Arthur Ravenel Jr./None

Things aren’t going well for conservatives these days. They lost control of Congress and a long-standing local Republican seat in the state legislature and they have President Bush as their albatross. The only thing that could make this worse is when you ask reasonable people (that would be City Paper readers) who their favorite conservative is and the answer “none” ties for the prestigious honor.

Thanks to Arthur Ravenel Jr., the pain is blunted slightly. But what makes Ravenel a good conservative? He acted as a somewhat independent-minded Republican during his tenure as a U.S. Congressman during the Reagan years … although he rarely disagreed with the status quo. In the race for the local school board last year, he ran on “accountability” both in the way students are taught and in how the district is managed. Accountability isn’t exclusive to conservatives, but you hear it enough and you start to believe it. There’s also the man’s long tenure in public service as a conservative. And maybe most importantly, he’s a big reason why you’re able to drive across the Cooper River and enjoy such a great view in the process.