Ginni Thomas

Conservative leader calls for a new movement to stop the loss of self-government

Ginni Thomas Contributor
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The president of the Claremont Institute in California is calling for a conservative movement that is centered on defending the U.S. Constitution.

Brian T. Kennedy knows government ought to be limited, as boundaries have always exalted the notion of natural or human rights from the Declaration of Independence.

“There was one conservative movement that was adequate to fight the Cold War and to elect Ronald Reagan,” said Kennedy, who is also the publisher of The Claremont Review of Books. “They were against communism abroad and socialism at home.That was perfect for that time, but having won the Cold War, the conservative movement didn’t quite know how to dismantle big government.”

“We’re left today, by and large, with a political class that has made, in some ways, peace with big government. But in the hands of Barack Obama, big government has gotten much more intrusive and Obamacare is simply the most dramatic manifestation of that progressive ideal begun 100 years ago,” he continued.

He discusses the challenge of how, as more Americans become reliant on government programs and the notion of self-government is eroded, most Republicans now don’t believe they can win elections without giving out government entitlements.

“The tea party is a manifestation of a part of the Republican base that wants there to be a Constitution again, and wants that Constitution to be adhered to,” Kennedy said.

Optimistic that good Americans will rise up for the U.S. Constitution, Kennedy admits, “there is this strange notion that the more educated we become, the more we ought to rely on Ph.Ds and bureaucrats to run our lives, rather than self-government and the Constitution.”

The interview concludes with a sobering discussion of a need for a new foreign policy that recognizes the reality of a “dangerous world.”

He wonders if America was self-deceived by “winning the Cold War” since “the Soviet Union, in reorganizing, took one step back.”

“We took ten. We built down our military, didn’t pursue a missile defense and yet, need a strong military and intellectual strategy that takes into account Russia, China and their allies, the Islamic world.”


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