Posted by Rojas @ 9:25 pm on November 6th 2008

Notes towards a New Conservatism

We have spent so much time over the last few days calling for a new dialogue about conservative principles that we have forgotten that we have a forum of our own to make it happen.

We have a pretty sizable gang of conservatives here, and a relatively ideologically diverse bunch as well, from hardcore libertarian types to Obamacons to pseudo-neocons. We all want change, and we all recognize that whatever principles are going to be regarded as “core” to the new movement, they’re going to have to be principles on which a variety of different kinds of conservatives can agree.

Our challenge, then, I think, is to draw some clear lines between those principles which are fundamental to the future direction of the movement, and which ones are ideological options.

For my part, it’s pretty clear to me that the ideas of judicial restraint and federalism, both near and dear to my heart, have to go on the scrap heap at this point. There’s no constituency to be built around them. Individual New Conservatives may be states’ rights advocates or strict constructionists if they please, but those cannot be key principles of the movement.

I’ll invite my co-bloggers to put up posts on issues they think should be (and more importantly CAN be) core to the new definition of American conservatism. I have one in mind, and will be throwing it out there within the next couple of days.


  1. I can get down with this.

    One question: how fundamental are we talking here?

    I’d suggest The Conservative Soul (yes, Sullivan), if we’re talking fundamental values.

    Are we talking policy specifics, or things more base?

    In any case, one specific one popped right to mind.

    Comment by Brad — 11/6/2008 @ 11:06 pm

  2. See my first post on the subject (above) for what I have in mind.

    Policy specifics, yes. But they have to be something behind which a winning coalition can be built. The gold standard, for instance, does not qualify.

    Comment by Rojas — 11/6/2008 @ 11:21 pm

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