Out-of-Touch Conservatives?

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

In this space, we frequently call out left-wing academics out of touch with reality. That might appear to be an ideological bias in and of itself were it not for their overwhelming dominance of academe.

Nevertheless, it behooves us to take note when conservative perceptions, rare as they are in the Ivory Tower, do not match up with reality. “If the vagueness of Trump’s policy positions provides an opening for Congress to fill in the details, so does the unconservatism of many of the positions he has specified,” Greg Weiner writes in the Spring 2017 issue of Modern Age. “There are voices of constitutional independence in both chambers: Ben Sasse in the Senate, Justin Amash in the House.”

“Ryan may be another: he has, for example, championed Medicare reform.” With all due respect to all those mentioned, and the political scientist from Assumption College who invoked them, greater Constitutional stalwarts in both chambers come to mind: Senator Mike Lee, to name just one example.

Moreover, Wiener goes on to give the Speaker of the House a characterization few would ascribe to him. “By reputation, Ryan and his Senate counterpart, Mitch McConnell, are not courtiers,” Weiner writes. “Between their Reaganism and Trump’s Trumpism probably lies a new approach to conservative policy.”

Beyond Irish roots, blue eyes and a great head of hair, it is hard to see what attributes Ryan shares with the Gipper. Come to think of it, that was about all Reagan had in common with Ted Kennedy.

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