Tag Archives: conservatives

Wednesday Night Ramblings – 9/25/2019

I’ve made a conscious decision to stay out of politics for the last couple of years, but I think we are at a moment of history when a few questions need to be asked of conservatives who still support Mr. Trump. For most of my life, the stances of Republicans that I have admired most are those on states’ rights, free trade, personal accountability, and fiscal responsibility. My biggest question for conservatives is: Do you believe in and adhere to your principles, or do you support the party regardless of what principles its leaders espouse?

Conservatives claim to believe in states’ rights. However, when the state of California attempts to maintain its own standards for vehicle emissions, the president revokes that authority. Do you believe in this principle or not?

Obviously, Democrats tend to be anti-capitalism, but conservatives have always maintained that they believe in free trade. This president has done more to damage free trade and restrict it than any before him. The trade war and tariffs with China are spiralling the world into a recession. Manipulating markets and pressuring the Federal Reserve to undo the damage the trade war is doing to the economy are NOT free trade fundamentals. Do you believe in markets or not?

For the eight years of Mr. Clinton’s presidency, Republicans railed against his immorality and dishonesty. Slick Willie he was called. Mr. Trump also regularly makes false and misleading statements. Typically outright lies. He also is a womanizer. Do you believe in personal accountability or not? Why are you not as outraged by this person’s behavior as you were Mr. Clinton’s? Is it blind devotion to the party?

When Mr. Obama took office during the Great Recession, conservatives screamed from every outlet possible that the sky was falling because of the national debt and the continuation of the bailouts begun during the Bush administration. Well, under Mr. Trump, in an effort to mitigate the damage done by the trade war, more money has been given to farmers than was used to bailout GM. The national debt has mushroomed to $22 trillion dollars. Where is the conservative outrage over lack of fiscal responsibility? Do you believe in this principle or does it only matter when a Democrat is in the oval office?

My final question for conservatives is this: is there anything this president could do that would make you stop supporting him?

Saturday Afternoon Ramblings

Here’s the crux of our problem illustrated by two specific examples.  The other day, while listening to the radio, I caught a few moments of a debate over gun control.  It was the typical back and forth liberal versus conservative banter, but towards the end of the segment, the conservative challenged the liberal to talk to NRA members, not the executives mind you, but everyday people.  Her response, and I’m paraphrasing, was something to the effect that she had nothing to say to those people.  The second example comes from the gay marriage debate.  On Facebook, two different religious conservative friends of mine posted similar rants about having other people’s sins forced upon them.  In both of these examples, there is a common thread that shuts down dialogue and allows no room for discussion.

In the first example, the liberal woman refuses to talk to her opponents.  In her mind, her position is perfect and flawless, with no need for improvement or refinement.  The arrogance of this stance is staggering.  When someone refuses to listen to someone else, that person is adopting an air of superiority, as if their opponents cannot possibly be intelligent enough to add anything to the discussion.  Now, I can almost justify this stance if the challenge had been to converse with an executive from the NRA, someone with a profit-driven agenda to promote, but this challenge was specifically to talk to ordinary people, to listen to their stories, to hear their perspectives.  In her own way, she dehumanizes conservatives, and her arrogance is what makes people view liberals as out-of-touch elitists.

For the second example, we have the opposite side of the same coin.  Both of the religious people are operating from the mindset that their beliefs are the only ones with validity.  Anyone who doesn’t believe their version of the scripture is simply wrong.  Much like their liberal counterpart, they refuse to accept that their view might be flawed.  Never mind that there are many, many examples of laws proclaimed by their bible that are now considered archaic and absurd.  We no longer force rapists to marry their victims for one example.  These people cannot see the holes in their own logic that as humanity’s understanding of science and biology and psychology has improved, we’ve let go of the obviously ridiculous “rules” proscribed in the Bronze Age.  Even though they more than likely enjoy delicious, tasty bacon, to them the Holy Bible is the immutable law of God, except the passages they conveniently choose to ignore.  Just like their liberal counterpart, they dehumanize homosexuals with inflammatory analogies to bestiality, and as long as they hold this stance, there can be no discussion with them.

Until we can get both of these extremes to budge off of their arrogance, we cannot find peaceful resolution to our differences.  Until we can get these extremes to stop dehumanizing their counterparts, we cannot find common ground.  The only way we can ever hope to heal this widening chasm is by listening to each other, but as illustrated, the extremes have no interest in listening.  In their minds, their stance is perfect and beyond reproach, and I for one have no idea how to breach this irrational gulf.