27 August 2011

Credit where credit is due

I've often expressed the hope that American conservatism would return to sanity. Here's a concrete example of the kind of thing I mean: Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's stance on anthropogenic global warming.

The reality of the phenomenon is no longer deniable, and Christie, in contrast to so many major Republican figures today, doesn't deny it. What he does reject is the efficacy of the specific policies which are now on the table to deal with the problem. And he has a point. Too much of our thinking on this issue revolves around reducing energy consumption (meaning, in practice, reducing the global standard of living) -- an approach which, as I've said before, cannot possibly work. A real debate about effective solutions is desperately needed, and that's where conservatism can play a constructive role, when it proposes fresh ideas about the problem instead of clinging to the absurd delusion that there is no problem.

(More on the broader concept of rational conservatism here.)

7 Comments:

Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Unfortunately, since you wrote that excellent piece in January 2010, the Republicans have tilted even further to the right and joined the TP in the asylum. I guess I just don't have much hope these days that many of them will ever be courageous enough to stand up and be counted. Reason is to be scorned, replaced by stupidity and insanity.

27 August, 2011 07:40  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

LP: Too true. But I'm convinced that sanity can prevail eventually. I suspect Huntsman, and maybe Christie, are positioning themselves for 2016.

27 August, 2011 11:28  
Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

And here's a quote from a FB friend here in a very conservative area in TN which offers a little hope.

"I am encouraged from conservations with my conservative friends today. I understand their economic concerns, which will take several years to resolve regardless of who is president. My faith is being restored that they see the slate of Tea Party and Religious Right potential candidates as potential threats to the national sanity. And they are concerned if the electorate should be attracted to those candidates, it is a sad testimonial to the state of our democracy."

27 August, 2011 14:50  
Blogger Nance said...

My longing is to see our polarized positions brought to within functional boundaries again, which is why I'm excited to see a sentence like this one from a thoughtful liberal: "A real debate about effective solutions is desperately needed, and that's where conservatism can play a constructive role, when it proposes fresh ideas about the problem instead of clinging to the absurd delusion that there is no problem."

It's got to come to this. All our problems are too big now to handle without functional government. The radicals on the right aren't going to come to us, but they do seem to be isolating themselves in their extreme fiscal positions.

27 August, 2011 16:28  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

LP: I've seen other signs of this -- that more than half of Republican voters consider Palin unqualified to be President, for example. They can't all be nuts.

Nance: We really need the extremist radicals on both sides to isolate themselves and let the sensible people get on with the business of so0lving the problems.

27 August, 2011 16:46  
Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

I would agree that there are a number of "moderate" minds on both sides of the political spectrum. However, if a nut job Conservative candidate becomes the front runner, most likely a Conservative voter will stay with their party than defect.

Look at it from the other side - as disappointed as I am in the Democratic party and the President, you can pretty much guarantee where my vote will go. This will be true for a majority registered Republicans as well regardless of who their runner is.

28 August, 2011 17:14  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RtS: It will be interesting, in a terrifying way, to see how well that holds up if the Republican party does nominate a real nutter. I think it would hurt with at least some moderate conservatives. I'm convinced Palin hurt McCain (though no Republican could have won that year), and a nutter at the top of the ticket would be even more of an issue.

And yes, if the Republicans nominate someone like that, we have no choice but to vote for the Democrat out of sheer fear of the alternative (unless the Democrat were equally dangerously crazy, and I can't think of any significant Democratic figure who could equal Bachmann or Perry on that score).

28 August, 2011 18:01  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home