European Conservatism, American Conservatism, and the Jews

July 28, 2014 | Read online:

Why are Jews liberals? One plausible answer lies in the Jewish experience in Europe. European conservatives, as Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution points out, differ greatly from American conservatives. European conservatism has sought to conserve “altar and throne”—the non-democratic ancien régime that oppressed the Jews. American conservatism, on the other hand, has sought to conserve liberty and the tradition of the American Revolution. William Kristol elaborates for and against this thesis, pointing out that many American conservatives are liberals who feel the left has left them, but, at the same time, there are traditionalist conservatives in America who are not exactly conserving liberty.

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