It would have been a crime, in my own mind, not to run this fantastic article. It has two of my favorite things, politically speaking, it is written by Thomas Sowell, a well respected conservative thinker, economist, and author. And he critiques the Presidency of Barack Obama using thoughts from Sir Edmund Burke, the cornerstone of Anglo-American conservatism. Thought provoking, well written, and extremely cognitive.
From Real Clear Politics.
The other day I sought a respite from current events by re-reading some of the writings of 18th century British statesman Edmund Burke. But it was not nearly as big an escape as I had thought it would be.
When Burke wrote of his apprehension about "new power in new persons," I could not help think of the new powers that have been created by which a new President of the United States -- a man with zero experience in business -- can fire the head of General Motors and tell banks how to run their businesses.
Not only is Barack Obama new to the presidency, he is new to running any organization. One of Burke's fears was that "we may place our confidence in the virtue of those who have never been tried."
Neither eloquence nor zeal was a substitute for experience, according to Burke. He said, "eloquence may exist without a proportionate degree of wisdom." As for zeal, Burke said: "It is no excuse for presumptuous ignorance that it is directed by insolent passion."
The Obama administration's going back and forth on the question whether American intelligence agents who forced information out of captured terrorist leaders will be subjected to legal jeopardy, even though they were told at the time that what they were doing was not only legal but a service to the nation, came to mind when reading Burke's warning about the dangers of continuing to change the rules and values by which people lived.
Burke asked how we could expect a sense of honor to exist when "no man could know what would be the test of honour in a nation, continually varying the standard of its coin?"
This is the sort of conservatism that those within the hierarchy of the GOP should be emulating. Not the detritus and detached corporatist-minded drivel they pass off as political policy and thought. If you are an Independent, Republican, Democrat, or you have not made up your mind, I highly suggest reading anything Edmund Burke has written. But start with Reflections on the French Revolution and go on from there.
His wisdom is so prolific it even makes William F. Buckley's writings look like the scribblings of a kindergartner.