How and when did your political orientation develop?

Updated on January 15, 2021 in General Stuff
8 on January 14, 2021

I and those of us who post here appear to be politically conservative.  If that’s the case with you, how and when did that happen?  Are you, and have you always been, affirmatively conservative? Have you always  cherished tradition, the family and local community as the best source and transmitter of values, favored and sought to obtain private property, believed in a “prevailing moral order in the universe,” or would you say alternatively that you are mostly apolitical and merely reactionary against liberalism’s propensity to favor government solutions first, especially those administered from afar, aka, DC?

Maybe that’s two ways of saying the same thing, but some of us came late to conservatism.  I, for example, was moderate to slightly left of center up to and through the Nixon administration, and then I met and interreacted with a close friend in the 70’s who had taken up with the YSA (Young Socialist Alliance) at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Socialist_Alliance   (Bet you didn’t know we had commies on campus in south Louisiana, where we mostly preferred to drink beer and laisser les bona temps rouler, i.e. “party on, Garth!”).  

The YSA members were bright and articulate Trotstyists, civil enough on a personal basis, but I sensed that they were dead enders, misfits and malcontents with the same, vague “power to the people” sloganeering that plagues the left to this day.  It was repulsive, but I didn’t know exactly why.  I think it was the judgmentalism and certitude: they were in their early 20’s and had no questions, about ANYTHING.  Extremist conservatives can be the same way, of course.  The difference is that conservatives for the most part want to leave me alone.

It was much, much later. like 20 years later, that I read Kirk’s The Conservative Mind and discovered that Edmund Burke had been struggling and railing against leftism since the French Revolution, and for what I think were the same reasons.  If you haven’t read that book, I recommend it.

Probably I was a latent conservative all along due to my wiring and my catholic education.  I still have a streak of anarchist/libertarian in me that envies the Comanches and Cheyennes, who did whatever the hell they wanted their entire lives.

So, how’d you end up where you are on the political spectrum?  I’m not going to argue with anybody. about it; I’m just curious.

 
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0 on January 14, 2021

I don’t know how it developed. Parent’s were never political. Dad was like any other mid-level auto executive. Mom was stay at home. Political talk was never part of our household.

But I was raised in Detroit in the 70’s with all the post-war post-hippy devastation of drug addiction and the cratering of the auto industry. The draft ended in ’75. I graduated in ’79 and registered but never went. I was watching “last one out of Michigan turn out the lights” in real time. And as a musician I’ve spent plenty of time in and around 8 mile of Eminem fame. Puked my guts out on a dumpster behind Cobo Hall after a Ted Nugent concert bombed out of my gourd on willingly sold beer even though I was 19 and the drinking age was 21. And don’t get me started on Canada and their 19 year old drinking age, good real beer, and other unmentionables. And in the 70’s, Canada’s economy sucked worse than ours. The exchange rate was profound.

As an engineer and in the auto industry it was just natural to hate the government.

As a general political philosophy I’ve always voted for whoever would promise to do as close to nothing as possible. Turns out that’s always been Republican although I did win a bet in high school when Jimmy Carter was elected. Hey, good odds are good odds.

Nothing’s changed my mind since. Just continuously reinforcing that what I have always known. 

 

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0 on January 14, 2021

I still don’t consider myself all that conservative, I’m just not a leftist.  Like a good number of my closer friends, I’m that classic “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” person. How I came to be identified as “conservative” is largely the fact that the liberal influencers moved so far to the left, while I was minding my own business and voting for marriage equality and legalizing mary jane at the state level, that I found myself standing out in the middle, in the dirt field of a political no man’s land, with a few of my LE and veteran friends and an entrepreneur or two.  

I am a college-town guy who played 80’s rock guitar, and then windham hill/new age and classical, after all. 

But I was also raised on hard work, and outdoor activities like scouting and hunting, and even as a dope-smoking rocker in HS, still had to be functional enough to get good grades and make the Goju Karate workouts 3x weekly. Work hard, play hard, mind your own business, lend a helping hand when you can. 

What changed (aside from one or two very good points made by Jeff in the earlier iterations of TTT/Soundhole) was many of the people supporting the causes of the educated elite—that is to say, most of my friends that weren’t narc cops or SEALs—starting to embrace an ethic of “play sort of hard, let other people work, get up in everyone else’s business.” Since I cannot abide with that, I now find myself “conservative,” and what I’m conserving is the same sort of shit that many voices now call racist: personal responsibility, hard work, carrying your own weight by making a contribution to society, a rural lifestyle, showing up on time, etc.

I’m not sure that’s an answer to a perfectly reasonable question, but there it is. I didn’t become conservative; the infinite universe moved to the left around me. JMO.

 

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0 on January 14, 2021

“As a general political philosophy I’ve always voted for whoever would promise to do as close to nothing as possible.” LOL

I thought years ago that everyone respected Thoreau ‘s maxim, “The government is best that governs least,” but those days are long gone.

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0 on January 14, 2021

I guess like Sidhe I’d be socially liberal too. Not real bothered at all about what you want to do in your free time as long as I’m not forced to watch, participate, or pay for it.

