Friday, February 22, 2008

 

Soft Conservatives. George Neumayr makes good observations on how liberal the conservative movement is nowadays on social issues. It has amazed me how mild was the conservative reaction to Romney and Giuliani. Huckabee is not entirely conservative, but his weakness is mostly in economic policy, and I don't think low taxes are the essence of conservatism.
It tells you a lot about the state of the establishment conservative movement that in the end, given a choice between a (basically) red-meat conservative from the South and a recently pro-abortion moderate from the North, it chose the latter. The savaging of Mike Huckabee has been highly revealing, betraying more than just personal distaste.

Amongst not all but many of his critics, there is at work a basic contempt for natural law conservatism, which came out most vividly in the sputtering over Huckabee's references to amending the Constitution in accordance with "God's standards."

As the good Enlightenment liberals they have become, some modern American conservatives are naturally horrified by such a statement: How dare that hick suggest touching a venerable man-made document (never mind that the founders, being deeper and more thoughtful about these matters, put an amendment power in their Constitution for the people to govern themselves according to God's standards).

Huckabee, for all of his glibness, is striking much closer to the bedrock of philosophical conservatism than his critics. If conservatism is not about conserving principles that originate in reality -- a reality that comes from God and is made known to man through his reason -- then what good is it?

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