Tag: Conservatism

To Answer the Challenge of MBD

 

Michael Brendan Dougherty posed a challenge on Twitter:

I objected to his choice of target as I think French is a good ally and we should be grateful for what he’s done. But I’d like to see one critic engage Sohrab Ahmari’s point about how liberal principles, divorced from a pre-liberal inheritance, resolve disputes in one direction. (@michaelbd)

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The Left’s Shabby Vision

 

I think we conservatives sometimes feel inadequate, as if we lack the joy and enthusiasm that the left seems to bring to its various causes. It’s hard, after all, to wax rhapsodically about fiscal responsibility, deregulation, federalism, and other principles that distinguish conservative philosophy from the ever-expanding universe of leftist passions and causes. We don’t do sit-ins. We don’t chant. Conservatism is, well, conservative, and just not very exciting.

But if you scratch the surface, if you look beyond superficial enthusiasm and consider the worldviews that truly motivate left and right, you discover something interesting and, I think, counter-intuitive. You discover that it is conservatism that is optimistic, positive, enthusiastic, innovative, and forward-looking — in short, hopeful — and the left that is, overwhelmingly, motivated by a grim, desperate, fearful, and impoverished view of both humanity and our prospects.

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Member Post

 

In her latest podcast, D.C. McAllister (@dcmcallister) speaks of her recent experiences on Twitter and calls for conservatives to carry on the fight in the culture war. Conservatives must never back down against the left’s relentless assault on marriage, the family, religion, and other traditional institutions that are the bedrock of America’s greatness. More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley’s decision to not run in 2020 but ask if his announcement was really necessary since very few Americans have any idea who he is. They also take a deep breath of fresh air as Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw gives […]

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Art Tavana is a conservative, libertarian columnist at Playboy and contributor at National Review. An Armenian refugee from Iran, Art talks about how Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties indoctrinated him as a conservative early in life and why being a conservative writing for Playboy is only okay because he’s a […]

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So I’m in this long-term, low-grade struggle to understand why/when conservatives began to view libertarianism with such suspicion and disdain, and I just came across the below from Ricochet’s favorite libertarian interloper. It sounds very conservative (to me), but it also sounds very libertarian. He’s arguing against throwing money (private money, in this case, but could […]

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It’s nice to imagine that the typical progressive has one issue about which he or she is passionate, one issue and one specific, clearly defined objective. If that were the case, we could discuss the merits of pursuing that objective. We could talk about the likely costs and the likely benefits, and maybe even reach […]

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Conservatism: An Abstract Philosophy or a Mode of Governance?

 

There is no question that the rise of Donald Trump has created a schism on the right. I’ve certainly had my run-ins with folks here on Ricochet, most notably @garyrobbins and @georgetownsend. While I vehemently disagree with these gentlemen on a lot of things, arguing with them has had its benefits, namely that they have pushed me to constantly refine, redefine and clarify my beliefs.

In a recent lengthy back-and-forth they provided me with this question on the state of things in the post-Reagan era: Is Conservatism just an abstract utopian philosophy, the inverse of theoretical Communism, or is it an actual and practical mode of governing?

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An Open Letter to Mitt Romney

 

Dear Mr. Romney:

I read your opinion piece in The Washington Post under the interesting heading: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”. You called it: “The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.”

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Easy and Hard Questions

 

There are easy questions and there are hard questions, and it isn’t always obvious which are which. Quite the contrary: we routinely confuse the one for the other, and that confusion is the source of all kinds of error and misery.

The questions we have to ask and answer when building super-computers and the internet and rockets to the moon, those are the easy questions. They’re easy because they deal with relatively simple systems. However complex these marvels of engineering seem, they are the product of simple rules — often a great many simple rules — rigorously applied in well-controlled settings. They may seem hard because most of us don’t understand them, because they require for their implementation specialized learning and sophisticated mathematical skills. But the answers to these questions are calculable and verifiable: the scientists and mathematicians and engineers who derive and apply those answers can be confident that their numbers are correct and that their rockets (computers, robots, bridges, etc.) will work as expected.

