Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shaky conservative

I don't write about politics much.  Part of this is because my own views are uncertain.  Part of it is that my views on a lot of things are more conservative than those of most people I know, and I don't want people to think less of me because of my views.  (Let's face it, people often do think less of other people if they find out that the other person has opposing views on political issues, especially if it is a very sensitive or emotional issue.)

Discussing my views in detail is much more than I have the time or energy to do now, but there are probably a few reasons why I often lean in a conservative direction.  First, there's family influence.  I grew up in a moderately conservative, Reagan-supporting suburban middle-class family.  Unlike many people with that background, I didn't grow up to oppose the ideas and values that I was brought up with.  I don't agree with all of them, but overall I think that most of them make sense.  The conservatism that I grew up with was somewhat moralistic, but not harshly judgmental.  It taught that people shouldn't be dependent on the government, but not that people should be completely left to their own devices no matter what.  It was patriotic, but not overly nationalistic or xenophobic.  I liked it then, and I still like it now.

Another thing that pushed me in the direction of conservatism was that many of the more liberal or left-leaning people I knew, while certainly good people, were a little bit more ... close-minded than the conservatives.  This goes against the common stereotype that conservatives are the narrow-minded ones, but I have often found it to be true.  If someone starts from the assumption that all conservatives, no matter what their actual ideas, are narrow-minded fools and bigots, then there really isn't any room for debate or discussion of any kind.  That attitude always rubbed me the wrong way, to put it mildly.

These days, everything is confused for me when it comes to politics.  I still think of myself as a conservative, and take that side of an argument more often than not, but the conservatism of recent years seems to be more harsh and intolerant than the variety that I grew up believing in.  I guess being harsh and intolerant doesn't necessarily make something wrong, but those have never been qualities that I liked very much.  I guess you could say that my conservatism is very shaky.

Maybe I should start writing about my political views.  Actually, I shouldn't.  There seem to be millions of bloggers writing about politics, and most of them know a lot more about the issues than I do!


troutbirder said...

Good luck with your new house. Librarians are my favorite people because they have what I like a lot. Books
Troutbirder - "a more closed minded liberal.... than conservatives." :)

RPS77 said...

troutbirder - Thank you - I love the house, and there have been no problems so far (knock on wood ...).

Where I work we have lots of historic books, pamphlets, newspapers, illustrated prints, and magazines from the 18th and 19th century 13 colonies/USA. I work mostly with the 19th century books and pamphlets.