Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Conservatism and the Rhetoric of Democracy

Here is Dan Mahoney’s friendly criticism of the more innovative features of neoconservatism and the president’s rhetoric as political reflection. One sample sentence: "President Bush is not wrong when he argues that despotism violates the moral law and mutilates the wellsprings of the human spirit. But he is too quick to identify human nature with a single overarching impulse or desire, and he goes too far in conflating the ways of Providence with the empire of human liberty." Notice Dan’s use of Manent’s thought to question the prudence of the idea of UNMEDIATED rights or liberty.

Discussions - 2 Comments

Thanks for this, Peter. This is a good job by Dan. Yes, it is friendly but it is also unrelenting. The president gets a scolding. Dan captures the seriousness of the debate over foreign policy going on among conservatives and Republicans. There’s enough there to occupy TWO parties. It sometimes has happened that way: that one party takes sole intellectual possession of foreign policy for a while, and the fight goes on within it/

Thanks, Steve. More of you should sign up for this debate!

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