â€œLike the Whig gentry who were the Founders, I loathe populism,â€ Hart explains. â€œMost especially in the form of populist religion, i.e., the current pestiferous bible-banging evangelicals, whom I regard as organized ignorance, a menace to public health, to science, to medicine, to serious Western religion, to intellect and indeed to sanity. Evangelicalism, driven by emotion, and not creedal, is thoroughly erratic and by its nature cannot be conservative. My conservatism is aristocratic in spirit, anti-populist and rooted in the Northeast. It is Burke brought up to date. A â€˜social conservativeâ€™ in my view is not a moral authoritarian Evangelical who wants to push people around, but an American gentleman, conservative in a social sense. He has gone to a good school, maybe shops at J. Press, maybe plays tennis or golf, and drinks either Bombay or Beefeater martinis, or maybe Dewar’s on the rocks, or both.”
Now that’s proper conservatism. I can’t comment on the Dewars, but Bombay Sapphire is without peer, and the critique of evangelicalism is right on the money. By all means, read the whole thing, especially Hart’s clarifications at the end.