Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Liberal facts (?) vs. conservative theory

Jonathan Chait can’t get his mind off the Iraq war, even when he’s talking about what he regards as the conservative obsession with ideas. As I noted last year, Chait isn’t too keen on big ideas. As he puts it now,

conservatism is more of an ideological movement than liberalism. Conservatives insist that, unlike liberals, they’re "acutely conscious of their intellectual forebears," as David Brooks once put it. Such boasts are usually decorated with references to Kirk, Hayek, and other philosophical patron saints of the right.


Like communists, conservatives have a tendency to believe that every question can be answered by referencing theory.

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I admit that liberals don’t generally look to our intellectual forebears to tell us whether the Iraq war is going well. But, then, we don’t have to. We can read the newspaper.

I guess he’s not reading the New York Times, or, for that matter, anything that doesn’t begin with the view that Iraq is a fiasco. Sounds kinda theoretical to me.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Like communists, conservatives have a tendency to believe that every question can be answered by referencing theory.


Ignoring the intentional communist association, what drives me batty is that in the next breath our liberal brethren will proclaim themselves the party of "reason". Somehow, in their view, reason has meaning outside of any intellectual processing.

Winston Churchill could read the newspapers to know that World War II wasn't going well, but he still didn't surrender.

America today ... well, the liberals, Democrats, along with some Republicans ... is all about surrendering.

Ain't nothun like to spoil a weekend drinkin' beer or having a threesome like terrorists and such.

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