If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake.
— Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Dear Planet Waves Reader:
Conservatism is all the rage. I guess it has been for a while. I’m usually late picking up on trends; I finally joined the New York State Conservative Party a few weeks ago, with a plan to reform the organization from within.
I got out of politics in the mid-1980s (when I was an aspiring campaign writer) because in that role, one of your daily tasks is to lie to the public. I got sick of having to make false statements of various kinds. For example, to get your candidate elected, it’s generally necessary to tell the public what they want to hear, or what gets them to vote the way you want, rather than what your candidate actually stands for.
The financial statements created by the campaigns I worked for were routinely exercises in covering up spending 10 times more than you said you did, and if you didn’t do that, there was no way to compete. All the candidates knew this and it was like we all tacitly agreed to the alternate set of on-the-ground rules.
But now that I’ve found my identity as a conservative, I feel like I can finally tell the truth. One thing that’s always confused me is the word conservative. It sounds a lot like conserve, which means “to protect from loss or harm; preserve,” or “to use carefully or sparingly, avoiding waste.”
My fellow conservatives seem to do a lot of bombing other countries, which is hardly protecting them from harm. They’re busy-bodies wondering who everyone sleeps with, and spendthrifts who literally ship truckloads of money into war zones, which then goes unaccounted for. I always thought the thing that made you a conservative was that you had a tight accounting system. It meant recognizing the value of a dollar, and respecting an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.
To read more, you must be a registered user. Registration is free.
If you are already registered, please login Here!