Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Conservatism?

David Brooks arrives at the conclusion that the intellectual future of conservatism is bright because of an "epidemic of open-mindedness" since November 6.  Unfortunately for Brooks, Ross Douthat had already pointed to this vibrancy of conservative thinking in a 2010 blog post in which he mentioned many of the same names Brooks apparently just discovered this month.  Moreover, Douthat argued the problem was not so much in "epistemic closure" but in the link (or lack thereof) between conservative thinkers and Republican politicians.
"Conservative domestic policy would be in better shape if conservative magazines and conservative columnists were more willing to call out Republican politicians (and, to a lesser extent, conservative entertainers) for offering bromides instead of substance, and for pandering instead of grappling with real policy questions.
 Brooks offers no such analysis.  Not only is he about two years behind, he is constructing an imagined narrative of conservative resurrection.  "The party," he says, "will evolve quickly."  That may yet be the case, but it is hard to see why should anyone take Brooks's word for it.

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