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Fighting Back: One Conservative’s Rather Modest Thoughts
I am a conservative. I know that means different things to different people. In my case, it means that I’m emotionally attracted to the old ways of doing things, skeptical and perhaps fearful of change, generally dismissive of optimizations and improvements, and inclined to defend tradition. In my case, it means I appreciate, intellectually, the value of the accumulated wisdom of the past. I have a low opinion of our ability to understand and manage complex systems, and a distrust of those who claim to be able to do so. It means I’m an American who loves what I believe are the traditional American virtues: limited government, the rule of law, freedom of expression, freedom of worship, civic order and civic duty, the supremacy of the Constitution, and the assumption that these things make America unique and uniquely great. That’s what I mean when I say that I am a conservative.
Almost everything about the Left runs counter to who I am. In its mildest form, the Left embraces change and innovation, places faith in man’s rationality and ability to manage complex systems, seeks to compromise core conservative principles in the name of efficiency and common sense and humanism, and is dismissive of tradition and its value. In its extreme form, the Left is outwardly hostile to the things I value, willing to compromise or negate every core principle in its relentless pursuit of an unobtainable perfected order. Today the Left is in favor of greatly expanded government, opposes free expression and religious liberty, undermines civic order, replaces civic duty with institutional redistribution, disregards the Constitution, and denies American exceptionalism and greatness. I oppose the Left in almost every particular.