Waldman on conservatism

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Paul Waldman’s “It’s the Conservatism, Stupid” at TomPaine notes that there has been a “relentless campaign against liberalism by conservatives” and proposes that “liberals need to do the same thing to conservatism.” Waldman suggests that we offer “a sustained critique, not just of a particular politician or a particular policy, but of the entire ideology and worldview of conservatism,” and offers three points toward such a critique:

1. Conservatism has failed. The overwhelming majority of the American public now sees the Bush administration as a failure. […] …progressives should start talking about the Bush administration’s failures not as those of a president, but of an ideology.

2. Conservatism is the ideology of the past—a past we don’t want to return to. Liberals need to embrace the culture war, because we’re winning. […] …all the major advancements of freedom and justice in our history were pushed by liberals and opposed by conservatives, no matter the party they inhabited at the time. […]

3. Conservatives are cowards, and they hope you are, too. We’re afraid, they shout. […] Progressives need to frame their rejection of the fear campaign as an act of courage: Al-Qaida does not scare us, and we will not dismantle our democratic system because we are afraid. The America we love does not cower in fear, as the conservatives want it to.

Waldman concludes that “George W. Bush is not what they [liberals] need to fight. What they need to fight is conservatism.”

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on July 12, 2006 12:22 PM.

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