Wednesday, June 09, 2004


There have been two articles in the WSJ recently that look at how Ronald Reagan influenced our conception of conservatism. This one argues that Reagan's conservatism was something new, different and complex while this one argues that Reagan simply returned America to its roots. Both articles are worthy efforts in their way but the first one in particular mistakes what he had to do as a matter of practical politics for what his basic aims and values were. But why take anybody's word for what Reagan stood for when we have it all summed up by the man himself in his farewell speech as President? He makes it clear there that there is just ONE thing he stood for above all: Individual liberty. As he said:

"And in all of that time I won a nickname, "The Great Communicator." But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation - from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in principles that have guided us for two centuries.... Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which "We the people" tell the government what it is allowed to do. "We the people" are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I've tried to do these past eight years.... I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.... We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs protection". I'll go with Reagan's definition of conservatism any time.

This blog is of course only one of many that is scathing in its criticisms of all forms of Leftism and so-called "liberalism". Unsurprisingly, however, Leftists do shoot back and one of their favourite tactics is to misrepresent conservatism in various ways. I have therefore put up here a brief survey of the historical and psychological evidence on what conservatism is -- thus giving, I hope, useful ammunition to combat Leftist lies and misrepresentations. And I can assure everyone that what Reagan stood for has been a consistent theme in Anglo-Saxon politics for over a thousand years. In the hope of drawing the article to the attention of as many as possible of my fellow bloggers, I have posted it on blogspot together with a big blogroll. I think most bloggers do track down mentions of themselves on other blogs so they should come across the article whilst doing that. Note that the permalinks for the article are gathered together at the end in the form of a clickable index.

And this is the sort of unreason conservatives are up against: "Ronald Reagan's biggest crimes were the bloody military actions to suppress social and political change in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Afghanistan"



I have just posted up here some of the "Middle Eastern Studies" that you will NOT hear about in most universities that claim to teach such a subject.

Readers of this blog will be well-aware that I am very pro-Israel, that I quote many Jewish writers, that I am derisive of antisemitism and that I do not link to antisemitic sites. People might assume from that that I am another one of the many Jewish bloggers. I am not. My background is Presbyterian and my ancestry is wholly from the British Isles. I am as WASPish as you can get and make no apologies for it. And I am not pro-Israel because I am pro-Jewish. I am pro-Jewish because I am pro-Israel. I think Israel is a wonder and a great triumph of the human spirit.

Arafat has been a war criminal for a long time: An excerpt from an article here: "When Yasser Arafat's Black September terrorist stormed the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum in March of 1973 and took US Ambassador Cleo Noel, Charge d'Affaires George Curtis Moore, and others hostage, Sirhan's release was one of their main demands. On March 2, 1973, after Nixon rejected that demand, Arafat was overheard and recorded by Israeli intelligence and the U.S. National Security Agency giving the code words for the execution of Noel, Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid, who were shot to death"



I am pleased to see that it will be an Anglosphere line-up at the Gipper's State funeral: "Former President George H.W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney are scheduled to join President Bush in eulogizing Ronald Reagan at his state funeral service Friday"

This site notes that although the Tienanmen square massacre was a defeat for those who wanted immediate democracy in China, it sowed the seeds for great change nonetheless. Note this rather amazing comment: "China is rapidly changing on many fronts. China has increasingly allowed economic liberalization and privatization to proceed, effectively addressing some of the protesters original complaints. And today, even the Chinese edition of the free-market economist F. A. Hayek's book, The Road to Serfdom, has become a best-seller."

"Reflecting on the way in which the law has been changed in America, the well-known Harvard Law Professor, Mary Ann Glendon, referred recently to "the flagrant disregard shown by judges and local officials for the rights of citizens to have a say in setting the conditions under which we live, work and raise our children. Many Americans - however they feel about same-sex marriage - are rightly alarmed that local officials are defying state law, and that four judges in one state took it upon themselves to make the kind of decision that our Constitution says belongs to us, the people, and to our elected representatives ... "Whether one is for, against or undecided about same-sex marriage, a decision this important ought to be made in the ordinary democratic way - through full public deliberation in the light of day, not by four people behind closed doors.""

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here


The Left cannot face the fact that the American intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq is fundamentally humanitarian. The most effective response to the 9/11 events and the one in America's own best interests would have been a retaliatory strike using nukes to take the whole of Afghanistan off the map -- followed by a threat that Mecca would go sky high if there were any further Islamic attacks on the USA or its allies. That would have made Islam a religion of peace overnight. But GWB rightly rejected that easy road because it would have involved the death of millions of innocents. He chose instead to go after just the bad guys -- an extremely difficult task. And its difficulty is causing continuing American deaths in Iraq to this day. But Americans have always given their blood in order to be humane. They did it in two world wars and in Vietnam and they are doing it now in the Middle East. The only alternative strategy that the Left have is to do nothing -- thus inviting more and more attacks.

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