The Naked Emperor

27 January 2008

Keep the Change

An old saw is that women marry men expecting them to change, and we never do, while men marry women expecting them to never change, which they ALWAYS do.

The redneck version of this is a story about a middle aged couple riding in the truck on a Saturday night. They're behind another truck with a young couple in it. The middle aged wife looks longingly at the young couple snuggled up and asks "why don't we do that anymore?". The husband looks over from the driver's seat and replies "I'm still right here".

As you know, I love music. I'm basically an old style rock and roll fan. And that's why I listen to more country than anything else modern. Modern country is a lot like old rock and roll, but with a twang and a sense of humor.

I haven't abandoned rock and roll. It abandoned me.

And I feel the same way about politics. I came of age during the Carter fiasco. Even though I was much more liberal then, as most young people are, I was a libertarian who was strong on defense. My first presidential vote was to fire Carter and hire Reagan.

So a fiscal conservative, pro defense type, but social libertarian was and has been considered overall a conservative.

And for the most part, those views have best been upheld by the Republicans. Until the last few years.

I haven't abandoned my mostly conservative views. But my party has.

Look, I quit being a Republican in a fit of pique during the aftermath of Katrina. When the President congratulated, publicly, "Brownie" for doing such a great job, I just quit.

Those of us on the ground knew so much better.

And looking at the Republican Congress spending like drunken sailors, just as bad as the Democrats, really pissed off this fiscal conservative.

Later, they tried to ram through their amnesty for illegals. What happened to the law and order conservatives? What happened to defending the borders of our once soverign nation? This isn't rocket science. Federally elected official swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. What happened to that early bit, that minor point about oh, providing for the common freakin' defense?

I was excited by the candidacy of Fred Thompson. He seemed to be a true conservative who believed in the principles and more than any other recent candidate, actually lived up to them. Apparently I was more excited by this prospect than he was.

So what to do?

I'm a libertarian/conservative. If not the Republicans, where can I go?

The Democrats? Their principles alone just seem wrong to me. Sorry, I can't become a socialist. Throw in their love of identity politics, where something you can't control counts for more than your thoughts and ideas, and I'm thoroughly turned off.

The Libertarians? In my lifetime, the only candidates they've put up would make a Ron Paul/ Dennis Kucinich ticket seem positively lucid.

OK, I'm reluctantly stuck with the Republicans. But it's with the deep understanding that I trust you to uphold my conservative principles just as much as I'd trust the Democrats. I.E. Not at all. Trust is a fragile commodity. And you've broken mine. If you ever want it, it will take time, and your deeds will speak much louder than any words. Here, as in life, action is the most eloquent.

But which candidate?

McCain? I'm impressed with his service record, but let's face it, that was 35 years ago. His recent record is much more troubling. Damn good on the Southwest Asia theater, best in the bunch. But he's also the worst in the bunch on defending the North American front from the reconquista. Throw in the "Gang of 14" and McCain Feingold, and he scares me.

Giuliani? He proved to be a great leader during 9/11. When I was in New York about 16 months ago, I couldn't believe it was the same city as when I saw it 20 years previous. Everybody there said the same. Giuliani. Great so far. But in this election, he seems to be taking a donor funded extended Florida vacation. He appears only slightly more serious than Thompson. I'll hold my breath. But not for long.

Huckabee? I love the fact that he supports the FairTax. But the rest of him seems kind of slimy. Look, we once tried a populist governor of Arkansas as president, and I didn't think it worked out all too well. I'm not to sure I want to watch that particular re-run.

Romney? He's pro-business, seems to have done OK in Massachusetts. Did well with the olympics. But I'm a southerner. Between Reconstruction and the carpetbaggers who've been coming since Katrina, I'm wary of any New Englander who's going to "fix" things for me. So far he's the most likely, but I'll be watching him closely. Any Yankee arrogance, and I'll start playing "Wearing of the Grey" on my iTunes.

It's just so hard.

I just want a good solid conservative, like many of us. Yet it seems that conservative means something totally different now.

I haven't and won't abandon my conservative beliefs. But it sure appears that conservatism has abandoned us.

This is change that's not good for me or America. If and when the Republicans decide to return to conservatism, "I'm still right here".

until later,

the naked emperor


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