A podcast about politics, culture and ideas from a conservative perspective hosted by Jonathan Cole and Simon Kennedy. Join Jonathan and Simon as they explore the contemporary challenges and opportunities for the political right in Australia, America and beyond, in an age of political turmoil.
Simon and Jonathan tackle the hot topic of Christian support for Trump. In the 2016 US Presidential Election, Trump garnered substantial support from evangelical Christians and church-going Catholics, and looks like he will do the same again in 2020. However, Trump's divisive rhetoric and questionable personal morality is a point of tension for many Christians, and others point to the moral degradation of civic life when someone like Trump is in high office. The lads discuss the spectrum of opinions on the matter and share their own thoughts on thinking through these issues from a Christian perspective. They also raise the impact of political theology on the moral and political reasoning of evangelical Christians.
This week, Jonathan and Simon discuss Michael Oakeshott's classic essay, 'On being conservative'. Oakeshott (1901-1990) was one of the foremost thinkers in twentieth century British philosophy and a leading conservative. This essay, published in a collection of Oakeshott's writings entitled Rationalism in Politics, outlines Oakeshott's brand of liberal conservatism. The lads focus in on Oakeshott's description of conservatism as a disposition, his conceptions of innovation and change, and his framing of the conservative view of politics. The episode covers fundamental and important questions about politics, society more broadly, and living as a conservative today.
Jonathan and Simon discuss Friedrich Hayek's famous 1960 essay "Why I Am Not A Conservative". In the essay, Hayek unfolds a critique of the conservative approach to politics from a liberal perspective. By liberal, Hayek means "old Whig" and aligns himself with thinkers in the conservative pantheon like Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocqueville. And yet he is staunchly critical of conservatives and what he perceives to be their unthinking opposition to any change and progress. Simon and Jonathan respond to some of Hayek's critiques and discuss how they point to certain weaknesses on the conservative right in contemporary politics, exposing the need for a positive statement about what conservatism can offer in today's world.
Jonathan and Simon discuss the recent collapse of the right-wing alliance between libertarians and conservatives in the United States, as well the analogies in the Australian scene. Some of the symptoms of this include populist politics, new approaches to economic policy in the Republican Party and, of course, President Trump. What is next for the right in the United States? Will the Republican Party have to reimagine itself in this transition period? Will new alliances form on the Right? Another question we explore is whether the "fusionism" on the Australian right has a similar instability, and how this might affect the Liberal Party. They also discuss Grant Wyeth's recent article at Quillette, "The Failure of Fusionism".
Some of the resources mentioned in this episode are linked below:
Jonathan Cole, "A Kirkean Critique of Libertarianism", Quadrant 63 (iss. 10, October 2019), pp. 86-88
Simon Kennedy, "Empty Pews", The Spectator Australia, 29 October 2016
In this episode, Jonathan and Simon discuss the emergence of a new ideology on the political right - postliberalism. What is it? Where has it come from? What does it mean for the future of conservatism in America? How might it affect the political conversation in Australia? Along with these questions, we look at Gladden Pappin's recent article in American Affairs, "From Conservatism to Postliberalism: The Right after 2020".