Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Death of Conservatism

I've been out of town for a few days, so I haven't had much time to post -- or even think much. However, I just got finished reading Glenn Greenwald's column today at Salon and it is a brilliant analysis of the death of traditional conservatism under the neoconservative movement that has taken over the country in the last few years.

Greenwald uses David Brooks' column in today's NYT as a starting point. Brooks argues that the traditional conservative philosophy -- "that government power should be restrained in order to maximize freedom" is no longer relevant. Instead, it has been replaced by a neoconservative radicalism that argues "for expanded government power on every front."

Greenwald states convincingly that the Bush administration and its followers, while paying lip service to Goldwater/Reagan traditional conservatism, are in fact the farthest thing from it. Instead, they advance an extreme authoritarian philosophy. With this realignment of the "right" to radicalism, the "left" is also nothing like the left of the 70s. Instead, it is reduced to opposing the shift of power to the executive and to attempting to impose some form of check and balance to our government before everything previously recognizable as "American" is completely demolished.

This has been, as Greenwald notes, crystal clear since the Bush administration came into power. At any rate, it's an article well worth reading -- and memorizing.

1 comment:

CitizenEarth said...

Hadn't thought about this much - and thanks for bringing it to light. Really haven't bought into that whole liberal vs. conservative (Tweedle Dee-Tweedle Dum) thing. But it's very interesting that the Bushite coup leaders really aren't conservative, from a strict definition of the term. Afterall, they're the ones always yelling about big government. How much bigger can it get when they're snooping into the political activities, correspondence, and financial habits of all of us. The other point is that the terms of the debate have changed. Whereas, in the past, I was never a Democrat, or a big supporter of the American way of life (especially at the expense of the rest of the world's people). Now I'm being forced to defend the Constitution, since it is under attack. I certainly don't think returning to "normal democracy," whatever that is, accomplishes much. But I guess it trumps theocratic tyranny.