The Dish: Opinion: Andrew Sullivan: Why Am I Moving Left?
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
Whatever Andrew Sullivan is calling himself these days, I still consider him to be a Conservative. Conservative Libertarian even if that makes you feel better. Because similar to Barry Goldwater it is not that conservatism has changed, but similar to liberalism it is the people who call themselves Conservatives or Liberals that has changed. Using the old labels and throwing out the classical ideology and putting in something that is more comfortable with their ideological perspective.
Today's Conservative is someone who's supposed to believe that the Federal Government should decide who can and can't marry.
That deficits and debt doesn't matter except when there is a Democratic administration.
That tax cuts automatically pay for itself.
That America can afford to and must police the world.
Security before liberty.
That expanding government into the economy is a good thing if it is done with private market principles.
The Second Amendment is not only absolute, but the only absolute Constitutional Amendment that we have. Meaning it isn't subjected to any form of regulation.
That there's so such thing as waste in the Defense Department. Even though it is a government agency run by bureaucrats. And no limits to what America can spend on defense.
Corporation's are people.
Andrew Sullivan's politics hasn't changed. He believes the same things that he did probably twenty years ago. But what has changed is the Republican Party and the broader American Right. To the point that Sullivan looks moderate to liberal or libertarian by comparison. But conservatism today is what it was when Barry Goldwater put it on the map in 1964. That big government is government that interferes in the economic and personal affairs of Americans. Whether it is taxing a lot of their money from them to spend on their behalf. Or trying to run their personal lives for them.
The modern rightist or Republican or what I call rabid partisans on the right do not resemble what it means to be a Conservative. Because as much as they may talk about how much they love the Constitution they spend as much time trying to change it. Instead of being about conserving individual freedom both economic and personal. Limited government, that government closest to home is the best government. Defend America first with a limited foreign policy. Not try to police the world ourselves. And keeping spending down so we don't rack up large deficits and debt.
The rabid partisan is against Barack Obama no matter what even if they are actually in favor of it. Instead of fixing problems looking to blame President Obama for everything that has happened since the Earth was created. It is not that conservatism has changed, but the far-right that used to be so small in the Republican Party that they looked like a group of people who want to outlaw eating meat. Where today they have enough power to decide if the Republican Party can win elections or not. Sullivan is still Sullivan, but his party has changed.