Friday, October 10, 2008

Classical Libertarian Conservatism

I just have to say, these are very similar sentiments to my own. At this point, a McCain defeat will actually probably be a blessing in disguise for conservatives. Of course, for the social-cons and others, this will perhaps only spark greater belief in the notion that we need more hard-core social conservatives on the ticket, though perhaps the failure of Palin to deliver will water this down. Maybe that will be McCain's gift to secular conservatism--picking Palin and still losing may weaken the social-cons' claims, whereas a Lieberman or Ridge pick would have only strengthened them.

In any case, I look forward to a conservatism that is actually fiscally responsible, that can approach globalism with wisdom and care, protecting American jobs while still building wealth. I look forward to a conservatism that is strong on defense, but not reckless, invested in humanitarian concerns, but not at the cost of American security. I look forward to a conservatism that hearkens back to our Classical Liberal beliefs in equality and freedom and separation of Church and State. I look forward to an acceptance of smart regulation, tax reform, and less national debt (and increased domestic production of goods, and a compassion for American manufacturers!)

I look forward to a divorce of modern conservatism from the chains of hard-liner social conservatism, that has turned American conservatism into Christian populism, and has eschewed elites for "joe six-packs."

Reagan busted up unions, but also fought for the American worker. Goldwater openly denounced the Christian Coalition. Where has this integrity gone? Have we become so beholden to the Religious Right? to the Banking Industry that has sold our soul to globalism at any and every cost? I am a globalist, but I believe the only way to enter a global economy is with strength and solidarity. The financiers have betrayed us. We can't even clothe ourselves without the help of the Chinese now...

Conservatism must enter the fire and reemerge stronger, more focused, and leaner. It must accept smart regulatory practices, and pledge to actually limit government. Quite frankly, so must liberalism, which has become vapid and emotional and absurd.

Perhaps a new center will emerge. Smart, lean, strong, and ready to actually work for America. Perhaps.

I suppose lately I am leaning more toward an Andrew Sullivan brand of conservatism--pro gay-rights; hawkish but not too hawkish; fiscally sensible; and not governed by absurd party lines. He describes himself as a Classical Libertarian Conservative.
He views true conservatism as classical libertarian conservative, where economic control of a citizen's daily life by the government is very limited. However, this style of conservatism differs from classic libertarianism in that some governmental control or regulation is acceptable in order to preserve a functional society as it currently exists. Stances on social or cultural issues, under this style of conservatism, resemble the stances of classical libertarianism or modern U.S. liberalism. While stances on foreign policy are more hawkish than classic libertarianism, this style of conservatism differs from current neo-conservatism and arguably more closely resemble U.S. liberalism from the early 1930s up until the late 1960s. In the foreign policy sphere, Sullivan's foreign policy views have become somewhat less hawkish following the difficulties of the Iraq War.
And at this point, I'm in almost complete agreement with Sullivan on Obama, McCain, Palin, etc. Conservatives may howl at this, but at this point I think Obama would be a better choice for the country than McCain/Palin. It's just time, yes, for a change. It's time to re-evaluate what it means to be conservative, American, part of a global world. It's time.


bruce said...

If you prefer Obama, why are you a conservative? Obama will bring real change.

E.D. Kain said...

I'm actually an independent, with views in tandem with some aspects of the Right and the Left. This also alienates me to both the Right and the Left.

I prefer Obama because we do need change. In America, in both parties, in our economy. And actually, I think McCain will also bring change, but not the kind any of us need, regardless of our political ideologies.