Conservatism

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Ryan, Your encyclopedia entry on Conservatism was excellent – both judicious and objective in content. It is the best summary statement I have read in some forty three years of study on the topic. I especially liked your reference to historically significant individuals such as Coleridge, de Maistre, Metternich, Fitzhugh, Pius IX, and Bismarck (but relatively unknown figures to today’s insular enthusiasts of Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, or Rush Limbaugh). I was reminded of this famous quip by Charles Talleyrand, the notable (and agile) diplomat who survived the gyrations of French political life from the Ancien Régime of Louis XVI, the French Revolution, Napoleon I, through the Restoration of the Bourbon monarchs. Of the Bourbons Talleyrand is reputed to have remarked: “They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” It can be said of today’s rank and file ”conservatives” that “they have learned nothing and forgotten everything” about their conservative roots and traditions not contained in a 30 second sound bite or ad hominem screed against the demon of the day.

1:53 pm on December 14, 2013