« on: June 21, 2008, 05:00:30 PM »
People are not really very clear on what conservatism is and isn't.
Conservatism is not not, and rarely has been in the past, a single coherent movement. For example, Barry Goldwater was considered a right-wing 'extremist' in his time. He was also pro-choice and pro-gay-rights, for example, and he saw no need for any religious influence in government.
Goldwater's form of conservatism is ultimately the most ideologically "pure" form.
You also have "social conservatives" who are in-fact contrary to conservative principles when they advocate for government regulating morality.
Then there are the "neocons" and the libertarians.... etc. etc.
The claim that "right-to-life" and free markets are "standard" conservative notions is laughable. Only a subset of conservatives (and none in the current administration, nor most of congress) actually cares about free markets, and while there are some pro-life libertarians, like myself, it is only the social conservatives who really push that as a primary issue.