Continuing on the theme of what is wrong with the so-called “conservative movement”, a friend of mine sent me this article on the Intercollegiate Review . I thought that it was so good that I simply must share it here with the rest of you. I will quote some of it, but please read the entire article there as all of it is quotable.
The most harmful maladies that afflict conservatism at present are: 1) its preoccupation with political activism, 2) the tendency to impose artificial ideological uniformity that discourages inquiry and intellectual curiosity, and 3) excessive enthusiasm for nationalism and national “greatness” that find expression through unnecessary foreign conflicts. Each malady is the product of placing excessive importance on goods that conservatives should value, and it can be cured or at least ameliorated by the moderation of those excesses.
The first malady is the tendency to treat conservatism as the ideology of a political movement, whose content will then be dictated by the needs of the moment. That makes it little more than a tool for mobilizing and misleading supporters. Treating conservatism as an ideology reduces and distorts it, ripping it away from its proper role as a philosophical persuasion and a temperament, and it compels conservatives to become obsessed with political activism to the detriment of the much more enduring work of building the culture that they want for themselves.
Please, read it all here. Many of this points get right at the heart of what I have been saying here for months. If we really want to see a true conservatism, then that will take painstaking work in our homes, churches and local civic organizations. We have to build an alternative culture that is attractive. A “conservative” culture of local community, volunteering, of ladies and gentlemen and of community involvement. A culture where we help our neighbor shovel the snow from their driveway, volunteer to be a firefighter and where we personally look out for our elderly family members and/or neighbors. All of this will not only sound good, but may even become necessary as the federal gov’t cuts back. And the strongest and most cohesive communities will be those that thrive (and I don’t necessarily mean dollar-wise).