How to be a proud conservative

Being a conservative millennial isn’t easy, but we share the Founding Fathers’ values and principles, and we have an important job to do.

I first realized it wasn’t popular to be a conservative millennial in college, when I decided to tackle the issues of gay marriage and abortion in papers I wrote my freshman year.

I hope I would have the guts to do it all over again, but in reality, I’m not so sure. For a place that’s said to be filled with “safe spaces” that promote open-mindedness, college is a tough place for a conservative.

My College Republicans and I became like family. There weren’t many of us – maybe five at the core of our group. We were respected student leaders, or, as my husband would say, overachievers. We made conservative waves at a liberal arts college and, looking back now, I am so proud of those waves we made. We were respectful, but we didn’t back down if we believed we were being treated unfairly.

How to be a proud conservativeShutterstock

Now I find myself mentoring my younger cousin through the liberal college campus scene, and it’s ugly. She hears or sees many of the same blanket statements that I still see as a 20-something: if you aren’t supportive of gay marriage, you hate homosexuals; if you aren’t supportive of abortions, you’re either ignorant, or have your thoughts controlled by a male; if you aren’t supportive of affirmative action, or free tuition for illegal immigrants, you’re a racist; if you support Israel, you must hate Palestinians; if you watch Fox News, you must be uneducated. The list goes on and on.

It’s no surprise that when I was a senior in college, I struggled with the decision of whether or not I should list my White House Internship on my resume. It was an accomplishment, I was proud of, but I had heard comments about how interning for George W. Bush might not be considered an accomplishment. They obviously hadn’t heard him talk to a group of people in the West Wing about his love for this country and the people in it; how he prayed for us as a nation and made decisions based on all of the high-level information he had, and the countless prayers he said.

This year, I’ll turn 30, and it hasn’t gotten much easier. I can literally count on one hand how many conservative friends I have. Political dinner conversations make me cringe. I hesitate before I post anything on social media, because I think of the nasty comments that will ensue. In a way, it’s like high school – you want to be a part of the in crowd, and don’t want someone to dislike you, in this case, for your political opinions.

But then, this weekend it clicked.

I watched Glenn Beck’s CPAC speech, and I was reminded that as a conservative I am fighting for the values and principles of our Founding Fathers. As a Christian, I know those values and principles came from God. Our Founding Fathers pledged their lives to this country – they promised to protect each other’s rights and their freedom from the government.

Do these words ring a bell?

Personal Liberty. Individual Rights. Privacy. Religious Freedom. Every generation has a group of conservatives that keep these values and principals alive – and now, it’s our turn.

Wow. Representing views of our Founding Fathers and God – could there be a more important job? Suddenly, my awkward dinner conversations seem so insignificant. Is there really a Facebook comment that could make representing the founding fathers and God not worth it?

In a time when we have a socialist (a.k.a “democratic socialist”) running for president, our time is now. We have to stick together and we can’t be afraid to express our opinions, in a thoughtful and respectful manner (we don’t want to use the blanket statements or names that have been used against us). You may feel alone within your group of friends – whether you’re in college, or years removed, but you aren’t alone. A Gallop Poll shows we are holding fast to a socially conservative view, as we are overwhelmingly a pro-life generation.

Dana Perino, one of my most favorite people ever (you may know her as former President Bush’s press secretary), says conservatism can be summed up in three words – humility, gratitude and character. I can’t speak for her, but to me, these three words encompass great advice. We should embrace our (and others’) individuality, remember and remain grateful for all the opportunities our founding fathers (and our God!) have afforded us, and move forward remembering to always stay humble.

We, as conservative millennials have an opportunity to make big waves for the conservative movement in brand new ways – to harness our love of innovation and technology to spread the word and become ambassadors for our founding fathers. Let’s not be afraid of awkward conversation and blanket statements; rather let’s be passionate about our cause and make those founding fathers proud.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

Toward depolarizing America.

Posted Jan 30, 2018

How to be a proud conservative

All sides agree that the country is more polarized than ever. I’ve written a few pieces here on PsychologyToday.com to encourage more open exchange between the poles, for example, The Silenced Majority and Ten Questions in the Time of Trump.

Here’s another such effort at encouraging liberals and conservatives to at least be more respectful of the other side and maybe even to moderate their views. Aristotle’s Golden Mean has been invoked to great success for millennia. It may well be what’s needed now.

