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Quote of the Day 6/3/08

June 3rd, 2008 | by Paul Merda |

“The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.” - MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebook

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  1. 3 Responses to “Quote of the Day 6/3/08”

  2. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply


    That makes sense. I agree with the man with one proviso. That is that it doesn’t work for every view invented by radicals. Communism, for instance, and Socialism, welfare in its unamended state, urban renewal, and minimum wage laws were all views invented by radicals or, if not radicals, at least by liberals. These are views that have proven themselves, in real-world experimentation, to be problematic. For that reason, they are unlikely to be adopted by conservatives any time soon — or any time at all.

    As long as it is clear that radicals and liberals (and conservatives, for that matter) invent both good and bad ideas, not all of which are worthy of adoption, MT’s comment is both reasonable and pithily made.

    But his comment sort of hints at what I see as the value of conservatism: conservatives adopt views that have proven their worth. For a view to prove its worth takes time and observation. If they view the ideas with skepticism while proving themselves, I think that’s a good thing. Otherwise we’d all be chasing down and enacting every fool idea that jumps into some radical’s head…and that would not be pretty. :-)

  3. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    Of course, the downside of conservatism is that they tend to hang on to ideas long after they have proven themselves to be problematic and in need of change. This highlights the value of liberalism: they point out things that need changing and generate both good and bad ideas to change them.

    Lest anyone think I don’t value liberals. ;-)

  4. By Paul Merda on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    Agreed with both comments Craig. Yes we can not adopt every idea (certainly not all are good) and yes, sometimes Conservatives hold onto the old ways for too long too.

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