Thesis Statement Re: Conservatism

Properly speaking, ideology is not subject to empirical testing.

Much of what gets labeled "conservative ideology" in 21st Century America is actually a set of plausible empirical claims, mainly in the field of economics, that have been tested in the 40 years since Reagan was elected and found to be false.

As a matter of intellectual history, the tenets of conservatism that are genuinely ideological are un-American on their face. Ideas like the divine origin of social hierarchies would be called treasonous if they didn't strike us as just plain silly.

There is no history of conservative thought in America. William F. Buckley and others made the bald assertion that there was such a tradition and eventually it became conventional wisdom that the ideas of Edmund Burke had played an important role in the creation of American identity. The claim shares the same provenance and truth value as the notion that everyone should drink 8 glasses of water a day.