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I thought it fitting to select Halloween as the day for a brief entry into the debate about whether conservatives should surrender and just accept the permanence of the Democrats’ unconstitutional welfare state. I have three points for your consideration.
1. The Welfare State Is a Zombie and It Can Be Killed.
My position is straightforward: I’m with Andy 100% and believe that conservatives must work over the coming decades to disassemble the federal government’s unconstitutional welfare state. This is an entirely reasonable, achievable goal. See James C. Bennett and Michael Lotus’s America 3.0 for the blueprint. They call the shrinking of the federal government and rebalancing of powers between the states “the big haircut.” See my review from a few weeks ago: On 9/11 and Benghazi’s Anniversary, We End Conservative Pessimism and Right-Wing Apocalypticism
2. My Generation Is Never Going to See a Damn Dime of the Social Security that’s Being Unwillingly Extracted From Us By Force of Imprisonment.
What kind of technology will America have come the 2020s, 2030s, 2040s? I tend to embrace the Ray Kurzweil model that predicts such things as artificial intelligence smarter than man in 2028. It won’t be until the 2050s when the first millennials are ready for where Social Security is set at today. Who is going to genuinely claim that Social Security will still be needed with the technology of decades from now making everything in the economy infinitely cheaper and lifespan expanding?
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3. Charles Krauthammer Is Not All That Well-Known Outside of our Political Bubble and Amongst Those Who Don’t Watch Fox News.
Plenty of your commenters jumped on you for this one and I’ll pile on too:
Dr. Krauthammer is, as I am certain all PJM readers know, America’s most well-known and highly regarded spokesman for conservatism.
These days just about the only conservative media spokesman (who wasn’t a major politician at some point) that the non-politically obsessed can name is Rush Limbaugh. And maybe Ann Coulter too thanks to all her Today show type appearances where she says the right things to provoke the postmodern progressives.
But you’re half-right. Krauthammer is America’s most well-known and highly regarded spokesman, but it’s not of just overall “conservatism,” a role held for decades by William F. Buckley, Jr.
Across the board Krauthammer is the archetypal neoconservative — ex-Democrat, hawkish, tolerant of big government, indifferent on the social issues, more elitist than populist, more urban than rural, not religious but welcoming of those who are, and East Coast.
In the intra-right discussion about these issues, I think it’s best to just lay it out explicitly: there are multiple ideologies within “the Right” and “conservatism,” and especially in between elections they all duke it out to see whose candidates will rise to the top of the political heap.
As I’ve written, I believe that the neoconservatism Krauthammer embodies — what I’ve alternately called Conservatism 2.0 and corporatist baby-boomer establishment conservatism — is collapsing. And it will be replaced by a Conservatism 3.0 that takes a values-based, good and evil-focused perspective on the immorality of the perpetual bipartisan welfare-state expansion and both parties’ shameful response to the global war declared on us by the jihadists.
image courtesy shutterstock / Kletr