March 10, 2008

Where are the Jeffersons?

Why is the current pool of legitimate conservatives so shallow?
(insert punchline here)

But, seriously, there are many conservatives who claim that none of the contenders for the Presidential nomination espoused their "conservative" views. Why is this?

Perhaps it's because of the inherent nature of conservatism. A conservative would, typically, argue for a more limited government, believing that its predominant role is largely to protect collective and individual liberty. The people in charge of correcting social evils and inequalities, would be, the people. Therefore, those people most willing to espouse those beliefs would likely be....doing those things. And not being senators.


Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

I think another underlying rift in the conservative movement lies in the stark difference between fiscal and social conservatism.

Fiscal conservatives tend to favor a free market with limited government intervention (in the form of limited taxation, free trade agreements, limited funding for social programs). Social conservatives tend to favor having their views enforced through government intervention (banning gay marriage, banning embryonic stem cell research, supporting prayer in school, funding for faith-based initiatives, etc).

The contradiction of where government should and shouldn't get involved is what drove a wedge between the party in the primary (and why McCain was able to form the largest coalition of moderate R's and I's). Both of these groups aren't backing down very easily, which is why it's not easy to form a consensus or a conservative 'standard bearer'.

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