Winning on Principle

"Set aside the merits and think about the politics" is the pith of Ramesh Ponnuru's advice to conservatives at a few days ago. In a short article titled: "Do Conservatives Actually Want to Win Elections," Ponnuru examines a few recent instances where conservatives are presumed to eschew the practical in favor of the dogmatic. As to the first -- setting aside the merits and thinking about the politics -- it begs the question: "Why on earth would conservatives divorce merit -- or principle -- from politics?" As to the article's rhetorical question about conservatives wanting to win elections, the answer is, of course, "yes." But winning elections are about more than winning elections; it's about earning opportunities to govern. Governing, done rightly and well, is grounded in principles and worldviews consistent with nature, human and external. If all conservatives wanted were to win elections, they could lie like Democrats and ballyhoo their...(Read Full Article)