Coronavirus and the end of the conservative temperament

Instead of prudence and care, the American right is offering ignorance and ego

FOX News.

Conservatism is less a fixed set of beliefs, many conservatives have long argued, than it is a temperament.

It's "not an ideology or a creed," David Brooks wrote at The New York Times, "but a disposition, a reverence for tradition, a suspicion of radical change." Temperamental conservatism, better sketched than precisely defined, is about understanding our own finitude, being prudent and careful. It is frugal and local, concerned with self-reliance but also charity. National strength and wealth are to be conserved for the future, never wasted, not spent on needless conflict or crude nationalism. "Temperamental conservatism understands that in order to preserve anything, it must be kept within certain limits," explained The American Conservative's Daniel Larison. "It recognizes that resources are finite and can be exhausted by current generations at the expense of posterity."

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