Friday, January 6, 2012

Conservative Communitarianism comes out in the US Press!

I'm barely able to get online right, old blogger is making life difficult, but I have to post that Rick Santorum was identified as a communitarian. Be interesting to see how far this story goes. From what I've seen few comments address the term in their responses, but that could change.

"The Communitarian Crush on Rick Santorum", by Alec McGillis at New Republic


Mark Miller said...

Maybe you saw something I didn't, but from my careful reading of the article, it doesn't identify Santorum as a communitarian, at least not by name. Maybe you're saying he's had this label applied to him previously. The title is more a comment about David Brooks. The article says that Santorum has gone in that direction in the past, favoring Americorps. The article notes that he seems to have gone against his own past decision, since when he was asked about federal funding for Americorps and Habitat for Humanity, he asked rhetorically, "Is it the role of the federal government to do this?" He then said, "There are going to be programs like Americorps where we just don't have the resources." Santorum appears wishy-washy on this. On the one hand he seems to make a principled stand against communitarianism, saying the federal government shouldn't be involved in it. On the other, he says, "We can't afford it," which implies, "I'd like to do it, but it's not practical right now."

The identification of Brooks as a communitarian is really interesting to me. He's been identified as a conservative by the Establishment, though conservatives balk at the notion. He tends to be more conservative than the very obvious liberals I've seen. I have at times agreed with Brooks on a few isolated issues, but I disagree with him most of the time. I haven't been able to put my finger on what it was that he believed that would explain the many differences we have. Marrying the term "communitarian" with the quote from Brooks in the article makes it plain to see. I always used to explain this via. the term "liberal Republican." An older, more anachronistic term would be "Rockefeller Republican." But this fails to attach the ideology to a lot of things we see going on around us.

Thanks for posting this.

Niki Raapana said...

There are two other places where the term was used but I had too much trouble trying to paste the addresses in. I'll try it here:

I just thought it was kind of incredible that the term is back out there this election, but this time it's Republicans and not the Clintons or Obama (who are definitely communitarians too).

Niki Raapana said...

Here's another:

‎"Before he was summarily ejected from office in 2006, Santorum doubled down on George W. Bush’s notion of "compassionate conservatism." In a long-belated response to Hillary Clinton’s controversial book It Takes a Village, which offends by promoting secular statist dominion over American children at the expense of the family, Santorum wrote It Takes a Family – promoting religious-statist intervention into American family life – all to promote an eerily similar "common good," or as others have described it, "Communitarian Conservatism."

Niki Raapana said...

I couldn't find a whole lot more, but there have been hundreds of reposts of the two main stories, both using communitarianism in the article title.

Here's the Brooks article referred to:

Niki Raapana said...

Some are calling it a "Communitarian Crush"

Mark Miller said...

Thanks for the follow-ups. They clarified your point.