The fetishization of all things martial by the bulk of 21st-century conservatives is inescapable and worrisome. Whether it's rapturous warmongering in the pages of The Weekly Standard or embarrassing displays of machismo on the part of our president-cum-fighter pilot, the sentiment is difficult to evade, yet impossible to understand. It is a thoughtless and superficial obsession, and thoroughly unnatural, for militarism is at odds with everything for which the Right supposedly stands.
Until quite recently, conservatives - that is, people who support limited government, controlled spending, low taxes, individual liberty, rule of law, decentralization, restrained executive authority, and cautious foreign interaction - were skeptics of the military. They regarded it carefully and from a distance, knowing full well its shameful influence on past republics. There was, of course, full recognition of the importance of maintaining a force both dexterous and disciplined, but that reasonable concession was coupled with suspicion and vigilance.
There are very few of the great conservatives who would even recognize what passes for the Right these days. Hijacked by fundamentalist religion and always looking for someone to fight, they've betrayed every principle on which the political belief was founded.
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