November 3, 2020

Essay: Classical liberalism's renaissance is underway

I am going to posit something that I think could be happening, on a larger scale than this just election and it will be far more plausibly true if president Trump is re-elected. 

When Trump was a candidate in 2016, a lot of conservatives did not trust that he was a true conservative.  He had donated to Democrats in the past.  There was reason to be suspicious.  Things have changed since his election. He's not who many worried about.  But so too did things change prior to his election. Many things started to change during the Obama administration; not due to him but he was the impetus for them. The Tea Party and the values it espouses were a direct result of the Obama march towards socialism. Freedom, individual liberty were rightly understood in terms of their importance. Later, Donald Trump became the right man at the right time to both embody and capitalize on an amalgamation of beliefs.

Consider that conservatism used to be staunchly against gay marriage. Now we are only against the imposition of supporting it due to governmental coercion.  It's more of a classical liberal position.  Conservatives used to be dogmatically pro-free trade. Now conservatives have a more nuanced position - free trade is good, but only if it is of benefit to Americans. Conservatism used to be staunchly pro-life, pro-God, pro-gun and pro-law and order. Well, those things it mainly still is. But look at Democrats - unions support Trump now, or at least union members do. And it turns out a lot of Democrats are the ones out buying guns now, out of fear of mob violence. Democrats in growing numbers are embracing common sense, fundamental values and an appreciation for America.

There's a confluence of Republican and Democrat positions into a classical liberalism (which is essentially modern conservatism's core values) that pre-dates Trump's presidency, but it is beginning to thrive during it.  It's bigger than president Trump, but he embodies it and is enabling it accelerating it. A trump victory in this election will allow it to truly flourish, but even without that, it may be irreversible now.  Ironically, president Obama probably was the catalyst to starting it.

Coming out of this election I can see the Republican party and many Democrats melding into a new, more robust version of the conservative, classical liberal view of the world, and a socialist progressive split or takeover of the Democratic party with a minority status for decades to come.  This presents a massive opportunity for conservatives to reshape the institutions of education, governmental beaurocracy, and media into institutions that are based on classical, originalist values. 

It will require a lot of work, and it is not going to happen over night, or even finish during a second president Trump term.  But just as president Obama was unwittingly the ignition of classical liberalism's resurgence, president Trump is a potent accelerant. It would folly for Americans who hold the framer's vision of the country dear to ignore this opportunity to set America straight, for decades.  It is no longer just about voting.  Americans must take a page from the script of the far left and work tirelessly towards their goals.  Progressivism is on its back foot and playing defense.  Now is the time to ensure it stays that way.  Not this day, this decade.  The time is now.  Seize it. The benefits to the entire country and future generations is too great to let slip away.

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