I have been an independent for more than 20 years. Many election years I’ve also been a non-voter because I was so disgusted with the obligatory either/or choice between bad and worse, between obviously corrupt and more corrupt, that I didn’t want to support any of the charlatans vying to enrich and aggrandize themselves through incrementally ruining our lives and our country with their own particular brands of insanity. I still strongly dislike that you have to choose between voting for a party or candidate you don’t especially care for (to keep someone obviously worse out of office), voting for a 3rd party candidate you can sort of believe in who, nevertheless, has an almost zero chance of getting elected, and not voting at all. I’m sorry to have to admit that I’ve often picked choice number three — and the 2000 election in which Dubya didn’t actually win, but in which he was still awarded the Presidency by judicial fiat, didn’t do much to shore up my faith in the election process, either. It looked like the best connected and marketed plutocrat would achieve office, regardless of any election, so why vote?

I did vote in the 2008 election, for Barak Obama. Not because I’m a Democrat; I’m not. I left the Democratic Party in my early 20s for several reasons (though I didn’t become a Republican), including feeling disappointed with the narrowness, irrationality, and total lack of interest in environmental issues of the College Democrats I had briefly joined. The College Republicans were far worse, and that has been the trend throughout my adult life: Democrats=bad, Republicans=worse.

Strangely, for much of my early adulthood, though, it seemed a lamentable fact that the public proponents of conservatism often *sounded* more calm, reasonable, and intelligent than the public proponents of liberalism (which has since reversed). I tended to side with liberals anyway because: (1) conservatives have long clearly placed short-term profit above compassion and environmental sustainability; (2) Republicans seem to value war (the reasons for which are a topic for another time, but which seem primarily related to the profit-above-all paradigm and the drive to expand Imperial America, all under the guise of “strong defense”); (3) the Republican Party explicitly seeks (still) to perpetuate antiquated, prejudicial, and counter-productive social mores; and (4) whatever they say about personal liberty, Civil Rights seem to erode more under conservatives than under liberals. See Dubya’s administration, and the general Republican hatred of the ACLU, an organization exclusively devoted to preserving Civil Rights. Peace, rationality, environmental sustainability, Civil Rights, and social compassion are essential to me, hence few Republican candidates have won my vote or support.

I haven’t, though, liked many Democrats, either. Then, along comes Barak Obama, the first seemingly electable candidate in a long time who says things I can agree with, who appears rational, intelligent, and compassionate, and who was once a civil rights lawyer. Particularly given the fugue state the formerly-moderate John McCain was in during the campaign, and presented with Sarah Palin, the most uninformed and obviously small-minded and bigoted candidate for executive office I’ve ever seen (which is saying a lot in the wake of Dubya and Dan Quayle), the choice became obvious, especially as I learned more and more about Barak Obama. So, in the end, I voted for him, even though John McCain was the first Republican Presidential candidate since Lincoln I ever might have voted for, with the possible exception of Dwight Eisenhower.

Now, Barak Obama is, in fact, another Ivy League educated millionaire, and another self-promoter, but at least he achieved success for himself through drive, talent, and hard work, rather than simply inheriting wealth and privilege as Dubya did. To this day it amazes me how long it took for people to recognize Dubya as the Marie Antoinette of our day, shamelessly playing peasant for his own purposes, and it amazes me even more that perhaps 50 or 60 million people in this country still fail to recognize this fact (maybe 1 in 4 in this country and 1 in a 1000 across the globe). These 50 or 60 million apparently still think Dubya is a well-meaning, regular guy, evidence be damned. I personally don’t have anything against inherited wealth per se (I don’t exactly come from a poor family), but paradoxically, many of Dubya’s supporters do. More importantly, this insular life of privilege clearly blinded Dubya in some crucial and destructive ways.

