Tag Archives: conservatism

The Disappearance of the American Conservative, by Bill Bonner

What use to be conservatism is no more, replaced by conservatism that’s adopted  the same premises and tenets regarding government of its supposed enemies. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – As the quality of government declines – from Jefferson and Adams… to Dubya and The Donald – the observer needs a broader sense of humor.

Where he used to titter over a bon mot… or smile wryly at a double entendre, now he can only give a hoarse laugh, like a half-wit watching The Three Stooges.

For now, there’s not even a single entendre. It’s just mud wrestling and pie throwing.

Big Jamboree

Conservatives held their big jamboree last weekend. We sent our own eyes and ears.

“There was hardly a conservative in sight,” he reported. “There were no Ron Pauls here. No Eisenhowers. No Howard Buffetts. Certainly no Thomas Jeffersons.”

The essence of traditional conservatism is humility, doubt, and cynicism about what government can achieve.

Activists, on the other hand, think they can use the feds’ muscle like a ball-peen hammer, to knock the country into whatever shape they want.

But conservatives doubt that civil society is so malleable. In nearly every proposal, they see ugly dents, not a smooth and elegant new shape.

“Balance the budget… and mind your own business,” said the old-timers.

But there was no mention of either at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) shindig.

The importance of this observation from our financial standpoint is that the country needs conservatives. It used to count on them to keep the books in balance.

Conservatives were wet blankets, reliably voting “no” to expensive schemes and deficit spending.

“There was some talk about smaller government,” said our informant.

“But nobody wanted to touch the reality of it – challenging The Swamp by cutting back government spending. And while people seemed to be in favor of bringing the troops home, nobody really wanted to confront the military arm of the Deep State. I heard no proposals that the Deep State wouldn’t like.”

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A Response to Daniel McCarthy’s “Why Libertarians are Wrong”, by Jeff Deist

Libertarianism is a political philosophy that deals with the proper use of force in a society, by government and everyone else. It can’t be criticized for not dealing with issues outside that essential but not all encompassing question. From Jeff Deist at mises.org:

Daniel McCarthy, editor of Modern Age and editor at large for The American Conservative, recently published an essay on the Spectator USA site titled “Why Libertarians are Wrong.” It merits a response because Mr. McCarthy is friendly and sympathetic toward libertarianism, and despite the infirmities of his article ought to be seen as a fellow traveler.

The title misleads us a bit from the beginning, because McCarthy is sound on the single most important libertarian political issue: war and peace. He objected to George W. Bush’s foray into Iraq, he attacks the permanent-war complex and its funding, and he consistently advocates a reasonably non-interventionist US foreign policy far closer to Ron Paul than John Bolton. He also has read Mises and Hayek, and unlike many intellectual conservatives (a dwindling group) McCarthy is not mired in Burke or Buckley or Reagan. He even blogged for the 2008 Paul presidential campaign and has spoken at the Mises Institute on foreign policy. So unlike a Bill Kristol or Sean Hannity, his conservative critique comes without ignorance or malice.

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