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elon \ Ew WHY CONSERVATIVES ALWAYS LOSE by Henry F. Hildebrandt WHY CONSERVATIVES ALWAYS LOSE “A cannot be A and not-A at the same time.” Aristotle ‘There are few things that shock and upset ‘many responsible Americans, Liberals and Con- servatives alike, as the statement that one does not vote. Both regard this asa sort of civic sloth- fulness — a perverse abandonment of civil responsibility — or as an immature refusal to ac- cept the duties incumbent upon all citizens of this great Republic. How, both wonder, ean there be government of the people, by the peo- ple, for the people, if the people do not vote? ‘While both the Liberal and the Conservative deplore what appears to be a clear ease of irre- sponsibility, they do not look upon this offense in the same light, The Liberal has faced this problem often. He knows it is almost always a result of ignorance so the remedy is close at hand. What is required is education and a bet- ter understanding of the benefits to be obtained by partisan support of political leaders and the party. Liberals understand the dynamics of the ‘democratic process so citizen “apathy” or dis- content is a simple matter easily solved by an extension of the franchise and a new redistribu- of national wealth. This approach, as the record clearly shows in every country where Democracy has been tried, has produced an enviable record of election and re-election for Liberal candidates year after year. All that is necessary is to ereate a “dependence effect.” Dependence upon the party and government. ‘The Conservative has not analyzed the dy: namies of Democracy. More conscious is he of the American tradition of freedom and respon- sible citizenship. He regards himself as the de- fender of the hearthfires of American liberty He sees himself as the vigilant defender of lib- erty, the market system, and the American tradition of self-reliance. Perhaps he is. But he ddoes not see that he is also a rearguard warrior, beating as futilely as King Canute against the waves of Democracy that ebb and flow ever higher around his undermanned barricades. Erie He, too, recognizes that in most cases deplorable failure of citizens to exercise their franchise is a result of ignorance or apathy. But he is not in the same position as the Liberal. He cannot “educate” with an offer to redistribute the income and wealth of the nation. Wealth in a modern industrial nation is not the same, either in form or function, as it was in feudal Europe or in the storied days of the Ara bian Nights. Wealth is industrial capital invest- ment. It is in production. Tt has a limited life span. Nor ean it be hidden in some magic cave. Redistribution of wealth, the Conservative rightly perceives, means the destruction of in- dustrial society. He has only to look at England or Italy to see his worst fears confirmed. ‘Thus, he is not merely annoyed; he is upset when he discovers men who refuse to vote, not ‘out of ignorance but on principle. The Conser- vative has reconciled himself to ignorance and ‘non-voting and under the cireumstanees he ean forgive the undereducated. A refusal to vote by knowledgeable people is a different matter. Lurking in his mind is the suspicion that such irresponsible behaviour will bring defeat to a ‘cause both he and his unfaithful allies hold dear. He may, in fact, be right. But his outrage does not enlighten him. How can it be that seemingly responsible men who expend themselves unceasingly in defend- ing his own highest values and the free market ‘system that makes modern civilization possible bbe so blind to the dangers created by their own intransigence and the consequences that must follow from abandoning the field of battle? As stated before, the Conservative is a rearguard warrior and he feels very keenly every defec- tion within the ranks. The thought is irrelevant but how many battles does the rearguard win? Is not its existence an open admission that defeat has already occurred? Occasionally such doubts trouble the Conser vvative conscience. Invariably they are quickly suppressed. To expose them to serutiny would require that he examine anew his own beliefs about the ideals and goals of Democracy, the dy- namies of the democratic process, the nature of ‘man and, ultimately, the moral code necessary {for the existence of Man. To pursue ruthlessly these questions to their ultimate conclusions ‘would be catastrophie for the Conservative psy- che, It would enmesh him in a moral dilemma for “2