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Thread: The Conservative Divide

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    Mainstream conservatism has carved out two important exceptions to this anti-statist ideology, the goal of which is to maximize individual liberty. It has created protected realms for social conservatives—whose goal is to protect the family, defend the vulnerable, and uphold traditional morality—and for foreign policy hawks who want a well-funded military capable of keeping America safe and projecting force the world over.


    While conservative intellectuals are fond of invoking the fusionist three-legged stool of fiscal, social, and national security conservatism to describe themselves, this analogy does not capture the underlying philosophy of mainstream conservatism (or the self-understanding of the average Republican voter, for that matter). In terms of its worldview, fusionist conservatism could more accurately be described as a two-branched tree: the trunk is anti-statist libertarianism, to which are added the two branches of social and national security conservatism. This explains why social conservatives are always on the defensive: they must justify their views before the libertarian tribunal of more choice, more liberty, and less government.
    That about says it, modern, mainstream conservative's goal is to maximize individual liberty expressed mainly as libertarian fiscal conservatism whose Tea Parties' expression was "more choice, more liberty, and less government." Subsumed under that are social and national security conservatism.

    It is my observation that social conservativism, which was once concerned with community, that is the hierarchical organic social order starting with family, has become more religiously oriented as religion is more and more under attack by the left.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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  3. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    That about says it, modern, mainstream conservative's goal is to maximize individual liberty expressed mainly as libertarian fiscal conservatism whose Tea Parties' expression was "more choice, more liberty, and less government." Subsumed under that are social and national security conservatism.

    It is my observation that social conservativism, which was once concerned with community, that is the hierarchical organic social order starting with family, has become more religiously oriented as religion is more and more under attack by the left.
    Still this is what the Neo Cons have done in order to survive in the GOP.


    Within the Republican Party and the conservative movement, there are some who, having made their peace with some form of big government, are actively working to reform it. What used to be called neo-conservatism (before the Iraq War made the term radioactive) now goes by the name of reform conservatism. It is the dominant way of thinking among conservative policy wonks of all stripes in the Beltway, regardless of whether they identify with the label, and it has a few adherents among Republicans in Congress.



    Reform conservatism is admittedly a catch-all term that includes a rather diverse group of people, from the so-called reformicons, to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senator Mike Lee. Despite disagreeing on particular policies and on how best to navigate the political landscape, they share a similar approach to governing. In the spirit of Irving Kristol, reform conservatism promises to reform the clunky and outdated machinery of the modern administrative-welfare state rather than to get rid of it, as the libertarians promise, or to simply manage it more efficiently, as the Republican establishment tends to do. Its main aim is not so much to expand individual liberty as it is to strengthen and reinvigorate the core institutions of civil society — families, local communities, and voluntary associations of all kinds. On a range of issues, it aims to devolve decision-making to the states and to create subsidized competitive markets where they currently don’t exit (for example, in education and health care).


    At its best, reform conservatism offers sensible policy proposals to improve the quality of life of all Americans. (At its worst, it devolves into technocratic rule, albeit with a greater emphasis on fiscal responsibility and the importance of markets.) Unlike the utopianism of libertarian anti-statism, its agenda also has the great virtue of being achievable.


    Reform conservatism does, however, face an uphill battle to win over the hearts and minds of Americans. Even though the policies it advocates would benefit the American people, it has limited appeal outside the Beltway. Its worldview has no clearly defined enemies and, as such, fails to inspire. Politics is always about “us versus them” — whether it be enemies abroad or factions at home that threaten the common good. Reform conservatism is critical of the failures of big government and of the excesses of modern liberalism, but it does not vividly impress upon the people the threat they pose to our way of life. On the whole, it is insufficiently spirited, and thus, insufficiently political. It has neither the rhetorical zeal of libertarian anti-statism, nor the emotional appeal of the newest and most misunderstood kid on the Republican block, Trumpist populism......snip~


    https://www.heritage.org/conservatis...y-and-practice
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    Neocons are an odd lot. They could be consider national security conservatives but domestically tend to be liberal. Nowadays, for example, many conservatives consider George W Bush a liberal.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Neocons are an odd lot. They could be consider national security conservatives but domestically tend to be liberal. Nowadays, for example, many conservatives consider George W Bush a liberal.
    Well that is their new schtick. Reform Conservatism that doesn't exist outside of the Beltway. Did you read the rest of the piece on Trump and Populism?
    Don't only Practice your Art, but force your way into its Secrets, For it and Knowledge can Raise men to the Divine!!!!! Ludwig Van Beethoven ~

