I see two distinct approaches to governance.
The straightforward approach starts with the simple question: What is the best way to govern a society?
A second approach begins when a group sees itself as a ruling class. The members of the ruling class then ask: "How do we rule over those people?"
This ruling class mentality creates an environment where the conversation taking place among the leaders diverges from the conversation taking place among the people. I will call this approach divergent politics.
I believe that the US Founders were sincerely engaged in a straightfoward about organizing society.
The US Founders had a Liberal Arts Education steeped in classical logic and Judeo/Christian ethics. They applied classical logic to the question of liberty and created a Federation of States with a Constitutionally limited central government.
I like to call the application of a classical education to liberty "Classical Liberal."
The founders despised the factions that controlled Europe. Oddly, the Left/Right split that dominates all aspects of American political actually came from the European factions the founders disliked.
Partisans seek power by dividing the people into warring factions.
In the French Revolution, the faction on the left sought radical social change while the faction on the right sought the preservation of the class structure of the ancient regime.
Partisans in the 1800s adopted a modern logic that denied the foundations of classical logic and created the extremely devisive forms of discourse that we see in politics today.
The invention of modern logic is a historical oddity. It just so happens that the Hanoverian Kings of England (King George I, II, III, etc.) were German. The Hanoverian Kings of England financed much of the German University system. After the US Revolution, the monarchy tasked the German University with finding ways to frame the monarchy as progressive. The universities responded by creating a new way of thinking called modern logic. This modern logic turns classical logic upside down. Modern logic presents paradoxical word games that framed freedom as slavery and slavery freedom.
Classical logic is the foundation of science. People put together syllogisms and see how well the syllogisms describe reality.
Modern logic is a bizarre system that places paradox at the foundation of reason and conflict at the surface. A fundamental premise of modern logic is that meaning of terms change with usage. This muffling of meaning is called "sublation." Terms often take on opposite meanings.
The classical liberal sought to limit government and empower individuals. Modern liberals sublated the term "liberal" and seek an unlimited government with regulated individuals.
I believe that both the left and right (progessive and conservative) are inherently divergent. Both the left and right have adopted modern logic as given.
Politicians on the left encourage rhetoric about unity, economic inequalities, and social justice. Once in power politicians divide people into warring factions. They then reward their friends and punish their enemies. In doing so the creates greater economic inequality and social injustice, but are able to skirt the issue by projecting their faults on the conservatives.
Politicians on the conservative right invoke images of the US founders and promote public talk about liberty and limited government. When in power, conservatives expand government in attempts to legislate morality then engage in the process of rewarding friends and punishing enemies.
Members of the Tea Party are perplexed in that the GOP keeps putting forward candidates such as Eric Cantor who come to power arguing for limited government. Once in power, Cantor became a defender of the machine.
This duplicity is inherent in "conservatism."
Remember, conservatism came from the French Revolution. The goal of conservatism was to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime. Modern logic was created by the monarchy. Conservatives adopted this bizarre modern logic as it allows conservatives to campaign on the image of the US Founders will supporting economic and political centralization.
I've been reading histories of the conservative movement. Intellectuals who self-indentify with "conservatism" tend to trace their beliefs to the likes of Leo Strauss, Edmund Burke, Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli and Plato.
Thinkers like Hayek tend to identify with the classical liberal tradition.
The US Founders came before the left right split. They came before DeStutt de Tracy coined the term "ideology." The founders had a classical liberal arts education steeped in classical logic and Judeo/Christian ethics. They applied this education to the question of liberty and came up with a Federation of States with a constitutionally limited central government and protection of individual rights.
When one applies classical logic to the question of liberty one finds themself on a similar path as the founders.
The US Founders predated the Age of Ideology. I believe the best name for the path the founders followed is "classical liberal."
Modern Liberalism (progressivism) and Modern Conservatism are partisan ideologies that developed in the generations after the founders.
The partisans who create these grand political philosophies were seeking to rise to power by dividing people into factions.
Both the Left and Right developed divergent philosophies. Politicians on both the left and right have developed systems in which they say onething to get power then work on consolidating power once in power.
It is the modern logic at the heart of modern conservatism that created the dynamics of the modern GOP which holds a divergent philosophy in which members of the GOP campaign on the image of the founders (Classical Liberals) then impose the leviathan of Thomas Hobbes once in power.
If you are looking for people who are sincere about restoring the American Experiment in Self Rule, you will not find them in conservatism, because the underlying divergent philosophy of conservatism will always undermine efforts to restore the classical liberal ideals of the founders.
The duplicity of Conservatism is not surprising. Both Modern Conservatism and Progressivism (Modern Liberalism) are partisan ideologies that came from Europe and are based on a corrupt system of modern logic that was created with the express intent of framing the monarchy as progressive.
The goal of these partisan ideologies is to rise to power by dividing people into factions. Both sides of this false dichotomy seek political and economic centralization. Both sides of the partisan divide have narratives which diverge from their policies.
Both Modern Liberalism and Modern Conservatism accept modern logic as their foundations.
The two sides of a coin are made of the same metal. Because of the nature of conservatism it is incapable of breaking us out of the malaise created by Obama and the Modern Liberals and Modern Progressives.
Don;t you get it? The Left/Right split came from European intellectuals. The Left reached its ultimate expression with Communism and the right with Fascism. The end result of both the left and the right are the same.
You will not find the path to restoring America by reading Leo Strauss, Edmund Burke, Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli or even Plato.
We could restore America if people were to apply classical logic to the question of liberty as was done by the US Founders (aka classical liberalism).
Unfortunately, this conversation cannot take place in the ranks of the GOP because Conservatives believe they must drive classical liberals (Hayek, et al) out of the party.
Conservatism is a reactionary ideology of the 1800s that seeks to restore the class structure of the ancient regime while playing on the image US Founders. Modern Cosnervatism, as the name implies, flows from Modern Logic. It is inherently divergent. If we want to restore America, we need to engage in the straightforward conversation that comes by applying classical logic to the question of liberty.