Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of this idea that all issues that affect the public sphere should be neatly categorized into compartments like “liberal” and “conservative”; to me, this reeks of a ruling class divide-and-conquer strategy as I’ve never understood why somebody can’t be both anti-abortion and anti-gun, or be in favor of a strong military and support social programs. I guess the two-party system perpetuates this, at the end of the day, you’ve gotta go with either the Dems or the Pubs, or you can make a easily ignored statement by voting for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.
Still, I find it amusing to see my friends and people on the net who talk about politics fly the banner of a certain brand of political thought only to carve out exceptions when it suits their personal interests. Case in point, is local (to me) politician Kris Wampler, who unsuccessfully ran in the special election to replace Mick Mulvaney in South Carolina’s fifth Congressional district. (Full disclosure: Kris is a personal friend of mine who openly espouses radical political views online and I’m assuming will be honored to be mentioned here).
Wampler, along with six other candidates, attempted to convince South Carolina voters that he would be the man to best represent their interests in Washington. He ran on a libertarian platform, advocating low taxes, decriminalization of drugs, deregulation of businesses, and a general message that the government shouldn’t interfere with your personal life. I followed his campaign, and in fact helped design the campaign logo that he used, and I can safely say that he presented his views well and did not compromise his principles for the sake of gaining votes.
One thing, though…Kris Wampler is strongly anti-abortion, due to his devout Christian faith. While I am pro-choice, I can respect the pro-life position if sincerely held, but it strikes me as a little odd that one can advocate “liberty” with the one exception that he has a personal interest in. Wampler’s government goes from being jack-booted thugs to baby-saving angels at the touch of a button, it seems.
Dick Cheney is another example. Sorry to bring that sonuvabitch back up, but central casting couldn’t have come up with a better poster boy for the early 2000’s neocon movement. All he needed was a damn cat to stroke on his lap. Cheney was the meanest of the mean, a cold-blooded conservative on all issues except one. Gay rights. You see, Dick’s daughter Mary is an out-and-about lesbian and has been for quite some time. And, since no father wants to see his daughter discriminated against in the public sphere, Dick suddenly became a liberal in his own little way. Good for him.
You see where I’m going with this. Probably every conservative friend that you talk to about politics has one or two “liberal exceptions” …perhaps one of his black buddies has been harassed by the cops. Maybe the trans fella in the cubicle next to him is actually a cool dude who knows more sports trivia than Bob The Celtic. You never know, but it seems to me that the modern conservative movement could use a heaping helping of empathy that goes beyond one’s day-to-day lives. Hell, there was once a time when American conservatives venerated a man who pushed forth radical notions of compassion and empathy….can’t seem to place the name…