Why you should be a liberal

One’s quality of life is at least as much a matter of chance as of effort. If a child is born to two world-class psychologists in Beverly Hills, his or her life is pretty much preordained to be much more felicitous than if born to an unemployed, psychotic single heroin addict in rural Mississippi. Is it not justice that much wealth be redistributed to the latter? True, that means taxpayer spending on what conservatives disdain: housing subsidies, food aid, transportation passes, free health care through Medicaid, reallocated education dollars, and, yes, cash. But is that not only humane but, in the largest scheme of things, just?

Conservatives don’t like regulations but without them, some companies would pollute more, bring drugs to market without sufficient testing, and treat workers poorly—Employers do wield more power than do workers. For example, in a free market, an employer can, as in TIME magazine’s ultimatum to me, “Write for us for free. Take it or leave it,” knowing it can always find people willing to work for nothing, especially if the job is intrinsically rewarding. Liberals insist on regulations, appropriately.

Many conservatives would restrain crucial freedoms, for example, to have an abortion and for LGBTs to marry. Many conservatives try to make the U.S. more of a Christian nation than it already is, making it less hospitable not only to people of other religions but to atheists. Liberals embrace tolerance of religiosity’s full range—well, maybe not conservative Christianity.

Conservatives believe in private-sector solutions, but left only to the private sector, orphan diseases wouldn’t get studied—Too few people are afflicted to make drug development profitable for drug companies. Education would focus on people who could pay—So much for the power of education to encourage social mobility. Roads, public transit, and utilities would be an uncoordinated hodge-podge.

The defense budget is behemoth and bloated—The U.S. could blow up the world ten times. The old slogan is right: “Food not bombs.” The conservative slogan “Might makes right” is foolish: We must negotiate with our enemies, not just threaten. That’s too dangerous—witness North Korea’s and the U.S’s nuclear saber rattling.

Conservatives believe in “America first.” Chauvinism is unjustified—Borders are geopolitical accidents. We should have as much solidarity with a person in Bangladesh as with one in Bangor.

Why you should be a conservative

Distributing resources equally, let alone giving more to society’s Have-Nots, results in a lowest-common-denominator nation. If an oil baron allocated the most money to drilling the poorest-performing wells, you’d appropriately deem him foolish. Yet that’s what liberals tend to do: Their focus on making everyone more equal means that those with the greatest deficit, not those with the greatest potential to profit, get disproportionate resources. And those resources come disproportionately from those with the greatest potential to use resources for good: to create jobs, invest in research, etc. If we wrest yet more money from society’s Haves, we’ll be less likely to cure diseases, create the next iPhones, or reinvent the education system, which cries for reinvention.

Such redistribution has at least two negative side-effects. It encourages the so-called welfare mentality: “Hey, if I can get money, food stamps, housing subsidies, transportation subsidies, free health care, etc. why should I take that low-level job that’s probably all I’m qualified for?” Also, such redistribution encourages an entitlement mentality and even biting the hand that feeds you.

The victim mentality/identity-politics that liberals foment, net, makes things worse. Black activists blame African-American low achievement on the legacy of slavery, institutional racism, and individual racism. In any other context, we urge people to have an internal locus of control but less so when it comes to race. No man today can complain about any female ill-treatment of men lest they be labeled “sexist” or at least of “mansplaining.” Dare someone want to severely restrict illegal immigration, many liberal activists tar the person as “racist.” Should a country not have the right to try to ensure that people who want to come to the country not be lawbreakers and who are likely to find employment that doesn’t displace existing citizens, lower their salaries. or impose undue welfare costs on the citizenry? Particularly rankling is that illegal immigrants often get not only in-state tuition but preferential admission into prestigious universities such as my alma mater, the University of California Berkeley. That causes more qualified legal residents of Arizona to get rejected or to pay the exorbitant out-of-state tuition. What kind of message does that send to the public about the value of being law-abiding?

Conservative values of following the law, individual initiative, work ethic, and right-and-wrong, should be treasured, not dismissed as simplistic and atavistic.

The takeaway

Solid arguments can be made for being a liberal or conservative but none can be made for today’s widespread foaming-mouth dismissiveness of people who hold a different viewpoint.

