But despite my sarcastic skepticism (not to mention my skeptical sarcasm), I can't help being cautiously optimistic (that is, when I'm not being aggressively pessimistic about the election's implications for immigration reform, gay rights, marijuana legalization, and other issues I won't get into here). I give conservatives a hard time, but, when it comes down to it, I do sincerely believe this country would benefit from a government with more of a laissez faire approach to the economy. In the two-year-old words of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Will:
Conservatives rightly think, or once did, that much, indeed most, government spreading of wealth is economically destructive and morally dubious—destructive because, by directing capital to suboptimum uses, it slows wealth creation; morally dubious because the wealth being spread belongs to those who created it, not government.And yet, when it comes to the conservative movement itself—rather than the philosophy in the abstract—Will and I are no longer on the same page. A line in his most recent column nicely illustrates why (emphasis added):
This was the serious concern that percolated beneath the normal froth and nonsense of the elections: Is political power—are government commands and controls—superseding and suffocating the creativity of a market society's spontaneous order? On Tuesday, a rational and alarmed American majority said "yes."So, if I've got this right, here's what George Will is saying:
- A free market economy is the smoothest road to prosperity.
- Therefore, it's rational to support free market economics.
- In this week's election, a vote for Republicans was a vote in support of free market economics.
- Therefore, Republican voters are rational.
- Therefore, Republican voters may or may not be rational, because, while rational people support free market economics, irrational people support whatever the hell causes their semi-functional neurons to light up, including but not limited to Michael Bay movies, Scientology, bi-weekly Powerball drawings, the New York Mets, and, yes, free market economics.
Leftist Lie: "Two never ending wars=republican"
Actual Truth: Iraq war is over.
Leftist Lie: "hate Muslims=republican"
Actual Truth: Republicans hate terrorists, leftists want to give them a safe haven.
Leftist Lie: "Hate gays=republican"
Actual Truth: Republicans value the tradition of marriage. Leftists want to destroy its meaning.
[Obama] is a pseudo intellectual who has been programmed by a series of communist and revolutionary associations. Collective Salvation is a key incite to his programming and whence it came. A perversion of Christianity by communists. Traditional Christians like POPES consider collective salvation as a political teaching as DEMONIC. There is no telling where an Unstable Obama will take us or what he will do. After he scolded us for going to Los Vegas he is taking a 2 billion dollar trip to India. Is the man sane?
We have a Communist sociopath as President.
[Obama] surrounds himself with Tax Cheats, Chicago thugs, incompetents, radical loony perverted Czars and has Democrat accomplices in congress that can't even READ the trillion dollar pork packages and Obama/Pelosi Government Crap Care they put their X on and inflict on Americans…
And now the investigations will begin. I can't wait for the one that Obama will try to explain how he is legally qualified to be president when he can't product a certified birth certificate and neither of his parent were qualifying US citizens.Finally, my favorite (because really, you do need to be aware):
The intelligence of the Liberals is stunningly low.They lack the ability to see what Obama and the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS are doing to this country…If you have money in the bank,you might want to pull it.Another piece of advice,watch GLENN BECK, THURSDAY,FRIDAY he has been warning for a year and a half about OBAMA ,everything he has said is happening.The man loves this country,he is warning us.The media,OBAMA,SOROS has been boycotting his show because he has been exposing them,WATCH,YOU NEED TO BE AWARE !!!!!Alright, that's enough for now (check this article's comments for some more gems, if you're into that sort of thing). Internet commenters, as always, prove nothing, except that stupidity is ideologically-neutral.
So, are intelligent, thoughtful, and rational conservatives out there too? Sure—plenty of them. Is voting Republican, in and of itself, proof of intelligence, thoughtfulness, and rationality? No, of course not, and if conservatives like George Will are as smart as they seem to think they are, they should understand that.
1. Also from the 2008 column (but not relevant to my point, which is why it's stashed away down here in this footnote):
Hyperbole is not harmless; careless language bewitches the speaker's intelligence. And falsely shouting "socialism!" in a crowded theater such as Washington causes an epidemic of yawning.Well said.
2. I assume the Free Market Bandwagon, for the sake of comfort, fuel efficiency, and durability, would be a foreign model. Or, for the sake of irony, a GM.
3. Does that sound mean-spirited? I feel like it sounds a little mean-spirited. Oh well, I'm just trying to be funny. I really don't mean to offend Transformers fans, Scientologists, lottery players, capitalists, or…yeah, that's all.
4. For what it's worth, I tried to avoid picking out comments that are simply poorly-written. My intent is not to mock those with a shaky grasp on the language (or, to put it in PC terms, those with a "unique voice"), but to mock those who have proudly and openly severed ties with reality—though the latter is hardly a stranger to the former. Anyway, in the interest of fairness, here’s one of the good ones:
George, with all due respect, a wave of rational and concerned voters did not really come into it. You and I and a fairly small minority live in an informed and rational world, but the vast majority of the voting population votes purely from the hip. Happy? Yes – vote for incumbent, no – vote for challenger.And one more, just because I like it:
We demand to see Boehner's birth certificate! He's orange. No human is orange. Is he American or Alien? Release his college records now! We want proof he attended college. We want our country back!
5. Is engaging in a Q&A with myself a lazy, overused stylistic device? Absolutely, but screw you—I'm doing it anyway.