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMC View Post
    Well that is their new schtick. Reform Conservatism that doesn't exist outside of the Beltway. Did you read the rest of the piece on Trump and Populism?
    No, haven't.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    No, haven't.
    In this vein, Donald Trump’s core contention is that the American people have been betrayed and taken advantage of by incompetent and corrupt elites from both parties. Trump’s America is divided between the people at large, whom he has taken to calling, in the spirit of FDR, “the forgotten men and women of this country,” and a ruling class, defined neither by its party affiliation nor its wealth, but by its grip on power, contempt for the American people, and globalist ideology.


    Over the course of the campaign, Trump described the members of that ruling class in various ways: “wealthy donors, political activists and powerful, powerful politicians,” “the media-donor-political complex,” “big media, big businesses, and big donors rigging the system,” or more simply, “our nation’s most powerful special interests” — to which he has since added, unpatriotic athletes “making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues.” Trump thinks they form a unified class that advances its own interests at the expense of the American people by supporting, for example, trade and immigration policies that enhance their bottom line or quality of life at the expense of working-class jobs. The members of our ruling class not only share interests, they have similar backgrounds, lifestyles and, most important of all, a shared worldview that is contemptuous of ordinary Americans. As Angelo Codevilla has observed, the “dismissal of the American people’s intellectual, spiritual, and moral substance is the very heart of what our ruling class is about.”


    Like Sandersism, Trumpist populism is rooted in class conflict. But it defines the classes by their access to power and their worldview, rather than by their income and assets. Trump’s ruling class will of course include many of Sanders’s 1 percenters, but it will also include many considerably less well-off people who share the ruling class’s prejudices and support policies that harm the American people. An underpaid but well-connected blogger for the New York Times who graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and supports open borders would be considered part of the ruling class. A millionaire used-car dealer in Omaha who “clings to his guns and religion” and is proudly patriotic would not.


    In this class conflict, Trumpist populism is wholly on the side of the American people. And it is much more comfortable than mainstream conservatism with the idea of using the federal government to advance the interests of the people. Trump, it is true, recognizes that most organs of the state are controlled by elites that use them to their advantage. He therefore wants to “drain the swamp,” or in the words of Steven Bannon, to undertake “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”


    But Trump also thinks the federal government can help the American people. Hence his opposition to reforming entitlements, his calls for a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, and his proposal to institute paid maternity-leave (Ivankacare). This support for “big government” is one of the greatest sources of tension between Trumpist populism and mainstream “conservatarian” thinking. While both are highly critical of the administrative state and the toll its regulations take on the economy, Trumpist populism seems for the most part comfortable with a welfare state in which transfer payments go to ordinary Americans......snip~


    https://www.heritage.org/conservatis...y-and-practice


    There is 6 more paragraphs on Trump after this.
    Don't only Practice your Art, but force your way into its Secrets, For it and Knowledge can Raise men to the Divine!!!!! Ludwig Van Beethoven ~

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    In this vein, Donald Trump’s core contention is that the American people have been betrayed and taken advantage of by incompetent and corrupt elites from both parties. Trump’s America is divided between the people at large, whom he has taken to calling, in the spirit of FDR, “the forgotten men and women of this country,” and a ruling class, defined neither by its party affiliation nor its wealth, but by its grip on power, contempt for the American people, and globalist ideology.
    Basically, he's a populist in tune with the discontent of the forgotten man. Amity Shlaes popularized the phrase in The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, but it goes back to an old conservative William Graham Sumner, and FDR in a radio address. It's odd to think of FDR speaking of the little guy and building society bottom up: "These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid."
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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  10. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMC View Post
    In this vein, Donald Trump’s core contention is that the American people have been betrayed and taken advantage of by incompetent and corrupt elites from both parties. Trump’s America is divided between the people at large, whom he has taken to calling, in the spirit of FDR, “the forgotten men and women of this country,” and a ruling class, defined neither by its party affiliation nor its wealth, but by its grip on power, contempt for the American people, and globalist ideology.


