Thinking like a conservative

John Hawkins, at Right Wing News, sent out a poll to conservative bloggers asking them about political issues of the day, such as Larry Craig, the 2008 elections, patriotism and religion. You’ll find the results here. Would you have answered the questions as the majority of responding bloggers did? I did, although I included in my email to him a lot of caveats that Hawkins could not, of course, reproduce in his straight-out numbers format.

Thus, I thought the questions about religion, patriotism and supporting the military were kind of loaded, because the two parties have ended up with such radically different ideas about the meanings those terms have. To me, supporting the military means supporting the job it has been assigned to do, whereas for liberals, supporting the military means treating the troops like infants, slapping their hands, and bringing them home. Both sides would argue that they strongly support the military. I suspect, though, that the military prefers my support to the TLC the liberals provide.

Likewise, to me (and speaking as a Jew), supporting Christianity means being reasonably true to Christian tenets set out in the Bible. To liberals, supporting Christianity seems to mean bringing the religion out of the Biblical dark ages and aligning it with modern PC values. I certainly recognize that healthy religions do and must change with times. I think it’s great that we no longer burn witches, and I wish Islam would stop stoning women and wrapping them in veils. However, as you can tell, the changes I’m discussion are related to practice and procedure. When you start messing with the core morality of the religion, I’m really not sure you’re supporting it any more, no matter what you say.

And as for patriotism, I’ve covered that before: For me, patriotism means recognizing America’s flaws, but celebrating and encouraging her basic American-ness. For liberals, patriotism means highlighting American flaws and correcting them by moving America towards being a pan-European, UN governed nation.

6 Responses

  1. I don’t think the questions are loaded.

    It IS semantics. As you say, people from both parties can both give a ‘yes’ answer to the same question but mean totally different things, but this is NOT just a funny little quirk of the english language. The left has made deliberate efforts to muddy the waters for decades by actively changing the meaning of words.

    This is no unfortunate accident. They cannot come right out and say what they REALLY mean because they would be run out of office..or, at least, that would’ve been the case in the past. Nowadays, I’m not so sure. This tactic has been VERY successful for the left.

  2. Your post is refreshing, and I’m glad you included caveats in your responding email, Bookworm. I’d have done the same, which is probably why I’m so seldom surveyed by Hawkins, even though our respective political outlooks overlap to a considerable degree.

  3. Back when my politics were Standard Liberal I belong to a very liberal church, the UU, and there encountered people who definitely were hostile to Christianity, not only to conservative evangelicals and to politicized fundamentalists but to scripture itself, in the sense you noted, Book, that Christianity could not be truly updated to accord with PC values, and was inevitably the source of exclusion, chauvinism and violence. Ironically, they were rather tolerant of Muslims (and at the time here in Tampa, that translated into unqualified support for Sami Al-Arian at USF).

  4. Actually, the recent — heated — debate at SBCoutpost ( would lead you to think it’s the Conservative Resurgence that’s hostile to Christianity.

  5. What kind of a conservative is this guy anyway? Would he happen to be one of those Trotsky loving neoconservatives like Irving Kristol?

    And what Christian values are you talking about? Do you mean the deranged useful-idiot goyim nutjobs at CUFI?

  6. And your beef is exactly what, Mr. First? You don’t think Israel’s and America’s interests are one and the same? You better hang around here and get educated.

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