Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, conservatism possessed a vibrancy that resulted from spirited intellectual inquiry and open debate. However, in the years leading up to the 2008 elections, this energy seemed to fade. It was as if the conservative movement became less concerned with ideas and more concerned with the preservation of political power.
In Conservatism Redefined, Patrick Garry examines how Conservatives dug themselves into this hole, and how they can climb out. However, unlike many conservative pundits, Garry does not propose a simple, “rediscover our roots” credo. Instead, Conservatism Redefined reexamines and renews conservative ideology, explaining how the classical ideals of conservatism can be employed in new ways to address the concerns of citizens across the ethnic, generational, and economic spectrum. Conservatism in America is currently mired in its worst crisis since the 1960s. To be sure, the crisis accompanied the declining public opinion of the Bush presidency and the resurgence of liberalism and large, aggressive government in a time of crisis. But, as Patrick Garry explains, this does not mean that conservatism has been defeated as an ideology, it means it must be redefined.