Partisan fatigue
0 comment Wednesday, June 18, 2014 |
Let me say at the outset that I am thoroughly sick of the election news, the sleazy political ads, the partisan sniping and squabbling, the scandals, the hype, the whole nine yards.
I am thoroughly disillusioned with party politics in my country right now. If I could I would ignore it. but it seems we have to live with it for two more long weeks.
This piece by Tony Blankley, editorial page editor for the Washington Times, catches the spirit of what I am thoroughly fed up with. Titled, 'Assessing last week's column', it is a follow-up on last week's slam of 'stupid' voters who won't shut up and vote Republican.
Last week's column, titled, 'No thanks, we're stupid' was a diatribe against balky conservatives, and something of a jeremiad, warning of the end of the world as we know it -- if the evil Democrats regain the majority.
There is no rational policy or political basis for conservatives not voting. I'm not sure the country can take the current Democratic mob in power for long.
A realist once observed that the history of mankind is little more than the triumph of the heartless over the mindless.
The Democrats are obviously heartless. Conservatives must guard against falling into the category of the mindless. Ignore your heartfelt peevements, use your brains and vote.''
Leaving aside the obvious fact that insulting someone is not the preferred way of persuading others to agree with you, and in fact it will likely alienate and anger them, Blankley's 'arguments' are hardly convincing.
In this week's column, Blankley does not retract any of his earlier insults toward 'stupid' conservatives, but dismisses their concerns as expressed in a flood of e-mails he received in response to the first column.
The gist of his plea is that yes, the GOP is far from perfect but he is willing to settle for the lesser of the two evils, because that is all that a reasonable person can expect: lesser evil.
He says it's reasonable to expect a Congress to be 'as conservative as politically possible' but implies that it's just not politically possible for our GOP electeds to be conservative at this time. So we just vote for them, give them our money and support, and resign ourselves to the adulterated, nominal 'conservatism' they are prepared to offer us. After all, says he, the Democrats would be worse. And we are supposed to be stoked about getting out and voting for the slightly less evil Republicans?
It seems to me that the Republicans, given the unconditional support of the Blankleys and Limbaughs and Hewitts and all the rest of the party-line shills, will continue to move further away from their constituencies and from conservative principles.
If we follow this line of thought, we will never have a conservative party in this country; both parties are moving inexorably leftward, and real conservatives are being further marginalized, especially when the Republican media mouthpieces regularly denigrate conservatives as 'wing-nuts', extremists, 'purists', 'unappeasables', and so on, just as Blankley does when he refers to 'moral absolutists'; it's a little less blatant, but there is a subtle putdown there. Any kind of conservative principles are now considered extreme, and the compromisers and sellouts preen themselves as 'pragmatic' and reasonable.
Blankley says
But a life in politics convinces me that incremental improvement -- or, at times, even not losing ground-- is better than radical reversal. ''
So as long as we aren't 'losing ground' we should be satisfied? What if we are at the edge of the abyss: is 'not losing ground' an acceptable situation? What about when staying just where we are leaves us in a perilous position? That is the situation we are in now, what with the ongoing Mexican border war and invasion, near-chaos in many areas of our country, what with ethnic and racial tensions and crime, a scandal-ridden Congress, and the Iraq War quandary. 'More of the same', the status quo, is just not acceptable in this case.
As it happens, I will not be one of the 'stupid' conservative non-voters Blankley ridicules; I will vote, albeit with no satisfaction, and no enthusiasm for the Hobson's choices presented to me. But I will not vote a straight 'R' ticket; that, to me, is the epitome of stupidity for any voter: to assume a pose of blind loyalty to a party. A party whose members are unable or unwilling to think for themselves and make autonomous choices is not a party worthy of anybody's vote, nor is it worthy of a free America. A party in which I am talked down to, taken for granted, and insulted if I fail to do as I am told is not a fit object for my loyalty. A party which is happy to represent itself as 'conservative' while disdaining conservative voters and ignoring the most basic conservative principles is not the party I will wholeheartedly support. I know that there are a significant number of traditional conservatives and paleoconservatives who feel as I do. Both parties had better take heed.

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