So yes, when I think of Conservatives I think of people who believe in tradition, but that government shouldn’t force tradition on everyone else. I think of people who believe in freedom of religion, but that religion should be separate from the state and vice-versa. But I also think of people at least in America who believe in the U.S. Constitution and conserving that. People who believe in fiscal responsibility and don’t believe in running up high deficits and debt, especially when the economy is strong. People who believe in free trade and private markets. People who believe that the best government is the government that’s closest to home. Who don’t want especially the Federal Government to step in just because a state or locality passes some law that they don’t like. People who are also Federalists and believe in federalism.
And to go back to my point about tradition: Conservatives aren’t outsiders who want to come in and blow up the system. They not only believe in the establishment, especially the conservative establishment, but help create it. This doesn’t sound like the Donald Trump wing of the Republican Party, does it. Which is probably 80-90% of the Republican Party today. However they want to define their politics and movement, but people who are more inline with the Barry Goldwater Republican Party of the 1960s and 70s, or Robert Taft from the 1940s and 50s.
The American Enterprise Institution is the leading Center-Right conservative think tank at least in America. Conservative and think tank being the key terms there. They’re not some political action organization looking to build some political movement and promote policies and politicians that their movement supports.
Someone might say The Heritage Foundation is the leading think taken when it comes to conservative thinking, but they’re what AEI isn’t which is a right-wing political action organization. And ideologically they’re more in line with the Neoconservative from the George W. Bush era and the Donald Trump Christian-Nationalists of today, then they are inline with the Conservative-Libertarian wing of the Republican Party, which is what AEI represents when it comes to political thinking. And again AEI is a think tank that does objective research. Not a political action organization like Heritage.
Some might ask what’s the difference between a Classical Conservative someone like Barry Goldwater or Robert Taft and a Classical Liberal like Wendell Willkie or John F. Kennedy and the differences are fairly minor. If Libertarians were in charge, we wouldn’t have any government regulations in the economy and there wouldn’t be any government safety net. Conservatives aren’t completely anti-regulation of the economy, but they believe they should be very limited and as local as possible. They wouldn’t completely eliminate the public safety net, but would decentralize it and even privatize some of it. And Conservatives tend to be more hawkish than Libertarians when it comes to foreign policy and national security. The differences between let’s say a Barry Goldwater and Ron Paul.
If Senator Robert Taft was Mr. Republican in the 1940s, then Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen was Mr. Republican in the 1960s. Not just the most powerful Republican in Congress during that decade, but in Washington and perhaps in the rest of the United States as well. From 1961-69, the Democratic Party had complete control of the Federal Government, at least as far as being in charge of everything; the House of Representatives, the Senate, The White House, U.S. Supreme Court, and from 1965-67 they had 2/3 majorities in both the House and Senate. And yet if President John Kennedy or President Lyndon Johnson wanted to get anything done in Congress, they had to have the backing of Everett Dirksen.
Minority Leader Dirksen, didn’t see his job as Senate Minority Leader to obstruct and prevent Senate Democrats and The White House from getting anything done, but used what power he had as a negotiator and use to the Senate rules as a bargaining chip to pass legislation that both he and the Democrats wanted to pass, but had different ideas as far as what she be in the bills. Minority Leader Dirksen, was also a great conservative voice his whole time in Congress as well.
Before Fox News, Conservatives in America really only had Firing Line with William F. Buckley as far as a leading conservative Center-Right voice on TV in America. The difference being that Firing Line and Bill Buckley didn’t see their jobs to protect any political party or any politician from that party, but to talk and debate important issues of the day and do it in an intelligent and respectful way where both sides could make their points and be heard and even questioned about them.
Jack Hunter, is a conservative-libertarian blogger and commentator with his own publication that’s called Rare.
This is all about Senator Barry Goldwater who served in the Senate from 1953-65 and then again from 1969-87. Who won the Republican nomination for President in 1964, before losing in a Democratic landslide that year to President Lyndon Johnson. Who was Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the late 1970s, as well as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 1980s, before retiring.
But more importantly is one of the founding father’s of the conservative-libertarian movement in America, along with Bill Buckley and others and made it possible for people like Ronald Reagan to even run for President, let alone get elected and other Conservative-Libertarians to get elected to Congress in the 1970s and 80e. Including people like Ron Paul and Alan Simpson.
Obviously this is about the life and career of Ronald Reagan, but most of these pieces are before Ron Reagan becomes President and his time as a political activist in the 1960s and 1970s.
The American Mind is an online political and current affairs interview show hosted by Charles Kesler, who is Senior Fellow at the right-wing think tank Claremont Institute.
Uncommon Knowledge is another online political and current affairs program, but it’s hosted by Peter Robinson at the Center-Right conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University.