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Published:December 4th, 2009 19:47 EST
The New Conservatism

The New Conservatism

By Joey O'Donnell

There has been a change in ideas for conservatism.  Here is a look at the change in ideas for conservatism, and what many conservatives have become.  These new conservatives are big spenders, like getting involved in foreign affairs, and do not care to limit the government`s intrusion of individual liberties and freedoms.  Depending on whom you ask, you`ll get a variety of responses (as is the case for almost everything), but here are some that I`ve concluded actually get in touch with what traditional conservatism is really about and has changed into what it is now.

I will start with a conservative who I respect greatly, and that is the opinion writer for the New York Times, David Brooks.  Brooks describes in his article Running out of Steam, that modern conservatism was formed by people who wanted to defeat the Soviet Union, reduce welfare, cut taxes, deregulate the economy, and reintroduce traditional social values.  All those problems are less salient today. "  True.  Next he points out that conservatism has semi absorbed into the Republican Party, and that the distinction between conservatism and republicanism has been obliterated.  His distinction is Conservatives chased ideas, while Republicans were the corporate hacks who sold out. "  However, generalization Republicans, Brooks still has a point.

Next, I will refer to an article in the December issue of the Atlantic Monthly in the Comment " section from an article called Our Faith-Based Future by Clive Crook.  The article states, Once upon a time Democrats were big spenders and Republicans were fiscal conservatives ".  Now here, due to the fact the article is not solely based on how conservatism veered off course to become a diluted, less clear-cut ideology, but more current events issues, it is less in depth than Brooks` article.

The article covers two main events supporting the crumbling of conservative values: the enormous increases in spending to cope with Hurricane Katrina and the situation in Iraq, which is persistently in dire need.

In New Orleans, just to build the basic infrastructure, The bill for Katrina reconstruction will reach $250 billion if legislation introduced by Louisiana`s two senators is enacted. "  It is also expected to go higher with reconstruction that is more extensive and cleaning of the environment.  As concluded at the end of the discussion of Katrina in the article, The Republican Party`s former reputation for prudent fiscal management is no longer merely compromised; it is ruined for good ".

Now it is time to talk about Iraq.  Though many conservatives will agree with what is trying to be accomplished, those who will stick to their traditional conservative guns will disagree.  Why?  Because this is a prime example of foreign intervention, and foreign intervention gone horribly bad at that.  American`s are dying daily; according to the Department of Defense, 2195 have been confirmed to date.  The cost of the war is nearing half a trillion dollars and there is no end in sight, pushing the conservatives farther and farther away from that balanced budget.

The last reference about contradictory conservatism I will make is that of the Nation Security Agency eavesdropping domestically with out court appeal.  Though many conservatives disagree with the unauthorized eavesdropping on Americans in the United States, still many do, despite it being illegal and intrusive to our individual liberties and freedoms.

So with all that said here is a question to ask yourself: If you are conservative, do you label yourself that based on traditional or contemporary values?  Note that if you label yourself a contemporary conservative, you are technically not a conservative by the tradition values of which conservatism was founded on.