The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson Makes a Point

While the debate between neo-cons and Actionaries continues, the New Burkeian wishes to return to some domestic politics.

In Mr. Hanson's recent article the necessity for cohesion in the ranks of American conservatism is addressed:

Most Americans do not trust the Democratic party's foreign policy, its commitment to a government-mandated equality of result rather than of opportunity, and its divisive identity politics that seek to cobble together angry interest groups — radical gay activists, ossified D.C. civil-rights insiders, abortion-rights advocates, and Moveon.org types who distrust the United States — in lieu of a grassroots national majority. Yet even such political self-destructiveness does not necessarily mean that the Democrats cannot regain the presidency even without a centrist candidate like Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman. In 2008, we could see another splintering of conservatives as happened in 1992 and 1996. A sober, stable Ross Perot-like national populist could well siphon off discontents — perhaps 5 to 7 percent of the conservative electorate — furious about immigration, deficits, and a sense of American financial impotence abroad.


The real focus of conservative politics, over the next two years at the least, needs to be on the domestic agenda. On issues such as Social Security, tax reform, and immigration American conservatives need to expand their ever-increasing base, and to keep from alienating the new conservative electorate. Even idealists and realists within American conservatism agree, for the most part, on what needs to be done.

Specifically, tax reform needs to be the focus in the next election year. There is not an American out there that does not want some sort of tax reform. By tackling this issue head-on, after a year of draining the resources of liberals over Social Security and judge nominations, American conservatives can really secure the strength of the Republican Party for a generation. And unlike conservatives that were backed into a corner during the Clinton years, Democracts should fail to find a cohesive voice on anything coherent. The American electorate may not always agree on the direction of foreign policy, but the call for reform of the federal system seems to be a far-reaching issue.

An overwhelming victory in the mid-term elections could spell doom for liberals in the 2008 Election. A strong and cohesive voice from American conservatives needs to be heard, though. I suggested that the debate between neo-cons and Actionaries would not be detrimental in the near-future, but come mid-terms, the issue needs to reach some sort of consensus.

Much to the relief of the New Burkeian, Actionary voices are being heard. As I have stated before, I cannot go through life a pessimist. Larry Kudlow addresses upholding "Freedom over Cynicism" at National Review Online:

Bush’s inaugural vision will be proven right. His speech will be vindicated, and along with it will come a foreign-policy triumph of moral idealism, human rights, and freedom over the cynical “realist” view that after all we have seen in the past 25 years we can still do business with dictators and despots in the name of stability.

Hear, hear!



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