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And, yes, I DO take it personally: What is common-good conservatism?
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

What is common-good conservatism?

truthout via alternet...
What is common-good conservatism? It is a political philosophy rooted in the stewardship ethic of traditional conservatism. It begins with three simple premises: that recognition of the shared dignity of all human beings is the essential predicate of a just society, that rights always correspond to duties and that we bear a collective responsibility toward one another. Forward-looking, solutions-oriented and committed to social, economic and environmental justice, common-good conservatism champions the interests of average Americans and promotes civic virtue while laying the foundations for broadly shared prosperity and human flourishing in the 21st century. It is both transformative and restorative - a political and intellectual rebirth.


We must ensure that our economy and our government equitably distribute the benefits and burdens generated by both booms and busts. Taxation is also a mechanism for putting reasonable moral boundaries on greed. We must abandon libertarian-conservatism's reflexive opposition to any proposals to increase revenue - a millionaires' tax, ending the Bush-era tax cuts, or returning the top personal income tax rates to their levels during the Clinton administration, are all measures that we should discuss and consider. At the same time, we must identify and eliminate subsidies, loopholes and exemptions that benefit giant corporations, like the famous corporate jet tax break, in order to ensure that they also contribute their fair share.

Growing inequality, declining opportunity and a widely shared perception of systemic unfairness (that the game is rigged in favor of the super rich), ultimately undermine the stability of the social order and delegitimize our political and economic institutions. They must be addressed, so that our society can be maintained and extended forward in time.


Common-good conservatism, with its emphasis on stewardship and its recognition of the traditional conservative concern for preserving communities and institutions over time, is the solution.
Intellectually bankrupt and morally craven, libertarian-conservatism is hurtling toward its Gotterdammerung, a political version of Ragnarok where the sky falls and the world burns.

But there is still hope. From the smoldering ashes of libertarian-conservatism's funeral pyre, something fresh and wondrous might emerge, a conservative phoenix, singing a beautiful new song. That song is conservatism, for the common good. And with its first notes, we will greet the coming of the dawn.

wouldn't it be loverly...?

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