Monday, September 14, 2015

A Tough 100 Years for Conservatives - post II

I read The Strange Death of Liberal England 1910-1914 (see earlier post for a brief review) in large part because I like English history, even when it doesn’t include dragons. But for political conservatives the period covered should be of interest because at or around that time in numerous locales it seems a political transformation occurred. The liberalism that died in England is what Americans would consider conservatism. In 1913 with the election of Woodrow Wilson America had its first progressive administration.

Real or imagined an inadequacy was discovered in what may be roughly defined as american conservatism-classical liberalism.  In America and in Europe those political principles have been in a secondary role ever since. In America, as one would expect, it was a pretty fair fight in the beginning with Wilson giving way to Harding and Coolidge. But it has been a rout ever since, rising to the surface again here and there (Reagan/Thatcher) only to give way again.

Put differently, it seems a fair question to ask who has had a worse 100 or so years, conservatives or Cub fans and I think the answer is conservatives. To be sure, it isn’t a fair question. For one you get top draft picks for failing in major league baseball and there is more turnover in player personnel than in people’s minds. But it is interesting that the Cubs have recently taken a slightly different path by accepting bad years and focusing on developing a strong farm system. The future for Cubs fans looks pretty bright at the moment. I wish I could discern a similar change in approach in the conservative movement.

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