[Mb-civic] Setting the Conservative Standard - David S. Broder -
swiggard at comcast.net
Thu Sep 15 03:22:00 PDT 2005
Setting the Conservative Standard
By David S. Broder
Thursday, September 15, 2005; Page A33
Under the editorship of Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard has become one
of the most consistently rewarding political journals. It is a place you
can go for a predictably conservative view on certain issues, from the
wisdom of the U.S. intervention in Iraq to sustaining the life of Terri
Schiavo. But it is also on occasion a portal for the debates that are
roiling the governing majority.
In its 10th anniversary issue, now on the stands, Kristol invited a
number of its regular contributors to answer: "On what issue or issues
(if any!) have you changed your mind in the last 10 years -- and why?"
Some proudly said they had not wavered in their policy beliefs -- no
matter what the consequences. Scholar Robert Kagan, a passionate
advocate of war in Iraq, said the judgment he made in the mid-1990s was
right -- and was shared by a large number of prominent Democrats,
including Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Madeleine Albright: Get a new regime
He quotes from Thucydides the words of Pericles to the Athenians in what
he calls "the difficult second year of the three-decade-long war with
Sparta." The great orator said, "I am the same man and do not alter, it
is you who change, since in fact you took my advice while unhurt, and
waited for misfortune to repent of it."
With equal certainty, author P.J. O'Rourke expresses another tenet of
modern conservatism -- its distrust of government. "Politics is evil,"
he wrote. "God has made us free men, sovereigns of our own affairs, and
sole experts on minding our own business. We are endowed with an
individual capacity to improve our understanding, better our
circumstances, and laugh at Howard Dean. The purpose of conservatism is
to guard the sovereignty and get out of the capacity's way."
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