Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Conservative Revolution" is an Oxymoron

David Brooks' excellent column, "The Republicans' Incompetence Caucus," raises an interesting question:  is "conservative revolution" an oxymoron?

Burkeans, like Brooks, and me, think so.  He wrote:

"conservatism stands for intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible."
The "Reagan Revolution" was not for any of those things, but focused on preventing government.  While the Reagan administration talked this talk, while actually growing the government, they planted the seed.  That seed has now bloomed into the Tea Party, which really does want to destroy government.  That is not conservatism by any definition.


ceemac said...

The Dallas Morning news ran this column a few days ago. They changed the title to "How the GOP Lost Its Way."

Today they ran this response by Mark Davis, a local talk show host and regular column writer for the DMN.

He does not think much of Brooks' definition of conservative. These guys really are more along the lines of "Jacksonian Brawlers" in contrast to the Burkeans.

Gruntled said...

""Brawlers" I can see, but Jackson greatly expanded the power of government to solve problems. The Tea Partiers want the opposite.

Mark Davis writes "The deep desire for stronger leaders means his brand of Republican might be losing influence, and that has turned some mannerly souls into name-calling flamethrowers." I see this as further evidence of my earlier contention that there is a strong market for a demagogue.

ceemac said...

I was thinking "Jacksonian" in temperament not so much policy.