Have Faith A New Fusionism Can Work (William Ruger, Aug 12, 2020, American Conservative)

It seems as if many American conservatives—a particular brand of conservatism that has always aimed at conserving the authentic classical liberal political tradition of America while also espousing a certain cultural vision of virtue, personal responsibility, and community—have lost some faith in their tradition and the distinctly American ideals and institutions that it supports. Yet this moment is just when we need to embrace them. A new fusionism could be found by reengaging with that tradition and energetically applying these insights to our country’s challenges today.

Coolidge, after being elected state senate president in 1914, reminded his fellow Bay Staters that they too needed to stay true to what Massachusetts stood for and had produced. He noted that: “In some unimportant detail some other States may surpass her, but in the general results, there is no place on earth where the people secure, in a larger measure, the blessings of organized government, and nowhere can those functions more properly be termed self-government.”

The rest of the essay exemplifies a philosophy that American conservatism has traditionally stood for: representative government, the moral dignity of all, the protection of natural rights including those of the less powerful, personal character and thrift, honest work and industry, and the just acquisition and protection of property.

Conservatism needs to double down on a faith in America exemplified by the principles that Coolidge extolled. We need to see power in the ability of its people to do great things when they are free to do so. Indeed, we need to harken back to the best of the American experiment and away from the siren songs of government control, a managed economy, and the centralized warfare/welfare state. It is the ideals of the Declaration and the institutions of our constitutions that have served America so well since our founding.