Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism

A spirit of insurgency has swiftly returned to conservative ranks. The language of liberty--"Don't tread on me"--has acquired new resonance on the Right and beyond. Just as Sarah Palin's candidacy in 2008 reinvigorated millions of despondent grassroots conservatives, the reality of liberalism in power in 2009 has bestirred them even more. The setbacks of 2008 and the "tea party" protests of 2009 have taught the Right a valuable lesson: In the words of the computer scientist Alan Kay, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." As 2009 gives way to 2010, resurgent conservatives seem determined to do just that. Nevertheless, spirit alone cannot do it all. Ideas, too, have consequences, as Richard Weaver long ago reminded us, and it is in this realm that conservatives face long-term challenges that should curb any tendency to relax...read more

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