'You're a conservative, aren't you?'
I think we have all had this encounter: a kind of condescending jab, suggesting a non-chic, misguided, non-intellectual train of thought possessed by a non-progressive-thinking person. “You’re a conservative, aren’t you?”
The talk show host Dennis Miller has suggested a way to deal with such encounters, and there is some merit in his tack. Do not argue; do not get agitated. Merely smile, drop your jaw, nod. Allow your eyes to glaze over. Play along. Possum-like, rope-a-dope non-confrontational. Enjoy your day, and don’t let this bother you. You are not going to change the mind of the person to whom you are speaking.
I wholeheartedly believe in the last point. But I suggest a different maneuver. Not wanting to just roll over, I must engage. Here is a tack I find interesting.
“You’re a conservative, aren’t you?”
Well, what do you mean by conservative? If you mean I wish to conserve the status quo, you are partially correct but not entirely accurate. In fact, there are many things I do not want to conserve.
I do not wish to conserve the current tax code. I find a flat tax appealing.
I do not wish to conserve the fact Congress can pass laws to which they are exempt.
I do not wish to conserve the ability of the attorney general to pick and choose the laws he wishes to enforce/not to enforce.
I do not wish to conserve the current health insurance system, which is much too costly based on the forgotten fact that medical care is way too costly.
I do not wish to conserve the condition in this country in which the dishonest can game the system by claiming false disabilities and other conditions in order to draw money from a government that seems okay with spilling it.
I do not wish to conserve the elevated cost of higher education, which seems to be a product that should not have a higher cost year after year to essentially deliver the same product.
I do not wish to conserve any system that considers skin color a plus or a minus.
I do not wish to conserve a political structure in which elected officials encourage the breaking of the law, in violation of their oath of office.
I do not wish to conserve the president's apparent ability to rewrite legislation.
I do not wish to conserve a system where a two-bit senator from a minor state can stop legislation passed by the People’s House from getting to a vote in the Senate.
I do not wish to conserve the massive regulations that hamstring our industries, to the delight of their competitors operating in other countries.
I do not want to conserve a system in which the submission of highly redacted documents is considered some type of cooperation with a congressional investigation.
I do not want to conserve an administrative game that allows protracted investigations that intentionally hide or delay the truth.
And how about you, Mr. Liberal? Seeing that you are apparently comfortable with all of what I just mentioned, how would you classify yourself?