Monday, January 21, 2013

The Conservative Unicorn: "Compassionate Conservativism"

When I hear the phrase "compassionate conservative" I hear "expensive".

It makes me think of conservatives who are just not confident enough in their own beliefs to just call them plan conservative (which is actually the historical LIBERAL, i.e lover of individual liberty).

So what do you think of this article, about 'reclaiming' compassion? 

I believe being conservative is the most compassionate ideology. Believing that humans are terribly flawed, and working within human reality is the best way to live. (See Thomas Sowell.)

"Above all, what conservatives can do, and what Ryan and others are now trying to do, is to recapture compassion from the liberals, de-sentimentalizing while reaffirming it. Properly understood (as Tocqueville would say), compassion is a preeminently conservative virtue. It dignifies the individual (the donor of charity as well as the recipient); it thrives in a free and sound economy where the individual can “better himself”; it nurtures a spirit of independence rather than fostering the dependency that is too often the result of misguided entitlements; and it finds expression and fulfillment in civil society more often than in government. This is not to deny the validity or utility of safety nets and entitlements in principle, only to define and limit them in practice. Nor is it to deny any role to government, only, again, to define that role more precisely and to limit it more severely."

I don't know if I would cite Paul Ryan though as an example of putting a good face on conservativism. I thought he was a great choice as a running mate for Romney but frankly, he has spent his whole life working in the government. And he had a government "day job" to fall back upon in case he didn't get the VP gig.

And that is a very Republican problem now.

They would rather quietly serve in government than actually do anything to really reform it (read: entitlements).

They like being in the halls of power, at the dinner parties etc..even if they are not in the White House.

America needs an actual conservative party.

The Republican party is not that party.