Friday, December 17, 2004
Liberals Are the New Conservatives (small 'c')
Why the migration of old-fashioned, status-quo conservatism from right to left? It is partly a function of the current political dynamic. Republicans are on the offensive, so Democrats must play defense. It is also a hangover from recent political history. Conservatives, for decades, have told themselves that "ideas have consequences," and have set about through think tanks, books and magazines to find the best ones. During the period of richest conservative policy ferment, in the 1970s and 1980s, liberals could content themselves with relying on what was an increasingly sclerotic congressional majority. Liberalism was dependent on the fumes of the New Deal and Great Society, which were powerful, but bound to dissipate.