Dear True Conservatives: Let The Wingnuts Burn…

If you’re a conservative, and I mean a true conservative, this is not a good time for you.  Small government and trimming regulations are generally a good thing, but the wingnut wing of the Republican Party counted on the invisible hand of Adam Smith to keep the ship of state afloat.  Instead, the cold dead hand of Ken Lay reached from the grave (or the South American city where Kenny Boy’s hiding out under an assumed name*) and smacked the markets around like an drunken stepdad** smacks his wife’s kids around for whispering too loud during his hangover.

Meanwhile, as you ponder how best to pursue your principles of small, hands-off government while President Obama keeps nervously checking the balance on the national credit card as he cleans up the mess, the wingnuts want to focus on what’s really important:  Gay marriage, Obama’s birth certificate, and submitting budget proposals with no actual numbers.

Worse, your intellectual leader, William F. Buckley, and your icon, Ronald Reagan, are dead.  You’re stuck with Limbaugh (drug-addicted racist) and Dick Cheney (who didn’t even wait for Bush’s plane to land before talking smack about his ex-boss).  Oh, and lest we forget, Carribou Barbie’s become a bit of a trainwreck, hasn’t she?  (Will I get sued for that?  Settle down, sweetie.  It’s called an opinion, and you’re fully entitled to mine.)  What to do?  What to do?

Here’s my suggestion.  Let the Republican ship burn and take the wingnuts down with it.  You’ll be glad you did.

Where will you go?  For starters, there’s a Libertarian Party who would love to have the more fiscally conservative among you.  You’ll like the Libs.  They have a sense of humor.  They even make fun of themselves.  When do wingnuts do that?  Never.  Anything outside the wingnut ideology is treason to them, which is one more reason to let them burn the Republican Party down around them.  You won’t miss it.  Trust me.

“But, Jim, I’m more of moderate than conservative.  What about me?”

OK, don’t take this the wrong way, but you are free to become a Democrat.  They have a nice big tent and already some conservatives hang out under it.  Join them.  Besides, the Dems do centrism better than the Republicans, and they’re more successful in the center than the left.  You’ll not only do yourselves a favor, you’ll do them one as well.

“But what about them hardline liberals?”

Politely invite them to go to the Green Party.  And I don’t mean that as a slam.  Ever notice the more extreme liberal positions sound more reasonable coming from a Green than a Democrat?  By all means, send them on their way.  With your more conservative brethren swelling the ranks of the Libertarians and giving them the long-sought legitimacy they’ve craved, you’ll do America the biggest favor anyone could do short of banning all political parties:  Kill the two-party system and make this a three-party nation.  More would be even better.

Of course, we’ll have to rethink the way we elect officials to account for the long-overdue death of the two-party system, but hell.  We’re Americans.  We beat the Russians to the moon, invented the Internet, and managed to stop the spread of Paulie Shore beyond North America***.  We can surely figure this one out.

Like I said, forget the Republican Party.  You won’t miss it.  And when you look back on it, you’ll think fondly of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower and Reagan.  You won’t have Rush Limbaugh to overmedicate anymore.

Good riddance.

*No, I don’t believe it.  But being wrong on Ken Lay’s death would not surprise me in the least.

**I have been drunk as a stepdad, but the most abuse I could muster was singing “Where O Where Are You Tonight?” at the top of my lungs.

***Sorry, Canada, but with MTV causing most of the trouble, there’s only so much we could do.

That Thing I Hate Talking About

On the old blog, I ranted about blogging about politics. My main beef was most people who blog about it know absolutely nothing. Yet a lot of bloggers have been doing it because spouting off their opinions is a cheap, easy way to generate traffic.

Well, I’ve deleted that blog. And I’ve also reached the conclusion that you can’t rail on the process if you don’t participate. Not speaking one’s mind is a cop out, almost as bad as taking everything Michael Moore and Sean Hannity say as gospel.

So I’m going to speak my mind. Hopefully, you’ll speak yours. [It’s what the comment section is for.] I won’t try to fool you that I’m an expert, but I do know history. And I have watched enough politics since Ronald Reagan, even if only peripherally at times, to see where things are leading.

Perhaps I ought to start out with where I am politically: I’m a political consultant’s worst nightmare. Hand me one of those tests that charts where you are on two political axes, and I rate as, without fail, a left-leaning libertarian. The lean is so statistically insignificant* that I’m probably as close to a true centrist as you can possibly get.

A cop out? Hardly. I have a strong dislike for extremes, no matter how mild. If you have to slap a label on me, then I’m a Third Way independent. Anything else to me is too fatally flawed to be acceptable. If you really want to press me on the issue, I’ll say I’m a political atheist. I don’t believe in your political gods. I just believe in me.**

I believe in capitalism and hope someday to see it replace the feudalism practiced in America today. However, I also understand that, given the chance, humans in general will screw other humans for gain in a heartbeat. There’s not a system devised that cancels that out. (Ironically, true libertarians seem to get this. Probably why they don’t sweat criticism as much as others. Then again, true libs have a real sense of humor. Hmm…) I don’t see socialism as a great evil, either. The trouble with capitalism and socialism is when you try to have pure forms of them, you get feudal lords like Exxon and the RIAA in an allegedly capitalist society while on the socialist side…

Well… How many of you thought Joe Stalin was a swell guy? (Veterans of the Great Patriotic War may sit this one out. We know you’re understandably biased towards the big murderous lug.)

I refuse to join a political party. I’m the client, not the salesman. Besides, many of you who call yourself Republicans or Democrats aren’t. Or if you are, I’m a Cincinnati Bengal. And I say this having registered as both. Guess what. I was neither back then. I was a voter. Period. If I run for office*** or campaign for someone, I’ll let you know if there’s an elephant or a donkey on my letterhead. Or something else entirely. The fact is if I get involved, I’m just as likely to campaign for a Democrat, a Republican, or something else entirely. (Don’t laugh. Cincinnati has a viable third party and a large Libertarian base.)

I believe you vote your conscience, not who CNN, Fox, or MSNBC tells you will win. Forget them. They report; I decide. (And someone should sue Fox for false advertising, naming the other two networks as co-defendants. After all, wasn’t Hillary just evited in Iowa?)

And finally, if you’re into the politics of polarization – and this goes for left and right – you’re the problem. I don’t care who started what. Wrong is wrong, and just because one side does it doesn’t mean the other side should. It’s why Ann Coulter is no more than a punchline these days. There are far too many people in this country who decide even their parking place on whether it’s a liberal parking space or a conservative one. Meanwhile, there are far too many people like me who want to ram you waiting for you to park your damn car.

Bottom line, too many people have political dogma. Since reality has nothing to do with political dogma (just listen to the global warming “experts” around your office water cooler sometime), I am dogmatically opposed to dogma in any form. Get over it.

So that’s me in a nutshell. Politics won’t be a primary topic here, but the gloves are off. It’s my country, too, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be told what I should think of it.

To let that happen would be un-American.

Just like Joseph McCarthy.

*As long as the test isn’t rigged. And I’ve taken those, too.

**But not Yoko.

***Not bloody likely. The process has a way of soiling even the purest soul. I don’t like getting dirty. It’s why I’m not a garbage man, either.