Marriage is love.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Conservative Cognitive Dissonance

E. J. Dionne explains that Conservatives are neither monolithic nor united:

Conservative, Liberal, Principled
By E. J. Dionne Jr. in the Washington Post
Tuesday, March 29, 2005; Page A15

Liberals have so little respect for conservatives these days that people on the left are genuinely astonished when people on the right have principled disagreements with each other. The left assumes the right marches in lock step under orders from the White House.

Conservatives have so little respect for liberals that they see every liberal action as inspired by hatred of President Bush, opposition to religion and contempt for people in "the heartland."

The paradoxical result of this mutual contempt is that each side is simultaneously underestimated and overestimated. As a result, current political arrangements are seen as permanent and the possibilities of political change are missed -- even when change is in the process of happening.

The right is widely assumed to have more coherence and discipline than it does. That means its dominance in our politics is exaggerated while its intellectual energy is insufficiently appreciated. Few outside its ranks acknowledge how many philosophical streams feed the conservative movement...