Plumb Lines

May 8, 2009

Diversity and Dogmatism

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Schaengold @ 4:44 pm

Will of the Ordinary Gentlemen makes some good points about contemporary conservatism:

More frequently, mainstream conservative outlets adopt a fairly uniform approach to some policy or another, the rest of us carp incessantly about what they’re missing, and life, as they say, goes on.

I think there is a lot more intellectual diversity on the Right than on the Left these days, but on the Left there is some rapport between mainstream political organs and the various ideological fringes. Whether political organizations are “dogmatic” or “open-minded” isn’t really the question. Every political organization has to have both a dogma and also institutional procedures for dogmatic change. The Left has that. The Right barely even has a dogma at this point. What they have is an emotion: resentment.

David Schaengold



  1. The right has only “an emotion, resentment.” Really? This strikes me as false on its face and an invitation to stop analysis and begin denunciation.

    Comment by Matthew Schmitz — May 9, 2009 @ 10:35 am

  2. Well, I don’t see why we can’t analyze and denounce simultaneously. I mean not the fringes of the Right but the center of the Right, which I take to be exactly what ground is contested by Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh, both of whom deserve analysis and denunciation.

    Comment by David Schaengold — May 11, 2009 @ 9:10 pm

  3. Well, the right is more than its talking heads. Beltway-centric blogs aren’t watching what’s going on in the rest of the country. The right is still the home of Mitch Daniels and David Petraeus. When the next election rolls around, you’ll see a lot of high-quality candidates.

    I’m also confused by the fact that you said the right doesn’t have a dogma and then cited Rush Limbaugh. Whatever you make of it, he does have a well worked-out and comprehensive philosophy.

    Comment by Matthew Schmitz — May 12, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

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