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The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans - "Rick Perlstein's new book describes how Reagan emerged as the leader of a potent political movement during the turbulent mid-'70s. He says the soul of Reagan's appeal was how he made people feel good." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 5, 2014 - 80 comments

they speak of themselves as leading a “conservative reform project”

Are Reform Conservatives Serious?
A crop of young thinkers trying to steer the right toward the future needs to both vanquish the Tea Party and show it has more than just a marketing campaign.
posted by davidstandaford on May 31, 2014 - 40 comments

The Voluntarism Fantasy

Mike Konczal, for Democracy Journal: The Voluntarism Fantasy [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Mar 18, 2014 - 33 comments

The achilles heel of the Occupy movement: Special Snowflake-ness?

RAWStory.com reports on a study published by Psychology Today that claims the reason the OWS movement has not gained more traction within the Democratic Party (as compared to the rapid growth of the Tea Party on the other side) is that liberally-minded people see themselves more as a unique collection of beliefs that happen to be joining with other individuals, where conservatives see themselves more as part of a homogenous group of people with similar beliefs.
posted by softlord on Dec 3, 2013 - 70 comments

"the correlation between country music and political backwardness"?

One Nation Under Elvis
My own conversion to country music came all of a sudden in 1990, around another campfire, also in Nevada. The great Western Shoshone anti-nuclear and land-rights activist Bill Rosse, a decorated World War II vet and former farm manager, unpacked his guitar and sang Hank Williams and traditional songs for hours. I was enchanted as much by the irreverent rancor of some of the songs as by the pure blue yearning of others. I’d had no idea such coolness, wit, and poetry was lurking in this stuff I was taught to scorn before I’d met it.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 28, 2013 - 108 comments

France's symbolic fight over same-sex marriage

The French Right Marches against Gay Marriage. Last month, France became the thirteenth nation to recognize same-sex marriage. A large religious and political movement continues to protest loudly against the Socialist government's "Mariage Pour Tous" (Marriage For All) law. [more inside]
posted by mbrubeck on Jun 7, 2013 - 44 comments

A Burke For Our Time

He was an eighteenth-century Irish statesman, but Edmund Burke still has plenty to say today. Charles Hill reviews Edmund Burke: The First Conservative by Jesse Norman.
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 13, 2013 - 14 comments

Left 3.0

The left side of the American political spectrum has undergone an extraordinary transformation over the past dozen years. Perhaps because it remains a work in progress, the extent of this transformation has gone largely unremarked and seems underappreciated even among those who have been carrying it out....Left 3.0 is not only an ideological movement, but also effectively controls (or rather guides) a political party fully competitive at the national level.
posted by shivohum on Feb 23, 2013 - 86 comments

What's It Like to Wake Up From a Tea Party Binge?

Mother Jones reports on the damage done to Florida by two years of tea party governance, and on the difficulty of repairing it.
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 21, 2013 - 75 comments

Voyage of the Damned Old Party.

"This is all out of Lord of the Flies and Karl Rove is Piggy and we’re supposed to all chase him around with spikes and throw him on a fire?" An assortment of popular conservative pundits are trapped on a luxury cruise with well-heeled members of their audience, right after losing the election. One question hangs in the air: who is responsible for this loss?! Hilarity ensues.
posted by markkraft on Dec 25, 2012 - 108 comments

Conservative politics, German-style

Jens Spahn is a parliamentarian in Germany's centre-right party, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and a committed Catholic. He is also gay, and has been openly so throughout his 11-year political career. While he does not focus specifically on gay issues, he advocates equal civil rights for gays and lesbians (including gay marriage, tax parity and adoption rights) from a conservative position. He does not regard this to be a contradiction.
posted by acb on Nov 24, 2012 - 32 comments

The Wrong Right

5-part series from Conservative Home about weaknesses in how the UK conservative movement thinks and operates. 1: Polling not punditry. 2: The working class has different concerns in 2012. 3: Conservatives need a new attitude to government. 4: Thatcher and Reagan didn't tame the state. 5: Why does the right treat spending cuts as light entertainment?
posted by TheophileEscargot on Nov 23, 2012 - 17 comments

Right-wingers are simply dumber on average

According to this substantial study recently published in Psychological Science, "lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology.". As the Daily Mail summarises, right-wingers are less intelligent than left wingers. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Feb 6, 2012 - 119 comments

The words of Christians in the mouth of Christ

Tea Party Jesus
posted by OverlappingElvis on Feb 2, 2012 - 65 comments

Come ye cool, cool conservative men

If mainstream conservatism is a “philosophically flabby movement,” and I won’t argue that it isn’t, this is not evidence of its success but simply of its exhaustion and lack of imagination. Perhaps conservatism should thrive on loss and defeat, but I see little evidence that the conservative movement in America understands that it has already lost on many fronts. There is an illusion of success that the most recent election has kept alive, but it is a temporary one.
As the campaign for the Republican nomination for president gets weirder by the minute, what does it mean to be an American conservative? Daniel Larison and Corey Robin debate the changing nature of conservatism.

