Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Think for Yourself!

A diversity of thought is a good thing, and we have plenty on the right.  Beware those who say it's a bad thing and we should all shut up and get on board.

Fuzzy Slippers always has some excellent analysis over at her blog, Fuzzy Logic.  Her blog must be ironically named, because her logic is eternally crisp and the writing crystal clear.  She rarely states the obvious and instead of taking the easy road of attacking today's big, fat liberal target, she will often delve into conservative issues, exposing fractures, and taking apart nonsense on our own side, and always with a smile.

Is the GOP "Imploding From Within?"
This past Sunday she fisked a blog post lamenting that the Republican Party was "Imploding from Within."  She entitled her ripost, The Leftists' Conservative Civil War Trap, and it hits the bullseye.  I recommend you give it a read.  It led me to go read the original blog post she took apart.

I won't bore you with the details of the original post that spurred Fuzzy Slippers to craft her excellent antidote, but the original blogger offered a long laundry list of evidence showing that the GOP is fracturing.  It was full of "Bill O' Reilly hates Rush Limbaugh, Ron Paul hates RINOs, Lindsay Graham is a RINO, You can't be a fiscal conservative and a social liberal ..." 

Can't we all just get along?  (and think exactly like I do?)

The blogger's bottom line seems to be that we should all think exactly alike and get behind Sarah Palin and other "pure" politicians he happens to like.  I could not disagree more.  Here's a factoid that drives Purity Uber Alles bloggers crazy:  "RINO" Tim Pawlenty got an A and a #3 ranking among governors in fiscal responsibility from the libertarian CATO Institute.

Intellectual Ferment is a Good Thing

Progressives make the mistake of turning every belief of the week into religious dogma, and I don't want to see us going down the same road.

Groupthink is a killer and leads to intellectual sclerosis and ultimately, failure. There is a diversity of thought on the right, with libertarians joining in. It is a free marketplace of ideas and that's a beautiful thing.

Avoid Personality-Based Politics -- Use Objective Criteria

We'll be picking a GOP candidate before we know it, so here is my advice.  Avoid personalities and stick to objective criteria.  I recommend three...

US Constitution - My first criterion in judging a politician is the US Constitution.  How does she interpret and understand it?  Natural rights?  Does she believe in negative rights of Locke and the Founders, or has she bought into the progressive movement's phony notion of positive rights?

Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles - This classical essay should be read by all people who call themselves conservative.  It is a brilliant distillation of what conservatism is.

Key Concepts of Libertarianism - If you are libertarian, this is a good quick measurement to use.

Using such criteria, while treating Bill O'Reilly and other talkers as entertainment, will guide you in a rational analysis of the candidates and their ideas.


Anonymous said...

Well said. Some people get confused as to which side of the political spectrum I'm on because I don't stick to one ideological camp. On some issues I sound like a arch-conservative Republican, on others I sound like a bleeding heart liberal.

An unfortunate side effect of that is I often make a lot of ideological enemies. I'm not conservative enough for conservatives, and I'm not liberal enough for liberals.

The funny thing is that I can say something intelligent, that someone agrees with and responds to like "wow Jack, that was really profound and awesome." And then when I say something that same person disagrees with, the response is "Jack, you're a smart guy, why the hell do you believe this?!"

Instead of asking "how did this intelligent person arrive at such a different conclusion?" and then trying to figure out my thought process, they just think I'm wrong and missed the mark.

Diversity of thought is what keeps us honest, and it's what makes us human.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link to Fuzzy Logic. Part of the problem is that we have become distrustful of every politician —and this is not a bad thing; I think we should distrust those people. No one has earned our caustic criticism more than a politician. Their very own job description stipulates, “Unprincipled.” We resent how they tell us half-truth. We resent how “spin” supplants the phrase “lying asshole.”

I agree with the commenter Kid at FL who said he is capable of changing his mind on a dime. Personally, I don’t see any politician talking me in to voting for them, but every one of them is able to talk me out of voting for them. Such was Palin’s strategy, but I’m not certain how that’s working out for her. So I agree we should let the candidates talk, talk, talk away while we keep our own counsel and vote for the candidate who most represents who we are.

What confuses me is anyone who thinks that Trump is qualified for anything beyond dogcatcher.

Silverfiddle said...

I'm glad to hear that others I respect share this point of view.

I view politician's ideas as propositions to be tested. If it's all fluff and cotton candy, then there is nothing to test, leading me to conclude he or she is just a BS machine.

Personality-based politics, right or left, will destroy us.

Trekkie4Ever said...

I don't think I have ever trusted any politician fully, who in their right mind would?

There are some that I will vote for if they hold the same kind of values that I have.

But to fully trust a politician would be folly.

Jersey McJones said...

I, good ol' Jersey McJones, was a Bill Buckley conservative when I was young (in my late teens and early twenties).

I read many of his books, and watched him for years on Firing Line. He was an amazingly intelligent and refined man. He was also a nut. At the time, I liked that about him. I didn't always agree with him, but I felt I stood under his tent.

I could go on and on about Buckley.

I think we should all observe something about my break from conservatism: The GOP sold their sold for the South.

And so good ol' Jersey McJones is now a liberal.


TonyFernandez said...

Bill O'Reilly is an interesting figure. He's definitely a moderate, though he pretends to be a conservative. Spouting out about "windfall profits" of the oil companies just reeked of ignorance about the situation. Oh well, most people get that way when talking about oil.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: So you have regional problems? I'm afraid you've left us little to learn from...

Anonymous said...

I actually went in a different direction than Jersey. I was a bleeding heart liberal in high school, became an arch conservative in the military, and now I'm fairly moderate.

Actually, I took a "political compass," thing the other day and it said that I'm left of center. THat kind of bothered me =( But I think the quiz was designed to make you look like a liberal, as the questions were insanely biased.

Fuzzy Slippers said...

Wow, you make me blush, Silverfiddle, thanks so very much! :)

Silverfiddle said...

Fuzzy Slippers: You rebutted that blog post so well that I just had to share it.