December 29, 2006

Do Republicans want good government?

Evidently some do. (H/T Melissa Rogers)
As antigovernment conservatives seek to purify the Republican Party, it is reasonable to ask if the purest among them are conservatives at all. The combination of disdain for government, a reflexive preference for markets and an unbalanced emphasis on individual choice is usually called libertarianism. The old conservatives had some concerns about that creed, which Russell Kirk called "an ideology of universal selfishness." Conservatives have generally taught that the health of society is determined by the health of institutions: families, neighborhoods, schools, congregations. Unfettered individualism can loosen those bonds, while government can act to strengthen them. By this standard, good public policies—from incentives to charitable giving, to imposing minimal standards on inner-city schools—are not apostasy; they are a thoroughly orthodox, conservative commitment to the common good.

Campaigning on the size of government in 2008, while opponents talk about health care, education and poverty, will seem, and be, procedural, small-minded, cold and uninspired. The moral stakes are even higher. What does antigovernment conservatism offer to inner-city neighborhoods where violence is common and families are rare? Nothing. What achievement would it contribute to racial healing and the unity of our country? No achievement at all. Anti-government conservatism turns out to be a strange kind of idealism—an idealism that strangles mercy.

10 comments:

volfan007 said...

streak,

you said,"Unfettered individualism can loosen those bonds, while government can act to strengthen them." are you saying that govt. will make better families and churches and neighborhoods, etc.?

are you saying that conservatives should embrace bigger govt. because it will make these things better? are you really saying that?

and, if you are....have you ever seen the govt. do anything right? make anything better?


volfan007

Streak said...

RTFP. I didn't write that, I quoted it.

And I was just joking about the arsenic, but now I am beginning to think it is real.

Streak said...

And with a sigh, here is an answer. volfan, as usual, your comment is superficial. I am not, nor have I ever suggested that big government is the answer to everything, but neither is it useless as you suggest. Read your history. During the New Deal, that government you like to mock kept people from starving, and put them to work. Government successfully connected rural people (even arsenic laden) to electricity and clean water. Government built dams created the very infrastructure that allowed for the economic booms of the 20th century.

Again, a wasted comment, I am sure, because you will ignore anything like "facts."

volfan007 said...

streak,

i will quit drinking arsenic for a while and see if it helps. btw, i have never said that we should not have no govt. i just think that govt. ought to be very limited in the role they play in our every day lives. i am not for big govt. getting bigger. comprende, senorita?

and, since you quoted this lady, and then wrote like you agreed with her, i just assumed that you agreed with her. correctamundo? do you agree with what the woman said? it sure did sound like it.

wow!

adios, amiga,

volfan007

volfan007

Streak said...

Ok, we are going to try this one more time. Let's call it an IQ test, or perhaps just a reading comprehension test, because yours is terrible.

See if you can identify who wrote the segment I quoted, and what political background it came from.

See if you can identify who the woman is and why I gave her a hat tip.

And then finally, read my last comment before you pop off again on government.

If you can do all those things, maybe we can talk.

volfan007 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Streak said...

Volfan, only a southern idiot would think that calling me a woman would be an insult.

But your post was insufficient. Try again. Or maybe go elsewhere.

volfan007 said...

streak,

i wasnt saying that being a woman is a bad thing. i am married to a wonderful woman that i love very dearly. i have nothing but the highest respect for women. but, it does explain a lot.

volfan007

"Dr. No" said...

This started out as a discussion of good government, community, the role of institutions, etc. Fairly quickly it became abut arsenic and misogyny in a very Seinfeld-esque "not that there's anything wrong with that"/"some of my best friends are" something or other kind of way. It's almost Steven vs. Stephen in a sad way.

Streak said...

Volfan, please go away. I am tired of your stupidity.