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Con vs. Con

I had this realization a while back but haven't had time to sit down and hash out some Deep Thoughts on it. I still don't have time (lucky you), but here's a synopsis: I think that one of the problems we have in this country (and maybe the rest of the Western world) in pinning down just what are proper conservative beliefs is the fact that we tend to confuse conservative with conventional. For example: the Hollywood movie industry is supposedly a bastion of daring, liberal, progressive, even radical thought -- but its output is anemic, tired, and imitative. In other words, despite the chesty faux-defiant rhetoric coming from the entertainment media, its members are quite as conventional as the narrow-minded small-town Middle America they supposedly have to play to.

It's the same with a lot of other bastions of supposedly radical, progressive thought. For instance, the environmental movement is still harping on its sacred cows of overpopulation (even though birth rates are dropping just about everywhere), pollution from the West being the worst (even though nations like China and India are the worst polluted today), and "climate change" (a few decades ago it was the coming ice age because of our evil polluting ways; today it's global warming, but it's all the same ball of old wax). And of course there is the anti-war "movement," which is still stuck in 1969 Haight-Ashbury to an embarrassingly senile degree. None of the members of these movements show any evidence of even being capable of holding a new idea in their heads, or be capable of any independent thought whatsoever. They are as conventional as Ward and June Cleaver -- more so, because now June's habit of being completely dressed even as to pearls and earrings while staying inside her house all day is pretty darn radical in these slobby times.

That brings me to conservatives. A lot of people don't like to define themselves as such even though they are in their personal habits and beliefs -- but that's because they are actually afraid of being conventional. They shouldn't fear: conventional behavior these days means living together out of wedlock, babies without daddies, thinking chocolate Jesus statues are a cute kick in the eye to those fundy Christians but a cartoon making mild fun of Mohammed is a deep religious insult, and so on. If you don't actually believe any of the above are good things for society then you are being quite radical, you crazy conservative you.

Comments (2)

AK [TypeKey Profile Page]:

I think of myself as a conservative because I don't want to be identified as a liberal. Those are our choices, right?

Actually, for me and for many people I know, part of self-identifying as a conservative is a rejection of the mindset that everything's wrong all the time and that everything constantly needs to be changed because it's wrong wrong wrong and America is the worst country in the world and Americans are fat and stupid and whites are all racist while no one else is etc., etc. It sounds like an exaggeration and a simplification, but there are so many people who do actually believe and espouse these asinine views. So to begin with, I think, my conservatism was a sort of defensive, STFU position. But it made me think about what I really do value and believe and what I want to conserve and preserve.

Yep. Particularly amusing is the college professor who thinks he is shocking the kids for middle America--he pictures Dad as an Iowa farmer and Mom as a cherry-pie-baker and a stalwart of the PTA.

Actually, Dad is a high school teacher and Mom is a "public interest" lawyer, and the shocking things that the teacher tells the kids are the same platitudes that have been drummed into them for their entire lives.

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 31, 2007 10:18 AM.

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