21 June, 2005

Blogroll Additions - Iraq, Economics & the Nature of Conservatism

Readers should note several new additions to the blogroll, some of which I've been reading for awhile but have been too lazy to include. In particular, Vodkapundit (Stephen Green) struck me as worth reading more regularly with this articulate rant concerning exit dates for Iraq: "Last week, there was some hubbub in Congress demanding President Bush announce a firm date for pulling out of Iraq. Announcing an exit date would be dumber than using a taffy puller to epilate your scrotum. Granted, an exit date would have one positive effect: There would be an immediate and sustained reduction in terror attacks. Right up until the day we left."

On a completely different note, I also liked this other post of his on economics and uncertainty, referencing a recent Robert Samuelson column. As hubris erodes certainty about great macroeconomic truths, so goes the rationale for doing sweeping things to 'fix' them.

As I've said about many other subjects too, (ranging from global warming to gay marriage to healthcare), the honest conservative position is not one of "no role for government, never ever no-way no-how, go away we're not listening!" (or as the esteemed Mr. Buckley once put it: "standing astride history yelling: 'stop'!"), but one of shifting the burden of proof to those who would seek to make change - starting with those changes that have the most far-reaching consequences if progressives turn out to be wrong... as they often are: oops, we screwed up society; sorry!

Proof is not the same as conjecture, nagging, UN consensus, computer models or a Howard Dean temper tantrum. Proof through history is a slow, deliberate process that deserves respect. Conservatives aren't against change per se, just the kind of change that lightly dismisses the value of what's been learned over time.