A Conservative for Obama

John McCain is many things, but “conservative” is not one of them. See Wick Allison’s succinct essay on why he’s voting for Obama after donating the maximum to McCain during the primaries, A Conservative for Obama:

Liberalism always seemed to me to be a system of “oughts.” We ought to do this or that because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of whether it works or not. It is a doctrine based on intentions, not results, on feeling good rather than doing good.

But today it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don’t work. The Bush tax cuts—a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war—led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his “conservative” credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.

Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world “safe for democracy.” It is John McCain who says America’s job is to “defeat evil,” a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.

This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.

This man used to be publisher of National Review.

H/T Doc Searls

2 thoughts on “A Conservative for Obama”

  1. So he's voting for Obama… why?

    He's mad as a hatter if he thinks government will shrink, its “mission” will become more what the Founders desired, or that the deficit and debt will go down, if Obama is elected.

    He's merely thinking very wishfully if the thinks they'll increase less with Democrats controlling the Executive and Legislative branches.

    I can understand rejecting McCain's “conservatism”; McCain isn't a “conservative” in the Kirk-and-Burke sense, it's true. (Any more than Bush was; there's a reason he called himself a “compassionate conservative” and didn't run on an isolationist, small-government platform.)

    But the implication that Obama is more “appropriate” for someone voting a conservative “platform” is… man, I don't even have words for what that is.

    (Also, George Washington had the luxury of living in a time when there was no threat of an America-demonising theocracy on the other side of the world getting nuclear weapons and directly or indirectly using them to kill millions of Americans.

    America's lack of hostile neighbors and ocean buffers were very effective at not calling for an active foreign policy in 1790 – but the ocean doesn't stop nukes or people being paid to destroy buildings with airplanes [even if it does let us stop invasion fleets], and that that threat was nonexistent in 1790 doesn't mean it can be ignored now.

    Isolationism ceased to be a valid foreign policy with the start of World War 2, if not earlier, and I'd thought this cemented by the rise of long-range bombers, nuclear weapons, and ICBMs.

    That Wick Allison believes otherwise might indicate why he's an ex-publisher of The National Review.)

  2. Obama appears to have a much more conservative temperament than McCain. He seems like the kinda fellow who would study his options and make restrained, prudent, conservative choices. In that sense, Clinton was a much more conservative fellow than either Bush, with respect to his government duties. He was a wild man around the women, but that's another story.

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