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Conservatives Are Hitting Rock Bottom

Ayn Rand and Jim Crow have driven the American right into moral bankruptcy. Two conservatives argue that there's no comeback in sight until they repudiate both.

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A logical right, a rational right, a cognitively coherent right would stand up and yell, "Viva La Volt!"

We don't have a logical right today. We have a libertarian-conservative "movement" that launches crude email attacks on climate scientists and crackpot televised assaults on American ingenuity. We have an infotainment industry that filters out facts and favors fiction - the fiction of "skeptic" think tanks, the fiction of Michael Crichton's nonsensical "State of Fear."

Why? The nature of libertarian-conservatism holds the key to answering this question. Its hatred of government, its sanctification of greed and unconstrained selfishness and its commodification and objectification of everything, including the natural world itself, make it incapable of admitting that climate change is occurring. To admit that human activity is altering the climate in dangerous ways that threaten our future is tantamount to conceding that libertarian-conservative ideology is wrong.

America needs a conservatism that can deal with reality, a conservatism that places the needs of our children and grandchildren above the needs of ExxonMobil, Chevron and Koch Industries. America needs a conservatism that prioritizes conservation. America needs a conservatism that shares the view Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher expressed in her November 8, 1989, address to the United Nations on the  risks posed by global warming:

"We are not the lords, we are the Lord's creatures, the trustees of this planet, charged today with preserving life itself - preserving life with all its mystery and all its wonder."

Above all else, America needs a conservatism that does not put its hatred of government regulation above its concern for the future well-being of the world.

Common-good conservatism, with its emphasis on stewardship and its recognition of the traditional conservative concern for preserving communities and institutions over time, is the solution.

Intellectually bankrupt and morally craven, libertarian-conservatism is hurtling toward its Gotterdammerung, a political version of Ragnarok where the sky falls and the world burns.

But there is still hope. From the smoldering ashes of libertarian-conservatism's funeral pyre, something fresh and wondrous might emerge, a conservative phoenix, singing a beautiful new song. That song is conservatism, for the common good. And with its first notes, we will greet the coming of the dawn.


This article is a Truthout original.



D.R. Tucker is a Republican author, blogger and political commentator from Massachusetts. He operates The Urban Right, a blog dedicated to completing Jack Kemp's unfinished work. His writing has also been featured in the Huffington Post, Boston Herald, The Ripon Forum, Human Events Online, FrumForum, and In addition, he also hosted a Blog Talk Radio program, "The Notes," from August 2009 to June, 2010.

Michael Stafford is a 2003 graduate of Duke University School of Law and a former Republican Party officer in his home state of Delaware. He is an attorney and also a political columnist syndicated nationally by The Cagle Post. His writing has been featured on numerous sites including The Moderate Voice, FrumForum and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Religion & Ethics page. He is also the recipient of the 2011 Theodore Roosevelt Grassroots Leadership Award from Republicans for Environmental Protection and is the author of "An Upward Calling: Politics for the Common Good" published in June, 2011.

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