I DON'T FALL IN LOVE with politicians – the last presidential candidate I voted for with ardor was Ronald Reagan in 1980 – and my heart doesn't break when those I support don't win. Nor am I a party loyalist. As a conservative I vote for Republicans more often than not; for those of us committed to free enterprise, limited government, military strength, and a healthy civil society, there is usually no better option. But the Republican Party isn't the conservative movement. And a GOP defeat doesn't mean conservatism – or the GOP, for that matter – is in crisis....
Liberty is not some free-floating thing which we can have just by wanting it badly enough and by opposing "big government." Our American system of liberty grew out of, and was sustained by, our institutions and our culture, including religion and the various forms of pressure--mostly social, but some legal--that once operated to encourage self-restraint. Today, public policy and social pressure positively encourage self-indulgence. While the libertarians, to their credit, do not like the idea of spending taxpayer money to that end, they seem to miss much of the big picture if they think that a licentious society will be able to exercise the self-control and discipline needed to keep or, more probably in our case, regain its freedom.
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