Interestingly enough, the willingness of conservatives, of all people, to debate and question their own assumptions has meant that conservative thought adapted quickly and fixed its errors rapidly. So writes J. R. Dunn in The American Thinker this week -- he's concerned that we're throwing away the key to our success:
With the Harriet Miers controversy, conservatism has begun its descent into ideology. Unlike the Left, conservatism has never been an ideological movement, in the sense of possessing an overarching system of thought demanding acceptance in toto. American conservatism is based on principle, firmly-grounded, straightforward concepts: that men are lower than angels, that governs best which governs least, and that innovations must be examined under the presumption of error. Apart from these axioms, everything else was open to debate. Until today, there has never been an orthodox party line in conservatism.
(HT: John Locke Foundation's Jon Ham)