The Corner

Going Slow Up North

From a reader in Toronto:

Hi Jonah,

Your column today on taking-it-slow conservatism echoes the message of 

a former top aide to our own Conservative (and conservative) Prime 

Minister.  You might be interested in Professor Tom Flanagan’s 

response last month to restless conservatives who want our minority 

government to do more to dismantle more than a decade of Liberal rule.

The key lesson Prof. Flanagan offers is this:

“These are all small steps. Maybe in some cases, the government could 

go farther and faster. But the important thing is that they are all in 

the right direction. I would propose this as the crucial test for 

conservatives in deciding whether to support government policy — is 

it in the right direction? Politics is a game that goes on forever. 

You don’t have to win everything at once. The most important thing is 

to start to win even small victories, to lay the basis for bigger 

victories yet to come.”

Only a month after this comment, and half way through their first 

mandate, the government yesterday introduced the largest tax cutting 

measure in this country’s history.  Going slow can pay off fast.

While American conservatives seek to keep out Hillary Clinton and her 

promise of socialized medicine, Prime Minister Harper’s success in the 

last election allowed us to keep out a Liberal party that was 

promising (if you can believe it) national socialized day-care.

It also strikes me that going slow is a fundamentally conservative 

approach, characteristic of humility in the face of history.  As you 

suggest, victories are as important as revolutions.

Best regards,

Mark

 

Most Popular

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More
Media

The Hunter Emails

According to a 2015 email, then–vice president Joe Biden met with a top executive at Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm that paid Biden’s son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to sit on its board. Earlier, the Burisma executive had asked Hunter to use his influence to quell Ukrainian government officials who were ... Read More
Media

The Hunter Emails

According to a 2015 email, then–vice president Joe Biden met with a top executive at Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm that paid Biden’s son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to sit on its board. Earlier, the Burisma executive had asked Hunter to use his influence to quell Ukrainian government officials who were ... Read More
Elections

How the GOP Can Win Over Millennials

Joel Kotkin, the Presidential Fellow of Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., has written extensively on demographics, housing, and issues related to income inequality in the 21st century. Kotkin often blends research on demographics with historical reasoning, and he has chronicled the decline of ... Read More
Elections

How the GOP Can Win Over Millennials

Joel Kotkin, the Presidential Fellow of Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., has written extensively on demographics, housing, and issues related to income inequality in the 21st century. Kotkin often blends research on demographics with historical reasoning, and he has chronicled the decline of ... Read More