One thing that I wish both of these bloggers, and Robinson in her response to questions from the earlier poster, would spend more time on is the bewildering array of things that “liberal” and “conservative” can mean. For example, I have been called conservative (and it wasn’t intended as a compliment) because I like to read dusty old books. Or another: I’ve seen Robinson called conservative simply because she’s not a moral relativist. Yet one of the things that turns me off about Edmund Burke, the founder of modern conservatism (according to some people), is that his whole “human rights is all very well in France; they’re so bloody rational over there” routine smacks, to me, of an irritating and frivolous moral relativism. Humans have rights or we don’t, dammit. (N.b.: I could be misremembering his argument. I was a much younger and in many ways angrier man when I tried to read Burke.)