Progressive Conservative ReView & ReKnew: The Fusion of Conservative Futures...

Welcome to the new, brand world of Progressive Conservatives. We are the growth DNA for Conservatism. Like Ronald Reagan, we Pro-Cons believe in smaller and smarter government. "My colleague Jack Kemp calls this general movement PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATISM and it is at the heart of the great intellectual revolution of our time." (Dick Armey, October 22, 2004) Discover this new brand intellectual revolution @ www.USProgressiveConservatives.Org. ---Randy Piper, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Gingrich VisionS -- Winning The Future: A 21st Century Contract With America

The Gingrich (and Reagan) Visions...

Lee Edwards, the Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow In Conservative Thought, raises these questions: "Will conservatives succeed, or is the conservative revolution over? Where is conservatism headed: for the mountaintop or the ash heap?" (The Conservative Revolution: The Movement That Remade America, 1999, p. 333)

Newt Gingrich provides one visionary answer to the Edwards' questions...certainly to the mountaintop...and beyond.

As Newt did with his (our) Conservative Opportunity Society, so he does with his latest applied vision: Winning The Future: A 21st Century Contract With America (2005) -- Newt provokes thought...and action.

Dr. Gingrich is a great policy synnovator -- a perpetual orchestra conductor of synthesis and innovation.

Gingrich writes: "We do not believe the traditional instruments of government will reform themselves fast enough and thoroughly enough for the twenty-first century."

And consider Contract Goal VII: "Change the mindset of big government in Washington by replacing bureaucratic public administration with Entrepreneurial Public Management so government can operate with the speed, effectiveness, and efficiency of the information age."

No doubt, some Pro-Cons with a deeply inherent libertarian meme-gene will protest (too much, I think) about this Gingrich Contract. These protesters will argue that Gingrich's ideas are an invitation to big and bigger government action.

For these Pro-Con Protesters (and others), I refer them to Contract Goal VIII: "Balance the federal budget and insist on a lean government, low tax, low interest rate economy to maximize growth in a competitive world." Further, these protesters may want to visit the Performance Institute (www.PerformanceWeb.org).

I personally had hoped that Newt would address how PURPLE Federalism could and does eliminate conflict among social value conditions. (For insights on Purple Federalism, see my "Diffusion Of Con-Fusion," posted-published on December 1, 2004.)

I highly recommend Newt's newest book...and each of his Chapters ends with this site address: www.newt.org/winningthefuture.

As a complementary companion to Newt's book, I also highly recommend Brad Lips and Dan Lips' The Reagan Vision: How You Can Revive The Reagan Revolution (2004). As Newt does with his book, Dan and Brad do with their book: The Lips Brothers have an action plan...and a website: www.ReaganVision.com. (Readers can order Reagan Vision from the Goldwater Institute.)

Shout it from the mountaintops:

May the Reagan and Gingrich Visions Be Seen and Heard and Lived!!

Note: Don Devine of the American Conservative Union Foundation sent me the following links to Ronald Reagan's speech "Our Philosophy of Government" (March 20, 1981): www.acuf.org/principles/p_philos.asp and www.acuf.org/principles/index.asp.


And check out these sites:

www.USProgressiveConservatives.org
www.Rudy2008.info
www.BullMooseRepublicans.com
www.FreedomWorks.com
www.IWF.org
www.ForeignPolicySociety.org
www.NationalInterest.org
www.The-American-Interest.com
www.EuropeanAlliance.org.uk
www.WingBeat.Typepad.com
www.FlowProject.org
www.PensarJuntos.info

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Whitman VisionS -- It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America

Whitman (and Reagan) Visions...

Lee Edwards, the Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow In Conservative Thought, raises these questions: "Will conservatives succeed, or is the conservative revolution over? Where is conservatism headed: for the mountaintop or the ash heap?" (The Conservative Revolution, 1999, p. 333)

To Lee Edwards' questions, Christie Todd Whitman offers an (implied) answer: to the ash heap...unless....

The answers can be found in Whitman's It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America (2005)...And...at the website: www.MyPartyToo.com.

Today (January 27), I watched Christie interviewed on CNN by Lou Dobbs and on FOX by Sean Hannity. All sub-brands of Conservatism should welcome the constructive debate and leadership demonstrated by Whitman...and Gingrich...and others.

As a strong supporter of George Bush, I welcome the critique offered by Whitman and others. W. and Team W should welcome the Whitman critique, which is largely constructive. Yes, Christie may be too harsh on some social conservatives, but other social conservatives have been equally harsh on social moderates.

Conservatism will not grow and gain permanent market share (55++%) unless it includes BOTH social conservatives and social moderates.

And until all sub-brands of Conservatism accept largely the role of Purple Federalism, Conservatism will stagnate. (For the role of Purple Federalism, see my essay Diffusion of Con-Fusion: The Birth of a Political Brand -- posted-published on December 1, 2004 here at the Pro-Con R&R.)

