Readers beware: this is one of the few occasions I’ll ever allow myself to vent from my political soapbox.
If you’ve followed the SF blog for a while, you’ll know I rarely discuss political topics because I, quite honestly, have a substantial hatred of anything resembling the subject. The hypocritical political debates and predictable pendulum-like gullibility of the American sheeple people to believe one party’s lies campaign promises over another are, for lack of a better word, fruitless, from my point of view.
And me not being a fan of wasting time watching monkeys hump the proverbial football, I usually give politics an eye roll and move on to more productive activities.
But, over the weekend, I got into a fairly heated debate with a few of my 20s and 30s Something (GOP) friends after they began their near habitual whining about national debt and reckless governmental spending. The kindling for this friendly debate was the jaw dropping NY Times Op-Ed piece by David Stockman, former Reagan budgetary director, that showed no mercy in bitchsmacking the contemporary Republican party and Neoconservative movement for their “irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism“ masquerading as fiscal conservativism and free market capitalism.
(Word of caution: one of the worst things you can ever do to a conservative, free market loving Republican is refer to them as a supporter of Keynesian economics. You can almost see them having a miniature stroke from incomprehensible shock.)
These friends, like many in Gen X and Gen Y, have essentially relied upon a Cliff Notes version or boiled down version of the news from a “trusted” media personalities for the last few years, and I dare say, for the decade or so they’ve had the maturity to fully grasp American politics. That’s all fine and good, we’re busy people after all and I’m as big a fan of the Colbert Show as you’ll ever find.
But a big problem occurs when news is speciously converted to junk news to meet whatever agenda your particular media outlet might be promoting. And that is why much of the debate occurred, because these individuals, and I’d bet a vast majority of other card carrying Republicans, haven’t heard or refuse to admit the arguments posed by Stockman are accurate, much less exist. (Yes, our world is so ridiculously customized that you can choose to have your news altered according to the ideologies in which you subscribe. The irony is that we’re so easily deluded that we actively seek out information to confirm and continue feeding our delusions, rather than let them subtly influence our beliefs the old fashioned way.)
Due to the choice of their news and information sources, my friends could barely acknowledge, much less try to disprove (confirmation bias is a painful psychological phenomenon to conquer), the in-your-face knowledge bomb that was Stockman’s article.
A few highlights:
So if you happen to be like my conservative friends (disclosure: I was one of them until 2007), I hope you will allow the Stockman article to briefly remove your livestock nose ring and let your mind to do some free range thinking.
Because if you don’t, and you continue to believe in a flawed political ideology that has gained massive popularity (easy to do since it promotes greater financial gain) whose error got compounded over and over again over the last 40 years — longer than most of us reading this post have been alive — then the brand of old school conservatism that I was taught (e.g. take care of your money or a lack of money will take care of you), is not the kind of conservative party I want to call my own.
This is why I choose to bid adieu to the boys in red. Until real fiscal conservativism makes a comeback, consider me a neutral.
Unless a fringe group of Retro-Republicans can surface. Wouldn’t that be a sight.
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Photo by janeyesee