In that regard I don’t support marriage equality. Not because it’s creepy or anything, but because marriage as a moral obligation has never been the point of the “marriage equality” movement. Marriage, if done right (yes, I am a committed but nominally participating Catholic) is a special level of commitment. Not the “yes, we’ll have a deal and shake on it level, but rather the enlist in the military level that says when the shooting starts, you’re immediately running towards the guns level of commitment. You only absolutely need that level of commitment in a good old fashioned potentially child producing union of a man and a woman.

The real argument for marriage equality is about government benefits- tax breaks, etc.- and not commitment. To which I say hell, I’ll give up this gravy train in a heart beat and we can just get rid of those government rules. All of them. And I’ll leave marriage between me and my spouse. Commitment doesn’t require a license.

Do they still want to be married if the bene’s are gone?

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1 on January 15, 2021

I don’t know what I am or how I got there/here.

Libertarian/Voluntarist is close to the right label, I suppose. Maybe a better one is “iconoclast”.

I try to work out simple rules to live by. Things like:

  • Voluntary interactions are always preferred over coercion.
  • Judging people by the color of their skin is always immoral.
  • Initiation of force is always immoral.

Things like that, anyway.

The complication inevitably comes that, frequently, those can’t be taken as absolute. I’m not an anarchist. I believe there is a role for government, and government necessarily involves non-voluntary interactions. 

One way of saying it is to draw an analogy based on the respective burdens of proof in civil and criminal court cases. The higher burden of proof (“beyond a reasonable doubt”) required in criminal law seems to me a good way of describing if a government action is warranted. Too much advocacy, in my mind, contents itself with the “preponderance of evidence” standard. If a proposed action delivers 51% benefits and 49% harm, we go for it. We build monuments to niftiness that way.

******

Been a while since a gay marriage discussion came up. My opinion remains as it ever was: As a cultural/social matter, I don’t see why anyone has any interest in someone else’s preferred manner of fucking. It makes no difference to anyone. The only exception, and this is the basis of the idea of marriage in the first place and the reason that “marriage” as a concept is universal, is that heterosexual unions have the potential for creating new people. Therefore, those unions are of general interest to the society as a whole. Those unions have a consequence beyond the individuals involved. A society has a motivation, uniquely, to nurture, support and protect those unions.

As a matter of law, I think we’ve managed to make a complete hash of this. Not only do I think Obergefell v. Hodges is just plain bad constitutional law, I think it came at a curiously stupid moment. The clear trajectory in the state legislatures at the time was in favor of gay marriage. Given a few more years, a majority of the states representing 90%+ of the population would have gotten there. I think the SCOTUS got too far out over it’s skis, so to speak, on that one. And in the process, actually harmed the cause of gay marriage. 

******

Back on topic: In recent years, I’ve found myself less and less interested in politics and far more interested in history, archeology, evolutionary biology, and psychology. The Bronze Age fascinates me, as does the Roman Empire. 

Back to “iconoclast”, if there is a sure way to get me to look up, it’s for everyone else to look down.

on January 15, 2021

On the gay sex thing,there was a book in the late 80’s called And the Band Played On. It documents much of the AIDS crisis (whatever happened to AIDS?), including the virulent denunciation by gay men of the “fasicsts’ “closing of bathhouses in San Francisco.

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0 on January 15, 2021

“Initiation of force is always immoral.”

Maybe that deserves a separate thread, but I was thinking of the Dems who raised their hands at the debates to indicate that they support universal health care for all, including illegal aliens.  Then I was thinking whether that Christian sentiment should be extended to entry at the border of everyone with a health issue?  Why not?  What’s the difference between a mildly ill person in Kansas and a seriously ill person standing on an arbitrary line in the desert between Sonora and Arizona?   If they have the right to the health care once they set foot on the U.S. side, I don’t see why they don’t have the right to step over that line at the border, especially if they are sick.

To be clear, I think that a “humanitarian” border policy resulting in uncontrolled entry of every single sick person who demands entry is suicidal insanity, but it’s “cruel” to say so, even if it means 10 million sick people pouring in and demanding health care in exchange for nothing. 

 

 

 

 

 

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0 on January 15, 2021

Last year or the year before, William Barr gave a speech at (IIRC) Notre Dame where he told an interesting story.

He is a practicing Catholic, and found himself attending Mass at a church he hadn’t attended before.

As is frequently the case at Mass, after the ceremony itself was over, but before the congregation was formally dismissed by the priest, there was a brief period of announcements.

Barr told of how the chairman of the parish food committee (or something like that) went to the lectern and discussed the dire need in the community. Lots of people going hungry, etc.

What came next is what surprised him. His assumption was that the speaker would then say something “And therefore we are taking up a special collection now to help these hungry people”. 

That didn’t happen. Instead the speaker talked about the committee’s efforts to petition the local city council for additional food relief money.

Which gets to my view on your immigration/health care question.

I think, beyond a doubt, that Christian charity requires individuals to disregard things like national borders. A person in need is a person in need.

But Christian charity is also, fundamentally, personal in nature. The idea that the demands of Christian charity can be met by petitioning “Caesar” to put a sword to your neighbor’s throat, take his money, and then give that money to the deserving poor is, in my view, abhorrent. 

As an aside, I note the asymmetry we often see. If a Christian argues that the bible demands that gay marriage or abortion be prohibited, we are told that such a policy is prohibited by the First Amendment. But if we are told that Christian charity demands public welfare programs, no establishment clause objection is heard.

 

 

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