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Philip Larkin: A Voice for Our Day and Time

 

Of all of the things one could accuse Philip Larkin of, rightly and wrongly, being a philosophical conservative or a Christian poet would hardly make the list. While he displayed certain instinctively right-wing attitudes and was by all accounts an admirer of Margaret Thatcher, Larkin hardly fleshed out a grand theory of conservative being or thought, and his pronouncements on religion certainly place him very far from any church. Yet, one of his lesser-known poems “Vers de Société,” is both an exploration of the decay of traditional society transposing itself upon the life of one man, and of the tragic almost-Christian, a thinly veiled autobiographical narrative.

Framed within an unnamed narrator’s thoughts on, and correspondence about, a party invitation, “Vers de Société” encapsulates in remarkably few words the conservative critique of modernity. The narrator reflects pensively upon all of the time that he has already wasted at parties that he knows will be quite similar to this one, conversing about little because his interlocutors know nothing beyond the present day; his time would be much better “repaid/Under a lamp, hearing the noise of wind.” However much he wishes to engage in study, to use his precious free time in pursuit of the wisdom of ancestors, he knows very well that “All solitude is selfish” in the view of modern society.

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Member Post

 

The 2018 midterm election was a sore event for the Republican Party. Losing 39 seats in the House and managing to gain only 2 seats overall–all but one being in deep red states–in the Senate when 26 Senate Democrat seats were up for grabs was a weak electoral showing. Even worse was that this happened during […]

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Although I’d read a few speculations at various times in the past that Paul Ryan might decide not to run for re-election again, I was surprised and a little saddened by Speaker Ryan’s April 11 announcement that his time in Congress will conclude at the end of his current term. Of course, had things gone […]

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Member Post

 

When you finish listening to all the Ricochet podcasts, listen to Yoram Hazony on Matt Lewis and the News, discussing Is Reason Overrated? Anyone trying to understand the Trump and post-Trump eras should start with Hazony’s writings (such as What Is Conservatism?). More

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My county had their annual Reagan dinner last night. The food was, well, food. The main speaker was not bad and was very non-PC. She spoke about Islam and its impact on the public school system and police departments. Was glad some of those there were confronted with these things. More

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Social Media Alternatives for Conservatives

 

So this may be a topic that is already addressed somewhere on Ricochet, but I am new here and still trying to find my way around. I found Ricochet while searching for social media platforms for conservatives. I’m shocked by the lack of alternatives given the hostile treatment we get on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Is it that difficult to collect resources and technological expertise for a platform to upload videos (serious question, not rhetorical)? If anyone is aware of good alternatives please list them in a comment. As I am aware:

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Member Post

 

This last week the Supreme Court prevented the Trump administration from ending DACA. Which gives Trump one of the biggest wins of his short political career. In his characteristic razor sharp analysis Ben Shapiro wrote: “But the Supreme Court’s rejection is actually a win for the Trump administration politically, too. That’s because the Trump administration […]

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It’s Valentines Day, the perfect day for my fellow conservatives to celebrate the fact that we are hotter—and have better sex! Tom Jocelyn from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies on the national security threat that keeps him awake at night. More

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Re-redefining RINO in the Trump Era – A Response to Old Bathos

 

In a post you should read, Old Bathos offered a new definition of RINO for the age of Trump. Ol’ Bathos is making an important point: never accept the premise of the Left’s loaded questions. I submit that RINO is being redefined in a more significant way.

Before the election, Trump seemed like the one who was Republican in Name Only. After all, he was a newcomer to the party and had donated money to left-wing Democrats. In the past year, though, Trump has developed some serious conservative Republican credentials.

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Heresy of Evangelical Christians?

 

Most of my adult life I’ve been keenly aware of how the evangelical community has defended the Jews and Israel; I realize that this feeling is shared by many other Christian communities, but since the evangelical churches are under attack by their Progressive Christian brethren, I’m calling attention to them.

Signatories of the Boston Declaration covered in sackcloth and ashes. (Courtesy of Susan Thistlethwaite)

Recently I learned about one of the most blatant modern attacks on Christians by westerners that I’ve heard of, and I felt compelled to speak out.

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