Two years old

Two years old

It’s been two years since I launched my own podcast, and once again I’m giving the 10 minute time limit the day off. I’m not going that much over, but hey, I did this for my 1st anniversary, so there’s precedent.

This time out, I’m focusing mostly on social conservatism. The idea of tradition, history and experience being a good reference for what we should do now works just as well for fiscal and political policy as it does for social policy. The idea is sound, regardless of where it’s applied. And that’s why I’ve been doing this show for 2 years; to get the word out that this idea of conservatism works. It isn’t always practiced as well as I would like by the guys I vote for, but at least I’m not ceding more ground.

Another problem we’ll see is that the folk least likely to give you your freedom are not conservatives, in  spite of how conservatives generally get portrayed. While not a social issue per se, it does show the underlying intolerance of those who seek to remove all dissent, rather than have a healthy debate.

Mentioned links:

The Matt Walsh Blog

This person is planning to kill me in order to teach me that I shouldn’t be mean and hateful

This poor child is confused, not ‘transgendered.’

Google+ conversation with Christopher Li-Reid

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Show transcript

For 2 years now I’ve been doing this podcast to speak out on topics that I see need some explanation, sanity, or common sense brought to them. I know there are people out there who don’t read the political blogs like I do, and I know there are plenty of folks who read them more than I do. I’ve been speaking to the former group, trying to express the information that I have in a way that’s interesting but digestible. Knowing that there are lots of people in the latter group, I’ve opened up this podcast to feedback from anyone, from any group. I don’t have all the answers, but these are the ones that I think I’ve got a reasonable handle on, and think people should consider them. As I asked in my first episode, who am I, and why should you take my word for anything? Again I answer, nobody, and you shouldn’t. I’m just asking you, each time we get together, to consider this.

The way I’ve been trying to do this is to come at this from an angle you might not have thought of before, or highlighting information that I think it likely you’ve not heard before, or at least recently. The media has made my job easier, both because the major media often don’t touch on certain facts that go against the generally liberal bent of the newsroom, but also new media has been incredibly helpful in getting out the word that the major media won’t. From their web page to my script to your ears, in 10 minutes or less.

While my material has been from a conservative point of view, and almost always favors Republicans, my goal is to favor the ideology rather than the party. One of my big points is that conservatism itself tends to view experience and history with more weight than experimentation, either socially or politically. What has worked in the past worked for a reason, and knowing the reasons helps us make better decisions when we decide some things need changing. In addition, the love of freedom for each person to do what he or she wants, while preserving the inalienable rights of others, is a cornerstone of conservatism. What has happened for the past few generations is a tendency to expand what are considered “rights”, and thus create additional impositions on everyone else. After all, if something you want can be elevated to a “right”, then the laws will follow to enforce that “right”. The government gets bigger, and freedom shrinks.

A couple cases in point are issues I’ve covered here recently. The freedom of speech has been severely curtailed of late. I’m not talking about the First Amendment specifically, but just idea that speaking the things you believe are true, or even just supporting causes you believe in, are worthy of you being punished. Maybe not by the government, but the freedom of speech is a freedom that we as a society need to value, as we go about our everyday lives. Sometimes speech needs to be punished. The classic example, of course, is yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater knowing that there isn’t but wishing to create mayhem. However, the recent cases of Brendan Eich and the Benham brothers point out that saying what you believe can cost you, at this point in time, your job. In the case of Eich, he supported with his money a cause that most Californians agreed with, and in the case of the Benhams, an idea that Christianity has believed for millennia. But the constituents that they offended have such power these days that crossing them in the slightest is a firing offense.

Take a step back, and you can see freedom being whittled away.

One of the blogs I’ve been frequenting lately is The Matt Walsh Blog, written by, in case you missed it, Matt Walsh. He’s been running afoul of that particular constituency for a while now. But the hate mail and death threats he gets, ironically calling him “hateful”, give more of a peek into this side of the debate and how it’s conducted. Labeling his ideas as “hate” give people license to ignore his points. Case closed, no further thought required, if indeed any thought was given in the first place to those accusations.

