Why the GOP will continue to fail

>> Saturday, January 24, 2009

By Andrew Sullivan

The second reason I am now labeled a "liberal" is that conservatism has become a religious movement. Although I am a religious person, I do not believe that any specific form of religion has a veto in determining who is or is not a political conservative in a secular society. I think non-believers can be conservatives - and Hindus and Muslims and Jews and Christians. The conservative political temperament is not a theological position that belongs to any denomination or God. The fact that I have been relentless and impolite in pointing this out - as the GOP has collapsed for these very reasons - suggests to me that the GOP is still more interested in persecuting critics, especially the more effective ones, than reforming for the future.

For the record: self-confident political groupings seek converts - look at Obama. Failed and failing political groupings seek to punish and list heretics. I'm resigned to being a heretic given the state of the current conservative movement. And as an independent writer, it mercifully can't hurt me much. I just don't think conservatism will revive until it stops thinking that way.

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