Monday, December 29, 2014

The "Conservative" View

The silence in my house is deafening after two whole days of riding in my car listening to music and podcasts. I'd enjoy the silence more, but in the final few miles into Tucson I decided to explore a few radio stations rather than fumble around with my phone again. I stumbled into the middle of a radio talk show, which I listened to for a few minutes to kind of wrap my head around it.

The show consisted of the host basically going on about how Obama is a dictator, how the Republicans are enabling him, and how the president is systematically destroying the country. He then took a caller who basically agreed with the host, then went on to say he knew from the beginning that Obama was Satan (literally, Satan in disguise) ever since some fiasco about when Obama didn't hold the Bible the right way or something when he was inaugurated.

Now I'm just thinking about conservatism in general, so I figured I'd write something about it.

First, I think that to call these people conservatives is an insult to rue conservatives. It's frightening, though, to think that this sort of rhetoric not only exists but is perhaps even popular. I mean, this was a show on the radio, and judging from the conversation it has been around long enough to be established, which suggests a certain degree of popularity. This wasn't a local program, either; the host was broadcasting from Boston, and the caller was from Texas.

The only real criticism I heard during my listen was regarding the growing national debt, which is hardly a quality unique to the Obama administration. Everything else, though, seemed to be fear for the sake of fear. I'm not even sure what these people were afraid/angry/upset about. They were just angry. I find it hard to relate to that mindset.

True conservatism, though, I can actually understand, even if I don't agree with it. Smaller government, larger military, slower social change--I can at least see an argument for these things. Moreover, I feel like I can actually have a conversation with Republicans. They seem rational.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for all of the people who put them into power. It's frightening to hear people talk like that. They use speech that brooks no argument, that's not open to discussion, and will never be swayed. They'll neither bend nor break,and they consider that a virtue.

I've had a lot of time to think during the drive to and from Louisiana, and one of the things I thought about a lot was my presidential platform for when I run in 2020. Sometimes, though, I forget that if I were to be president that I'd be president of these people as well. People who can't be reasoned with. It doesn't make me any more hesitant to run, but it does give me something new to think about: how do I handle nut jobs? Take them seriously? Respond to them briefly? Ignore them completely? There are no real good options, none that don't come with a cost. Hrm...

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