Is there a conservative in the house?
There is now.
I’m delighted you stopped by, and I hope what you’ll find here is informative, stimulating and, ultimately, representative of views too often undercovered and, sometimes, not covered at all in the general media. Most of all, I hope you’ll enjoy your forays here.
Conservatism is a big-tent philosophy, and in our sometimes fractious, remarkably diverse family you’ll find people with an astonishing variety of views. I hope to introduce you to many of them, particularly those active on the Minnesota scene, and the issues they believe matter in public discussions today.
I’ll be offering reporting — with a point of view — on the diverse conservative movement. There are neocons and paleocons, traditionalists and social conservatives, crunchy cons and the religious right. Here also are libertarians in all their variations, admirers of Ayn Rand (who prefer the moniker “objectivists”), and fusionists — devotees of the late Frank S. Meyer who emphasize the common ground among all conservatives.
You’ll find me among the traditionalists, whose paladins include Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, William F. Buckley Jr., Richard M. Weaver, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Suzanne Massie, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the Southern Agrarians, to cite but a few of the thinkers whose work I find especially appealing.
The only things you will need here are an open mind, inquisitiveness and a sense of humor. “There isn’t a smile in a boxcar full of Marxism,” the legendary journalist James Jackson Kilpatrick once remarked, and our friends on the left side of the aisle are forever proving the point. Dour, excruciatingly self-righteous and seemingly in thrall to the totalitarian impulse, they are a target-rich bunch. We’ll be dealing with them in detail.
We conservatives also have our share of kookiness and loose cannons, and they’ll feel the flat of my blade as well whenever their shenanigans get in the way of serious discourse. That means you, Rush and Ann.
I pitch my tent in the Republican Party, which for the most part has been reflective of my values. You’re going to meet here Minnesota GOP leaders who are well known and many rising stars whose names you will be hearing for the first time. Conservatism is at heart a grass-roots phenomenon, and Minnesota is home to the most eclectic array of conservative thinkers and activists you never heard about. Not all of them are Republicans, mind you, and that makes for a really interesting discussion.
We won’t be concerned exclusively with politics, either. We’ll also be looking at the culture, education and the arts, all of which have suffered grievously at the hands of vulgarians and boors. Nowhere has the profoundly anti-intellectual doctrine of political correctness been more corrosive than on college and university campuses, where droves of shockingly ill-educated automatons are churned out annually.
Young conservatives on campus have sometimes paid a terrible price for bucking the mandarins of political correctness, and you will also meet them here.
On the national political level, conservatives are in serious disarray following the election of a unique president whose coattails proved exceptionally long. Barack Obama did not receive my vote, but I like what I’ve seen so far of the man. He is articulate, intelligent and, importantly, has a good sense of humor. His policies are a different matter, however. Obama is exhibiting an alarming propensity to cater to the most irresponsible elements of party in which extremism seems to be a growth industry.
Beyond that, I think David Brooks got to the heart of the matter following the election when he wrote in the New York Times that there are racists in America, but Obama’s election proves that America is not a racist country. Hear, hear!
Ready to have some fun? I am, too. See you in a few days — after the bon voyage party for Arlen Specter.