Conservatives have lost our political credibility. We have totally squandered opportunity after opportunity over the years because self-interest and ambition have eroded the integrity of Conservative politicians along with Liberal ones. And blind political stupidity in the Republican Party created a mess of alienated constituencies, including African Americans. P.J. O’Rourke wrote in The Weekly Standard  (aptly titled “We Blew It”):
An entire generation has been born, grown up, and had families of its own since Ronald Reagan was elected. And where is the world we promised these children of the Conservative Age? Where is this land of freedom and responsibility, knowledge, opportunity, accomplishment, honor, truth, trust, and one boring hour each week spent in itchy clothes at church, synagogue, or mosque? It lies in ruins at our feet, as well it might, since we ourselves kicked the shining city upon a hill into dust and rubble.
O’Rourke goes on to present an extensive analysis of the history and state of affairs within the Republican Party and conservatism in general, pointing out where we have failed over and over again over the years. And yet he offers this comment:
It’s not hard to move a voting bloc. And it should be especially easy to move voters to the right. Sensible adults are conservative in most aspects of their private lives. If this weren’t so, imagine driving on I-95: The majority of drivers are drunk, stoned, making out, or watching TV, while the rest are trying to calculate the size of their carbon footprints on the backs of Whole Foods receipts while negotiating lane changes.
I don’t necessarily agree with every aspect of O’Rourke’s piece, but it does press the point that as conservative voices, we need to become successful at showing people what the basics of conservative thought are really all about.
That, my friends, is a big part of the mission of The Conservative Reader. Along with other conservative voices, we hope to establish, over time, a solid foundation for understanding and explaining conservative thought. We hope you will join us.