The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society.  The central liberal truth is that politics can change culture and save it from itself.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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This is Pat Moynihan in his Godkin lectures at Harvard in 1986.

Yes.  Conservatives value culture – something larger than themselves; liberals value politics something no larger than themselves.  Herein lies the problem.

In the former there is humility, a place for God, that which is bigger than self, and for faith, and spiritual reality – what is beyond the material, the mortal, today – and far beyond, and superior to, and more meaningful than politics.

In modern liberalism there is arrogance and the obvious destructiveness it brings as contrasted with the essential value of conservatism.

In liberalism is “we know what’s best for you.”  In conservatism: restraint, and respect for the wisdom of others, for tradition and the Invisible.

This is the difference we face today and why we experience a cultural decline and the widespread discontent, and despair, that the decline has produced.

We are acting in precisely the opposite from what is good and wise, unifying and successful.

It follows that is why today we need leaders who see the primacy of culture over politics and have, as a consequence, a reverence for God, a place for God in culture – a respect for religion and faith – which is, by the way, essential to community, to peace and prosperity, and to America as it was founded, as it is our unique and collective identity.

This brings us to metaphysics.

To live as a fully developed human, the record of human history confirms that we must seek what we cannot see, that we long to experience: the Divine – God.

To journey to God, to the experience of God, requires language that engages our imagination.

A quest for political power, and the attitude it demands and the language it employs, most assuredly does not open the human person to the imagination of the Divine.  Rather it enshrines the person as snake-oil salesmen and the grand schemes of ideology – the dubious and demonstrated “genius” of man in his “war on poverty,” racial quotas, abortions, national health care, “Arab Spring,” and what have you.

Vest your life in the “genius” of man and politics and you lose.  One wins with God, and man acting with God.

God, unlike man, is pure spirit, transcendent.  Conservatives know this; liberals dismiss and oppose this.

God in His deepest mystery is not solitude, but a family, since He has in Himself fatherhood, sonship and the essence of family, which is love.

St. John Paul II

Do we not seek to live as a family in America?  Is this not the path of conservatives in their central truth?

Think about it.

Shalom.

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