Bonus: A Liberal Reads the Great Conservative Works
posted by villanelles at dawn on Nov 11, 2011 - 110 comments

Conservatism is true

Party Politics: How Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality from Time.com
posted by blue_beetle on Jun 19, 2011 - 89 comments

Maybe History Ended After All

Reconsidering Fukuyama - "In 2004 he became the first of the card-carrying neocons to break ranks and oppose the Iraq War; in 2006 he published a comprehensive history and critique of the neoconservative movement; in 2009 he skewered the economics profession at length in his journal The American Interest; earlier this year, he dedicated an issue to a series of essays exploring the emerging American plutocracy... that through their greed they somehow benefit society... He was not being glib: Much of his new book, The Origins of Political Order, is devoted to documenting the struggles of premodern states to draw up sustainable tax codes. Long before modernity and the spread of democracy, societies that failed to effectively tax their citizenry were the first to shrivel... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 14, 2011 - 33 comments

Governed By A Ghost

This week's issue of Forbes features a cover story by Dinesh D'Souza that argues that "the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s," along with an editorial featuring a picture of Obama's head photoshopped onto Joseph Stalin's body. [more inside]
posted by EarBucket on Sep 16, 2010 - 129 comments

Is the Tea Party phenomenon good for (American) Democracy?

Naomi Wolf (previously) in her essay "Tea Time in America", wrote: "...concentration of executive power has threatened America’s system of checks and balances and given the Federal government the authority to spy on citizens, withhold information, and aggressively arrest and even Taser protesters – or to hire private contractors to do so. In these circumstances, the Tea Party activists’ focus on supporting states’ autonomy – and even on property rights and the right to bear arms – can seem like a prescient effort to constrain overweening corporate and military power in national government." [more inside]
posted by blue funk on Apr 5, 2010 - 136 comments

Put down the razor blade, let’s go play tennis

Vampire Weekend in the Shadow of 9-11 by Gavin McInnes [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 9, 2010 - 183 comments

"Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes."

Revisionaries: How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.
posted by defenestration on Jan 4, 2010 - 258 comments

Grover, Grover, gimme your ice cream.

"What is so striking, and serves as the clearest mark of Rand’s lasting influence, is the language of moral absolutism applied by the right to these questions. Conservatives define the see-sawing of the federal tax-and-transfer system between slightly redistributive and very slightly redistributive as a culture war over capitalism, or a final battle to save the free enterprise system from the hoard of free-riders." John Chait on the debt modern conservatism owes to Ayn Rand. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Sep 15, 2009 - 88 comments

Don't call it a comeback

This weekend, at a pizza restaurant in the liberal suburb of Arlington, Virginia, more than 50 people attended the first event held by the National Council for a New America - which is intended to "be a dynamic, forward-looking organization that will amplify the common-sense and wisdom of our fellow citizens through a grassroots dialogue with Republican leaders." The speakers included former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who said, "This is not about messaging, this is not about branding. This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country." [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on May 4, 2009 - 136 comments

Wasting Away in Hooverville

Quit Lying About Roosevelt! "Amity Shlaes, the GOP's Great Depression philosopher-queen, couldn't be more dangerously wrong." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 9, 2009 - 36 comments

The Secrets of Talk Radio

"I was distraught. I felt I was actively participating in something so inconsistent with reality that even most conservative talk radio devotees would see this. But in a way, it was merely a more obvious example of how talk radio portrayed reality selectively." A former producer reveals the secrets of talk radio. via
posted by Knappster on Nov 15, 2008 - 92 comments

Dignity and Bioethics

The Stupidity of Dignity: Conservative bioethics' latest, most dangerous ploy. Steven Pinker reviews Human Dignity and Bioethics, the latest report from the President's Council on Bioethics. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on May 28, 2008 - 28 comments

Vidal Strikes Back

Gore Vidal Speaks Seriously Ill of the Dead Annoyed with the rose-tinted view of William F. Buckley displayed by some of his obituarists, Vidal slams Buckley, Newsweek, and the media in general. (MeFi Buckley obit thread here).
posted by naoko on Mar 22, 2008 - 61 comments

Conservative in Liberal's Clothing?

