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Daily Archives: 08/25/2010
The “Ground Zero mosque” debate is about tolerance—and a whole lot more. – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate Magazine
I like this:
I am reminded how much of the modern right has become almost a caricature of 70s era liberal stereotypes of it. Part of the problem, as I see it, is cradle-to-grave conservatism – an entire culture that regards liberal views as by their nature the product of fools, charlatans and would-be tyrants. Indoctrination leaves one ignorant of the core arguments of his own ideology.
My sense is that a lot current “conservatives” have no coherent philosophy aimed at achieving the greater good for the greater number. It’s just about protecting a few constituencies against others, the shrinking majority against a growing minority.
Conservatives should advocate for consistent policies with ultimately wide benefits like, fiscal conservativism, limited government, and protection of liberties. These don’t just protect some “good” people against a dangerous other. This is a coherent philosophy that wouldn’t have to demonize its opponents.
I think the 9/11 based conservatism of recent years doesn’t take this perspective. It focuses on labeling some as an enemy to be protected against, especially Muslims and “illegal” immigrants. It doesn’t aim for the good of all, must have identified demons and is ultimately incoherent.