The post that really ratcheted up the hate mail was one about the five-year-old girl who decided she was really a boy, and her parents’ efforts to dutifully make her one. Really, how many other decisions in that young girl’s life did the parents override; bed time, eating her vegetables, going outside and getting some exercise with friends? But she decides she’s a boy, and suddenly this immature kindergartener gets her way to supposedly determine her gender. I guess five years of life experience is plenty enough time to figure that out, but not sleeping or eating habits.

Though, considering this, one has to wonder if she really does get everything she wants, including bedtimes and suppertime fare.

Matt made the observation that this girl was confused, not ‘transgendered’, and should be getting help rather than an award celebrating diversity. (Oh yeah, her parents got an award for their indulgence.) Not so long ago, being a tomboy still meant you were a girl. Now it means that you need to start planning ahead for that operation. The 5-year-old hasn’t had it yet, but it doesn’t sound like her parents would turn down an appointment.

Giving in to the whims of a 5-year-old is not award-worthy. But in making that statement, Matt was accused of being full of hate and spite, of condescending, of being the Christian version of the Taliban. All because of wondering whether a 5-year-old can really make such a huge decision when they can barely decide what to wear. But call it “hate” and you can ignore his arguments, which, if you look at the reactions from links in the show notes, is just what happened.

I posted a link to Matt’s blog entry about reaction to his posts, and someone commented on the Google+ version of it. Christopher Li-Reid said this, “dear matt walsh – i have two words for you. personal responsibility. im sorry that you’re not allowed to say hateful things without facing repercussions..   i mean aww so sad for you.” Again, not dealing with the substance of what Matt said, just assuming it’s “hate” and making the case that reprisals are OK.

And in the post, Matt makes the point that it is possible to hate what a person does but not hate the person, though many on the Left will not make that distinction. Christopher wouldn’t see that, for any type of behavior you can name, whether simply a choice, or one with a genetic components, you can very easily disagree with a person’s action s without hating them. And if that’s true, then those on the Left are the most hateful of all, since all of us make bad decisions at one time or another. But of course, they only have this problem with keeping the two separate – a “separation anxiety” if you will – when throwing accusations at conservatives. That’s convenient.

But let’s take all this now, and get a glimpse of the bigger picture.

Who believes, as in the Brendan Eich case, that giving money to a cause that opposes same-sex marriage, while not, yourself, ever doing anything against homosexual couple is, still, a firing offense? Liberals.

Who believes, as in the Benhams’ case, that expressing your religious views, which are in line with teachings that have been part of your religious tradition for thousands of years, is enough to keep you from doing charity work for a TV show? Liberals.

Who believes that a 5-year-old is mature enough to make a gender decision about themselves, and will award parents to indulge them? Liberals.

And consider this: Many of the same people who say that sexual preference is unchangeable also say that a 5-year-old’s gender is fungible. They say that one is just the way you were born and will stay until the day you die, while the other is somehow “assigned” and we can change it at a moment’s notice. I mean, which is more obviously genetic; your ideas about who you’re attracted to, or you bodily part and plumbing?

Who can’t tell one from the other, and will destroy you if you dare make a value judgment about their value judgments? Who is willing to experiment on our culture, not having any idea what the outcome will be? Everybody say it with me…

Am I painting with a broad brush? Oh yeah, I certainly am. I know enough people who vote Democrat but are just as appalled as I am about the state of our culture, some liberal, some more independent. But the thing is, the politicians they vote for, because of polices for the poor and the environment and what have you, are often times the same politicians pushing a social agenda they find abhorrent. It’s been said by some Republicans, and most Libertarians, that the party needs to jettison the social platform and stick with issues like lower taxes, smaller government and personal freedom.

However, two things. First, the liberal Left is not going to stop pushing their social agenda, even if, as we saw with same-sex marriage, they have to circumvent the people and their elected representatives. They’re just waiting for the other side to surrender, or at least shut the other side up. That can’t happen.

And second, the idea of tradition, history and experience being a good reference for what we should do now works just as well for fiscal and political policy as it does for social policy. The idea is sound, regardless of where it’s applied. And that’s why I’ve been doing this show for 2 years; to get the word out that this idea of conservatism works. It isn’t always practiced as well as I would like by the guys I vote for, but at least I’m not ceding more ground. As I’ve mentioned here before, many liberal policies have been failing for 50 years or more, wasting time, money and lives, and it would be nice to try something just a bit different.

Filed under: Free SpeechGovernmentHomosexualityHuman Sexuality