Obama--A Conservative Hope? Despite running for the candidacy of the Democratic party, Barack Obama should be the great hope of conservatives—both in the US and Europe.
posted by John of Michigan on Jan 28, 2008 - 175 comments

Death Grip

Death Grip: How Political Psychology Explains Bush's Ghastly Success. Interesting article on the work of psychologists Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, and Tom Pyszczynski. [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 29, 2007 - 68 comments

Mariah Carey album covers in Saudi Arabia

Mariah Carey album covers in Saudi Arabia. These appear to be genuine, not a hoax (although the album covers on the Megastar website don't appear to have been changed). From the comments on the post: Actually, I think she looks better in the covered up pictures. Via Mini ZuD.
posted by russilwvong on Apr 21, 2007 - 64 comments

fact checkers out there in the factosphere

"Tired of the LIBERAL BIAS every time you search on Google and a Wikipedia page appears?" At Conservapedia, a "conservative encyclopedia you can trust," you can learn that "faith" is a concept "exclusive to Christianity," and about how Wikipedia is biased in matters such as its description of the Bell Trade Act of 1946, its gossipy treatment of the private life of NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, and its seeming acceptance of evolution. The Wikipedia bias entry also complains of a "rant" against the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group for which Conservapedia founder (and son of conservative gadfly Phyllis Schafly) Andrew Schlafly has worked. Signups are here; its take on evolution is criticized here.
posted by ibmcginty on Feb 23, 2007 - 153 comments

You know, in certain older, civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.

William F. Buckley: "If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign."
posted by EarBucket on Jul 24, 2006 - 80 comments

Hijacking Conservatism

What unites hardliners like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh -- their uncompromisingly conservative take on politics? In a provocative blog post titled Do Bush followers have a political ideology?, Glenn Greenwald persuasively argues otherwise. He believes that the conservative movement -- traditionally against big government, excessive spending, and federal intrusion into the private lives of Americans -- has been hijacked by something much more dangerous: an authoritarian cult of personality, or as Greenwald puts it, "a form of highly emotional mass theater masquerading as political debate."
posted by digaman on Feb 12, 2006 - 136 comments

Boy Scout Jamboree vital for national security

Boy Scout Jamboree vital for national security...so that they can get around the court decision forbidding federal funds to the Boy Scouts. [via rc3.org]
posted by jperkins on Jul 28, 2005 - 97 comments

Fundamentalism v. Doubt

Conservatism of faith v. conservatism of doubt- Andrew Sullivan's take on how "fundamentalism is splitting the GOP." An interesting article that is, I think, worth reading for how it characterizes recent changes in the Republican party. He doesn't exaclty see a schism, but he isn't exactly sanguine about the future of the GOP either.
posted by OmieWise on Apr 29, 2005 - 38 comments

Welcome, fear-mongering overlords

Ernst Becker proposed terror management theory to explain toxic leaders (among other things.) The war on terror provides many examples of how fear-mongering enables the rise of authoritarian regimes. Some have even found that self-inflicted fear mongering can cause permanent cognitive and behavioral impairment. Does this mean that conservativism is actually a form of mental disability? Others disagree. (previously in comments here and here)
posted by warbaby on Apr 24, 2005 - 51 comments

Conservatism, the Enemy of Reason, Democracy and Modern Civilization

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

Q: What is conservatism?
A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.


via Three Toed Sloth..
posted by y2karl on Oct 29, 2004 - 29 comments

Oh conservatism, thou art sick!

