Anyway, Dan has accused Rick Santorum of repudiating libertarianism and therefore of repudiating Reagan Republicanism.
Well, jeesh, what ever Ron R wrote, he did not govern as a libertarian. I honestly don't think anyone can. That's my problem with ideology, which John Kekes articulated so well for me. The use of a Simple Idea to govern the incredibly complex phenomena of a nation. Or a state or township or stamp club, for that matter.
Jonah Goldberg, a pretty pragmatic conservative with a good sense of humor, recently said that even though conservatives like to believe that they are non-ideological, a la Russell Kirk, they are. And should be. But his ideology consisted of "a checklist of principles".
For someone like Kekes, there are a dozen items on that list...and not in order of importance. It is his stance that the "framework of political goods" is the treasure, the complex interrelations of all these values; in any given situation, some are more important than others, as long as the framework is respected.
Reason as prudence
Plurality of goods
Toleration within reason
Justice as having what one deserves
Right to private property
Equality as exclusion of arbitrariness
Civility as a social condition
A good idea, but hard to sell. You can't make a slogan out of it.
Speaking of Russell Kirk, he was an anti-ideological Burkean conservative and no friend of neo-conservatism (or the "chirping sectaries" of libertarianism). His fundamental problem with the New Right, "often clever, never wise", was that it was so ideological...but also rather too Jewish.
"Not seldom has it seemed," Kirk declared, "as if some eminent Neoconservatives mistook Tel Aviv for the capital of the United States."Wherever they go, the Chosen People rarely pass unnoticed. On the left, where most Jews reside politically, we have the oddity of their support for parties which cover their discomfort with Jews by naming Israel as the problem. "We're not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist." And as part of the price of being admitted to the leftliberal club, a lot of Jews join them in this. On the right, you mostly have support for Israel but a current of discomfort with Jews-as-a-group because of their predominance among leftliberals. For every Levin, Prager and Krauthammer, you have ten Chomskys and Zinns...and Streisands.
Midge Decter, director of the Committee for the Free World, called Kirk's line "a bloody outrage, a piece of anti-Semitism by Kirk that impugns the loyalty of neoconservatives." She told The New Republic, "It's this notion of a Christian civilization. You have to be part of it or you're not really fit to conserve anything. That's an old line and it's very ignorant."There it is, I think. "It's this notion of a Christian civilization." When it comes to Jews --and no news to them, I suspect-- there is always the lurking Gentile/Christian question: Whose side are you really on? A suspicion that many of them, of course, heartily reciprocate.