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#305474 - 02/04/18 12:34 PM Whatever happened to rational conservatism?
NW Ponderer Offline
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Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15953
Once upon a time I considered myself a moderate conservative. I voted for several Republicans and even campaigned for a few. Even after my sensibilities began to change, I was still happy to count several "conservatives" among my closest friends, and enjoyed having lively, rational debate about issues of substance. Here at the Rant I had several debate partners with conservative viewpoints that produced thoughtful discussions and even changed my mind on some points.

But now it is hard to carry on those kinds of discussions, and it is hard to find topics that can result in them. There are extremely few conservative voices here anymore and I know the few remaining feel oppressed when their posts are responded to with such vigor. My question remains: where did they go?

Yes, some have gone off the deep end into partisan, irrational sycophancy. But I don't think that represents all of them, and maybe not even a majority. Are they deaf? Mute? There was a large contingent of "never Trumpers" just 18 months ago. Now? Seriously, where are they? Charlie Sykes continues to speak out, but to a smaller audience. I seldom agree with him, but at least his approach is rational (if misguided). Most of the conservative commentatiat have given themselves over to sycophancy or at least extreme partisanship, refusing to acknowledge the myriad of faults of Republican leadership or their feckless accomplishments. Is it just cowardice? A lack of principles? I don't know, but it disturbs me.

I've tried several times to get some of my conservative friends to join discussions here, but it doesn't work. They retreat to their comfortable echo chambers. Is there a topic that might bring them back? Whatever happened to rational conservatism, or was it a always just a mirage?
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A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#305479 - 02/04/18 04:39 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
Ujest Shurly Offline
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Registered: 10/16/16
Posts: 292
Loc: Michigan, USA
"Whatever happened to rational conservatism, or was it a always just a mirage?"

No, it was never a mirage. It is more comfortable in the echo chamber (we have one here). Why? It is never easy to have ones thoughts, ideas, opinions, political/religious/national position challenged and challenged those are in these forums. It can be said, here at Capitol Hill Blue, bullshit is not tolerated, at least in the Political Forums.

Hey Bigswede, some times you've got cahonies dude.
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The older you get, the moldery and crustier you get.

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#305480 - 02/04/18 07:55 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
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Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40878
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
...Yes, some have gone off the deep end into partisan, irrational sycophancy...

Some?!?

I've never known a rational conservative. Seriously. Hmm
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#305481 - 02/04/18 08:06 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
rporter314 Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6403
Loc: Highlands, Tx
It is on life support. The populist base has taken over the Republican Party and has almost closed the oxygen valve keeping the rational folks alive. People I had thought were very conservative, viewed through the lens of nativism, appear more moderate now.

I am not sure if traditional Republicans will be tolerated by the populists. Within very recent memory conservatives had a purity test, which in the current climate is no longer viable. The new test is based on the cult of personality. If one has pledged loyalty to Mr Trump, one is considered a good Republican.
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#305482 - 02/04/18 08:15 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7564
Loc: North San Diego County
Conservatism is all about fear, after all. Fear that "other" people are going to come here and kill us. Fear that the gubmint is coming for our guns and we will have to fight to the death. Fear that our tax money is going to Negroes and Mexicans so they can just take drugs and rape white women. On and on and on.

Trump is just making that worse. And the idea that Trump is soon going to be impeached must be terrifying if you've bought into his whole fantasy worldview. November looks like the end of the world.

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#305483 - 02/04/18 08:55 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1937
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Musn't forget religious conservatism which was waaaaaaaaaaaay different from normal conservatism and, on many points, in direct conflict with normal conservatism. That, and a desire to win rather than deal with national problems (kindofa football mentality, ie. win no matter who or what gets hurt), then add huge amounts of money, from them that got, and you get a pretty good picture of where, and what, the Republicans are.

The Democrats too have some problems. It used to be that both parties represented the two sides; Right and Left. Specifics didn't really enter into it (again, the basic fight was over regulating or not and pretty much, moderating on both sides). Now, however, things have obviously changed. Right now we have the Democrats doing battle between those who would prefer to be more in the middle and them that want to go considerably further into the left than previously. As far as I can tell these two groups spend little time talking to one another and a lot of time on the attack, and, given the number of dissatisfied lefties that voted for Trump, many of the insurgents just don't give a damn about anything but winning thereby also getting into a football mentality.

Both sides REALLY need to sit down and figure out just what in the hell they stand for, what their mission is, and what they think is important. The strange thing is that one rarely hears anything on these subjects from either side. These days its all about American Values (not specified) and winning. The problem with the 'winning' part is that its like our 17 year war in Afghanistan where nobody really has a clue as to why we are even there". it would seem that 'win' defined is a seriously moving target?

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#305485 - 02/04/18 09:42 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 334
'
Whatever happened to rational conservatism?

It was co-opted by the oligarchs and the Military-Industrial Conspiracy.
.
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It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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#305488 - 02/04/18 11:14 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: pondering_it_all]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40878
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Conservatism is all about fear, after all.

Science has found this to be true:

Conservatives Big on Fear, Brain Study Finds
Psychology Today


It's in their DNA. Hmm
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#305489 - 02/05/18 12:34 AM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15953
Certainly, I think, the Republican party does not represent the "rational conservatism" element of conservatism, generally. There are a number of strains of conservatism that are incompatible. Social conservatism and fiscal conservatism, for example, are largely incompatible. Patriotism and crony capitalism are extremely incompatible.

And the current crop of so-called "conservatives" are not at all conservative, but rabidly reactionary. Sandra Day O'Connor was "conservative", Gorsuch is not. The kind of judicial activism represented by the Scalia/Gorsuch-Alito-Thomas troika it's anathema to real judicial conservatives.

Ideology has trumped rationalism for more than a decade, but I wonder if rationalism even exists at all anymore within the "conservative" movement. O see free signs of it.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#305490 - 02/05/18 01:38 AM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7564
Loc: North San Diego County
How the GOP Went Crazy

Fairly long, but the Party has a long history of conspiracy paranoia that all leads right up to now.

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