So the conservative movement in recent years has suffered from allowing itself to become captured by the Republican Party, and it has lost, in many respects, its independence, the power that comes from being a true independent, principled movement, the conservative movement. These issues have become very complex because of that. So, for example, when you go to speak to a group of conservatives and you are critical of the way the current administration has been denigrating civil liberties and individual freedom, many conservatives rally to the defense of the administration because they support the administration.
Bob Barr does an amazing job of explaining how the conservative movement is going off the rails. Missing from the article is why this happened. My pet theory is the lack of a center to hold everyone together. Between 1980 and 1988; conservatism had a unifying voice. Reagan. Between 1994 and 2000; conservatism also had a unifying anti-voice. Clinton. The one thing they could all agree on is that Clinton was bad. In order to be part of the Republican club, you had to have something to hate Clinton about. It didn’t even seem to matter if the GOP was worse on that issue.
And a prediction from me: when W leaves office, there will be a similar crack-up on the left. Many people, united largely by a dislike of W will be unable to find a unifying political philosophy to keep them together. Doubly so after we finally get ourselves out of Iraq.