Thursday, November 25, 2010

Conservatives: Don't reject us Right-leaning mavericks

Some good souls out there are confused by opinions I have offered in the recent past. "Dragon," they say, "you claim you're a conservative, yet you seem to take great pleasure in bashing the Tea Party and those conservatives of a less secular bent."
I can understand why they're befuddled by my position. My previous critiques of Christine O'Donnell, Sarah Palin and the "Tea Partying gung-ho gang" would seemingly put me to the left of John McCain. But I don't call myself a conservative. I'll say I'm center-Right. I'll say I have conservative leanings. I'll say I'm a conservative-minded libertarian. I don't often refer to myself as just "conservative."
Not that I consider "conservative" a slur. I just cannot claim that ground when I am more likely to be moderate on some issues that Tea Party members wouldn't. I'm a vegetarian. The only time I could ever defend hunting is when the people of a rural community are snowed in by a devastating blizzard and cannot drive the ten miles to the "local" supermarket.
I believe in a Higher Power—and I even call him God—who sets the moral compass inherent in myself in other people and keeps the flame of reason burning. I see no need to get evangelical about it or to take literally every word in a "new" tome written 2,000 years ago.
I will take the side of a conservationist over a developer 99.9 percent of the time. I believe it's neither the government's nor the public's business what I do in the privacy of my own bedroom. Or not, as the case may be: if you're a childless couple, I will congratulate you, not condemn you.
Yet, I do believe in law and order. I cannot tolerate political correctness. I believe in tradition and that the generations that preceded us incorporate things of value that we can all learn from—Baby Boomers are perhaps the exception to this rule. History should be told as it was, not revised nor rewritten. The whole reason for sending children to school is to educate, not indoctrinate, them. The government has no business having their hands in my pockets—or on my genitals. I'm happy to help pay for a safety net for citizens (note: I said citizens) who truly need it and to maintain an infrastructure, but that's all I would willingly contribute.
But if a conservative screws up in my opinion, I will call them on it. I will hold a member of the Right's feet to the fire as much as I will a member of the Left's. If I'm particularly appalled or incensed by them, I will take great pleasure in it. (Are you listening, Mick "Squirrel Eater" Huckabee?)
Recently, a caller to a conservative Boston talk show opined that we need a leader with strong private-sector experience, not simply someone who's pretty and gives the perfectly scripted, "Miss America" response to every question a.k.a. Sarah Palin. I cannot understand the slavish devotion, the Pavlov's dog-like reaction, to her among most conservatives and Tea Party members. She is but one candidate and I believe she's got serious flaws. Yesterday, on Glenn Beck's show, she said that "we've got to stand with our North Korean allies." When Paul Krugman recently hinted at death panels under ObamaCare, Sarah Palin told him, "Thanks for the admittance."
If she runs against Obama in 2012, I believe we're looking at a 51 to 49 percent win for Uncle Barry. I will, of course, hold my nose against the dead moose stink surrounding her and cast my vote in her favor, but to say I will feel several miles short of satisfaction would be an understatement.
Aren't Tea Party conservatives acting as bad as the moonbats who all idolized Barack Obama? Let's not fall into this "one-size-fits-all" mentality. You only have to look to ObamaCare to discern the benefit of that thinking.
The devotion to Sarah Palin is mind-boggling when there are more qualified and less gaffe-prone candidates out there who deserve mainstream and grass-roots support: Bobby Jindal, Charlie Crist, Tim Pawlenty, Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham. Even Newt Gingrich, whose intelligence is not to be trifled with. Mitt Romney will struggle to win the Republican nomination, crippled by RomneyCare such as he is, but his financial knowledge is second-to-none. I would be happy with any of them.
The Tea Party needs to learn how to be less rigid in its outlook. They do not have to compromise their positions, just learn to live with folks who may differ on one or two points. Look what happened when Massachusetts senator Scott Brown acknowledged that he received broad support from a wide range of voters, not just Tea Party supporters. He did; a Republican doesn't get a 53 percent win in the Bay State without building a broad-based coalition. But The Free Republic jumped all over him, accusing him of treason.
I don't mind the label "conservative." I'm just being honest here. I go my own way when I see fit. I'm with the Tea Party on issues of taxes and illegal immigration, and I think they're down-to-earth folks. I guess, as Oscar Wilde once noted, I'm cautious of being part of any group that would have me.


goddessdivine said...

Whatever you are, you definitely lean to the right. Not everyone on the right agrees on every issue; but I think we can agree on the big ones.

I fully support the Tea Party movement and the things they stand for--which is mainly lower taxes and smaller government. I know Palin is a TP fave, but I honestly don't think everyone who supports the TP has her as their top pick for president. She's really good at energizing the base, and perhaps that's where she ought to concentrate her efforts. I too would much rather see someone else take the GOP nomination: Romney, DeMint, Pence, Gingrich, or Christie (even though he swore he isn't going to run; I think he'd be awesome.)

rocslinger said...

Everyone on your list would work for me with the exception of Lindsey Graham, He would be my nose holding vote. I appreciate the rundown on your viewpoints and I think that we agree at least 80% of the time. Which makes for interesting discussion fodder the other 20% of the time.

Nightdragon said...

I agree, Roc. We need interesting discussions. It's something you don't often get on TV (thank God for talk radio!).