There are changes that are probably inevitable, and changes that are the result of choices that we make. To know the difference, we must understand what's happening, and why.
For about the thousandth time, I urge anyone who even dreams of being a pundit to get a copy of Philip Bobbitt's The Shield of Achilles, read the introduction as many times as he has to until he can say "Yes. That should be obvious," and then spend ten to fifteen evenings really, really reading the book. Bobbitt may not be right about everything, but his central thesis is surely closer to the truth than anything else we're likely to see. I have to qualify that a little: his central thesis, not the parodies of it by those who have read the book without understanding it.
No, Bobbitt is not a conservative. He's a liberal with LBJ in his family tree. But his doesn't poison this analysis with that background. He achieves, to a great degree, what von Clausewitz called 'critical analysis'. That is no small thing.Comment Posted By njcommuter On 4.11.2008 @ 04:57
It seems to me that the discomfort lies at the boundary between the Conservative _movement_ and the Republican _Party_. The _movement_ is based on principles; the _party_ is based on people and power. The Republican Party sees the Conservative Movement as a resource, and any campaign _must_ see it as a means to an end, whereas the Conservative Movement wants the Republican Party to be a means to conservative ends. We need a way to reconcile the question of which is the tail and which is the dog.
In addition, the ends of the Conservative Movement are largely preservation: defense of the Constitution, preservation of liberties, etc. Political campaigns often need _positive_ messages, which are hard to fit in the Conservative frame. This too must be reconciled.
In the end, it may be that Conservativism--thinking, breathing, defense-of-libery Conservativism will always have a harder time of it than do-some-thing-at-random liberalism, and for that reason: finding a path based on shared principles is harder than finding a path based on shared desires or hopes.
But this is the road that beckons.Comment Posted By njcommuter On 30.10.2008 @ 15:52
Soros funded the survey. He who chooses what to fund chooses what gets done.
The venture capitalist funds twenty ventures hoping that half will produce some technology that can be sold and one will be seriously profitable. Soros may be funding lots of efforts in the hope that one is the big one.
Muckrakers of all stripes need to follow this guy's spoor, wherever it leads.Comment Posted By njcommuter On 13.01.2008 @ 16:04
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