Good Bye, David Brooks

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I have given up on David Brooks.

I wish he'd give up on me.

He's never been a strong conservative, but he often pushed for conservative ideals. But now he's abandoned those. He puts himself in the "Reformer" camp of the Republican Party, and notes:

[The Reformers] argue that the old G.O.P. priorities were fine for the 1970s but need to be modernized for new conditions. The reformers tend to believe that American voters will not support a party whose main idea is slashing government.

I won't bother with going over the entire piece, but I'll just note that if you are not in favor of small government, you are not a conservative (and you're a poor Republican, though one with a long tradition). Small government is the path to liberty. You cannot have liberty without small government. And if you're not willing to push for small government, you shouldn't be a Republican.

The problem is not that American voters won't support slashing government, it's that the Republican Party has not given the people a reason to want to. This is why conservatives desire another Ronald Reagan, not because of some mythical ideal of this Pure Conservative Leader who will lead us to a Promised Land, but because Reagan like no one else was able to communicate why small government was better, and he got the country to agree with him. This is what matters to us.

Brooks bemoans the fact that there is "Republican Leadership Council to nurture modernizing conservative ideas." Brooks is basically saying to us conservatives -- it's not how he sees it, of course, but it's how we see it -- that liberty itself is old-fashioned. We should just give in to socialism, give in to big government, give up our freedom. But the reason we're conservatives is because we reject that. This is what we fight for. It is our political raison d'être.

It's all about liberty. This is the bottom line. This is why our nation was founded, this is why our forefathers died, and it is the only reason why I bother to care about politics at all. For the Republicans and "conservatives" who will abandon liberty, I'd rather they just went all the way and abandoned the Republican Party. (Maybe after over 100 years of this uncomfortable coalition between moderates and conservatives, it's finally time for a split. Maybe not. Ask me again in a few months.)

I don't know whether Brooks is a "coward" or "sellout." I doubt it. Being a coward or sellout would mean that he had held to conservative principles, but one who would so easily abandon those principles in the face of adversity probably didn't.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on November 16, 2008 9:24 AM.

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