The Green Shoots Of A Positive Conservatism

Erik Kain looks for signs of hope:

One reason I enjoy the writing of center-right thinkers such as Reihan Salam or Ross Douthat (among others) is that rather than constantly taking a position against liberals or other conservatives, they are constantly on the prowl for good ideas.

I think this is especially true of Reihan, whose wonkish blog over at NRO can only be described as a sort of positive conservatism. Instead of focusing on simply being in opposition to the liberal agenda – which is, really, a fairly easy task – this brand of conservatism is always perusing the market of good ideas. This doesn’t mean you can’t also be against bad ideas, but only that every oppositional stance should be paired with a positive solution. The bank tax is wrong – here’s why, and here’s a better idea. The healthcare bill is going to be a disaster – here’s why, and here’s a better idea. Positive conservatism, for it to be effective at all, also must avoid Utopianism if it is to avoid the progressive pitfall.