Conservatism Losing Ground as Advocates Lose Vision

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, August 17, 2001

Conservatism Losing Ground as Advocates Lose Vision

Across the Irish Sea, conservatives in London are trying to rebuild their party after losing the last two elections. Conservatism in Europe is almost non-existent. In the United States, conservatism -- that is, the Ronald Reagan brand -- is falling on tough times. Why is this? Didn't conservative philosophy bring down the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall? Didn't conservative fiscal policies cause an economic boom?

Conservatism in England and in America isn't in trouble because its ideas are bad. Conservatism is in trouble because its advocates don't behave as if what they claim to believe is true. Too many have been caught up in the touchy-feely of liberalism. With liberals, it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong about anything. All that matters is whether you had good intentions. That's why we get new math, which says one plus one can be three if it makes you feel better.

What conservatism needs is some grown-up men and women who will not only refuse to compromise, but tell people why conservative ideas work. That's what Margaret Thatcher did in England. That's what Ronald Reagan did in America. The reason conservatism is in trouble over here and back there is that too many conservatives have lost their vision.