Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics:
- Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
- Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
- The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.
It is difficult to find a better explanation of the travails of so many purportedly “conservative” politicians. It describes President Trump almost perfectly. His natural conservative inclinations when it came to that which he knows are obvious, but when confronted by the unknown, he made the understandable (but in hindsight catastrophically incorrect) decision to rely on government experts to provide guidance. So a deep-state operative and careerist named Anthony Fauci was given control over the country that was disproportionate to his knowledge of the issue and skill at managing it. And of course he was working diligently to undermine the president’s political prospects by confidently predicting the most dire outcomes if his draconian and destructive measures weren’t implemented.
And the Uk’s effort to break away from the fascist control of the EU foundered on very similar rocks.
Then coronavirus struck Britain. Mr. Cummings, far from being a courageous voice of common sense, was instead credited with Mr. Johnson’s credulous concessions to a scientific community only too willing to assume responsibility for shuttering Britain’s economy.
Reports are that with Mr. Cummings’s departure go the “Vote Leave” coterie he brought with him into Downing Street. Their duties are to be assumed by allies of the prime minister’s left-liberal fiancée, Carrie Symonds, who has had tense relations with the tattered remnant of right-leaning policy wonks.
To Miss Symonds is accredited blame for Boris’s embrace of environmental extremism, such as the pledge to make Britain carbon neutral by 2050 — a recipe for reducing economic prosperity. As such, questions of climate and coronavirus only added insult to injury with the Government’s far-reaching interventionist agenda.
So the noble effort to free the people of a once great country from the clutches of European fascism has morphed into exactly that which it fought. Nanny-state control of every facet of life, down to how many people one can have at the dinner table and with whom one has intercourse. Add in the economy-killing insanity of Global-Warming extremism and it is hard to see a way out for the once free people of once Great Britain.
The lesson for our conservative leaders — both current and future — is clear: conservative philosophy does not stop where “experts” claim superiority. It should govern all issues, because it is a philosophy, not realpolitik.
Ronald Reagan was told by his experts that the Soviet Union was strong and growing stronger; that any attempt to beat them into submission by outspending and outbuilding and out-technologizing them was doomed to fail.
How did that work out for the Soviets?
President Trump was told by his experts that the Middle East was an intractable problem with the Palestinians in the middle of it that required billions of dollars and thousands of American lives to solve.
How did that work out for the Palestinians?
Conservative principles are not merely economic or social; they are a way to navigate human existence within a powerful framework that maximizes both human potential and human freedom. The only downside, if one could call it that, is the non-negotiable demand of conservatism that we be responsible for ourselves.
That’s not too tough! I think….