I read this aloud on YouTube.

How to be a proud conservative

  • John Green
  • March 19, 2021

After a piece I wrote about my Democrat friends, one of my readers asked the question, “How in the world can you stomach friends that voted to ruin our country?”

It’s a really good question. My Democrat friends did in fact vote to destroy the freedom and prosperity which we all enjoy. The short answer is that I believe there’s salvation, even for those who’ve made egregious mistakes — as we all have. The long answer is that we need them. Somewhere around half of the voters (regardless of what you think of the election) chose the socialist alternative that the Democrats were offering. We can’t return our country to its founding principles without addressing the half of the citizenry that are ready to abandon those principles.

I believe there are actually two general categories of Democrat voters. The first are the true leftist zealots who are committed to achieving some form of socialism. They don’t value individual liberty. They seek top-down control of every aspect of our society. Their idea of utopia is a world in which elites with superior education manage all aspects of our lives — how we assemble, what we may say, and how we must live. Their objectives are diametrically opposed to those of our founders. They can’t be reasoned with, and shouldn’t be bargained with.

But the second, and larger, group of Democrat voters has more promise. Although they would never call themselves “conservatives,” they actually love America and value its founding principles. Even so, they continue to vote for politicians promising some variant of socialism. They’ve been captives of a propaganda campaign for so long that they’re no longer making rational choices. They suffer from political “ Stockholm syndrome .” They’ve come to accept the narrative that’s been fed to them by media and academia.

  • They don’t support unlimited abortion, but Republicans are against women’s health.
  • They don’t support open borders, but Republicans are cruel racists.
  • They like energy independence, but Republicans want to destroy the environment.
  • They don’t support a welfare state, but Republicans want the poor to go away and die.

They’ve heard the constant drumbeat that Republicans are evil, so they default to voting Democrat. Lenin had a label for those who vote against their own interests — useful idiots .

So how does one lead the useful idiots out of the fog? Not by debating with them. Even though they claim to be members of the “party of science,” they vote according to their feelings. Their positions are emotion based. Facts won’t change their feelings. When challenged with facts they’ll just keep repeating the same talking points over and over. It feels good to vote Democrat, so they continue doing so — regardless of its effect on real world outcomes.

We need to change their feelings, not their minds. We’ll only get them to join the conservative movement when it feels better than the liberal movement. We’ll beat liberalism the same way we beat smoking and racism — by making it socially awkward. We can worry about policy discussions later.

Conservatives joke that Democrats are the evil party and Republicans are the stupid party. It’s time to change that paradigm. Let’s make the Democrats the silly party and Republicans the cool party. I know what you’re thinking, but bear with me. It’ll be easier than it sounds.

It’s time to give the left a taste of their own rules — that is, Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. Specifically, let’s use rule number 5:

Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.

Let’s make the Democrats the silly party by mocking them mercilessly. Fortunately, they’re playing along. Just look at their leadership:

  • President Asterisk – calls his voters derogatory names (lying dogface pony soldier?)
  • Speaker Antoinette – damns Donald Trump to hell when she’s not praying for him
  • President in Waiting Harris — Rode Willie Brown to the top (and I don’t mean his coattails)
  • Governor Cuomo – groper of daughters and killer of grandmothers
  • Governor Whitmer – tried to beat a virus by mandating only non-motorized boats
  • Governor Newsom – closed the churches, but kept the movie studios open
  • Representative Ocasio-Cortez – bringing the wisdom of a bartender to Congress

But even though the Democrats have made themselves silly, how can we possibly make Republicans cool? The Democrats are helping on that front as well. Did the Democrats project anything other than anger and grievance in the last election? They’re also the party of doddering old fools — just look at the best they had to offer in the last presidential election. Seriously, Slow Joe Biden was their best offering — and I don’t mean that sarcastically — he really was.

Conversely, we have youth on our side, with leaders like Ron DeSantis, Kristi Noem, Dan Crenshaw, Candace Owens, and Ben Shapiro. Also, Republicans have become the anti-establishment party. What could be cooler than that? Donald Trump even showed us how to embrace our new coolness. MAGA rallies, boat parades, motorcycle gatherings, and pickup truck convoys were cool. It was fun to be a part of it. More importantly, conservatism became something to be proud of — rather than apologetic for.

