Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What would a good conservative think?

Ken Rose, a good friend of mine for about 20 years now, doesn't agree with me on all things political. I'm not sure he would describe himself as conservative, but I know him to hold views that I would put on the non-crazy side of libertarianism. (Yes, that does exist, cynical hypothetical reader.) Ken sent me this quote yesterday.

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him judgment by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian Governments, whether Nazi or Communist."

Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1951, page 679

Listen to the stump speeches of the candidates today. MSNBC thought Fred Thompson might be throwing in the towel this weekend, and so gave him airtime for his concession speech. It was a marathon of platitudes about how America is the most wonderful place on earth because of centuries of conservative values. You would think that the only difference between conservatives and liberals today are about tax policies and gun ownership.

I don't want to pick on Sleepy Fred alone. This sentence by Churchill brought into sharp focus what makes me so sick about the tiny minority of people who consider Bush an idealist. Think about all the candidates running for president right now. Who would have the guts of dropping this quote into a stump speech? Not Rudy, not Mitt, not Straight Talking McCain, not Aw Shucks Huckabee. I don't think Hillary or Obama or even Edwards would use this. Too far off message.

Honestly, I think the only candidates today who would dare to use this Churchill quote to remind us of what we have become are Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

You know, the crazy fringe candidates.

Now playing: The Clash - Know Your Rights
via FoxyTunes


dguzman said...

"the tiny minority of people who consider Bush an idealist" -- *shudder*

They must also think Hitler and Stalin were ideaists, then, too.

Ken said...

I was never a social conservative. I was an economic conservative when we met, but I've been moving left the last 10 or 15 years. Added to the fact that the standards of conservativism (is that a word?) have lurched hard right, I'm beginning to think I may be a moderate-liberal now.

- ken

Matty Boy said...

You sound like my dad, Ken. While he is a lifelong conservative, earlier this century he said now he guessed he would have to be considered a liberal Republican.

I gently reminded him that liberal Republicans are now an extinct species.