For libertarians and their ideological relatives, the guiding principle is the maximization of individual liberty. It is a theory of government consisting mainly of limits and boundaries. The light is almost always red.
Conservatism (as Peter Wehner and I explain in our recent National Affairs essay, “A Conservative Vision of Government”) offers a different principle of public action — though one a bit more difficult to explain than “go” or “stop.”
Yeah, right. It’s a bit more difficult to “explain” because it’s neither conservative nor does it involve any principles beyond that the state must always expand in order to “do good,” according to our metrics of “good.”
Whenever they tell you it’s “difficult to explain,” get ready to be baffled by bullshit. The Framers wrote the Constitution in plain English. And they didn’t tell you it was hard to understand. Finally, what the Framers understood was that government itself was dangerous to the liberties of the people and, unlike flim-flam statists like Gerson, they did everything they could to keep the powers of government under strict limit and control.