If you’re invited to two parties — do you go to the one where everyone is mad and shouting — or do you go to the one where everyone is happy and laughing? Barbara Mandrell sang, “I was country, when country wasn’t cool.” Well, we were conservatives when conservatism wasn’t cool. That started changing about five years ago. We need to keep that change going. Let’s celebrate who we are, have fun doing it, and mock the left relentlessly. If we do this right, within a few years, voters are going to be longing to hang with the cool party.

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Star, Idaho. He is a retired engineer with over 40 years of experience in the areas of product development, quality assurance, organizational development, and corporate strategic planning. He can be reached at [email protected]

This article was originally published by American Thinker.

How to be a proud conservative

I’ve recently had friends on the left, and one “former Republican,” ask how I can still call myself a member of such a “corrupt, immoral” organization as the Republican Party. They challenge my own ethics and hold themselves up as being of better moral character.

I reply that I’m a Republican not because the party is perfect but because it represents values I believe in: small government, lower taxes, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and judging people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. With respect to ethics and morality, the Republican Party and its members, while certainly not perfect, have shown more ethics than Democrats over the past decades, and especially over the past year.

Of course, these challengers bring up the attack on the U.S. Capitol. What President Donald Trump said at the rally in D.C. was arguably inappropriate. He did ask for a peaceful demonstration, which is his right, but he said it at a very bad time and in a bad way, and had he more insight, he might have seen that this could lead to dangerous consequences. What my challengers conveniently ignore is that many Republican politicians strongly criticized Trump while some voted for his impeachment. Every single Republican politician condemned the break-in at the U.S. Capitol and demanded that the perpetrators be apprehended, given a fair trial, and punished as appropriate. Now let’s look at the Democrats in similar situations.

In 2018, Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters encouraged her supporters to seek out Trump officials anywhere in public and “push back” on them and “tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” Not a single Democrat strongly criticized her.

When riots burned down businesses and rioters attacked police in New York, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Minneapolis last year, Democrat politicians not only voiced support, but joined the protests. When at least 25 people were killed and over 2,000 police injured in relation to the “mostly peaceful protests” in U.S. cities last year, Democrat politicians not only voiced support, but joined the protests. Democrats including Joe Biden campaign staffers and Kamala Harris donated to or promoted raising funds to bail out rioters, which also bailed out alleged violent offenders.

Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats encouraged protesters, who attempted to break into the Supreme Court to object to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination in 2018, but no one called for her impeachment. Not a single Democrat objected.

So how do the Democrats and Republicans compare on their treatment of Jews, for example? Recently, the Democrats objected to Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene who allegedly liked and responded to “dog-whistle” anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on social media. Democrats are trying to get her ousted from Congress (which is clearly unconstitutional). Yet let’s look at how both parties handle anti-Semites within their midst.

When Republicans accused of anti-Semitism run for office—such as David Duke or Steve King—the Republican Party officially condemns them, refuses to give them funds, and puts up candidates to challenge them in the primaries.

When Democrats accused of anti-Semitism run for office—such as Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) or Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) or Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) or James Clyburn (D-S.C.) who continue to welcome Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan; or Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) who claimed Israel shot unarmed Palestinians like “birds of prey”; or Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) who equated Jews with termites; or Robert Byrd who was an exalted cyclops in the KKK; or Barack Obama who praised anti-Semite Rev. Jeremiah Wright and called him a spiritual mentor for years until it became politically problematic to do so—the Democrats give them respect and positions of power.

And how do the Democrats and Republicans compare with regard to women and sexual harassment? Joe Biden has been accused of sexual assault, so the Democrats try to discredit the accuser or simply dismiss the accusations and refuse to discuss them. When Bill Clinton was accused of raping a woman and was caught in an affair that he swore under oath was fiction, the Democrats tarnished the reputations of the victims. When all of these incidents were occurring, not a single Democrat objected to this glorification of accused predators or character assassination of alleged victims.

And yet when even a rumor of impropriety surfaces about a Republican, Democrats jump to destroy their careers and their character. When Clarence Thomas was accused of telling some dirty jokes, he was represented by the Democrats as a sexual harasser, and he now rarely speaks in public because of it. When he does speak, he is hounded by protesters. When Mitt Romney, during his run for president in 2012, was accused of pulling a prank as a high school student, he was labeled by the Democrats as an intolerant, vicious homophobe. When Brett Kavanaugh was accused without any evidence or corroboration that he sexually assaulted a girl as a teenager, he was labelled a sexual predator. When these good men were attacked, not a single Democrat objected.

