You Might Be a Hyper-Conservative If...By James Arlandson
...you kidnap conservatism in your clown car and drive it into a ditch.
Some days I wish I could fire many media 'pundits.' Bloggers too. And politicians.
I often click out or turn off the dial. "No wonder we lost the election."
You feel the zeal and turn off voters. The DNC loves you, and the Dem-voting news media chuckle and spotlight you.
Jeff Foxworthy uses his "you might be a redneck if" ... humorously.
Not me, not this time.
But how do you know if you'rehyper-conservative? You might be one if ...
In your think tanks and blogs your ideas are okay. But as a political party you cause the defeat of Republicans.
"I vote to make a statement!"What you don't understand is that we've undergone eighty years of big-government liberalism. You might have won often, say, in 1800 or 1812. Now, however, eliminating too much government too quickly simply cannot be done.This explains why you don't win statewide or national elections, while extreme liberals can. You're too severe.
The DNC thanks you 'principled' libertarians.
2. You cry "third party!" every time you don't get your way.
That's childish. Stop overestimating yourself and misreading the public. Grownup conservatives must be willing to suck it up and fight harder for the (imperfect) brand that has the best chance of winning -- R. Starting or joining a third party results in... well... see the first point.
3. You refuse to work with Dems (even after you lose an election).
"RINO! Let's primary him!"
Democrats won this time -- this time. They temporarily have the momentum. They always have the media. When the numbers in the House and Senate are reversed and a Republican captures the White House, the Dems will have to compromise. If not, they'd become a backwater, out-of-touch party (hint).
"We compromised under Bush! He grew government!" Fair enough. But we don't live back then. We lost now. Take what you can get, even if it ain't perfect. At the same time, be the opposition party. Limit damages. Resist foolishness.
Most of all, win elections, if you want your way.
But even after Reagan won, he still had to work with Tip O'Neill to reform Social Security.
4. You fantasize about shredding or scrapping programs like school lunches and breakfasts for poor children.
A radio host bashes that elementary school program. Why?
Senate Republicans opposed the UN disability treaty. Nuts.
You obsess over NPR, PBS, NEA, NEH, artworks.art.gov. See no. 1 above.
"But it's the principle of the thing! We've got to cut somewhere! Start small! Shut 'er down! The UN? Our national sovereignty is at stake!"
Put your rusty, squeaky, smoky chainsaws back in the shed. You don't cut budgets like drunken lumberjacks or let the government shut down -- all after eighty years of big-government liberalism.
If this recent election teaches us anything, political optics is important. Appearing mean-spiritedand stingy loses elections. Maybe Bush was right: 'compassionate' conservatism.
Majoring on the minors -- bad idea. So I'm willing to compromise. We'll let the independents and persuadable democrats have their small 'compassion' and arts programs, if they let us reform (not shred or scrap) the big entitlements where the real debt is. We'll debate the minor programs after that.
"You're a RINO!" No, we have to win elections by drawing the independent and persuadable Democrat voters to our side. Imagine that! And they don't vote for cranky people and Scrooge policies today. They've grown attached to game show government. FDR, LBJ, and now O guarantee it.
Even Reagan had a mixed record while resisting the big-government onslaught. "RINO!"
5. You come across as harsh towards illegal immigrants.
"Go to hell!" shrieked a 'Minute Man' at politicians looking into various immigration policies. "Self-deportation!" you yell. "Round 'em up and bus 'em out!"
Honestly, I would self-deport from your America, if she were ever made in your image. The DNC's gleeful.
"[God] ... loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing ... And you are to love those who are foreigners" (Deut. 10:18-19). However those verses are to be interpreted in their original context, love is timeless.
Immigrants, even illegal ones, are human. Never forget that.
6. Discussing race, you use blunt-force trauma or mockery.
A radio host talked an hour about the racist comments made by a Greek Olympic athlete. "Was it really racist?" He seemed confused. Of course the phone lines buzzed with angry black callers. Rule of thumb: don't nuance stupidity. Off goes my radio.
Snide songs about Obama's race and sneering articles and comments about Kwanzaa accomplish nothing, except reinforce the false belief that conservatism has a racist tinge. Maybe you do, but it doesn't. Your 'humor' is neither smart nor subtle.
7. You get easily sidetracked by your hobbyhorses and miss the big picture.
You want to abolish the Federal Reserve. Ain't gonna happen.
You're an isolationist. Too late. We've already gone global.
You believe AIPAC intimidates people. We support Israel because we have good reason to. No one intimidates us.
You're a 'truther' and believe in conspiracies. Leave them to unthinking leftists.
