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A Liberator then, and still so today.
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This is why it was so disappointing, for example, to hear the splendid Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels call for “a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until the economic issues are resolved.
In truth, that’s like calling for a truce between the kidney and the ear drum, or between an eyeball and the heart: It makes no sense for either of the two pairs to be at war with the paired organ, because both serve the whole man. Gov. Daniels, whatever his intentions, seriously misspoke.
It has been equally inane for preacher-man Mike Huckabee to adopt and promulgate the left’s warnings against “libertarians” who are “a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism.” The Huckster is wrong: True economic conservatism by definition cannot be heartless and soulless, because economic conservatism derives directly from the soul-infused freedom of the individual human person.
It is not heartless, callous, or soulless to want free enterprise for free men; it is heartless and soulless to deny free men their pursuit of free enterprise, all at the dictates of a self-selected elite claiming humanitarian goals.
It is equally heartless, on the other hand, for free men to remain as Etherized Patients (as described by Feldman, re-channeling Eliot). On the last page of the last “Liberator,” the editors challenged local businessmen to take a more active part in political life — rather than remaining “only too willing to enjoy the fruits of our political and economic freedoms, but [not] willing to do anything to preserve the way of life that enables you to own a business.”
Wrote Feldman in that issue:
“This world is a mess,’ wise no ones conclude
(Profound judgment over a drink) —
Then back to noon’s heat and yesterday’s rain,
And praise for Anyones who think they think.
Feldman’s poem title is “They Killed Cock Robin.” You need not be familiar with the reference: For our purposes (and probably Feldman’s), Cock Robin is this bright, shiny, wonderful system of ordered liberty we enjoy. It is a system the Obamites at best don’t appreciate, and at worst want to destroy. But the real killers of that system are those who have the wherewithal to defend it but who prefer to lift drinks rather than lift fingers to help.
Whether the cause be continued deepwater drilling or freedom from abusive lawsuits or protection from union thuggery, whether it be battles against regulators run amuck or against Supreme Court justices who put their own values above the law, the duty of the whole man is to rise up from stupor on behalf of liberty. That’s why conservatives these days need to be political activists, whether TEA Partiers or otherwise, and need to use their activity on behalf of both economic liberty and of the moral order which is both its nursery and the greater result of its full flowering. Conservatism is more than mere fusion of economic freedom and the moral order; it is the recognition that both are of the same root, tree and branch, and that they must continually be watered and tended. As Goldwater wrote, “These are the choices that must involve the whole man, if they are to be the right choices.”
Quin Hillyer is a senior editorial writer for The Washington Times and a senior editor of The American Spectator.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?