Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where Does A Non-Religious, Free Market Conservative Go These Days?

I was always uncomfortable with the term “conservative.” I’m classified as such by the way I vote and what publications and blogs I read. However, I consider myself a fiscal conservative, and not a social conservative.

I supported the Iraq War and Afghanistan. Grit my teeth when a family member tried to sell me on Fahrenheit 9-11 running up to the 2004 election. Cornered I said I’d take Bush over Kerry. I didn’t want to like Bush.

Going back….

In 2000, gut feeling said this guy is a dummy. (Why couldn’t it have been McCain, back then?)
BUT, a conservative has to go with ideology. Small government, tax cuts, isolationism…

My stomach started to churn. The nepotism didn’t sit well. The press conferences were shaky. You laughed at his stupid comments. Easy though, I couldn’t stand Gore. You took Bush as the best of the worst. How many people out there thought the same?

Bush got in.

9-11 happened…

You couldn’t get a bigger supporter of action than Sea Salt. I’d been to New York City seven times. (four in one year, 1991) The War on Terror is still the most important issue that faces us. (War on Terror, being the most ridiculous euphemistic term ever dreamed.)

Never in my life have I been more fired up about an issue. I STILL AM.

But meanwhile, Bush never met a spending bill he wouldn’t sign. His religiosity was something I could never get comfortable with. Mental pact: we agree on the war, and ignore everything else?

2004: Michael Moore had people thinking: a vote for Bush was for the Iraq War and a vote for Kerry was against. When you looked at the platform, Kerry was not against the war. He publically said so. He would keep soldiers there. Lefties probably had to question why Kerry was their man. For me, being pro war, either one would have done. So, I was wondering, as a libertarian, free market, conservative: why was I supporting this religious, big government guy?

The religious part gets me. Does he really believe all that crap? Noah’s Ark?

In hindsight, I’m not sure Iraq was right. It’s never going to be a western style democracy. Neither is Afghanistan. It’s not very nice to say but I don’t trust that the people of those countries can do it, or even want it. Were the lives and money worth it?

Which comes back to conservatism: Deep down in my soul I know you don’t bet your chips on places like Afghanistan and Iraq… Conservatives of old could have told you that.

My first post. When I see Sarah Palin being as pathetic as she is… I wonder where I fit in? I was brought over to the right side of the table by reading PJ O’Rourke. McCain is big government and Sarah is a religious nut with a low IQ.
Any suggestions?


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  2. Be prepared to be your own voice/symbol of inspiration, because with a two party system there is bound to be disappointment.

    The question that sticks with me is whether it is better for people to stick with an ideology, in order to gain direction, or continually shift and adapt to perceived current conditions.

    IE- The Black Swan - most of what happens is not a result of resolve vs flexibility but chance. ("Caprice" said Ben Jones!)

  3. Well, I had to look up "Black Swan." I leave room for caprice, but I try to stick to some core ideologies like free markets, and libertarianism. So I look for who would best suit me... You don't want to find yourself a leaf blowing in the wind.

  4. War monger! Neo-con! Pig! You might want to get used to reading that once you start getting more hits.

    It's a good start though and I feel your pain. Luckily I live in Canada and our Conservative leader has effectively beaten back the religious hounds in the party. Then again, Canada as you're aware, is a different beast. The Liberals have their own significant share of religious freaks so it's not as polarized.

    From what i've been reading (Frum and a couple of US bloggers) Harper is getting some notice by the Repubs south of the border. As Frum puts it;

    "But the opportunity is even greater: Free-market, limited-government conservatives around the world have long looked to the United States and the Republican party for leadership. After the defeat impending in November, however, Republicans seem fated to recoil upon a thin inventory of purist rhetoric and antiquated policy ideas. Such a reaction could lock U.S. conservatives out of government for years to come -- and impoverish the thinking of centre-right movements worldwide.
    The members of the Harper government have gained a real opportunity to redefine the centre-right for the 21st century. This is an intellectual project launched by British conservatives -- but it is Canadian conservatives who have the first opportunity to test whether the concepts and themes articulated by David Cameron can survive encounter with the realities of politics and government."

  5. I agree Scott. You have the Canadian Conservatives to look at. In fact I would ay conservatives have Canada in general to look at. Surpluses; low debt to GDP ratio; free trade. Frum has it right.