I believe in conservative principles. I believe in the U.S. Constitution, law and order, and free speech. I believe that hate speech should be identified and called out. I do not believe in destroying the careers or lives of people with whom I strongly disagree. For these reasons, I’m still proud to call myself a Republican.

Bob Zeidman is the creator of the field of software forensics and the founder of successful high-tech Silicon Valley firms, including Zeidman Consulting and Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering. He is the author of textbooks on engineering and intellectual property as well as screenplays and novels. His latest novel is the political satire “Good Intentions.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

How to be a proud conservative

New Year’s resolutions can be both simple and complicated. A few small words form one big goal, and that one big goal can hold a lot of weight. And while there are plenty of great resolution ideas on how to change your life, my personal one for the new year requires a little more explanation.

I grew up in Indiana as a devout Christian. This meant Vacation Bible School, Jesus Camp, and making pamphlets entitled “My Body, Christ’s Home.” Looking back on all of this, it makes some sense that I didn’t come out as bisexual until I got to college. No one in my hometown was out. I had a close friend who was routinely mocked for his apparent homosexuality, and the only defense I could think of at the time was to simply deny it. There was no room to be out where I grew up. I couldn’t imagine a life where one could be out and survive.

I want so badly to dig deep and fight the shame, grit my teeth and find a way to feel like enough. Because I am. I am enough.

After I did come out, after my first “gay” experience, even after realizing that I’m nonbinary and embracing that part of my identity, I still have a great deal of difficulty with the concept of Pride.

There’s a great canyon that exists between what I can understand conceptually and what I feel in my bones. While I understand conceptually that I am proud of who I am, what I still feel deep inside me in a place that I can only access in sleep and through my body is shame. That’s a very difficult thing to overcome. Especially when the general consensus, at least in the community I now live in, is that there is nothing to be ashamed about. And there isn’t. There’s nothing shameful about loving who you love. Or not loving anyone at all. Or loving lots of different people.

But every year when Pride comes around, I still find ways to excuse myself. I don’t like dressing up, I tell myself. (Which is a complete and utter lie. I dress up every single year for Groundhog’s Day.) I don’t like crowds, I insist. (Okay, this part is true, but I also know that I’d take a great deal of joy in being surrounded by like-minded people, a scene I couldn’t even envision as a child, a teen, or even a young adult.)

What it really boils down to is that I feel like I’m a liar. How can I show up to Pride when inside I feel so small and ashamed? Where is the flag for those who still carry around layers and layers of internalized homophobia because of what was so intensely taught to us when we were young? Who is going to dance on a float for those who support everyone else’s right for self-expression and equality except their own?

So that’s my resolution for 2020. To invert the Golden Rule: treat myself the way I treat anyone else. I want so badly to dig deep and fight the shame, grit my teeth and find a way to feel like enough. Because I am. I am enough. And even if I can’t accomplish all that in a single year, I want to experience and enjoy Pride. I want to come to terms with myself as a changing and evolving person filled with internal inconsistencies, to understand that it’s OK that the world I was brought up in is not my reality. I may not be Proud with a capital “P” yet, but I can be proud of just how far I’ve come.

We are accused of offering only the status quo, with all its injustices. But the survival of our way of life really is at stake

‘If we look at the big issues today – Islamic extremism; or the environment – we will see that the Conservative view rightly identifies what is now at stake.’ Photograph: Stringer/Reuters Photograph: Stringer/REUTERS

‘If we look at the big issues today – Islamic extremism; or the environment – we will see that the Conservative view rightly identifies what is now at stake.’ Photograph: Stringer/Reuters Photograph: Stringer/REUTERS

Last modified on Thu 30 Nov 2017 09.02 GMT

P olitics is a matter of day-to-day improvisation, and it often seems as though the major parties are guided only by the desire to stay in office and not by any philosophy that might justify their doing so. Whatever the truth in that observation, however, we know that the Labour party grew from a distinct outlook on society, and that it can still lean on ideas of equality and social justice in order to justify what it is trying to do. Can the Tory party do the same? Is there a political philosophy that encapsulates the aims and aspirations of those we call “Conservative”, and does the party still conform to it?

