Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Vox Popoli: Why conservatives can't win (Vox Day comments on Conservative failure)

Because they never had a coherent political philosophy, let alone a consistent one:

Just what is it that conservatives want to conserve? One answer that’s often given is “freedom” – by which is usually meant “individual freedom.”

Well, if individual freedom is really important, those who call themselves conservative should be very pleased with the trajectory of the past century, because Americans today generally have more freedom and “rights” than those of earlier generations.

Consider life in 1930, for example – when nearly all Americans still regarded the US as a “great” country.

For one thing, employment and job opportunities were generally segregated and restricted by sex and race. Employment notices in newspapers appeared in separate sections, one for Men and another for Women. Women were effectively barred from a wide range of jobs.

There were no “gay rights.” Homosexual behavior was punished as a crime. Any suggestion that a woman might have the “right” to marry another woman, or a man another man, would have been regarded as offensive and absurd.

By law and custom, people of European ancestry could not marry persons of other races. In most states marriage between whites and blacks was a felony.

Abortion was not a “right”; it was a crime.

Americans could not buy groceries, tools or clothes on a Sunday. Stores across the country were closed on Sundays as an expression of respect for the Christian heritage and Christian sensibilities.

No one could legally order a glass of beer or enjoy a bottle of wine with a meal in a restaurant. The sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited throughout the country.

How many Americans today who call themselves conservative would prefer life in the “great” America of 1930 to life in the “liberal” USA of our era? Is “freedom” really the most important thing that conservatives want to conserve?

Conservatism was always doomed from the very beginning because it has never been anything more than an attitude and a defensive posture. And you cannot win any contest without ever even seeking to go on the offensive or possessing a reasonable understanding of your ultimate objectives.

"I don't want things to change faster than makes me feel uncomfortable" is neither a strategy nor an objective. And that is why conservatism has completely failed to conserve anything, from the churches to the Constitution.

This is the key line from a long article very much worth readingIn keeping with their distaste for confrontation and discord, conservatives have long tolerated the promotion of seemingly noble sentiments that have unpleasant long term consequences.