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Friday, May 9, 2008

Brooks vs Levin

David Brooks writes about David Cameron's Conservatives in Britain:

They want voters to think of the Tories as the party of society while Labor is the party of the state. They want the country to see the Tories as the party of decentralized organic networks and the Laborites as the party of top-down mechanistic control.

As such, the Conservative Party has spent a lot of time thinking about how government should connect with citizens. Basically, everything should be smaller, decentralized and interactive.

Somehow, Mark R. Levin interprets that as the opposite of what Brooks said, and responds thus:
What is the government-centered society Brooks, et al, seek to establish in place of the civilized society? Why does he not learn from history, i.e., that centralized government breeds tyranny in various forms?
For Levin, it seems, conservatism is not about reading comprehension.

Now here's Brooks again:
Some of his [Cameron's] ideas would not sit well with American conservatives. He wants to create 4,200 more health visitors, who would come into the homes of new parents and help them manage day-to-day stress. But he also talks about rewriting the tax code to make it more family friendly, making child care more accessible, and making the streets safer.
I gather that Brooks is not endorsing the "health visitors" idea. Now here's Levin, as if on cue:
Conservatism isn't only about individualism, although it is rightly a critical element of ordered liberty. But it isn't about "creating 4,200 more health visitors," either.
Levin headlines his post "This Can't Be Right." Well, it isn't.

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