Sunday, February 09, 2014

1 Angry Liberal

As a conservative with a libertarian bent, I thought I had a pretty decent grasp of conservative political philosophy. And then I read Todd Johnson's recent letter to the Journal Times.

There I learned that "conservatives believe electoral success is a pass for political racketeering and authoritarianism" and I learned about the "corrupt conservative traits" such as "a righteous air of privilege" and our "natural bent for vendetta politics" and of the "ultimate danger," that is, the "conservative faith in a corporate state."

Sprinkled throughout his letter are numerous clever but frightening phrases such as "swaggering vulgarity," Republican flacks glibly defended this shifty shamelessness," "sheepish indoctrinated legislators," "scorched earth injustice" and so on.

Wow! Where do I hide from myself?

Mr. Johnson has a grossly distorted vision of conservatives. Space constraints prevent a full defense of conservatism, so let us instead consider the two issues that have lately embroiled our state and nation respectively, that is, Act 10 and the Affordable Care Act. Regarding Act 10, conservatives fought to curtail powers enjoyed by government sector unions that are not available to other groups or individuals, namely the power to negotiate directly with legislators and the compulsory collection of dues. Concerning the Affordable Care Act, every Republican in Congress voted against the first ever federal law that forces individuals to buy a product from private corporations. In both issues, it was conservatives who fought for individuals against threats to liberty emanating from government collusion with unions and corporations.

Certainly some will disagree with my conclusions. That said, I am reasonably sure conservatives are not vulgar, shifty, flacks merrily scorching the earth en route to a corporate run authoritarian state etc... or whatever it is that Mr. Johnson would say.

I can't help but wonder the point of Mr. Johnson's serial diatribes against conservatives. Is he trying to win us over to his way of thinking? Is this his way of maintaining a feeling of moral superiority over conservatives? Or perhaps he just wants to line us up and shoot us.

But just in case he is ever inclined to engage in respectful dialogue, I have a suggestion. Ease up on the Evil Republican schtick, take a deep breath, and maybe, just maybe, talk to an actual conservative.

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