Posted by Charity on October 27th, 2008

Real compassion is conservatism. Real compassion cares for the individual. Real conservatism wants every individual to be the best he or she can be, with nobody standing in the way.

Let a person use what their God-given talents are, combined with their ambition and their energy and their desire and their dreams, and get out of their way. We want people to amount to the most they want to be and can be. But for those who have a legitimate problem, they have some sort of problem that prevents them from succeeding; we are all for taking care of those people. But we do not want to take normal, healthy Americans and turn them into wards of the state, turn them into dependents. We do not want to look at them with arrogant condescension. We don’t look at them and say, “You’re worthless. You’re stupid. You’re not part of the smart group. You can’t get anywhere without us.” We don’t look at people that way. We look at people with respect, hope. You talk about hope? We hope for this country to be the best damn country it can be and you need the best damn individuals for that to happen. Conservatism is about the individual. Liberalism doesn’t care about the individual. This is simple. We just have to tell the story about it.

That comes from the tail end of this transcript.

3 Responses to “Real Compassion Is Conservatism”

  1. “combined with their ambition and their energy and their desire and their dreams, and get out of their way”. This struck me in an odd sort of light. Mortgage backed securities and derivatives are wonderful examples of such an ideal.

    Laissez-faire is not a policy point or a functioning system of government. It’s covering your eyes and ears and hoping the problems will go away. Markets (and people) need room to move, to grow and die. They also need rules and regulations, as well as competent leaders placing competent individuals in charge of those institutions.

    We’ll have to see where we stand after 8 years under an unabashedly liberal and progressive wave due in 8 days. I’ll eat my hat with a side of gravy if we’re worse off than we are today. Cheers!

    And of course, an excerpt from an excellent essay:

    “After the Cold War, China, Russia, and other authoritarian states learned a different lesson. They learned that the west’s vaunted concern for human rights would always play second fiddle to making a dollar. And within two decades, those nations were far more powerful than they had ever been during the days of green uniforms and shoes on the UN podium.

    For the first eleven millennia of human civilization, capitalism and democracy were only rarely and loosely coupled. There’s no reason it should be otherwise. In an unregulated market child labor, environmental destruction, government corruption, and ideological rigidity often provide an advantage. Capitalism can serve an authoritarian state as well as a democratic one — perhaps better.

    Capitalism is as indifferent to freedom as a whale is to the lives of plankton on which it feeds. If we continue in the pretense that the market in and of itself favors democracy, we’ll be witness to the end of the experiment that began a bit over two centuries ago in Philadelphia. The market won’t mind — it’s seen democracies rise before. If we don’t unbuckle our concern for human rights from our concern from corporate profits, it will surely see this one fall.”

  2. We’ll have to see where we stand after 8 years under an unabashedly liberal and progressive wave due in 8 days. I’ll eat my hat with a side of gravy if we’re worse off than we are today.

    Well, it still remains to be seen whether or not we will see 8 years of liberal progressivism. I have my doubts. (Even if we see it at all, I doubt it will last 8 years.)

    Say we do, there is still the issue of what “worse off” means. To me, having a bigger government and fewer individual freedoms makes us worse off.

  3. I would just argue that conservatism is NOT about the individual, classical liberalism and libertarianism is. True conservatism is about order, tradition, hierarchy, authority, community, transcendence, and the natural family. Also, capitalism undermines real conservatism. Just read Kirk or Weaver or Nisbet.