The future (?) of conservatism

Here's an interesting essay on the political future of (American) conservatism, brought to my attention by Gerry Nicholls and published by the Claremont Institute. In my view the author gives too little weight to one key point: If liberalism does not work in practice, events will show whether the "reformist" strand of conservatism associated with David Frum or the "traditionalist" strand that includes Rush Limbaugh is right. (And if course if liberalism does work in practice it's silly or malignant to be conservative.)

Whether you're a true conservative or the sort who thinks we should aim for short-run political gain by pretending to be liberals and then becoming them, to put the matter as fairly as possible, is not a matter of taste. It's a matter of judgement about what will produce good results and while this question is theoretical in the short run it's empirical in the long run which has a remarkable tendency to show up sooner than expected.

My guess is we're in for some very interesting (a word here meaning "hair-raising") disasters due to the liberal policies being pursued in the U.S., Canada and almost everywhere else these days. And they will prove that real conservatism is the right policy because it actually works unlike the fake kind or liberalism.

Of course I would say that. But events will show whether I'm right... and pretty soon too, I'm betting.