“The notion of conservative purity is a myth,” Peter Berkowitz of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution wrote in a Wall Street Journal commentary. “The great mission of American conservatism — securing the conditions under which liberty flourishes — has always depended on the weaving together of imperfectly compatible principles and applying them to an evolving and elusive political landscape.” Berkowitz noted how the Founding Fathers, Adam Smith and President Reagan (in photo) wisely knew when to compromise. “Clarity about principles is critical,” he wrote. “It enables one to spot the betrayal of core convictions. But contrary to the partisans of purity, in politics winning and compromise are not antithetical.”
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