Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Traditionalism Has Never Meant Conformism"

The American Conservative's Daniel McCarthy argues that the "clash of time and place, the mixture and divergence of identities, [i]s nothing new for Anglo-American conservatism," but rather "very nearly the essence of the thing" — Outsider Conservatism. He writes:
    It’s a tradition, after all, that by convention begins with an Irishman serving in the English Parliament, a man who was of the Church of England but had a Catholic mother and sister. After Burke, the 19th-century apostle of “One Nation” conservatism was an Anglican and a Jew, Benjamin Disraeli; while a century later and an ocean away, Barry Goldwater would joke that the first Jewish major-party nominee for president had to be Episcopalian.

    Today, in a historical reversal, the populist right demands conformism along the lines once laid down by progressive nationalists such as Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. The rough edges of human difference must be rubbed down. This is what conservatives from Burke to Russell Kirk would not allow.

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