George Will’s June 4 article, “Making a case for U.S. conservatism,” was a reminder of how out of touch conservative intellectuals can be. Will’s self-importance really comes through when he implies that the Republican Party’s return to the traditional philosophical precepts of conservatism would be enough to demonstrate its superiority over the Democrats.
Will proclaims that “conservatism is realism, about human nature and government’s competence.” Yet conservatives are ideologically inclined to start from theory (or their religion) and then filter through the facts, or ignore the facts altogether. When it comes to human nature, they elevate the observations of pre-Industrial Age philosophers on concepts like “self-interest” above the findings of modern social science.
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