Blog Change

Readers, in a short while (over the next few days) this blog domain will be removed and will be ported over to WordPress. While the transition should be seamless there may be a brief period when the domain will need to be renewed. I will renew it once it expires as it is currently held by a former writer. Once that lapses, I will reinstate it.

In the meantime, this should still be accessible either on: http://www.blogspot.exdeserto.com or http://www.wordpress.exdeserto.com. Soon, it will be accessible again on http://www.exdeserto.com.


Please bear with as this process occurs. Again, I hope to make this as painless as possible.

ExDeserto: The Semester Is a Go


Dear ExDeserto readers and followers,

The gears at ExDeserto are again moving forward. After a three week hiatus – a vacation from blogging, the authors have now transitioned from “employee” (or “associate” or other related titles during our summer employment) to “student.” The latter, of course, comes with a new bevy of responsibilities and obligations. This isn’t to say that ExDeserto is not among those priorities. There will be changes; and we’ve talked about different ideas for posting – in focus and in style.

Over the course of the semester, you can still expect regular updates, substantive posts, and the occasional breaking-news story.

We hope that you will join us, whether you agree or disagree, over the next few months as we use this venue to foster discussion, challenge ideas, and engage the culture and society.

–ExDeserto Members

Introduction

Ex deserto. The phrase literally means, “out of the wilderness,” from vox clamantis in deserto; a voice crying in the wilderness. Over the next several months — and I pray not years — we will hear a myriad of ideas from thinkers throughout the Republican Party and within the conservative movement on how to emerge victoriously from the wilderness. Our contention: conservatism, a movement that emphasizes limited government, free markets, personal responsibility, individual freedom and traditional American values, is already perfectly able offer solutions to our most pressing issues.

The conservative movement is founded upon the premise that the American people as a whole are better positioned and better able to produce their own solutions, with minimal government interference. Indeed, by crafting a Constitution of limited government and specifically enumerated powers, our Founders recognized that non-government institutions, the churches, the charitable societies, the private businesses — the American people themselves — are better problem solvers, better wealth creators, better equality producers, and better rights protectors than the all-powerful government. A limited government, which is charged with laying the proper soil conditions in which these private institutions are able to thrive, is the forum through which individual liberty and economic prosperity reach their zenith.

By fealty to these basic first principles, we are provided a rubric under which we may propose cutting edge policy innovations that can not only appeal to a vast majority of American voters, but will actually provide real relief to the most pressing public policy questions of the day. Health care. Social Security. Education. Tax policy. Government spending. Economic development. Transportation infrastructure.

Here at Ex Deserto, we will strongly confront these public policy issues through intellectual creativity and thoughtful dialogue, with the goals of breathing new life into a broad, conservative governing coalition — and emerging out of the wilderness.

Introductions

When Aristotle spoke of the polis, the state or political community, he said that it is that “which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.” (Politics, 59) Today’s political climate, in stark contrast, seems to aim at many things all at once, or perhaps more often, nothing at all. Aristotle’s aspirational view of politics is subordinated today to what is politically expedient for individuals. No longer is politics about the good of society. It is about personal gain, prestige, or the cult of personality. Somewhere along the way, something went wrong.

Of course, things went wrong many times over and for many different reasons since Aristotle’s day. And each time, individuals have taken a stand and come together to bring about a renewal in society. Such groups gradually gain momentum and eventually, have the power to effect real and lasting change in society. That was the vision our Founders had in building this great nation. These men sought a nation that respected the fundamentals of a just society–life, liberty, property–and fought for a common goal, a just and democratic society.
In our own day, society is fragmented among many diverse viewpoints, far more than the Framers could have imagined. Within the larger labels of “conservative,” “liberal,” and “libertarian,” there are myriad differences in the vision each has of America and what it should become.
This blog, in part, is meant to flesh out some of these differences within the conservative movement and to help bring about a renewal of conservatism in America. While all of us belong to the Republican party, many of us feel that it has not served us or conservatism well as of late. We neither long for the Reagan era (since only two of us were alive when he was elected), nor do we put our faith in one particular rising party star. Rather, we seek to discuss conservative policy issues, to plan out a roadmap for conservatives in America, and many of us intend to be the candidates of the future.
We welcome your opinions and we hope you will join in our discussion. We hope too that if you disagree, you do so with a sense of civility and purpose. Indeed, all the authors do not agree about each issue, and you will see the many viewpoints in the conservative movement displayed. Enjoy the blog, join the discussion, get involved, and become the “political animal” that you are by nature.