In contrast, President Obama is a sort of social Renaissance man. He groks everything from the most erudite and abstruse discussions to the plight of the disenfranchised. He’s very smart, and smarts are key to what we need in leadership. I do disagree with some of his actions and views, of course — for example, I oppose perpetuating rendition, subsidizing failed banks, soft-pedaling on the crimes of Dubya’s Administration, and escalating troops in Afghanistan — but I have faith in President Obama’s ability to learn and adapt, which is a far cry from the abject terror Dubya’s “leadership” inspired in me. The Republicans will no doubt brand any adaptive responses by President Obama as “flip-flopping,” but I consider fact-based adaptation wise. Dubya obdurately refused to do this, as do many modern Republicans.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Since the rise in influence of the socially intolerant Evangelical wing of the Republican Party, which I think began in earnest with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Ronald Reagan, many conservatives have progressively gotten more and more extreme, more and more strident, and less and less concerned with facts. We have Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Anne Coulter, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, John Cornyn, Sarah Palin, and many others representing a dogged return to elitist, prejudicial, anti-scientific, and unrealistic political and social beliefs straight out of the Dark Ages — right down to things like Coulter advocating what amounts to a modern Crusade in which we invade other countries, depose their leaders, and forcibly impose Christianity. It has seemed for a long while that reason, compassion, and realism are bleeding from the Carotid of the Republican Party, and now all that remains is a screeching banshee of hatred, bigotry, greed, and fear. I have missed the reasonable conservatives who used to bring thoughtful arguments to the table. They’re not completely gone, of course, but much of their voice is being drowned out by the din of Limbaughian bullying, Rovisionist history, and Beckish idiocy.

Today, however, I read an excellent op-ed in Newsweek by a long-standing and well-known conservative commentator named David Frum. Mr. Frum writes a reasonable argument here, and although I disagree with much of his ideology, I welcome his voice in the discussion and wish him luck in helping to return decency and reason to the Republican Party. The link to his piece is below.

Enjoy!

-EAB

Why Rush Is Wrong

42 Responses to “A Reasonable Conservative”

  1. confuse the principles of the Republican with conservatism. They are not one in the same. The “Christian Right” and advocates are a recent construct of the modern Republican in the past 20-30 years. I know many people that would be opposed to the core principles of the Republican Republican.Black first,

  2. hitner buck says:

    THe problem with the Republican nomination run is that none of the candidates can be taken seriously by anyone but the Tea

  3. wideler clou says:

    oh, really, the mainstream media is ignoring all these facts. I know people who are over there, my uncle is one, he and his unit saw evidence of these surgents having ties with Al Quada, and Taliban. The Mainstream media is making like we are the bad guys.

  4. lanove luper says:

    The answer to your ignorant question:1) It takes a VERY long time for evolution to noticeably occur, so obviously not going to be able to observe it “live”. Creationists accept micro-evolution, but not macro-evolution, which they realize is the EXACT same mechanism, the only difference between them being they operate on different timescales.That would be like saying “I can walk to my bathroom but I walk to the post-office coz physically impossible” Nonsense.

  5. vaioi gushamiegg says:

    THis is sick. stop the stuff mannnnn!

    Hey come check out Solid Game Ent. We got some new up… 4 to be exact! “Live it up”, “Driven from evil”, “Listen 2 ur “Imma hold it down” Thanks for your video, and be sure to watch ours. thanks

  6. not the only one hit hard. Also Ann Coulter, David Frum, Kathleen Parker, Peggy Noonan, etc. IOW the usual suspects. –

  7. sion-smin joslin says:

    You all have issues with Democrats. If it been any Republican acting the same way, their behavior would have been excused on the simple behalf that it was a Republican. I thought everybody knew that Friends let friends vote Republican!

  8. It was most likely a random caveman who eating the buds long before fire was discovered.Fire was discovered and they burning the plants, probably by accident or in an attempt to stay warm. The caveman noticed the smoke was intoxicating him and as he could he imagined the plans for a crude and basic pipe.

  9. xpm harfarunas says:

    The world need not wonder why you have your head up the closeted gay Michael ass – You written one sentence that have improper spelling syntax or grammar. No wonder you worship a knuckle dragger who changed his Jewish name from Werner to the “savage” he is.

