February 09, 2007
A disappearing conservative issue?
When I clicked on Glenn Reynolds's link to the National Review's editorial review of Rudolph Giuliani's candidacy, I expected to see the usual conservative objections addressed. While NR allowed that "there is a lot to like" about the candidate, reading on, I knew there'd be no way to avoid the obvious:
there are serious obstacles to Giuliani's winning the embrace of conservatives.Sure. We all know that. And we all know that right up at the top (along with other issues) is Giuliani's very troubling record of supporting gun control measures.
Wrong. The piece is about Giuliani's positions on abortion, stem cells, and gay marriage.
Does this mean the Second Amendment is of minor importance? Or is it just of less importance to conservatives than previously thought?
Has the gun issue perhaps become more a libertarian issue than a conservative issue over time? If the latter is the case, I'm both relieved and uneasy at the same time. Relieved because I see nothing intrinsically right wing or left wing about guns or human self defense. As a natural right, self defense could be expected to be defended by anyone regardless of their position on other issues, and I've never understood why there aren't more pro-gun Democrats than there are.
Here's why I'm uneasy about the possibility of the Second Amendment being apparently sidelined into the libertarian camp. Liberals already hate guns, and if conservatives are willing to look the other way, the ugly fact is libertarians are considered a bit on the kooky side, and outside of the mainstream.
The National Review is supposed to represent mainstream conservatism, and if mainstream conservatism no longer considers one of our primary freedoms to be worth a mention in a supposedly comprehensive editorial discussing the pros and cons of a man who is notably weak in that area, I think it's cause for concern.
This is not to say that I wouldn't vote for Giuliani over, say Hillary Clinton. (As I've said before, I would.)
I just hope it's not another sign of the changing times.
The sad thing about this is that the Second Amendment has for years been the one safe area on which libertarians and social conservatives could be counted on to be in very solid agreement.
What's going on? Has Giuliani done an about-face on guns and thereby earned the endorsement of the NRA? (Considering what Jeff Soyer was saying two days ago, I doubt it.)
Unless I am unaware of something, what gives?
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link and to all for coming.
Please bear in mind that it is neither my goal to attack Giuliani's position, nor defend him. (For all I know, his positions reflected the political realities of being the Mayor of New York.)
My worry is that the right to keep and bear arms might become the right that dare not speak its name.
posted by Eric on 02.09.07 at 03:03 PM
Search the Site
Classics To Go
See more archives here
Old (Blogspot) archives
A knee sock jihad might be premature at this time
People Are Not Rational
No Biorobots For Japan
The Thorium Solution
Radiation Detector From A Digital Camera
This war of attrition is driving me bananas!
Attacking Christianity is one thing, but must they butcher geometry?
Are there trashy distinctions in freedom of expression?
Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood