Modern Conservative Journal was created in early 2016 for the purpose of providing a modern, reformed view of Conservatism.
The felt need for a redefining and repackaging of what was called ‘Conservatism’ was plainly apparent – especially in light of the Trump movement and the emergence of the Alt-Right.
The founders of Modern Conservative Journal recognized the importance of the movement that was established by Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Milton Friedman, and championed in office by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Brian Mulroney. Believing that Modern Conservatives are mere “dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time,” there is a deep and humbling respect for the ideology of Fusionism, which combined tradition with freedom and promoted small government and ordered liberty.
The unfortunate truth, however, is that ‘Conservatism’ carries with it severely negative connotations in the minds of youth. As a result, many of the young have become enchanted by Socialism, Collectivism, and the paternalism of the State. However, many conservatives have taken note of this generational gap and have attempted to treat it. The most notable attempt in recent years to appeal to youth was undertaken by George W. Bush in his creation of so-called “compassionate Conservatism.”
This failed spectacularly. Why? Because principles were abandoned. Bush enacted Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, and managed to satisfy no one – not the Left nor the Right. As Barry Goldwater famously said, “moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
The current approach being taken by Conservatives is simply not sustainable. It is estimated that in the 2016 Presidential primaries more millennials voted for Bernie Sanders than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton combined. It seems inevitable that someone on the Right will eventually attempt to rebrand Conservatism and make it more palatable to the youth.
This is both the biggest fear and biggest assurance of Modern Conservative Journal. While a reform brings with it the potential to correct some of Conservatism’s mistakes and grow its tent, it also involves a serious risk. What if, in the process, something important is lost? What if a more modern Conservatism becomes no more than Liberal-lite? This is the task undertaken by this Journal – to secure the ideas of Fusionism within the newer, more broad movement.
The Conservative Reformation is inevitable (if not already upon us), but the continuing purity of its ideas throughout the process is not. In years to come, Modern Conservative Journal aims to take part in this reformation; fighting the growing emergence of nationalist populism, xenophobia, protectionism, and statism within the Conservative movement, and instead securing liberty and traditionalism within its catechism.