"But these things matter!" That's what every hobbyhorse cowboy says.
8. You thought birtherism mattered.
It was and is foolish. Never bring it up again. Ever.
You tarnish our heritage.
9. You believe Obama's a Muslim.
He's an adult now and says he's a Christian (whatever that means to him). You appear ungenerous and judgmental. The DNC hearts you.
Focus on his politics instead.
10. You complicate the issue of abortion after rape.
It's one thing if a woman whosuffers a rape chooses not to get an abortion. That's admirable in her ownspecial way.But for a politician to imply national policy should prevent her from getting one is to miss the big picture. You open the door for pro-choicers to get elected.
How is that a victory for pro-life?
11. You tap dance around the age of the earth.
This may not make you a hyper-conservative exactly, unless you get rabid. The evidence says it's billions of years old. Politicians, that's all you need to say. Let theologians and scientists figure out how to reconcile the old age with Genesis (hint: it can). Practice other 'gotcha!' Q&A with your staff.
Answer intelligently and quickly; then move on.
12. You protest mosques that are about to be built in America.
But to protest, if only online, seemingly every new mosque in my country that allows freedom of worship is just plain un-American.You come across as Westboro Baptist-lite. If a specific mosque fosters terrorism, investigate it and inform the authorities, with your evidence. But not every mosque does. The busy one only two short blocks from me appears okay.
Give peaceful Muslims freedom to build and worship.
13. You obsess over Obama's motives as if that really matters or you're deep or wise or something.
"Obama is intentionally destroying America! He said just before the 2008 election, 'I'll fundamentally transform' America!"
But what if he sincerely believes that the transformation helps, not destroys, our country? Didn't you get his leftwing email blast? It's economic justice to raise taxes on 'the rich.' America cares for the 'little guy,' so more welfare. And she buys GM for the 'little' auto workers. A new healthcare program is compassionate.
The main thing: obsessing over motives inside his head is useless. Focus on his measurable policy results instead. Of course he's wrong on that front.
14. You still believe anyone but Mitt was the best candidate among those who actually ran.
I'll let Newt and Santorum stand in for the others since they were the strongest behind Mitt (no, Paul is quirky and too old, and see no. 1, above).
Santorum is smart and articulate, and he won the 1994 Senate seat in Pennsylvania, carried on the wave of the Republican Revolution. But now he comes across as strident. While campaigning he sang off key in today's politics. Even in 2006 he lost big. Why did he run after that?
Newt didn't go through the fire of winning a statewide election, but he was Speaker, so we'll (unwisely) skip over the 'is he electable nationally?' gap in his resume. (Never mind that he lost his Speakership.) Yes, he's very smart and articulate. He takes it to the media, but they control the narrative. He too comes across as strident and zany. He too sang off key in today's political climate. Now his age is a factor. Newt, know thy blunt self. Don't run in 2016. Stay where you are.
Do you really think they could have won Nov. 6? Really? If so, you don't see the big picture or care about the independent or persuadable democrat voters (brute fact: you can't win without them).
Even highly qualified Mitt couldn't win. "Not conservative enough!" I hope you don't mean hyper-conservative. "Then why did he lose?" My opinion is here.
Liberals, don't be giddy. I could produce a long list for you too. You might be a hyper-liberal if you blame anyone but Obama for the economy; if you believe deficit spending on steroids works; if you believe redefining marriage for gays won't lead to other redefinitions and don't care that it shall; and so on.
Time to wrap up my cri de coeur, my heart cry.
You hyper-conservatives have no wisdom or boundaries because you've forgotten what conservatism is.
So, here it is in a nutshell: fiscal discipline, free enterprise, constitutionally limited government, and low taxes (economics and freedom); moral standards (social); and peace through strength (defense).
That's an expanded version of Reagan's helpful three-legged stool. It's our heritage.
No, I don't burn incense before a Reagan icon, but that economic and political philosophy is clearly better than Obama's record-setting debt and limping economy after four years of his outdated FDR-ishpolicies.
I called you a name. If you want to return the favor, call me a conservative 'gradualist' in politics. I'm trying to face reality after the nation's eighty-year march towards big government. People love the game show and won't give it up in one swing or by surrendering to your shrill rhetoric.
Stop misreading the American public. You scare away independent and persuadable Democrat voters (and me).You tarnish our heritage and cloud our future.The DNC and their news media love you.
If we don't win elections (and we can't win without those pesky voters), then grownup, substantive conservative policies won't even get close to being implemented step by step, even though we have the better evidence and arguments.
The good news: you can change. Drop it and stop it.
Just stick with the updated three-legged stool. It's simpler, but not simplistic.
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