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Daily Archives: August 13, 2007

I started here one day, basically just visiting some of those sites I have blogrolled or linked to in some other way. This blog led me to here which polled the ten principles of conservatism but ultimately led me to the original article.

What struck me as truly ironic about the whole thing (I, at first, thought it was for amusment.) was the responses to the poll on Professor Bainbridge’s blog, especially this one:

I just popped over here from Andrew’s site, and I sense a trend in these comments that I will continue. To present these ideas as “conservative principles”, as if a liberal would not believe these things, gets at a basic problem in political discourse these days. I won’t go into detail, but it’s the rhetorical trap that some “conservatives” have been playing, saying “We believe in family values”, pompously assuming a liberal does not.

The issue with this poll is each term needs defining. As a life-long liberal, I could agree with most of these questions, by my definitions. A commenter above pointed out the obvious holes in the conservative claim to “prudence”, and I’ll poke at this one: “A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society.”

Well, as an observer of years of “conservative morality” (say, always being on the wrong side of history regarding various civil rights), conservative ideas of right and wrong (endlessly supporting the rights of corporations over the public and the environment), conservative beliefs in justice and honor (the examples of conservative allegiance to society’s Goliaths against the Davids are defining qualities), well, I’ll just say I take this description of what it means to be a conservative with a grain of salt.

This is probably because we have not had “true conservatives” present. Well, sorry, but that’s a cop out. I could work well with someone that is a “conservative” in the simple, dictionary definition of the word, as long as their adherence to traditional values still allows them to see that some traditions conflict with other values, such as justice. Some traditions deserve to die.

The respondent made assumptions based upon preexisting prejudices plus abbreviated descriptors of the ten principles. After reading his response, I thought it very clear that he did not follow the link to the original article. He responded to the abbreviated version without looking into the deeper meanings behind the principles.

I went through the exercise and cast my vote for those principles in which I believe but the experience reminded me of something I said on a friend’s blog in the comment section: I had stated that anarchy would be better than the government we have now because the direction in which the government seems to be going is opposite the direction I believe it should be going. Several of those ten principles address such a state as well as the utopian society so desired by others.

I’d suggest reading the original article before choosing which poll items in which you believe.

How many do you think I chose?

August 2007


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