I’ve been reading and re-reading an article by W. Winston Eliott III titled A Conservatism of Hope.
How Eliott began:
I am yearning for conservative voices offering great depth, thoughtfulness, and dare we say, grace. Is it possible to be strong in conservative principles and to present those principles in a manner which is attractive, persuasive and genuine? Where is our American Cicero? Is there hope for the American Republic? Perhaps. As Russell Kirk said: “A conservatism of instinct must be reinforced by a conservatism of thought and imagination.”
….Is the American Republic beyond hope? President Richard Nixon once asked Dr. Russell Kirk if “we have any hope.” Dr. Kirk replied that “…it is all a matter of belief. If most intelligent and energetic people come to believe the prophets of despair, then indeed ruin falls upon the state, for many folk withdraw to hidie-holes, there to conceal themselves from the coming wrath.” We should ask ourselves if we encourage our fellows to have hope. Do we suggest paths to cultural renewal as often as we lament the present discontent? Or have we given in to a conservatism of nostalgia where we immerse in mourning the loss of what we can never regain? Are we prophets of despair?
Alternatively, is ours a conservatism of restoration as well as preservation? Dr. Kirk went on to tell Nixon: “But if, rather than despairing, people recognize the gravity of social circumstances and hopefully resolve to take arms against a sea of troubles–why, hope breeds hope, and a nation’s vitality is renewed…the American Republic is still young, as civilizations go, and that despite our present discontents we Americans conceivably may enter soon upon an Augustan age.”
….Our hope is that The Imaginative Conservative offers an ongoing dialogue on conservatism that, if readers take their time and open their minds, may offer a better understanding of conservatism and of what is worth conserving. This is our hope for The Imaginative Conservative community of readers and authors. We hope to offer a conversation on essential principles where agreement is not the highest goal. Nor is winning. Instead we strive for understanding; we seek to draw closer to the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We offer our readers questions to ponder, in the same way advised by Dr. Russell Kirk:
At the back of every discussion of the good society lies this question, What is the object of human life? The enlightened conservative does not believe that the end or aim of life is competition; or success; or enjoyment; or longevity; or power; or possessions. He believes, instead, that the object of life is Love. He knows that the just and ordered society is that in which Love governs us, so far as Love ever can reign in this world of sorrows; and he knows that the anarchical or the tyrannical society is that in which Love lies corrupt. He has learnt that Love is the source of all being, and that Hell itself is ordained by Love. He understands that Death, when we have finished the part that was assigned to us, is the reward of Love. And he apprehends the truth that the greatest happiness ever granted to a man is the privilege of being happy in the hour of his death.–Prospects for Conservatives
There is a lot more. It is a lengthy article, but offers “great depth, thoughtfulness, grace,” and hope.