Saturday, November 25, 2006

Understanding the Argument for Compassionate Conservatism

Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for President Bush, gives a great summary of what it was Bush was selling on the campaign stump 6 years ago.

In Mr. Gerson's view, "compassionate conservatism is the theory that the government should encourage the effective provision of social services without providing the service itself." It was, in effect, a conservative twofer: limiting the scope of government and empowering faith-based institutions by entrusting to the latter services that had traditionally been performed by the former.

Some don't feel we've done very well on that score, but the theory still sounds really solid to me. I'm surprised this idea and rhetoric hasn't gained more traction in political philosophy.

Aren't we seeing that Bush is very close to the ideals of the Democratic party? He wants many of the same social safety nets that Democrats advocate. He just doesn't think they should all be run by the government. Why did liberals hate Bush so much right from the get-go? I have always found it puzzling. We have many conservatives who are frustrated by Bush these days because he does so many things that are more in line with the Democrats' agenda. But then he doesn't get any love from the left. Strange.


Anonymous said...

Yea... the sound bite sounds good: "Compassionate Conservativism" - Great! Like "Trickle Down". That also sounded great but the reality is different from a neat sounding sound bite name.

I see so little compassion coming from this group and saw nothing trickle down, either.

Neither work in reality!

y-intercept said...

Bush's using a tax break as an economic stimulus will go down in history as a success. That is probably the best example of compassionate conservatism from his administration.

The heckler you have on this site fails to see that the tax cut worked because it was a bubble up mechanism. By letting working people keep more of the money they earned they spurred the economic recovery. Propaganda works by consistently giving your opponents negative labels.

Anyway, the reason that we hate Bush so much has very little to do with what Bush does or does not do. The elite on the left are just extremely skilled at generating hatred. The heckler on your site knows that if you just keep up the process of name calling (like the stupid little "trickle down" comment), then some people will bite and join in on the hate game.

We need bloggers that stay civil