The Conscience of a Conservative

A reader writes:

I agree with Rod Dreher, and with you, except that I am not "conflicted to be called" a conservative. I am still conservative, whether or not the Republican White House and congress were true to conservative principles.

However, the failure was really one that religious people have talked about for centuries: pride.  I think all of the greatest Republican errors over the past six years were committed as the result of it.  Politicians are never very short on it, are they? I do think that Bush had good motivations in invading Iraq, whether to find WMDs or to topple the cruel Hussein regime, but only pride and arrogance can explain the attempt to establish democracy in the Middle East, especially in an Islamic country.  He meant well, perhaps, but there never really was a chance. The old-fashioned religious virtue of humility would not have changed anything about 9/11, but might have prevented the current mess in the Middle East and the foreign policy disaster that has followed.

This is why conservatives stand not only for fiscal responsibility and governmental restraint, but also for traditional values. There might be some we should give up, but not hurriedly and definitely not without a careful analysis of the costs.

If by traditional values, we mean honesty, manners, personal responsibility, marriage, family and friendship, then I'm for them as well. If they mean government's intervention in people's bedrooms, end-of-life and reproductive decisions, and religious beliefs, then I'm against them.