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What Liberals Can Learn From Conservatism

According to my dictionary, a conservative is “a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes.” A radical, by contrast, is someone who advocates “thorough or complete change” and “departure from tradition.”

Which term best describes President Trump?

He’s a radical, of course. At every turn, Trump has challenged our most sacred national traditions: freedom of the press, the rule of law, independent courts, and more. He’s not a conservative; he’s the opposite of one.

So our own challenge, as citizens, is to defend those institutions. It doesn’t matter if we’re Democrats, Republicans, independents, or none of the above. We are all conservatives now, in a dictionary sense. Or, at least, we should be.

But we’re not acting like it. On the GOP side, people who would otherwise indict Trump’s reckless behavior have ignored it. The only Republicans in Congress who have firmly called him out Trump (Jeff Flake, Bob Corker) are on the way out; almost everyone else has turned a blind eye, holding their noses all the while. That’s not leadership; it’s cowardice. 

Meanwhile, too many of my fellow Democrats have decided to fight Trump by questioning his legitimacy, not just his politics. And that bears an uncanny echo to Trump himself, who built his White House campaign on the “birther” lie about Barack Obama. ...

Read entire article at New Republic