In his column, Brooks describes conservatism as “intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible.”
But these are means, not principles. Incrementalism is generally a wonderful idea, since stability is a necessary precondition of freedom in a well-governed society. But incrementalism ceases to become an option when Democrats ram the hardest-left measures in American history down Americans’ throats while ending the filibuster, expanding the authority of the executive branch, and using legislative gambits to avoid Republican buy-in for their power grabs. Conservatism sees incrementalism as a defense to big government power – but once big government has the power, those defenses become useless.
Brooks, like many of his establishment friends, sees no real threat to constitutional principles from the left. He continues to maintain the myth that “Citizens may fall into different classes and political factions, but they are still joined by chains of affection that command ultimate loyalty and love.”
What chains of affection are those? The chains of affection between those who love liberty and limited government, and those who wish to grow government unendingly and label their opponents racist and bigots to achieve that end? What, precisely, is David Brooks smoking?
Whatever it is, it’s making Brooks rather loosey-goosey about the state of the country:
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