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The communication of conservatism requires individuals who are staunchly committed not only to learning the pros and cons of specific public policy issues or the platforms of candidates or political parties, but also to developing a deep understanding of the philosophical grounds of conservatism. Unfortunately, filling one’s head with facts and statistics that can be quickly rattled off will do far less to convince others than helping them learn and, in turn, develop that same understanding of the philosophical grounds of conservatism.
It is far easier for a conservative to challenge the stance of another about specific legislation than it is to challenge his entire political philosophy. By the same token, it is also easier for a person of some other political orientation to challenge the stance of a conservative than it would be to challenge his entire political philosophy. It might seem, then, that both sides are on equal footing in this battle of ideas, but I would move that the philosophical core of conservatism is stronger and more certain than that of any other political movement, and that conservatives are a tenacious and committed group of citizens, ready not only to wage this intellectual battle, but to win it.
The cultivation of principled, rather than expedient, conservatism is not an idealistic pipe dream. It is a realistic goal that manages to be both principled and pragmatic at the same time. In our effort to appeal to potential conservatives, we cannot lose the moral grounding that underpins conservative philosophy, and we cannot rest on the assertion that our economic policy is better because it “just works” or that our social policy is superior because it is less unfair. We must remain cognizant of the moral roots of our beliefs, and we must work diligently to educate others about those ideas. This approach requires far more diligence than other approaches—it is more in-depth and more time-consuming than a quick explanation of any given political issue—but its costs are far from prohibitive. In fact, failing to ground conservatism in its moral and philosophical foundations might prove to be the most cost-prohibitive approach to furthering the conservative movement that one could take.
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?
H/T to National Review Online