Joe Biden: The only conservative running for president

The Democrat favors norms, rules, traditions, and institutions and detests ideological imperatives. This was once the most conservative of sensibilities.

Joe Biden.
(Image credit: Illustrated | William Thomas Cain/Getty Images, -slav-/iStock)

The most conservative candidate running for president in 2020 isn't Donald Trump or any of his long-shot Republican challengers for the GOP nomination. It's Joe Biden, the ostensible Democratic front-runner.

This is hard for us to see because over the past half century or so in the United States — since the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater in 1964 — the term "conservative" has been given a precise ideological spin. To be conservative is to favor economic libertarianism (low taxes, minimal regulations on business), moral traditionalism (opposition to feminism, abortion rights, gay rights), and foreign policy hawkishness (originally a willingness to use military force to contain the Soviet Union, now an eagerness to use military force to accomplish just about every goal in international affairs).

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