The Corner

No Lost Causes

Derb: Geez o’Pete, are you trying to make us all jump off buildings? Conservatives are known for their pessimism, but Russell Kirk once said that there’s no such thing as a lost cause because there’s no such thing as a won cause. Now that’s a deeply conservative sentiment.

Conservative causes that are not dead, many of them anti-socialist: Social Security reform (I know, I know: not soon, but sometime, as the investor class grows); medical savings accounts; lowering taxes, starting with making the Bush tax cuts permanent and keeping the Internet tax-free; tax simplification; school choice through vouchers or tax credits; trade liberalization; ending farm subsidies; paycheck protection (California can smack unions on this one next month); preserving traditional marriage; improving the courts (stop Miers!); strong national defense, including missile defense; immigration reform (I differ with some conservatives here, but there are many possibilities for change); reducing abortions, both through law and through changing hearts and minds; making sure Hillary isn’t elected president in three years.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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