Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Populist-Nationalist Right? No Thanks!

Patrick J. Buchanan, a fervent Donald Trump supporter, wrote recently and approvingly that Trump’s campaign embodies "the populist-nationalist right that is moving beyond the niceties of liberal democracy."
To which we say: No thanks.
Don't get us wrong. We're sympathetic to an enlightened populism. We're friendly to a civilized and civilizing nationalism. But we're even more committed to a constitution of liberty. We're even more attached to the cause of self-government. What Buchanan dismisses as "the niceties of liberal democracy" we call the forms of freedom—and of civilization.
Art credit: Anton Emdin
We'd go further. One of the historic tasks of American conservatism has in fact been to preserve and strengthen American liberal democracy. Conservatives have often been better at this than liberals have been, because conservatives are more aware than liberals of liberal democracy's weaknesses and less complacent about its success.
So conservatives have trained their fire on the many threats to liberal democracy from, broadly speaking, the left: against a liberationism that cannot distinguish between liberty and license; against an egalitarianism that cannot distinguish between equal rights and a leveling down of natural or merited distinctions; against a nanny-statism that cannot distinguish between a safety net and a suffocating blanket; against a hopefulness that cannot distinguish between the world as it is and the world as one would like it to be; against a progressivism that cannot distinguish between learning from history and succumbing to History.
Read the rest from Bill Kristol HERE.

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