My own view is that there is such a philosophy, and that the party would conform to it, were it in the habit of thinking things through. However, thinking is an unusual and precarious exercise for Conservatives.

This is not because they are more stupid than their socialist or liberal rivals, although John Stuart Mill famously declared them to be so. It is because they believe that good government is not grounded in abstract ideas but in concrete situations, and that concrete situations are hard to grasp. Abstract ideas like equality and liberty have a spurious transparency, and can be used to derive pleasing theorems in the manner of Jean-Jacques Rousseau or John Rawls. But applying them raises the question: to what or to whom? Which group of people is to be made more equal, and who is to be made more free?

Those are not questions to be answered in the abstract. They are questions of identity: who we are, and why we are entitled to use that very pronoun – “we” – to describe us.

For Conservatives, all disputes over law, liberty and justice are addressed to a historic and existing community. The root of politics, they believe, is attachment – the motive in human beings that binds them to the place, the customs, the history and the people who are theirs. When socialists promise a more equal society they are talking about us; when liberals offer to expand the list of human rights, they mean the rights that we enjoy.

The language of politics is spoken in the first-person plural, and for Conservatives, the duty of the politician is to maintain that first-person plural in being. Without it, law becomes an alien imposition, not ours but theirs, like the laws imposed by a conquering power. Conservatives are not reactionaries. As Edmund Burke said, “we must reform in order to conserve” – or, in more modern idiom: we must adapt. But adaptation means survival, and survival means a maintained identity.

It is very easy to dismiss Conservatism in the name of the universal ideals of the Enlightenment. But governments are elected by a specific people in a specific place, and must meet the people’s needs – including the most important of their needs, which is the need to be bound to their neighbours in a relation of trust. If we cease to maintain a “specific people in a specific place”, then all political principles will be pointless, since there will be no community with an interest in obeying them. That is why, in all the post-war political debates in our country, Conservatives have emphasised the defence of the realm, the maintenance of national borders, and the unity of the nation. It is why they are now entering a period of self-doubt, as the nation disintegrates into its historically established segments, while European regulations dissolve our boundaries.

Conservatism does not fit easily with abstract ideals. And for many of its defenders that is all that Conservatism amounts to – the suspicion of ideals. After all, the socialist ideal of equality has led to the belief that patriotism is racism, and that the attachment to an established way of life is merely unjust discrimination against those who do not share it. The result has been a cantonisation of society in the name of “multiculturalism”. And the liberal ideal of universal human rights has likewise led to a downgrading of attachment, since attachment is a form of discrimination and therefore a way of giving preference to those who already belong.

Abstract ideals, Conservatives argue, are inevitably disruptive, since they undermine the slow, steady work of real politics, which is a work of negotiation and compromise between people whose interests will never coincide.

Seeing politics in that way, however, Conservatives are exposed to the complaint that they have no positive vision, and nothing to offer us, save the status quo – with all its injustices and inequalities, and all its entrenched corruption. It is precisely in facing this charge that the real thinking must be done. In How to Be a Conservative, I offer a response to this ongoing complaint, and in doing so distance Conservatism from what its leftist critics call “neoliberalism”. Conservatism, I argue, is not a matter of defending global capitalism at all costs, or securing the privileges of the few against the many. It is a matter of defending civil society, maintaining autonomous institutions, and defending the citizen against the abuse of power. Its underlying motive is not greed or the lust for power but simply attachment to a way of life.

If we look at the big issues facing us today – the EU, mass immigration, the union, Islamic extremism, the environment – we will surely see that the Conservative view rightly identifies what is now at stake: namely the survival of our way of life. Conservatives are not very good at articulating the point, and left-liberal censorship intimidates those who attempt to do so. But it is a fault in the socialist and liberal ideas that they can be so easily articulated – a proof that they avoid the real, hard philosophical task, which is that of seeing civil society as it is, and recognising that it is easier to destroy good things in the name of an ideal than to maintain them as a reality.

