March 19, 2008

Bacevich's Conservatism

Andrew Bacevich, scholar and military man, and a soi-disant conservative, has come out for Obama, solely on the ground that he will withdraw from Iraq. In doing so, Bacevich sets forth his conservative principles:

Granted, when it comes to defining exactly what authentic conservatism entails, considerable disagreement exists even (or especially) among conservatives themselves. My own definition emphasizes the following:

  • a commitment to individual liberty, tempered by the conviction that genuine freedom entails more than simply an absence of restraint;

  • a belief in limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the rule of law;

  • veneration for our cultural inheritance combined with a sense of stewardship for Creation;

  • a reluctance to discard or tamper with traditional social arrangements;

  • respect for the market as the generator of wealth combined with a wariness of the market’s corrosive impact on humane values;

  • a deep suspicion of utopian promises, rooted in an appreciation of the sinfulness of man and the recalcitrance of history.

I might not say it quite the same way, but it's a pretty good summary. Neither major party adheres to these principles.

Perhaps we need a new one. Dream on.

And BTW, as much as I respect him, I'm not endorsing Obama.

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