The Mission of Pro-Con Whitman:

"Inspired by a drive to get back to the fundamentals of the Republican Party, this website advocates for the historic Republican principles of liberty, individual responsibility, and personal freedom." (www.MyPartyToo.com)

Pro-Con Ronald Reagan could have written Christine Todd Whitman's mission statement, I think.

If you doubt my claim and comparison, then check out Reagan In His Own Hand: The Writings Of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision For America (2001).

For example, here is how Reagan concludes his (July 6, 1977) "Property Rights" radio speech: "Yes we support the ideal of Human Rights and in our concept of Human Rights [our] ownership of private property is included. Indeed it is basic to our liberty & our pursuit of happiness. This is R.R. Thanks for listening."

We should (continue to) listen to Reagan.

We should now listen to Christie Todd Whitman...with her leadership, Conservatism is headed to the mountaintop...and beyond!


Note: Don Devine of the American Conservative Union Foundation sent me the following links for Ronald Reagan's speech "Our Philosophy of Government" (March 20, 1981): www.acuf.org/principles/p_philos.asp and www.acuf.org/principles/index.asp.


Check out these sites:

www.USProgressiveConservatives.org
www.Rudy2008.info
www.BullMooseRepublicans.com
www.Newt.org
www.ReaganVision.com
www.FreedomWorks.com
www.IWF.org
www.PerformanceWeb.org
www.ForeignPolicySociety.org
www.NationalInterest.org
www.The-American-Interest.com
www.EuropeanAlliance.org.uk
www.WingBeat.Typepad.com
www.FlowProject.org
www.PensarJuntos.info

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Bridge Brand: Pro-Con Fusionism

Rubric's Cube...

In April 2004, when I first coined the term "Progressive Conservatism," I was not aware of Jude Wanniski's 1979 coinage of Progressive Conservative as a rubric for the Reaganites (to distinguish them from the Paleo-Cons). Following Ronald Reagan's 1980 New Hampshire primary victory, the New York Times used the Pro-Con term to describe the Reaganites.

In July 2004, when I first drafted the "foundation" essay "Diffusion of Con-Fusion: The Birth of a Political Brand," I was not aware of the Frank Meyer "fusionism" debate that occurred in the 1960s (or was it 1970s?) on the pages of National Review.

Ignorant Me! I first learned of the grand Meyer fusion debate on August 18, 2004, when Kenneth Silber published "The Fusionist Path" at TechCentralStation.com.

In The Conservative Revolution:The Movement That Remade America (1999, pp. 107-108), Lee Edwards, the Heritage Foundation's Distinguished Fellow In Conservative Thought, provides an excellent summary of Frank Meyer's Fusionism:

"There was one other important task that had to be accomplished before the conservative movement could operate effectively in the political realm: It had to be philosophically united. Increasingly, traditionalists and libertarians had been snapping and snarling at each other in the pages of National Review, the New Individualist Review, and elsewhere.

"Traditionalist Russell Kirk was accused of being hostile to individualism and laissez-faire economics, while libertarian Friedrich Hayek was faulted for defending freedom on strictly utilitarian grounds rather than according to 'the absolute transcendent values upon which its strength is founded.'

"One conservative in particular was convinced that beneath all the differences lay a true consensus of principle: Frank Meyer, the fast-talking, chain-smoking, ex-communist senior editor of National Review. Through articles, books, and endless late-evening telephone calls, Meyer communicated his synthesis of the disparate elements of conservatism, which came to be called fusionism.

"The core fundamental was 'the freedom of the person, the central and primary end of political society.' The state had only three limited functions: national defense, the preservation of domestic order, and the administration of justice between citizens.

"The 'achievement of virtue' was not a political question: indeed, it was not even the state's business. Freedom, Meyer argued, was the indispensable condition for the pursuit of virtue. Freedom was the ultimate political end; virtue was the ultimate end of man as man....

"Although both traditionalists and libertarians often challenged fusionism in years to come, it prevailed as an effective synthesis until the collapse of communism in Eastern and Central Europe in 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991."


For an extension of the Frank Meyer view on Fusionism, see Kenneth Silber's "The Fusionist Path" (www.TechCentralStation.com on August 18, 2004).

For an independent (of Frank Meyer) view on Fusionism, see Randy Piper's Diffusion Of Con-Fusion: The Birth of a Political Brand (posted-published on December 1, 2004).

Once you have read Diffusion Of Con-Fusion (along with the other posts-publications here at the Pro-Con R&R), you will see why we can view Progressive Conservatism as THE Bridge Brand between Traditionalists and Libertarians.

Hopefully, readers will come to understand why Progressive Conservatism is the Growth DNA for Conservatism.

www.USProgressiveConservatives.org
www.BullMooseRepublicans.com
www.FreedomWorks.com
www.PerformanceWeb.org
www.ForeignPolicySociety.org
www.NationalInterest.org
www.Newt.org
www.ReaganVision.com

WE PRO-CONS INFLAME REAGAN'S LIBERTY & JUSTICE & PROGRESS(IVE) TORCH!!!

Read ON...and...Right ON!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Of Neo-Cons & Paleo-Cons & Paleo-Libertarians & Neo-Libertarians

Mastering the Sub-Brands of Conservatism...