    Over the course of the campaign, Trump described the members of that ruling class in various ways: “wealthy donors, political activists and powerful, powerful politicians,” “the media-donor-political complex,” “big media, big businesses, and big donors rigging the system,” or more simply, “our nation’s most powerful special interests” — to which he has since added, unpatriotic athletes “making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues.” Trump thinks they form a unified class that advances its own interests at the expense of the American people by supporting, for example, trade and immigration policies that enhance their bottom line or quality of life at the expense of working-class jobs. The members of our ruling class not only share interests, they have similar backgrounds, lifestyles and, most important of all, a shared worldview that is contemptuous of ordinary Americans. As Angelo Codevilla has observed, the “dismissal of the American people’s intellectual, spiritual, and moral substance is the very heart of what our ruling class is about.”


    Like Sandersism, Trumpist populism is rooted in class conflict. But it defines the classes by their access to power and their worldview, rather than by their income and assets. Trump’s ruling class will of course include many of Sanders’s 1 percenters, but it will also include many considerably less well-off people who share the ruling class’s prejudices and support policies that harm the American people. An underpaid but well-connected blogger for the New York Times who graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and supports open borders would be considered part of the ruling class. A millionaire used-car dealer in Omaha who “clings to his guns and religion” and is proudly patriotic would not.


    In this class conflict, Trumpist populism is wholly on the side of the American people. And it is much more comfortable than mainstream conservatism with the idea of using the federal government to advance the interests of the people. Trump, it is true, recognizes that most organs of the state are controlled by elites that use them to their advantage. He therefore wants to “drain the swamp,” or in the words of Steven Bannon, to undertake “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”


    But Trump also thinks the federal government can help the American people. Hence his opposition to reforming entitlements, his calls for a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, and his proposal to institute paid maternity-leave (Ivankacare). This support for “big government” is one of the greatest sources of tension between Trumpist populism and mainstream “conservatarian” thinking. While both are highly critical of the administrative state and the toll its regulations take on the economy, Trumpist populism seems for the most part comfortable with a welfare state in which transfer payments go to ordinary Americans......snip~


    https://www.heritage.org/conservatis...y-and-practice


    There is 6 more paragraphs on Trump after this.

    WHY COMMUNITIES DECLINE

    ...All over the Western world, the specter of social division hovers ominously, and the meritocratic ideal itself begins to fester. Timothy Carney’s new book is a thoughtful contribution to the growing stack of insightful articles and books exploring this development, specifically looking at the troubling ways in which the culture of the United States seems to be fracturing or fragmenting....

    ...Carney is especially interested in the plight of those left in the dust. He is not a fan of Donald Trump but is entirely sympathetic to those who voted for him and understands the sense of desperation that led them to do so. But he is less concerned with their specific political objectives than with the distressed and declining conditions of their lives, the conditions that gave rise to their votes. His distinctive contribution to the subject is in his insistence that it is the erosion of community, and of the institutions in which community is concretely embodied, that best accounts for the myriad social pathologies afflicting working-class America: loss of work, disability, drug abuse, the breakdown of family and marriage, disappearance of churches, the evaporation of nearly all institutions of civil society, and the hopelessness and futility that are the inevitable fruit of loneliness and isolation.

    When Donald Trump flatly proclaimed that “the American Dream is dead,” he was speaking for and to such people. Even more than the economic devastation wrought by the closing of plants, disappearance of whole industries, and steady erosion of working-class incomes, it is the wholesale loss of “social connection,” Carney contends, that constitutes the master problem responsible for all other present difficulties. Human beings can manage all sorts of hardships when they can endure them together, but in isolation they are as weak as tender reeds.

    ...There is more than a whiff of the theoretical work of Robert Nisbet and his great predecessor Émile Durkheim in the background here....
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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