The Death of Conservatism

The Death of Conservatism
Sam Tanenhaus

The simple thesis of this short, disposable book (the outgrowth of a magazine article) is that in the cycles of American political thought conservatism is currently on the outs after having become too rigidly ideological. In recent years the classical conservatism of the great tradition has been usurped by the “movement conservatism” of the neocons and subsequently cast into the eclipse by the pragmatic, “compromise” politics of Barack Obama. That Obama is “temperamentally conservative” himself, and his policies – both foreign and domestic – not that clearly distinguishable from those of the preceding Bush administration, suggests the death of liberalism, too. A closely related subject that I think we will be reading more about before too long.