Becoming what you hate : Nathan Sproul, case study in moral relativism on the Religious Right "former head of the Arizona Republican Party and of the Arizona Christian Coalition....Sproul is connected with the Republican National Committee-funded voter registration organization, Voters' Outreach of America Inc." - Sproul's firm is accused of fraud and the destruction of voter registration forms. He also failed to pay his workers and his office rent. Rick Perlstein, in the Village Voice, comments on the Sproul scandal : "Both sides are not equally bad, and any reporters who don't recognize that conservatism's very core has become shot through with a culture of mendacity should turn in their press badge..... It used to be that we could count on the conscience of conservatives to protect our democratic institutions."
posted by troutfishing on Oct 22, 2004 - 37 comments

Preserving Anti-conservatism

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It? According to Philip E. Agre, previously discussed here and the guy behind the Red Rock Eater News Service, the answers to these questions are simple (if 13k+ words = simple).
posted by boost ventilator on Aug 15, 2004 - 41 comments

Straussian

Straussian.
posted by hama7 on Jul 30, 2004 - 58 comments

Make Love, Not War

Conservative Web site claims hardcore pornography from U.S. is being used as anti-American propaganda in Arab countries From WorldNetDaily: "Graphic photos appearing on Arabic websites of U.S. servicemen raping and sexually abusing Iraqi women were actually taken from American and Hungarian pornography sites." ...Just another day in the 21st century, it seems. (via Fleshbot) (NSFW, as if you need to be told)
posted by Down10 on May 4, 2004 - 11 comments

Johnny was a.. republican??

Grand Old Punks The Sunday Times reported on Johnny Ramone's conservative beliefs today As he grew up he realised that for all his guitar thrashing, he was a conservative at heart. He opposes abortion and gay marriage and thinks welfare benefits are too generous. “Everyone in America can succeed to at least the middle-class level if they work hard enough,” he said. Do these people have a point or do they just not get it?
posted by maggie on Mar 7, 2004 - 51 comments

Conservatism: resistance to change, simplistic black and white ethics, and the acceptance of inequality

Conservatism: resistance to change, simplistic black and white ethics, and the acceptance of inequality. In what's sure to be considered a controversial paper by many, Berkeley psychologists analyze conservatives to see what makes them tick. The criticisms have already begun. [official press release here]
posted by skallas on Jul 27, 2003 - 66 comments

When it's cool to hate.

The Young Hipublicans. "Still searching for their identities, many of these kids are not yet prepared to declare a particular political affiliation. This is where the conservative campus activists come in. Having recognized the importance of conservativism to their own lives, they have committed themselves to the task of bringing out the unacknowledged conservatism in other students. The mission of today's activists involves less an act of persuading their peers to accept an ideology than in awakening them to the fact that they already embody it." Welcome to Room 101.
posted by The Jesse Helms on May 23, 2003 - 32 comments

The Philosophy of Food

Open Democracy: Anticapitalists Of The World, Left And Right, Unite? Open Democracy is a very interesting project which proposes to discuss - and open to discussion - the great issues of our day. While mostly socialist and liberal - with some new anarchism intelligently thrown in - it refreshingly makes space for conservative philosopher and polemicist Roger Scruton's reflections on the political and social consequences of how we eat. Despite a vaguely anticapitalist bias, so far as I can see, Open Democracy seems to be intellectually wide open. I've been a subscriber for a while now (it's free, btw) and it's that old-fashioned thing: it makes you think. Do consider adding it to your usual peregrinations. [I'll resist the temptation of pointing to favourite essays and debates - it really is worth exploring one one's own. Jacknose was the first to refer to Open Democracy on MeFi, back in December 2001.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 19, 2003 - 5 comments

A Republican's View of George Bush, Compassionate Conservative

It's thoughtful, not angry or insulting. It appears to make sense and it doesn't upset me. Is this really how they think of themselves? Required reading for the liberal opposition: A Republican's View of George Bush, Compassionate Conservative. (NYTimes, free registration required)
posted by alms on Jan 5, 2003 - 30 comments

The Red On The Blue (And On The Button):

The Red On The Blue (And On The Button): Terry Eagleton's description of T.S. Eliot's politics is easily the best definition of traditional Conservatism written by an untraditional Marxist I've ever read.[More Inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 7, 2002 - 25 comments

Liberalism FAQ

Liberalism FAQ and Conservativism FAQ describe the differences (and similarities) between the two oft-discussed by seldom understood political mindsets. Both FAQs are detailed, concise, enjoyable, and not annoyingly biased. Read with caution: Knowing your enemies sometimes makes it less fun to bash on them.
posted by oissubke on Sep 27, 2002 - 25 comments

Ann Coulter Explained

Ann Coulter Explained For the benefit of members of the Left who just don't seem to get it, I offer a link to a short but pithy analysis of Miss Coulter's appeal.
posted by BGM on Aug 26, 2002 - 57 comments

Compassionate Conservatism?

Compassionate Conservatism? Why is anyone surprised by the difference between campaign rhetoric and action once in office?
posted by chris0495 on Feb 12, 2002 - 71 comments

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