  10. lenkenson katy says:

    Republican and Democrats one body two headed snake! Listen to them, same thing over an over again and still doing the same thing! Wake up

  11. mitchwells on David Frum on CNN just now: First hit the mute button whenever Ron Paul talks, the man is an ignoramus. –

  12. Apparently, you lack the basic understanding of the Evolutionary theory, cos anyone who knows about evolution will not say something so stupid as humans came from chimps or monkeys. Charles Darwin’s theory is so stupid that, its taught in world’s top universities like oxford and cambridge, and 1000s for peer reviewed scientific journals are published by scientists all over the world, and widely accepted by the scientific community as fact. GTFO

  13. FengIsFeng on Reddit, many of the Republican canidates argue that “Government should stay out of people’s lives”, yet, many of these same canidates are the ones fighting for gay marriage and to be illegal. How does this make sense in any way? –

  14. waldvollas says:

    Opinion: “Why we’re getting fatter — and what to do about it” by David Frum – David Frum writes pieces now?!

  15. So the nordic countries…the most socialist….have traditionally been the best in health, education, social stability, low low crime ect. The more equal the better society. I dont know what basis you have for a free market fantasy world..but the evidence suggest that social democratic countries are very good indeed.

  16. El president de la Generalitat, Mas, defensa avui a Londres que Catalunya fa els deures en matèria d’austeritat, malgrat les ‘enormes dificultats’ que pateix per culpa del dèficit fiscal. Mas s’ha reunit amb el vice-primer ministre britànic, Nick Clegg, i aquest migdia en la cimera de governants liberal-demòcrates i reformistes. Mas vol fer entendre als seus col·legues europeus que Catalunya fa les retallades ‘en una situació molt delicada des del punt de vista financer i de recursos’ per culpa d’una relació ‘poc equilibrada’ amb l’estat espanyol. Mas és l’únic convidat que no forma del govern d’un país independent, i hi defensa la seva aposta pel pacte fiscal, com a eina que considera imprescindible per de la crisi. També hi parla de les mesures d’aprimament i austeritat dutes a terme pel govern català per fer front a la situació econòmica. A la cimera també hi són presents, a més de Nick Clegg, el primer ministre d’Holanda, Mark Rütte; i els comissaris…

  17. “This is the moderate who kicked off the GOP voter suppression campaign, way back in 2005. This is the moderate who made national headlines calling for a “truce” on social issues, and then went back to Indiana and quietly promoted an absolutely brutal law effectively closing Planned Parenthood clinics. This moderate gutted public employee collective bargaining rights by executive order. This moderate lied to private sector union members to secure their then launched a full-out war to destroy their unions because he doesn’t need their votes anymore.”

  18. This is a liberal website. You should check out links. This website promotes Elizabeth Warren. She may be ok, website?? –

  19. The Drug could always get their guns from Pakistan and other places where people can make 100% working replicas of any gun.

  20. nor cvicher says:

    Also I blame you for the fact I can’t refer to as simply Garrett in this paper. It has to be Garrett-Evangelical

  21. defons pryshans says:

    The former governor held a private meeting alongside the Conservative Public Action Conference with about three dozen evangelical organizers, conservative writers and Tea activists.

  22. hesculveri szeld says:

    lol no. It’s super easy. When I got my license, they asked me if I wanted to register Republican, Democrat, Independent or

  23. As the Republican political analyst David Frum put it, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox” — So the Ministry of Propaganda has, in effect, seized control of the Politburo. — Krugman –

  24. moine shaszeggia says:

    The Real Estate Crisis Hits the Ski Frum – The Daily …: They just don’t want to purchase real est…

  25. 20 year-old who isn’t a liberal doesn’t have a and any 40 year-old who isn’t a conservative doesn’t have a – Oscar Wilde

  26. felda pfannig says:

    Donna Brazile on CNN just lying her ass off about the Ryan plan. David Frum seems to agree! Thank God for

  27. dodge saxmans says:

    Frumforum.com
    One trend: De-professionalization. The line between “media professional” and ordinary person has collapsed, notes David Frum. “Who is the media exactly these days? Anybody who wants to be. Who must worry about journalistic ethics? Nobody who does not want to.”

