Saturday, March 17, 2012

John O'Sullivan and the state of conservatism

George Jonas:
John O'Sullivan thinks conservatism in the “Anglosphere,” or the English-speaking world, is alive and well in three out of four countries. It “remains vigorous and fundamentally healthy” in America, and it “is thriving both in Australia and in Canada.”
Only the “Cameron Tories” of the United Kingdom are faltering.
... O’Sullivan thinks conservatism is thriving in Canada and Australia in very different ways. “It is advancing in Australia by boldness,” he writes, “and in Canada by caution.”
O'Sullivan's prescience on Stephen Harper's future:
... he asked me what I thought Harper would be doing in 10 years time. ... Harper was then 40, running the National Citizens Coalition ...
“Teaching civics classes,” I said. “Writing op-ed pieces. Walking the dog.”
In 10 years, he’ll be prime minister of Canada,” O’Sullivan said. He was wrong. It took Harper only seven years. [Actually, O'Sullivan was not wrong.]
... the rest.


johndoe124 said...

I read Jonas's article but I haven't read O'Sullivan's but from Jonas's article I would assume that O'Sullivan is talking about Conservative politics and not about
Conservative political philosophy (if that even exists). The fact is that the current crop of Conservatives are still well left of center, so while Conservative political fortunes may seem on the rise, for real Conservatives, who believe in smaller government, individual responsibilities and freedoms, Conservatism is practically a figment of the imagination.

Anonymous said...

This too shall pass.

JR said...

I agree, though I also think that politics is the art of the possible and that if the Harper Conservatives ran on the platform I wish they could run on they'd not have a majority (probably not even a minority) government right now. Then we'd be in much worse shape.

And, since I also believe that the country can be (and to some extent has) moved to the right, conservatives have to keep pushing Conservatives in that direction and fight any tendency they (Conservatives) might have to appease progressives.

Re O'Sullivan's NRO piece - I should have linked to it. The "O'Sullivan thinks" link now does so.

johndoe124 said...

Thanks for the response to my posting. I keep my fingers crossed and hope that you are right. But when I see legislation such as C-36 that allows warrantless seizure of private property, or C-30 which undoubtedly would have been passed had it not been for Teows boneheadedness, I remain firmly pessimistic about the real direction of this government's incrementalism.


JR said...

I know what you mean. The buggers do sometimes give us cause for pessimism. Which is why conservatives have to hold their feet to the fire (and withhold donations) when they do things we think are boneheaded. It's one of the reasons I love the Sun News crew. They do a great job of howling at the Conservatives (and urging the rest of us to do the same) when they deserve it.