Where media define the “center” or the “middle” tells you a lot about the worldview they are promoting. The “center” doesn’t usually indicate where most of the public is, but rather where elites have determined an appropriate middle between opposing arguments. Confusing the two concepts is common (and not an accident).
The Article in question is about the economic advice from two of the most prominent economists who have worked at the highest levels of government and academia. On the other hand, this is a fairly telling comment as I have been seeing a lot of political terms being misused, such as “socialism” and “conservative”. The last term being the most thoroughly brutalised of all of them.
“Conservatism”, from the Latin: conservare–“to retain”, is defined as a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative. Conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity. According to the 2nd Viscount Hailsham, a former chairman of the British Conservative Party, “Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself.”
To me to be a “Conservative” one must be strongly for social order and institutions while not accepting change to that order without good reason.
Of course, the definition is used about has this caveat:
There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus, conservatives from different parts of the world – each upholding their respective traditions – may disagree on a wide range of issues.
I am of the opinion that the precedent set in the US by its use of force to obtain independence from Britain (a decidedly non-conservative act) has left its mark on US politics to bring about what I call the “reality challenged right”. Although, one could also add that other factors are also afoot to create the “reality challenged right”.
The main characteristic of this is the belief in the use of force in politics, which is not found in most civilised nations. In fact, that is probably the most obvious characteristic of this movement.
Another characteristic is being fact adverse, with the most frightening aspect being the failure to address climate change as news comes that the atmospheric level of a carbon dioxide has reached a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years. Scientists believe the rise in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.
“It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
I have to admit that I find this movement quite frightening and am not sure how it could have been allowed to arise, but the fact that such a disastrous political faction could be given any level of credibility, let alone called “Conservative”, boggles my mind.