Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Moving right along

Having spent a few hours last night writing this now irrelevant piece, I’m ready to move on. Let’s honor an honorable woman who was miscast as a Supreme Court Justice, encourage the President to revisit his distinguished short list of nominees...quickly, await his next announcement, and, in the mean time, think about something else.

My recommendations include Jonah Goldberg’s thumbnail history of American conservatism, Antonin Scalia’s piece in First Things, Frederick W. Kagan’s essay on Iraq strategy, and this excellent treatment of the constitutional issues surrounding gay marriage.

Discussions - 4 Comments

"think about something else." why not? Bush is a lame duck; McCain is unleashed; and the Dems get to be in charge again.

This line from Goldberg’s piece is quaint:

"American conservatism is arguably the youngest ideology on the block." But wait! I thought, according to the NLT bloggers, that it’s not an ideology, and there are no ideologues here. I’m hardly a fan of Goldberg’s, but at least he has the honesty to own up to that important detail of reality.

Jonah Goldberg and I probably use the word "ideology" in different ways. My inclination is to regard an ideologue as someone whose political and moral positions are dictated by his or her non-intellectual interests, i.e., by protecting the position and interests of a social or economic class. He seems to regard ideology as shorthand for a relatively internally coherent system of thought that unifies a group of people and provides the basis for a more or less practical political program. Both of us would probably distinguish "ideology" from "philosophy" (at least in the classical sense, as a simple stance of open inquiry, pursuing the elusive truth wherever it leads, as loving--and needing--wisdom rather than possessing it). Jonah’s use is less reductionist--indeed perhaps not reductionist at all.

Thanks Joe. I understand now.

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