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Kristol on the Future of Conservatism

2:58 PM, Jan 16, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The boss, writing in Commentary magazine:

Twelve score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

The historic task of American conservatism is to see to it that a nation so conceived and so dedicated long endures. Thus, the task of American conservatism today is to highly resolve that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom. For a new birth of freedom is needed for a nation so conceived and so dedicated to long endure.

This means that American conservatism today can’t be too conservative in spirit. Reforms–in some cases radical reforms–are needed to meet conservative ends. Conservatives will have to spend as much time shaping the future as they spend standing athwart history yelling “stop.” Because in the America of 2013, there is no resting place at which, no solid ground upon which, to stop. And so conservatives will, in the spirit of Lincoln, have to think anew, as our case is new.

But there’s also plenty of standing athwart history to do. American conservatism today has to embrace what’s always been impressive and inspiring about conservatism at its best: a disdain for the shallow tyranny of the present and the false temptations of the apparent future, a scorn for short-term utility and immediate expediency.

Whole thing here.

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