We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Exams, contests, competitions, elections, business. Pollyanna-ish as it may sound, losing or doing poorly in these things offers learning opportunities. People tend not to learn much from winning: they tend to just keep doing the same thing until it stops working. That's when people are forced to re-think.
I have never watched Dr. Phil, but I am told that one of his favorite comments is "And how is that working for you?" It sounds like one of those great AA aphorisms.
Rick Moran has a very thoughtful and, I believe, realistic piece Moderates? Who needs 'em, about whither conservatism. It surely rings true up here in New England, where we lost our last R congressman, Chris Shays, in the last election. One quote:
“Changing historical circumstances” and the recognition that although our principles may be immutable, how they are interpreted is up to each generation. My interpretation of First Principles differs broadly from most of you reading this. Does this mean we can’t be allies in the struggle to bring those principles to the job of governing a great nation? Chasing away those who agree with you in principle but differ with you on interpretation will only lead to permanent minority status for conservatives. I have to think we’re too smart to allow that to happen.
Read the whole thing. Of course Conservatives need appealing, inspiring and articulate spokesmen but, to remain a national force, Conservatism, as a subsection of the GOP, has to recognize regional realities. You just cannot say "Good riddance" to every Chris Shays.
Gotta remember that "All politics is local," and that every voting lever pulled is done by an individual person in a certain place at a certain time with varying emotions, information, and environment. Most voters have no real political philosophy. If they did, we'd probably have a national Libertarian party.
At some point though, one has to ask how many pro-big government, pro-high taxes, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, soft-on-national-defense conservatives a conservative movement can tolerate.
Were there more liberals, akin to the blue dog democrats, I could handle more moderate republicans. Alas, most of the liberals in public life aren't liberal in any meaningful sense of the term, but are in fact various flavors of leftist.
I'd rather my type of libertarian/conservative die out, than to have my belief system redefined and watered down into Leftist Lite.
This topic has been beaten to death over the last three years BD. Repubs just have too many obstacles to overcome. Here's some in no particular order. 1) Leadership: Anyone who emerges as a leader on the right will get hammered the way Palin was, and Bush before her. It is next to impossible to establish credibility when you are being smeared 24/7. The Left knows this strategy works and it will continue. 2) The media: They may be in decline, but they are the voice the politically ignorant listen to and they will continue to jeer and ridicule every notion advanced by the Right. I see no effective way for the Right to get their message out. 3) The dems pass out favors and money once they ascend to power. Repubs don't believe in this and it is a tremendous advantage for the dems. 4) The Religious Right simply can't compromise on certain issues with the rest of the GOP. They answer to a higher authority than the realms of Government. I am told over and over that this is the reason Republicans lose. I don't know a of way to fix it. 5) There is a lot more fight in the democratic party. They play for keeps and will lie, cheat and steal to win. Repubs are too gentlemanly to stoop to such tactics, and pay dearly for playing politely. Bottom Line: Unless you can figure out a way to fix those problems, Coservatism is headed for obscurity. I don't know if a poor economy will bring voters back to the Repubs or not. Didn't happen in the 1930s.
Very interesting article about conservative and liberal views of morality.
What struck me as funny was that Hayek came to essentially the same conclusion. Accumulated social wisdom (experience, lessons learned, etc) has value and relevance in the present. Liberals it seems, are devoted to throwing off the dead hand of the past.
I find it interesting that after all the mischief specter got up to over his years in office, it was his vote for big government, big debt that finally did him in. Perhaps we need someone with a megaphone to state the basics of the republican party (which used to be small government, low taxes).