Liberal Nostalgia for The Good Old Days of Conservatism
My daughter learned a neat rhetorical trick to avoid eating things she doesn't like. "Daddy, I actually really like spinach, it's just that this spinach tastes different."
Democrats and the journalists who love them play a similar game with Republicans and conservatives. "Oh, I have lots of respect for conservatives," goes the typical line, "but the conservatives we're being served today are just so different. Why can't we have Republicans and conservatives like we used to?"
Q: What kind of Republicans are extremists, racists, ideologues, pyschopaths, radicals, weirdos, hicks, idiots, elitists, prudes, potato chip double-dippers and meanies?
A: Today's Republicans.
Today, of course, the 1950s is the belle epoch of reasonable conservatism. Just ask
Today's intellectual conservatives, likewise, are held against the standard of yesterday's and found wanting. New York Times Book Review editor
Of course, the Tanenhauses of their day were horrified by the very same conservative intellectuals. Within a year of
Again and again, the line is the same: I like conservatives, just not these conservatives.
As far as I can tell, there are competing, or at least overlapping, motives for this liberal nostalgia for the conservatives and Republicans of yesteryear. Some liberals like to romanticize and glorify conservatives from eras when they were least effective but most entertaining. Some like to cherry-pick positions from a completely different era so as to prove that holding that position today is therefore centrist.
But whatever the motivation, what unites them is the conviction that today's liberals shouldn't cede power, respect or legitimacy to today's conservatives. Hence when compassionate conservatism was ascendant, liberals lamented that the
When, in response to the disastrous explosion in debt and spending over the Bush-Obama years, the
The latest twist on this hackneyed hayride is the renewed caterwauling about how
Look at all those crazy right-wingers!
Looking at that record, any rational person would conclude that Reagan couldn't get elected today because the party has become too liberal.
Of course, the reality is more complicated than that. But the idea that Reagan's problem today would be his moderation is quite simply ridiculous.
Right on schedule, Dubya is now entering the rehabilitation phase.
It'll be some time before liberals bring themselves to say, "I miss
As always, the problem with conservatism today is today's conservatives.
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Liberal Nostalgia for The Good Old Days of Conservatism | Politics
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