  28. Prominent conservative bloggers were mixed Wednesday night in their reactions to the House GOP’s new “Pledge to America” policy agenda, which will be officially unveiled on Thursday. The loudest voice against came from RedState’s Erick Erickson, who characterized the program as a “series of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes.” “It is an illusion that fixates on stuff the GOP already should be doing while not daring to touch on stuff that will have any meaningful longterm effects on the size and scope of the federal government,” he wrote, noting that measures like a Balanced Budget Amendment were disregarded in lieu of promises to put “government on the path to a balanced budget.” David Frum at Frum Forum described the document as a means for “cruising to a handsome election victory” in November and noted that it represents a rejection of the ideals of the Tea “Tea activists have been claiming all year that there exists in the United States a potential…

  29. If all the right-wing WI Republicans crossover to D primary, doesn’t “Lincoln Republican” Kohl-Riggs do better on GOP side? –

  30. tina mcarrown says:

    typical liberal… When the facts aren’t on ure side, just call someone a name… Oh & it’s ok 2 b racist!!

  31. zuccordo says:

    Ugg happy David Frum went to US, where he is “intellectual”. In US, you can be intellectual even though make Iggy Pop sound like Spinoza.

  32. hida baribove says:

    “In all probability, the American evangelical who has just sung about being hungry & thirsty will have the financial resources to stop by…

  33. Not online yet, but David Frum takes a stab at writing Obama’s STOU address in the Feb issue of Esquire. It’s not half bad…

  34. WHAT’ST HE PROBLEM OBAMA’S FRIENDS AT MSNBC ARE CELEBRATING MAKING ME GO OVER TO FOX AND PROVE I’M A REPUBLICAN

  35. stunawerne kamperaugh says:

    The draft aims to rein in presidential authority and limit Islamists’ clout, but liberal critics fear it might allow a more rigid form of Islamic law to prevail.
    CAIRO — Egypt’s Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly passed a rushed draft of a constitution early Friday to ease public anger against President Mohamed Morsi’s expanded powers and preempt an expected decision to disband the chamber this weekend.

  36. The Center For American Progress is 50% Blue Dog Democrat & 50% AIPAC. Neera Tanden is a terrified hack. –

  37. tuonglies mazler says:

    BC Liberal says it does not want John Slater because of “personal issues that, in our view, impact his ability …

  38. This would be funny, if not for the ridiculousness of it Illinois now has the same credit rating as Botswana

  39. dublez rohator says:

    Don’t vote NDP or Liberal… vote for the Tandoori Chicken of BC! Every Friday, all you can eat tandoori chicken in our buffet –

  40. FROM THE BLOGS: The Postal Service Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns, and Money writes that laying off 120,000 workers from the Postal Service will be a huge hit to the economy and the middle class. Moody’s view of sovereign ratings The difference between ratings agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s illustrates why S&P downgraded the U.S. economy and Moody’s didn’t, Felix Salmon writes. Conservatives whine about unfairness of quoting Perry accurately Matthew Yglesias at his Thinkprogress blog defends previous thoughts he shared about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) book. ‘Frumming’ down the GOP field At The American Spectator’s blog, Aaron Goldstein writes in response to a takedown of the GOP presidential field by David Frum that things are obvious to Frum aren’t necessarily obvious to Republicans across the country. OTHER NEWS SOURCES: Moody’s significantly lowers expectations for economy in 2011 Moody’s drastically lowered its expectations for the U.S. economy in 2011, The Hill’s Peter…

  41. mcquet lunder says:

    Why I Back Gay Marriage: I signed it as a longtime opponent of same-sex marriage, worried by exactly the argum…

  42. You just gotta love America! One of WA state reps (Republican Ed Orcutt) thinks that cycling is bad for the…

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