Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Used to be a "Conservative"

I started my adulthood as a conservative Republican. I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984, and for Bush the elder in 1988 and 1992. I argued against welfare, and for the Reagan arms buildup. Needless to say, things changed for me. Andrew Sullivan sounds like he's been on a similar journey:

But what has emerged in recent years is a darker, more authoritarian strain of conservatism - rooted in the cultural and racial conservatism of the South, partial to a near-dictatorial war-presidency, believing in American exceptionalism to the extent that it exempts America from the moral norms of the rest of the world, and rooting the legitimacy of the American constitution in only one religious tradition (narrowly defined).

These characters want to redefine conservatism around this theocratic, authoritarian, self-justifying ideology. I am more than happy to share the term liberalism with others. I am not going to have the word conservative coopted solely by these religious radicals.

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