The other day I was listening to a talk radio show, and heard a caller announce that there’s no freedom of speech in this country, that, because of the fascistic administration in Washington, people are afraid to criticize the government. His proof was that Cindy Sheehan had been rebuked for merely exercising her constitutional right to mouth off against authority figures. The show’s host correctly pointed out that the 1st Amendment guarantees her freedom to speak her mind, such as it is, but that doesn’t in any way curtail the right of other Americans to call her an idiot.

What the host didn’t point out was that even as the caller spoke, he was contradicting his own statement. He was freely sharing his own foolish thoughts with millions of listeners.

Liberals have become so accustomed to having only their own points of view disseminated by the mass media that they now believe that any opinion in conflict with their own is an infringement on their right to free speech. So not only do they feel entitled to spout off ad nauseam, but honest disagreement is regarded as censorship!

What they enjoyed before talk radio and the Internet bloggers came along was a virtual news monopoly, consisting of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the three major networks. All of which could be counted on to parrot the liberal line. Now, like spoiled brats being forced to share their toys, they can’t stop whining.

Frankly, I’m amazed that liberals can be wrong so often about so many things. One of the few issues they are occasionally right about is protecting the environment. But even when it comes down to that, the radical element that infests their ranks like termites are always trying to stop any and all forms of development, the source of homes and jobs for those of us who don’t want to live in trees. Their love for Mother Earth leads them to blow up buildings, bomb car dealerships, and sabotage logging sites, all with an air of moral authority. They don’t, in fact, love snail darters, spotted owls or Alaska’s caribou, anymore than the rest of us; they merely hate western civilization in much the same way that Islamic fascists do.

A fact worth noting is that during LBJ’s administration, a group of tree huggers got an injunction to prevent the feds from working on a certain project in the South, for fear it would harm the environment. The project involved shoring up the levees of New Orleans.

As someone who has spent most of his lifetime working in television, I find it odd that there are two Hollywoods. The famous one is filled with wealthy writers, directors, actors and production executives, 99% of whom are liberals, all of whom naturally regard themselves as populists, standing shoulder to shoulder with the working stiff.

What isn’t so widely known is that when it comes to the caste system, whatever its status in modern day India, it’s alive and well out here. Go on any movie or TV sound stage and you’ll find that among Hollywood’s untouchables, those who don’t pop up on award shows or in the tabloids — the grips, the costumers, the camera crew, the wranglers, the stunt people, the technicians — the percentage of conservatives is roughly 99%.

I would think the hardest part of being a liberal is always having to remember to spout the party line, just like old-time Stalinists. For instance, they always have to keep in mind that they support our troops even though they believe the men and women in Iraq are spilling innocent blood in an evil war. In the same way, they must always remember to parrot the propaganda that they, every bit as much as conservatives, want a strong military. The basic difference, of course, is that they don’t want it to do anything.

Sometimes, people ask me why I invariably identify myself as a conservative, and not a Republican. The first, I point out, is a philosophy, while the latter is a political party. A philosophy can afford to be pure as the driven snow. A party, on the other hand, has to deal with the nitty-gritty of fund-raising and electing candidates. I accept the realities of politics.

Furthermore, I know too much about human nature to ever have my illusions crushed. Unlike my fellow conservatives, I don’t believe it when an office seeker of any political persuasion vows he’ll cut spending and clear out all the bloated bureaucracies once he or she is elected and goes off to Sacramento, Springfield, Albany, Montgomery, Austin, or, especially, Washington, D.C. It simply goes against every instinct known to man to seek office with the intention of having less money, power and influence, than one’s predecessor.

While it’s true that I invariably vote for Republicans, I never fool myself into thinking they’ll be anything except better than their Democratic opponents. Those people who are hurt by such political facts of life are to be pitied. It’s like a child’s discovery that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren’t who they’ve been cracked up to be. To such conservatives, all I can say is: Grow up.

Looking back on my own political metamorphosis, I realize how typical it is that, as one matures, takes on responsibilities, deals with tragedy and loss, one tends to drift from left to right, and how rarely the reverse occurs.

It is hard to dispute the old truism that if, at 20, you’re not a liberal, you have no heart; and, if by 40, you’re not a conservative, you have no brain. And, it’s worth noting that if, by, say, 50, you have neither, you’ll probably wind up voting for Ralph Nader.

