Sohrab Ahmari and the price of "liberalism"

You may say, as the best conservatives do, that what you are trying to conserve is the American founding and its classical liberal ideas. But the act of couching your outlook as “conservative” has the effect of shifting your focus toward the preservation of the past as such and draws you into an ideological and political alliance with those for whom the value of liberal principles is secondary at best. It creates a political category that attempts to encompass the souls of both Thomas Jefferson and Archie Bunker—and ultimately cannot contain both. That’s the crackup that is happening right now on the right. Archie Bunker conservatism—the kind that longs nostalgically for a past in which “guys like us, we had it made”—is trying to assert itself and views the classical liberals as an obstacle to be cleared out of the way. The easiest way to accomplish that is by defining us out of existence. When you let these people paint the totalitarian woke left as “liberals,” think about how much of the glorious history of human freedom this sweeps out of existence. Think about how much you are giving up by abandoning the banner of liberalism to those who don’t deserve it.