David Brooks claims that the Republican Party is no longer a conservative party. He offers his definition of conservatism, and describes how the Republican Party has become more radical in violation of the conservative tradition. Corey Robbins is a political scientist who has written a book on the history of conservative thought. He would agree with Brooks about the incompetence that is being put on display by candidates seeking the GOP presidential nomination. He disagrees, however, with the definition of conservatism provided by Brooks. He goes point by point through Brooks' definition of conservatism, and provides quotes from conservative thinkers and politicians which vary considerably from each point made by Brooks. Robbins shows that conservatives have a long history of radicalism. They become reactionary when they perceive a threat to the status quo.
Some of you may be interested in Robbin's history of conservative thought. This is a link to his book on conservative thought from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. During this election cycle the political candidates will be telling us how they will reform our political economy. Most of their ideas come from economists who are employed at conservative think tanks. We have a lot to learn from political scientists like Corey Robbins who have a better understanding of the political side of these discussions.
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