The other day I was listening to a talk radio show, and heard a caller announce that there’s no freedom of speech in this country, that, because of the fascistic administration in Washington, people are afraid to criticize the government. His proof was that Cindy Sheehan had been rebuked for merely exercising her constitutional right to mouth off against authority figures. The show’s host correctly pointed out that the 1st Amendment guarantees her freedom to speak her mind, such as it is, but that doesn’t in any way curtail the right of other Americans to call her an idiot.

What the host didn’t point out was that even as the caller spoke, he was contradicting his own statement. He was freely sharing his own foolish thoughts with millions of listeners.

Liberals have become so accustomed to having only their own points of view disseminated by the mass media that they now believe that any opinion in conflict with their own is an infringement on their right to free speech. So not only do they feel entitled to spout off ad nauseam, but honest disagreement is regarded as censorship!

What they enjoyed before talk radio and the Internet bloggers came along was a virtual news monopoly, consisting of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the three major networks. All of which could be counted on to parrot the liberal line. Now, like spoiled brats being forced to share their toys, they can’t stop whining.

Frankly, I’m amazed that liberals can be wrong so often about so many things. One of the few issues they are occasionally right about is protecting the environment. But even when it comes down to that, the radical element that infests their ranks like termites are always trying to stop any and all forms of development, the source of homes and jobs for those of us who don’t want to live in trees. Their love for Mother Earth leads them to blow up buildings, bomb car dealerships, and sabotage logging sites, all with an air of moral authority. They don’t, in fact, love snail darters, spotted owls or Alaska’s caribou, anymore than the rest of us; they merely hate western civilization in much the same way that Islamic fascists do.

A fact worth noting is that during LBJ’s administration, a group of tree huggers got an injunction to prevent the feds from working on a certain project in the South, for fear it would harm the environment. The project involved shoring up the levees of New Orleans.

As someone who has spent most of his lifetime working in television, I find it odd that there are two Hollywoods. The famous one is filled with wealthy writers, directors, actors and production executives, 99% of whom are liberals, all of whom naturally regard themselves as populists, standing shoulder to shoulder with the working stiff.

What isn’t so widely known is that when it comes to the caste system, whatever its status in modern day India, it’s alive and well out here. Go on any movie or TV sound stage and you’ll find that among Hollywood’s untouchables, those who don’t pop up on award shows or in the tabloids — the grips, the costumers, the camera crew, the wranglers, the stunt people, the technicians — the percentage of conservatives is roughly 99%.

I would think the hardest part of being a liberal is always having to remember to spout the party line, just like old-time Stalinists. For instance, they always have to keep in mind that they support our troops even though they believe the men and women in Iraq are spilling innocent blood in an evil war. In the same way, they must always remember to parrot the propaganda that they, every bit as much as conservatives, want a strong military. The basic difference, of course, is that they don’t want it to do anything.

Sometimes, people ask me why I invariably identify myself as a conservative, and not a Republican. The first, I point out, is a philosophy, while the latter is a political party. A philosophy can afford to be pure as the driven snow. A party, on the other hand, has to deal with the nitty-gritty of fund-raising and electing candidates. I accept the realities of politics.

Furthermore, I know too much about human nature to ever have my illusions crushed. Unlike my fellow conservatives, I don’t believe it when an office seeker of any political persuasion vows he’ll cut spending and clear out all the bloated bureaucracies once he or she is elected and goes off to Sacramento, Springfield, Albany, Montgomery, Austin, or, especially, Washington, D.C. It simply goes against every instinct known to man to seek office with the intention of having less money, power and influence, than one’s predecessor.

While it’s true that I invariably vote for Republicans, I never fool myself into thinking they’ll be anything except better than their Democratic opponents. Those people who are hurt by such political facts of life are to be pitied. It’s like a child’s discovery that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren’t who they’ve been cracked up to be. To such conservatives, all I can say is: Grow up.

Looking back on my own political metamorphosis, I realize how typical it is that, as one matures, takes on responsibilities, deals with tragedy and loss, one tends to drift from left to right, and how rarely the reverse occurs.

It is hard to dispute the old truism that if, at 20, you’re not a liberal, you have no heart; and, if by 40, you’re not a conservative, you have no brain. And, it’s worth noting that if, by, say, 50, you have neither, you’ll probably wind up voting for Ralph Nader.