Monday, September 20, 2010


I've decided to declare a personal moratorium on using the above word.

It doesn't mean anything anymore. It is now a term of convenience used by the media to describe a whole spectrum of people whose views are anything but conservative. Everything from right anarchists to supremacists of all kinds get included under the term "conservative." My favorite neologism these days is "extreme conservative." I even heard it on NPR recently. There ain't no such thing. The term is an oxymoron.
The current crop of right wingers has almost nothing in common with conservative thought from Edmund Burke to William F. Buckley. I don't see any of that conservative desire to avoid throwing out babies with bathwater, to preserve institutions and the thread of historical continuity. If anything, I see the exact opposite on the right these days.


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

How right you are!

Counterlight said...

I should point out that expecting language to have a certain precision of meaning is very conservative.

Anonymous said...

How about "Nixonian"? "Neo-Goldwaterian"? "Wallacian"?

Counterlight said...

Nixon, Goldwater, and Wallace were way too liberal for today's crowd. Besides, Wallace faked all that "segregation now and forever" business. He never really believed any of it.

rick allen said...

It's odd how the person least likely to be a "conservationist" is generally the "conservative."

Or how "liberal" and "libertarian" somehow describe opposites.