I love my country.....and I won't give it up!
I'm tired of hearing the refrain...."the GOP is dead"....and "the country is going down the tubes the way of Western European socialist countries".
I'm sorry, I won't accept that.
I'm willing to bet most of the people parrotting these lines are old, grizzled, bitter men who are cynical bastards to begin with.
Here's the deal.....I'm a 20-something conservative who loves his country and the values, traditions, and institutions it was founded on. I refuse to accept that it is all for naught at this point.
He goes on to list the discouraging argument he hears from 'conservatives':
Common refrains I hear are:
1. Demographics are changing this country and eliminating any chance of a conservative renewal.
A: Well, Irish Catholics not too long ago voted straight ticket Democrat 100% of the time. Blacks were solidly Republican until the 1960s. Are you telling me conservatives cannot win arguments with Hispanic voters to bring them to our side??? Only if we write them off!!!! People who take the demographic argument are making a borderline racist argument. Yes, the Dems have made an effort to institutionalize minorities into government programs, but they are doomed to fail. Let's start winning some arguments! It aint' that hard if you really try.
2. Young people are indoctrinated in schools and universities.
A: Hogwash. Another baby-boomer argument. The students at University of Missouri were NOT a bunch of brainwashed lefty ideolgues.
I believe in the power of goodness. America is a special place. Freedom is a universal value. The GOP and the conservative movement et al needs to start pushing this hardcore.
All you moronic, cynical old nellies can just bother not responding to this post. This is for optimistic freedom-loving Americans ONLY.
God bless all of you, and God bless America...the country I love.''
Well, I guess I am one of those 'moronic, cynical old nellies' the poster despises.
There is that idea, so often expressed by mainstream Republican types, that to be 'conservative', one must be optimistic all the time. Anything else is labeled a 'liberal' attitude; only liberals find fault with things as they are. I don't know how or when this kind of attitude became mandatory among the mainstream GOP types; I am going to guess it was probably during the Reagan era, when Republican triumphalism and smug optimism seemed to be the thing. The belief was apparently that the country was returning to its 'conservative' roots and the future was rosy -- as long as people voted GOP and stayed optimistic. The optimism seems unwarranted, in retrospect, as things have undoubtedly gotten steadily worse from a conservative standpoint. Of course this young man probably cannot see that, since it appears he was probably born after Reagan's presidency and has little historical perspective.
His contention that colleges do not indoctrinate their students is not supported by any facts; he merely says that his school (apparently the University of Missouri) was not liberal. So it seems, however, that his college education did not teach him anything about argument and debate; providing an anecdote does not prove his assertions.
He also takes a swipe at 'baby-boomers', whom he obviously dislikes; this seems distressingly common these days. I would guess his grandparents could have been boomers, if not his parents. To my mind, respect for elders is a must for real conservatives; how is it possible to be ''conservative'' in any way and loathe the generations before you? Sure, the boomers were in many cases notoriously liberal, but it appears the later generations are even more so, considering the numbers of them who voted for the current regime. Again, exceptions do not disprove the rule.
It appears that, as with far too many Americans, he considers 'conservative' and Republican to be one and the same; surely he should be able to see that this is far from true. All he has to do is to look at the party leadership, or at the pathetic candidate who was just defeated at the polls, to see how very un-conservative his beloved Republican Party is.
The first complaint on his list was about the demographic changes harming the prospects of his beloved GOP. He does not believe that this will be the case. Obviously he's been listening to Karl Rove, George Bush, John McCain, Mike Huckabee and all the others who foolishly believe that the Hispanics who are here in the tens of millions will one day vote Republican:
"Are you telling me conservatives cannot win arguments with Hispanic voters to bring them to our side??? Only if we write them off!!!! People who take the demographic argument are making a borderline racist argument. Yes, the Dems have made an effort to institutionalize minorities into government programs, but they are doomed to fail. Let's start winning some arguments! It aint' that hard if you really try.''Only the most stubborn and blind Republican can continue to wallow in that kind of fantasy about winning over Hispanic voters (who are supposedly really ''conservative'' at heart) and bringing minorities en masse into the Republican fold. This thinking is rooted in the idea that the Democrats are 'holding minorities back' with their socialism, and that if only minorities learned about the wonders of the free market and the Protestant work ethic, they would be staunch Republicans and all-American success stories. He totally discounts any inherent differences among the races. Little does he realize, it seems, how very liberal his own thinking is. And he caps off the bit about demographics with a flourish of the race card, saying that the 'demographic argument' is 'borderline racism'.
Sometimes when I encounter people like this who believe themselves conservative while holding many core liberal ideas, I wonder if it is worth it to try to open their minds a little bit and examine their liberal presuppositions. If I meet someone who is as vehement as this young man seems to be, I tend to write them off; he seems very fixed in his thinking, and he's certain he is 'conservative' and right. Such people are very hard to get through to; if I tried to engage this young man in a discussion he would probably think me to be one of those 'right-wing extremists' or one of those 'cynical old nellies.' I think he is one of those who stubbornly holds to his beliefs despite evidence to the contrary in the real world, and in many instances, this stubbornness is rooted in the determination to be ''optimistic'' as he describes himself.
Is conservatism optimistic as a rule? I think conservatism above all should be realistic. Being aware of the world's essential imperfections and imperfectibility, and above all, being cognizant of the fact that human nature is flawed and limited tends to rein in any tendency to blind faith in a rosy future, or any utopian schemes such as the liberals love to envision.
Being optimistic is good only as long as we temper it with realism and humility and a little skepticism. If I don't see these traits or at least the potential for them in someone, I don't attempt to try to reason and argue with them. I suppose I have come to choose my battles a little more carefully. I only hope that this young man and the others out there who may be like him will come to realistic views on the world, and above all, I hope he will come to realize that patriotism should mean, above all, a commitment to his people, to his kin and home and faith, (if he has one).
Putting all his hope and faith in a political party or in some abstract universal idea like ''freedom'' will lead to eternal disappointment and frustration. I hope that he and others like him will look to the wisdom of earlier times rather than the dubious 'wisdom' of Limbaugh or Hannity or Beck.
I hope he learns that if he truly wants to conserve, then conserving one's people and heritage is at the top of the list.