Neo-Cons.

Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz are the Godfathers of Neo-Conservatism. These former liberal "mugged-by-reality" intellectuals of the 1950s and 1960s rejected much of the contemporary capital L Liberalism. "If Kristol was the grand strategist, calm in person and magisterial in his prose, then Podhoretz was the neoconservatives' main tactician, passionate in temperament and ever polemical in his essays and books," according to Lee Edwards, the Heritage Foundation's Distinguished Fellow In Conservative Thought (The Conservative Revolution, 1999, p. 195).

In the 1970s and 1980s, from the pages of Commentary, The Public Interest, and The National Interest, first-generation Neo-Cons made their case and cause for Conservatism. (For Neo-Con Michael Novak's view, see "Neocons," National Review Online, May 20, 2003.)

The second generation of Neo-Cons includes Bill Kristol and John Podhoretz and David Brooks, to name but three. Like their first-generation idea parents, these second generation NCs envision a large role for a large state:

"Editor William Kristol of the Weekly Standard and his colleague David Brooks would ask a pertinent question: 'How can Americans love their nation if they hate its government?' Government does have its great and legitimate purposes, they argued, and we should be guided not just by anger but by 'love of country and informed patriotism.'

"They urged a revival of 'national greatness' conservatism, modeled on the example of Theodore Roosevelt: a debatable choice because, as political historian Matthew Spalding has pointed out, TR's New Nationalism called for 'an activist state with strong regulatory powers,' a goal at cross purposes with modern conservatism. While conservatives might find Roosevelt's 'brand of vigorous leadership refreshing,' conceded Spalding, a better and more recent statesman to emulate was Ronald Reagan." (Lee Edwards, The Conservative Revolution, 1999, p. 328)

Under the moniker (dis) guise of "Progressive Conservatism," David Brooks updated this Big(ger) Government = Good Government view in The New York Times in August 2004.


Paleo-Cons and Paleo-Libertarians.

"Starting in 1989, traditional conservatives, libertarians, neoconservatives, and social conservatives began fussing and feuding like so many Hatfields and McCoys. They missed the soothing presence of Ronald Reagan and the unifying threat of communism....

"Often violent disagreements erupted between conservatives about trade, immigration, and the direction of U.S. foreign policy. One outspoken off-shoot was the paleoconservatives, who took particular delight in savaging neoconservatives. The paleoconservatives, who included political activist Llewelyn Rockwell of the Mises Institute and one-time National Review editor Joseph Sobran among their leadership, spawned the John Randolph Club and the America First Committee.

"They [paleoconservatives] attempted to forge an alliance with paleolibertarians [anarcho-capitalists] like Murray Rothbard, who had once argued that even a city's traffic lights should be privately owned. Casting about for a political leader, Rothbard declared at a 1992 meeting of the John Randolph Club, 'With Pat Buchanan as our leader, we shall break the clock of social democracy.... We shall repeal the twentieth century.'

"...Equally strained was the paleoconservative charge that a 'neoconservative empire' controlled the conservative movement from New York to Washington and beyond. In truth, conservatism's fundamental political problem, following the end of the cold war and the departure of President Reagan, was that no one was in charge of the movement." (Lee Edwards, The Conservative Revolution, 1999, pp. 328-329)

To be sure, Paleo-Conservatives such as Pat Buchanan agree with Paleo-Libertarians such as Lew Rockwell on foreign policy. They both support a pure isolationist military foreign policy. But Paleo-Cons and Paleo-Libertarians disagree on trade and immigration.

Lew Rockwell has recently referred to Red State Conservatives and Republicans as "Fascists"!


Libertarians & Neo-Libertarians.

We can view Libertarians as four segments:

(Paleos) This segment includes Paleos such as Lew Rockwell and the late Murray Rothbard "who hate the state" in all forms. Besides the Mises Institute, the Independent Institute falls in this segment.

(Catos) This segment includes the Cato Institute, which advocates a pure isolationist foreign policy and "strategic disengagement" from NATO and all other US military alliances. But Cato libertarians advocate a bigger government ("night watchman's state") than do most Paleo-Libertarians ("anarcho-capitalists").

(ROs) This segment includes (many) Randians and Objectivists. In the post-9-11 world, Objectivists have parted ways with Paleos and Catos on foreign policy. Some Objectivists even recommended invading not Iraq, but Iran (following the Afghanistan war). Like many Neo-Cons, many Randian-Objectivists want to use US military might now to smash Islamo-Fascism...and Iran is next on the list.

(Neos) This segment includes the Libertarian "Hawks" such as Max Borders and others who write for TechCentralStation.com. Neo-Libertarians see a more active role for the US military than Paleos or Catos, but Neos see a less active role than ROs.

For more on Libertarian Hawks, see my "Brand Libertarian Party" post in November 2004.

In sum: Not only is there a (still current) division among Paleo-Cons and Neo-Cons and other Cons (including Pro-Cons), but there is an ever increasing division among Libertarians, especially on the roles of US military beyond US borders.


Update:

The Neo-Libertarians now have their own website-blog (www.QandO.net).