We become what we think about. –Earl Nightingale
A few people have at times suggested I start a blog. I’ve always demurred because I don’t really believe that many people care what I have to say, and there’s usually someone saying it better anyway. But at long last, I’ve decided to give it a try.
I have decided to start this blog for two reasons. The first is selfish. Discussing politics with my friends has forced me to more thoroughly consider my beliefs. In doing so, I discovered that some of my positions were simply knee jerk reactions I held because that’s what someone on my side was supposed to believe. In many other instances, reviewing and debating my positions gave me a much stronger commitment to my values. I consider myself committed to ideas and do not ever want to grow complacent.
The second reason I have decided to start this blog is because of the reactions I have received from some of my liberal friends. Most people have a set of stereotypes they believe about the other side of the political divide. I often find myself needing to make a conscious effort to set aside my stereotypes of liberals to hear what they are saying, so I am by no means implying this is one sided. But I have lost count of the number of times I have articulated a fairly standard conservative belief that my liberal friends considered good or at least reasonable, only to have them respond with some version of “but I thought you are a Republican/conservative?” They had never heard conservative ideas expressed by a conservative, only the liberal caricature of conservatism.
Which leads me to my final point about this blog. I will be expressing my conservative beliefs, not republican doctrine. For many people, Republican and conservative are synonymous. For about half a century, conservatives have used the Republican Party as a vehicle for advancing our ideology. But as 2016 has made clear, many Republicans are not conservative. One of my biggest fears in nominating Trump was that his authoritarian populism would be confused with my conservatism. With that in mind, a frequent theme of this blog will be examining the differences between conservative ideology and Republican policy.
And finally, I would like to ask for your help. I will write about issues in the news or that pique my interest, but I want more than that, so I am taking requests. If you have ever thought “I don’t understand why conservatives believe…” or just want to trap me by making me defend that idea you know is based on racism, sexism, or any other ism, go ahead and ask me to explain. I’ll be happy to do so.
I think this is going to be fun.