What is Conservatism?

What is conservatism?

If you ask twenty different “conservatives,” you’d probably get about twenty different answers.

If you ask someone on the left, they would probably say it is racism, xenophobia, hate, and fascism.

See how this works?

Conservatives are still trying to figure out what to “conserve.”

At the same time, you have “conservatives” who think we need to conserve discarded leftist talking points.

That has become the dominant theme for those in the “mainstream” conservative movement.

They don’t like it when you call them all “neocons,” but they don’t differ very much on their core beliefs.

But real American conservatism is not tied to the proposition nation. You see, Lincoln wasn’t a conservative in 1863. Nor were Thad Stevens, Charles Sumner, or Benjamin Wade. Add to that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass. No matter how hard “conservatives” try to avoid the name calling from the left, it won’t work.

You see, this is all the mainstream conservatives really care about. Don’t call us a name. We love Abraham Lincoln (and Martin Luther King).

This hand wringing over a real definition of “conservatism” has been going on for decades. In fact, in 1962, Wilmoore Kendall tried to define conservatism. I think he did a good job, but he also points out then–sixty years ago–that conservatism didn’t have a singular definition and didn’t have a clear message.

Now, we are left with a “conservative” movement that wants to play the left’s game on the left’s field by the left’s rules.

That won’t net any victories.

Racism, xenophobia, hate, fascism.

And when you have “conservatives” calling you that, you’re already down 100-0 and the game hasn’t started yet.

Oh yea, and the left has an infinite handicap. Even if we score, they get points.

I discuss Kendall and conservatism in Episode 483 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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