Be For Something, Not Against Someone

In my last post, I began to make a different point before my disgust with Milo took over and I went on a mini rant. Here’s take two:

Just by reading this post, you are demonstrating that you are more politically engaged than most people. So my question to you is why? Why do you take the time to read blog posts, and I assume watch/read the news, and perhaps listen to a podcast or two? There are many other things you could do with your time that are more entertaining or profitable.

Assumedly, you engage in politics because you care about the issues affecting our country. Regardless of your political persuasion, that is good and noble. But it is not true for everyone.

Sometimes politics becomes tribal, and the purpose becomes less about advocating a positive agenda and more about combating the other side; less about ideas and more about “us” vs “them.” Politics turns into a team sport.

This was the reason I initially brought up Milo in my previous post. Several people have asked what is conservative about Milo, and the only answers I have seen from his defenders is that he opposes the left. They do not claim he argues for individual liberty, a proper understanding of the role of government, or any of the values that define conservatism; he is one of “us” because he attacks “them.”

But if angering the left is all it takes to be conservative, does that mean David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of the KKK, is a conservative? No. Sometimes the left is upset for good and valid reasons, and we should not make common cause with evil because the left is justifiably opposed to racists.

For that matter, was Bernie Sanders a conservative when he angered Hillary supporters and Hillary a conservative when she angered the Bernie Bros? Of course not. That’s ridiculous. Because being conservative is about ideas, not enemies.

Milo and others have made a lot of money by being anti-left. What do you gain by it? If you are a conservative, be for conservative ideas, not just against liberals. If you are a liberal, become a conservative. But failing that, make a positive case for your agenda. If your only argument begins with “but the other side…” then you do not have a very good argument. Engage in politics for the policies, not the soap opera trash.