In this weeks Newsweek, there were three interesting articles. I’ll put them forth and express my opinion as well.
This article talks about how the political right must do some drastic changes or else the Republican party will soon die out. In a way, I can see it, but I think Tanenhaus misses the larger picture. The GOP might die, but conservativism never will. Conservativism has been around since Edmund Burke and it’s been very dynamic over the years. In fact, if an institution wants to survive, it must change to meet the demanding times. This is probably why Obama won and McCain lost. Obama said “I will do this, I will do that.” He put up an agenda. McCain didn’t really have an agenda; he mainly put forth things that he wouldn’t do, which isn’t what the public wants to hear.
How can they be organized? All organizations need a leader, and the conservative party became chaotic when they lost William F. Buckley Jr. In other words, the conservative party needs a new leader, and fast if they expect to gain something. Tanenhaus also mentions that language plays a big role in forming a party. It could, but leadership is an all-important concept. It’s also important to note that a great leader makes sure that s/he never allows fringes into the party, or even recognizes them. That’s what made Buckley so great: he denounced the John Birch Society, and he basically said that Ayn Rand wasn’t that great. At the same time, he solidified the great conservatives of the time: Barry Goldwater (who in my opinion is the last great conservative we’ve had), Ronald Reagan, and John Tower. If the leader of conservativism comes down to people like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin, conservativism will either split or move more toward the right. Either way, it’s a disaster. Remember, Teddy Roosevelt was the first to sponsor national health care, and Reagan voted for FDR. . . all four times.
Need I say more? Why won’t these myths die? It’s as if people are following an ideology instead of going where the evidence takes them. It’s just a simple fallacy of appeal to the consequences of beliefs.
An interesting title. Basically, the article is stating that having nuclear bombs is actually a great deterrence and that might actually make the world a safer place. The article points out that since Pakistan got the bomb, they haven’t had any major wars with India ever sense. That may be true, but I’ve always found deterrence a weird concept. Basically, you’re doing a certain action to prevent others from doing the same action. But that seems odd. It’s like saying you’re punishing a child in order to teach other children that they shouldn’t do that same action. I’ve always thought that punishments were done because some action was wrong, not because of some deterrence effect. At any rate, I can’t let this go and may embracing the bomb might be the best strategy after all. At least, my realism in me says so.