Thursday, November 19, 2020

Damage To Conservatism

      Okay, look, I'm not a conservative.  I'm a wild-eyed libertarian -- small l, please -- who believes government should be tiny, of limited powers, and staffed by extraordinarily talented people.  And I know I'm never going to get that -- the best I can hope for is a fairly competent bureaucracy and elected officials who put so much time and effort into tripping one another up that they can't do too much harm.

      But I used to be able to get along with conservatives, at least  the Buckley-through-Goldwater arc of the Republican party.  At times too hawkish to suit me, they could nevertheless be relied on to not go haring off after conspiracy theories, to be fiscally prudent and to remain aware of Constitutional constraints on the Federal government's powers.  They tended to be optimistic about a brighter future, notably in Ronald Reagan's speeches.  They tended, mostly, to listen to experts and follow scientific thought.  They were open to debate.

      Were.  Today's GOP politicians and rank-and-file appear to have decided that reality is whatever you can convince yourself it is, and that the ill-informed opinion of the man-on-the-street is just as good as that of someone who has spent a lifetime studying the topic.  They're not interested in discussion or debate.

      I grew up hearing my parents complain about Democrat politicians who built castles in the air and tried to make people live in them, voters and office-holders for whom feelings mattered ever so much more than facts.  Never in my wildest imaginings did I think the GOP would decide that was the way to go, and that they could do so even better than the opposing party.

      Will they be able to undo the damage they have done to themselves?  It seems unlikely. 


Carteach said...

My political affiliation is listed, quite literally in this state, as 'No Party'. No one, and I mean nobody, speaks for me.

Given the depth and breadth of character and intelligence in today's politics and parties... I'm very okay with that.

The Old Man said...

In the best of all possible worlds, they'll work for us.

Not today.

Antibubba said...

It's one thing to work against each other, but this is starting to look like the Balkan War.

vizslak7 said...

But, the Democrats are good?

Roberta X said...

Did you even read the post, Vizslak7? You seem to have missed the parts about me being a libertarian and which party started the "subjective reality" game.

No, I was never a fan of most Democrat politicians, mainly on the basis of policy. The GOP used to produce the occasional politician I could stomach. Those days are over -- and they have dumbed-down conservatism to such a degree that it's got no intellectual core at all.

Carteach said...

Aye, accurately spoken. As an instructor, the biggest mountain I climb is the students unwillingness to THINK. It's a novel task most of them have never really faced before.

Our current political system is designed for such critters.... or perhaps, they were designed for it.