How can an American conservative attempt to conserve a radical American founding?

The Politicus
Apr 30, 2014 01:14 AM 0 Answers
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Conservatism, broadly, is a way of looking at the world that favors conserving or slowly reforming existing laws and tradition as opposed to rapid or ideologically based change. Many Americans profess to have this kind of conservative viewpoint and also seek to conserve or return to the American founding. The founding itself, however can be seen as a radical jump away from tradition onto an untried form of government, a move at odds with the idea conservatism. How do American conservatives reconcile this seeming inconsistency?

My original question was overly simplistic, my apologies.

So what do I mean by conservative? I'm talking about a philosophical position opposed to radicalism, progressivism, or liberalism. A view that quick change is dangerous and that slow organic change is preferable. Perhaps look at some examples to get a sense of this definition of conservatism: Russel Kirk's 6 cannons, Oakshott's "On Being Conservative,", Hayek's "Why I am not a conservative.", or the life and writings of Edmund Burke.

I am not referring to the Republican party, which throughout its history has been a coalition of people who fit this definition of conservatism to varying degrees. For example many Republicans in history would also consider themselves: classical liberals, radical abolitionists, populists, hawks, or religious progressives.

I am not asserting that kind of conservatism is good or bad as a starting point for looking at policy, I am merely asking a question about how someone ascribing to this viewpoint would reconcile a potential philosophical inconsistency.

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