After the devastating losses in recent national elections, and maybe the loss of much of America’s cherished freedom of free enterprise and individual rights during the new President’s first hundred days, it is no wonder noted conservatives and even some Republicans are examining the personality of America’s conservatism. On Monday’s Prager radio show Dennis praised the day’s Wall Street Journal for its opinion page article by one of the best contemporary American conservative thinkers, Shelby Steele.
Tears come to my eyes when I hear said or see written words as the following:
“ What drew me to conservatism years ago was the fact that it gave discipline a slightly higher status than virtue. This meant it could not be subverted by passing notions of the good. It could be above moral vanity. And so it made no special promises to me as a minority. It neglected me in every way except as a human being who wanted freedom. Until my encounter with conservatism, I had only known the racial determinism of segregation on the one hand and of white liberalism on the other; two varieties of white supremacy in which I could only be dependent and inferior.
The appeal of conservatism is the mutuality it asserts between individual and political freedom, its beautiful idea of a free man in a free society. And it offers minorities the one thing they can never get from liberalism; human rather than racial dignity.”
Mr. Steele continues: Conservatism “seeks the discipline of ordinary people rather than the virtuousness of extraordinary people. The challenge for conservatives today is simply self-acceptance, and even a little pride in the way we flail away at problems with an invisible hand.”
I admit my prejudice, that the tears are accompanied with pride that I am still a live American, proud of my country, my country’s religion and values, especially when I know such words are written by a fellow American. I know that I am among honorable friends.
Good Prager people…Please be disciplined enough to read Mr. Steele’s complete article in the March 16th Wall Street Journal.