Therefore it was with some relief that I read Maurice Manning's Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, "My Old Kentucky Conservatism".
... I don’t see how a man who has multiple homes around the country, whose business has been to serve investors seeking purely monetary gains — that is, people with no interest in local preservation or local well-being, and those who do not live side by side the community into which they are invested — can be considered conservative.Mr. Manning is referring to Mitt Romney in this passage, but Mr. Manning recognizes that Romney is simply embodying his party's inclinations.
That kind of extravagance has not been good for our country or anywhere else; it places making money ahead of making sense.
The freedom to make money doesn't trump every other value we might have. Mr. Manning's piece does a good job of reminding us what some of those other values are: a reverence for the land, concern for our neighbors' well-being, a desire to "enhance our shared prosperity". Republican politicians pay lip service to these values, but the policies they put into place undercut them.
The conservatism espoused by most Republican politicians, in fact, places a greater emphasis on freedom than responsibility. Mr. Manning's is the kind of conservatism I can respect and even embrace: it's a balanced and thoughtful response to novelty rather than an excuse to indulge greed and intolerance.