These days progressives often fight to keep things as they are while so-called conservatives pursue radical change. Change isn’t their objective, though. It’s just a necessary byproduct of their real agenda, which is to make government an even better instrument of plunder than it is today.Today’s right wants to strip the nation of all its resources – natural, financial, and moral – for personal gain.
And they’re well on their way. All those Democratic politicians who talk of “centrism” confuse moderation (and therefore conservatism) with a negotiated surrender to radical greed.
I don’t agree with that conclusion, but it’s a fine example of superbly crafted political rhetoric, if nothing else. The rest of the article is better on substance.
In a similar vein, there’s this column, “Neither Liberal Nor Conservative,” from Paul Varnell. Varnell makes some good points, but his rhetoric is drier and his analysis nowhere near as provocative and original as Eskow’s. Varnell seems to be aiming to show that reasonable people can (and perhaps should) sometimes disagree with the “party line” of their particular party. Not exactly an earth shaking conclusion to me, but partisanship is certainly a primarily negative force that needs to be countered. I am certain there are many people who need to hear that message… and they need to keep hearing it until they get it. On the other hand, I do often roll my eyes when I come across essays by moderates congratulating themselves on how independent and original they are in thought because they take half their stands from the Democrats and half from the Republicans. If that’s what you call thinking for yourself, frankly you might as well be a party hack.
Eskow’s post, on the other hand, has moments of sheer brilliance. He urges progressives “to conserve the future itself by ensuring we feed, care for, and educate all of our children.”–I love it! What’s truly praiseworthy is that he’s started to articulate a progressive agenda defined by what and how much it conserves, even transforming conservation from its past association with a backwards-looking, tradition-based ideology into a forward-looking approach that supports the present by “conserving the future.” Well done.