Friday, October 11, 2013

Conservative vs. Radical: There's a (Big) Difference

Norman Ornstein: Conservative is not radical.
Moderate conservative Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute is one of a dying breed in the Republican Party, a guy whose political philosophy is not yet an oxymoron--at least in his head. He is a guy who knows the difference between the Republicans of old and the TeaParty Republicans of today and he talked about it in an interview with Salon magazine (entire story here). Here's some of what he said:

"Conservatives tend to conserve, they are respectful of institutions and traditions. Radicals just aren’t [concerned] about those things. You can have very strong views about something but still respect the way the House of Representatives, the three branches of government, the constitutional structure was set up to work. And that involved at its essence, debate and deliberation and finding common ground and compromise.

"Most conservatives recognize that. Radicals don’t care about the institutions. They are looking for an ideological crusade. Traditions don’t matter. It’s one thing to have hardball politics, but when you take it to a level of extortion in ways that could cause dramatic long-term turmoil in the country, that’s just not conservative.

"Conservatives want smaller government. ... But in general they recognize that government must play an important role for a society to operate. ...

"Government is inevitably going to play a very significant role in infrastructure. ... Radicals will basically throw all those babies out with the bath water. There is almost an underlying feeling that government is bad, and if any part of government works that’s not good, because then people will like it and want more of it."


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