Oh, shush, shush…Making ‘big bucks’…driving Bentleys…(er…better cars?)

Having more than “others”…

Is that what we want?

I’m more than you… Better than you.

My college was better than yours.

My Degree was better than yours.

My income is better than yours.

My ‘things’ are more expensive than yours.

I’m more sophisticated than you.

I’ve traveled more of the World than you.

I know more about Wines than you do.

Do you know the “Classics”?

I’ve touched elbows with the “Elite”…

My Education, My Knowledge, My Political Connections, …

…make me Better than you.

Please, those of you with Credentials…

…never forget that it is the janitors and the garbage men and the Utility workers and the Mothers and the Teachers and the lowly secretaries and the (impoverished) “Administrative Assistants” - that keep things moving.

The Lewis guy - at the Bank of American that has made more than $5,000/hr ----give it up.

No freakin’ wonder that Americans are mad.

A guy that is a janitor.
A guy that makes over $5,000 an hour -

Can you reconcile the value of each of their lives?

Whose judgment counts?

That just means a growing number of people dependent on government programs.

Conservatism dead? Obama is just beginning to discover how deeply conservative the US is. This is wishful thinking on the liberals’ part. The Republican party has a flair for reinvention as it has shown time and time again in the past. It’s the Democrats who have completely lost touch with their blue-collar base, as Camille Paglia, a Democrat herself, tellingly argues.

For me as well. I was far more conservative 20 years ago than now.