The President of Hillsdale College recently wrote an interesting report on Conservatism. If you are a student who believes mostly negative ideas about Conservatism, I recommend the article. If you are an educator, a parent who supplements your child’s political and social studies or a home-school teacher, this should prove helpful to you. Perhaps you are wondering what Dr. Arnn means my the title, ‘A More American Conservatism.” Here is an excerpt:
What is conservatism? It is a derivative term: it refers to something outside itself. We cannot conserve the present or the future, and the past being full of contradiction, we cannot conserve it entire. In the past one finds heroism and villainy; justice and injustice; freedom and slavery. Things in the past are like things in the present: they must be judged. Conservative people know this if they have any sense.
What then makes them conservative? It is the additional knowledge that things that have had a good reputation for a long time are more trustworthy than new things. This is especially true of original things. The very term principle refers to something that comes first; to change the principle of a thing is to change it into something else. Without the principle, the thing is lost.
If American conservatism means anything, then, it means the things found at the beginning of America, when it became a nation. The classics teach us that forming political bonds is natural to people, written in their nature, stemming from the divine gift they have of speech and reason. This means in turn that the Declaration of Independence, where the final causes of our nation are stated, and the Constitution of the United States, where the form of government is established, are the original things. These documents were written by people who were friends and who understood the documents to pursue the same ends. Taken together they are the longest surviving things of their kind, and under their domain our country spread across a continent and became the strongest nation on earth, the bastion of freedom. These documents do not appeal to all conservatives, but I argue that they should, both for their age and for their worthiness.
It follows then that if Donald Trump helps to conserve these things, he is a conservative in the sense that matters most to the republic of the Americans.
The entire report is found at IMPRIMIS – A More American Conservatism.