I consider David Frum a friend, so I was saddened by the news that his relationship with the American Enterprise Institute had been abruptly terminated.
And even though David is not coming out and saying so directly, it seems his termination was politically motivated ---the AEI didn’t like his attacks on the Republican Party.
Certainly, I can identify with all this.
After all, I was fired from my job at the National Citizens Coalition a few weeks after I had criticized the Conservative Party.
So it seems that in both Canada and the United States speaking out against politicians can be a risky career move for conservatives.
What a sad state of affairs for our movement.
Now don’t get me wrong. I vehemently disagree with many of David’s contentions concerning the Republican Party and conservatism.
In my view, he concedes far too much to the left and promotes a wishy-washy, watered down ideology that as a conservative I find completely unappealing and ultimately self-defeating.
But at the same time, I respect the intellectual power of his arguments.
And more than that, by raising legitimate and thoughtful questions, David forces us as conservatives to look in the mirror and to defend our beliefs and our tactics.
This makes our movement stronger.
Indeed, as conservatives we must and should welcome the ideological combat that takes place in a free market place of ideas.
It keeps us vibrant, it keeps us growing intellectually.
That’s why organizations like the AEI and the NCC should allow and even encourage criticism of the political powers that be.
Yes, standing up to a political party can take a little courage, but at the end of the day aren’t these groups supposed to be about ideas?
And one idea conservatives must always embrace is the importance of free speech.