Friday, November 16, 2012

Where's the Conservative "Success?"

In Don't Write Off the Right Quite Yet, Jonah Goldberg takes aim at the post-election gloom that has overtaken the conservative movement. He gives a brief recounting of conservative achievements over the past half-century or so, and concludes with:

These successes were real and important. But they were not total because times change and total victories don’t exist in politics so long as the losing side doesn't surrender. Just for the record, I see dismay, even despair, out there. But I don’t see much surrender.

Despite winning an occasional skirmish, however, it's undeniable that the conservative movement has been losing the war, big time. Since the rise of the Progressive Movement in the early 20th Century--which Goldberg documents in his book Liberal Fascism--conservatism has been utterly unable to stem the advance of statism in America. Today, the government is bigger and more tyrannical than ever, with the most statist president in our history just elected to a second term.

I have enormous respect for Jonah Goldberg, but I'm in total disagreement with him here. It's undeniable: Conservatism, if it stands for freedom and Americanism, has been an utter failure. The reasons for its failure run deep, and cannot be corrected without the movement re-thinking its fundamental premises.

But it is not the Right that has failed. The Right, properly defined, has yet to have its day.

Related Reading:

The Coming GOP Restructuring: Toward Liberty of Religious Authoritarianism

Ayn Rand Foresaw Conservatism's Second Obituary

My Challenge to the GOP...a Philosophical Contract With America

1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

A proper definition of the Right would be: Radical right, inalienable individual rights as the sole basis of law and government.