Whither the “conservatives”

Paul Craig Roberts, banished from Townhall, writes:

Bush’s conservative supporters want no debate. They want no facts, no analysis. They want to denounce and to demonize the enemies that the Hannitys, Limbaughs, and Savages of talk radio assure them are everywhere at work destroying their great and noble country.

I remember when conservatives favored restraint in foreign policy and wished to limit government power in order to protect civil liberties. Today’s young conservatives are Jacobins determined to use government power to impose their will at home and abroad.

Where did such “conservatives” come from?

As Hayek famously explained with regards to “social justice”, a “strong government” or “compassionate” conservative is no conservative at all. It will be interesting to see how quickly these “conservatives” will return to the intellectual fold should Kerry win, (or more likely, when a Democrat wins in 2008), and the other faction begins to wield the expanded powers created by the present administration so beloved by them.

On a related note, Polemics reminds us of when conservatives were conservative and quotes Russell Kirk writing about Edmund Burke:

And Reason, dear to the illuminati of the eighteenth century, seemed to Burke a tool weak at best, frequently treacherous. The mass of mankind, Burke implies, reason hardly at all, in the higher sense, nor ever can: deprived of folk-wisdom and folk-law, which are prejudice and prescription, they can do no more than cheer the demagogue, enrich the charlatan, and submit to the despot. (p. 42)

It’s clear to me that both Kirk and Burke were nothing but Bush-hating liberals ahead of their time.