Archive for November 16th, 2012

Andrew Bacevich

It appears that there is a looming  crackup on the Right, as people try to grapple with the ramifications of the presidential elections. Within days, some conservatives (Sean Hannity, Charles Krauthammer) “evolved” and threw their support behind amnesty for undocumented foreign workers, a rather craven and opportunistic move. Moderate Republicans blamed the Tea Party for the defeat, believing that the primary season tilted so far right that Mr Romney could not paddle fast enough, or convincingly enough, to the center during the campaign. And of course the Tea Party believes the loss came because Mr Romney was not credible in the role of “severe conservative”.  Something has to give…Meanwhile, more thoughtful voices on the Right urge a return to a more principled and less hysterical approach. But the best advice comes, not from a Republican, but an independent, the always insightful Andrew Bacevich:

“If the Republican Party wishes to represent a conservative perspective, it should advance a serious critique of American culture and then derive authentically conservative economic and foreign policies from that critique.   

What might that mean?  Several things:

First, conservatives should claim the environmental movement as their own.  Preserving the natural world should be a cause that all conservatives embrace with gusto.  And, yes, that includes the issue of climate change. 

Second, conservatives should lead the way in protecting the family from the hostile assault mounted by modernity.  The principal threat to the family is not gay marriage.  The principal threats are illegitimacy, divorce, and absent fathers.  Making matters worse still is a consumer culture that destroys intimate relationships, persuading children that acquiring stuff holds the key to happiness and persuading parents that their job is to give children what the market has persuaded them to want.  

Third, when it comes to economics, conservatives should lead the fight against the grotesque inequality that has become such a hallmark of present-day America.”

Of course, the odds that the Republican Party will do anything of the sort is pretty remote. But you can read the rest of Mr Bacevich’s words, as recorded in Front Porch Republic,  here.

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Bach on the Banjo

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