The Corner

Metropolitan Conservatives

Stan’s right: Derb’s column is a wonderful piece of writing. I particularly appreciate that he didn’t fall for the trap of calling himself a “cosmopolitan conservative” which would open him to all sorts of critiques. Cosmopolitan, remember, means “citizen of the world.” It stems from Diogenes who explained he wasn’t a citizen of any particular state or city but loyal to the entire world. I think this explains the central difference between citified conservatives and citified liberals. The conservatives still have localized attachments — to the community, to the region, to the nation. Citified liberals all too often are cosmopolitan in their outlook. They appeal to the United Nations or fret about the plight of a person or a frog in Southeast Asia as much as they do about the person or frog in their own backyard. This split — between cosmopolitan liberals and metropolitan conservatives — goes a long way, I think, to explaining a lot of arguments today. Though certainly not all of them. As for the split between metropolitan conservatives and rural conservatives, I’ve never resorted to Greek plays, as Derb does, to explain it. I’ve always thought of it as city mice versus country mice. But that’s neither here nor there.


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