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1. Although I've long described myself as a moderate or a centrist, and I still have sympathy with centrism and moderatism, I now feel so alienated from the political left that I am happy to describe myself as a conservative.
2. What does that mean to me? It means that I believe that human nature is utterly corrupt and that reason, although powerful, is quite fallible. Therefore, I believe that we need to respect tradition and revere those who made our civilization possible.
3. We should slow down immigration and concentrate on assimilation. Creating a large liberal society is incredibly difficult for our species. Introducing racial and religious and cultural diversity increases the difficulty. It creates tensions and hatreds and divisions.
4. We should be leery of radical change, of ruptures from our past, and try to steer a cautious path of progress by incremental change. And we should stop flagellating ourselves for inhabiting the greatest and most tolerant society in the world.
5. We should learn to have pride in our civilization again: criticize its real sins, but also celebrate its many triumphs and stop pretending that it is responsible for every evil in the world, stop pretending it is rife with racism and sexism and many other isms too.
6. I've not voted Republican in a single election in my life. And even though I might not vote for Trump, I will definitely not vote for Biden. I've changed my mind here even since a few weeks ago, because what I've witnessed since has horrified me.
7. Clinton is likely the last Democrat for whom I will ever vote, because I don't see the progressive loathing of the West or obsession with identity and with mostly imaginary sins of the pervasive isms ending anytime soon.
8. I don't see progressives slowing down immigration and striving to create a more integrated and assimilated population, one that is less fractious and more united, anytime soon.
9. My hope for a reasonable Democratic party is dead. Furthermore, I now believe that conservatism is simply the correct political philosophy. That doesn't mean I share all of the concerns of many modern conservatives. But it does mean I share the general ethos.
10. Conservatism takes the fragility and depravity of human nature seriously. It doesn't believe in utopias. It believes only in the flawed world in which we are doomed dwell. We must leave paradise to the poets and progressives and deal squarely with the cruelness of reality.
11. And, more than anything, we must preserve. Preserve things we love. Poetry. Music. Rule of Law. Individualism. Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Shakespeare, Mozart, Beethoven Jefferson, Madison, Burke, Churchill, Eliot, Welles, Hitchcock, Pynchon, Payne.
12. Ultimately, tradition is the only permanence we can hope to know in a chaotic world of ephemera. I think we should cling to it.
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