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Thursday, May 04, 2006

What is a "Conservative" Anyway?

Reagan famously said, “government is not a solution to our problem, government IS the problem”.

To me, this statement sums up "conservative" political philosophy. (Note how far the GOP is from this.)

For another definition, I came across a review of a new book from one of the guiding lights of the conservative intellectual movement.

From Publisher's Weekly:
Flag, faith and family; free markets and free trade; limited government, local control and individual responsibility are the ideals championed by Heritage Foundation president Feulner and chairman Wilson in this conservative manifesto on what's wrong with America and how we can fix it.

Drawing on Heritage Foundation research, according to the foreword, they prescribe a litmus test for government policies that readers can employ on their own by asking the following questions of any proposed policy: "Is federal action necessary?... Does this measure promote self-reliance?... Is it [fiscally] responsible?... Does it make us more prosperous? Does it make us safer?... Does it unify us?"

Censuring both "tax and spend" Democrats and today's "borrow and spend" Republicans, the authors are critical of the Bush administration and the mushrooming national debt....
I think this is a fairly good summary of "conservative" ideology. It's also a long way from the current GOP platform. As Dignan notes, the overlap between the GOP and conservative ideology seems to get smaller every day.

"Borrow and spend Republicans"...I kind of like that.

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