What is the chief end of blog?

November 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment

Thank you for those who encouraged me to keep writing. I probably wouldn’t be had I not received this encouragement, as my default level of self-criticism is off the chart.

Nevertheless, a friend had an interesting question for me – why am I talking about ‘conservatism’ at all?

‘What is the end of goal of defining “conservatism”? It seems to me that it is just a label, and a fairly constricting one at that. I am sure many would describe me as a liberal, but I am not interested in making decisions out of adherence to that definition, whatever it is. Our public policy is much too complex to assume that proper answer to all issues/decisions can be gleaned by asking: what is the conservative/liberal/moderate/libertarian choice? I favor an individualized and context-driven approach to decision-making. If someone wants to attempt to assign a label to my collective decisions/choices, so be it, but that is simply the result of my choices, not the motivation for them.’

It’s a good question, and perhaps it is a valid one from the point of policy. However, I am not a policy-maker. If I had wanted to be, perhaps I would have gotten into politics, but that ship has sailed. I have one vote. I have neither time nor energy to contribute much more, aside from the occasional letter to an elected official or an unasked-for Facebook share.

Perhaps I have simply identified whatever calls itself ‘conservative’ as good and ‘liberal’ as bad, and have tailored my taste in hopes, dreams, and preferred outcomes to that identification. I don’t think this is true.

Maybe you have to start with the label. I feel a disaffection with the label as it is understood through popular culture, a disconnect with it as it is currently defined by its political leaders, and yet asking, is there something good in the ‘concept’ at all? Was there a central reason to adopt a label as appropriate to myself, even when one was uncomfortable with many of its connotations?

I suppose that would be the end goal – to see what is worth ‘conserving’ in the word ‘conservative.’ How does the idea of ‘conserving’ culture lead to renewal of self and a contribution to anyone else? It is being asked not for the sake of policy, because that’s beyond me. It is asked for the sake of the question, how should I live?

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A renewal Elections and Election

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