Mistaken Identity

While doing antitrust-related research, I was surprised to find an old op-ed of mine cited in a 2015 paper by American University law professor Jonathan B. Baker in the Antitrust Law Journal.

I was even more surprised to learn that I am apparently a conservative! I’ve always thought my worldview and policy positions are to be influenced by the rather different liberal tradition espoused by David Hume, Voltaire, Adam Smith, and F.A. Hayek of “Why I Am Not a Conservative” fame.

Then again, Baker seems to use the word “conservative” as shorthand for “I disagree with this,” rather than to describe a coherent philosophy along the lines of Edmund Burke or Russell Kirk.

Baker even acknowledges that some of the people he cites object to being characterized as conservatives, then calls them that anyway. This not the approach of a careful or charitable arguer.

Accordingly, I will reject Baker’s semantic gymnastics and intellectual incuriousity, and continue to identify as a liberal in the original, correct sense of the term.


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