by Conor Friedersdorf

If I understand conservatism correctly, its useful insights include the following:

1) The natural inclination of politicians is to accrue power in ways that threaten liberty if left unchecked.

2) Massive federally run efforts to remake society are bound to fail, and often result in grave unintended consequences.

3) Local decisionmaking is to be preferred when possible.

4) It is unwise to make decisions about how to transform society based solely on first principles, disconnected from questions of tradition, culture, etc.

What I'd like to see in 2012 is a Republican nominee willing to apply these insights -- all of which he or she will surely profess to believe -- to matters of foreign policy.

Is that too much to ask?

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