I had planned to take off today and tomorrow. I am off on radio, but y’all know I write to think, etc. Sometimes it is cathartic getting stuff out of my head. In any event, I was having a conversation the other day with a group of friends and one suggested I am less conservative now than I was. We went through all the issues. There really aren’t any issues on which I am now to the left of where I was five years ago. In fact, in a lot of cases I’m more to the right. I’m just not as partisan about it all now.
You're more circumspect than your RedState and early WSB days. And that is all for the better.
Erick my grandfather was the union treasurer for a local truck drivers' union. This was back in the 40s, 50s and 60s. He left when asked to provide money under the table to politicians etc. His family was threatened and he just wouldn't allow them to be harmed. My father was a truck driver who did not belong to a union. He drove during many a strike. Had chunks of concrete thrown off over passes and was shot at. My father in law worked in HR at a steel company. They voted the union out after a long strike. The new employees couldn't believe the size of their paychecks. No union dues. My mother was a nurse who did belong to a union. We got NO HELP from that organization to our family with one parent and 5 kids. So I am definitely not pro union and never will be. At one time, unions were a good thing for workers. Now they are just as bad as those they fought against.
We live in a day when personalities can drive conversations irrespective of the topic. TDS drives conversations to oppose anything that personality says. Trump-worship drives the flip side of the same conversation. In fact, conversations based on adherence/objection to personality is fruitless.
We also live in a day when thoughtful reflection is absent. We have become a culture of reaction. Twitter in particular has nothing but short snippet sound-bites, hence not a "discussion" forum at all. It is as if the term "discussion" no longer exits. Even when a thread of 10 consecutive tweets is presented, the premise in tweet 1 often propels adherents to #2 while opposition stops there, refusing to read further in reaction. No discourse, only reactive responses.
As Erick says, the move from reactivity to thoughtfulness is often misinterpreted as a shift in position rather than slower response while considering a wider perspective and tempering that response accordingly. The fire in the belly of the young (and yes, Erick is pretty young compared to me ;-) ) matures over time for those that slow their response to consider more than the immediate knee-jerk reaction before responding. For others, that fire continues to consume, never moving past a myopic presupposition that "I'm always right" or "The answer is 'no', now, what is your question?"
From my perspective, TDS and Trump worship are actually the same demon - a spirit of division on false foundations. I have been neither during all the churn since 2015 when TDS/Trump worship drove Erick out of RedState. I was reminding us that we were all actually on the same page on substantive positions, that driving a wedge between conservatives based on a Personal position of one personality would be disastrous. Well, we narrowly missed the HRC nightmare, and now some embraced the Biden nightmare...again, due to a boorish and impolite mean-tweeter's personality.
Certainty will only come in heaven (or hell :-( ). While we're here, weigh carefully and broadly before responding. Return to robust, but civil discourse will only occur by becoming more thoughtful.
Thank-you for setting an example, Erick.
I agree. I think these times are dividing people. Those that want to continue to be popular and those that do not relinquish their beliefs. I once heard, "Do not sacrifice the goal for the immediate satisfaction". I'm staying true to my conservative beliefs. We will see where we come out on the other side. I'm confident where I'll be.
I agree with you, Erick, that free-markets are the ideal. In fact, I'm personally a big fan of Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell, but let's be honest, how many truly free markets are there, for instance those 100% free from government regulation? But more to your point about Trump's failings on the world economic stage. I believe Trump used the threat of tariffs most expertly and actual tariffs appropriately, i.e., in those instances where the playing field wasn't level in the first place. What say you, how did Trump misuse tariffs?
It seems so often that Erick is writing the thoughts that I would write if I actually took the time and effort to do so. This is no different. I've found myself going through the issues myself and ticking down the "Conservative" boxes while wondering where landscape shifted. I haven't drifted left in any way, but I'm somehow a RINO because I don't support the former POTUS in every way. Go figure...
"Christopher Columbus didn't need directions, and neither do I.' That's my response when asked if I know where I'm going, to which my wife replies, "Need I remind you that he was looking for India?" I don't think it's so different with many of our neighbors who hold polar opposite political views; I think they honestly believe they have a better route and are earnest in their desire to prove it. But we have the tools to prove Columbus's reasoning was faulty, just like we have the tools to prove the folly of socialism, communism, cronyism, and other "-isms" that marginalize critical thinking and mitigate personal freedom and responsibility. Yet our neighbors and friends believe that somehow the outcome will be different this time. I don't know, perhaps they need to be reminded of the definition of insanity.
Amen Erick! I'm with you and have many friends who disagree with me but we have more in common other than politics so we focus on those other things. But I too have a very close friend who think Trump walks on water and gets really mad at me when I don't agree with her. She seems to buy into conspiracy theories, and when that starts up, I excuse myself from the conversation cuz I know it's only going to lead to a fight, which I don't want. I am spending more time with Jesus because He is the only one with the hope and peace I need to wade thru the crap in the world. Thanks for your wisdom, I feel like I'm not alone!
Happy Columbus Day. He was a courageous man - more courageous than his silly critics 500 years later - and until the Marxists come up with something superior to Western Civilization in how it has lifted up women, blacks, and the rest of us, they can pound sand.
Free trade with free people is my position. I may have first heard it said by the great Bob Dornan, who was ahead of his time in understanding the cultural threat we faced, but had a way of saying things a bit too...starkly! (He must have been the only Congressman ever to say the words "gl*ry h*le" in a speech on the House Floor.)
Blue collar Americans were dealt a raw deal by our bipartisan elites, who sold out regular Americans to further enrich Wall St. Bankers and Fortune 100 CEOs. They did this primarily by outsourcing the good jobs to impoverished Chinese who were paid less than $1 an hour - even today they make only about $3 an hour - while Chinese businesses got and still get to use cheap coal power and incredibly lax environmental standards to further undercut US manufacturing on price.
The result was entirely foreseeable, and many of us predicted it - we built a dangerous superpower hell-bent on destroying us, hollowed out our middle class and non-coastal America, while making our rich even richer. And now Democrat companies like Apple and Nike - disgusted that their middle-men have to pay Chinese workers $3 an hour, as the Democrat politicians they fund are pushing a $15 minimum for Americans - are moving manufacturing to communist Vietnam, so they can get back to paying human beings less than $1 an hour to make $100 sneakers and $1000 phones.
So no, "free" trade with China is wrong. It's as free as free college and free reconciliation spending. It's great for Goldman Sachs and private equity guys with their carried interest scam, for tech monopolists and CEO's who don't even consider their companies American anymore, even though they choose to live here since we have (mostly) a rule of law and they can live safely here with their armed, private security guards and their kids in private schools.
But the piece is awesome as usual and a breath of fresh air and fresh thinking, different than the same tired hot takes we get on Twitter and most of talk radio and cable news. Erickson's been in the zone lately and it's fun to watch him continue to improve his craft.
We definitely need more grace and more humility in this world.
"I dare say the certainty of the cross should make us less certain in these other areas. We’re all sinners. We’re all going to screw up. That doesn’t require a change in political philosophy. It just requires us all to exercise more grace and more humility that maybe we don’t have all the answers, but Jesus does."
Thank you Erick for sharing this!!
Happy Columbus Day everyone!!
I also do not think you are less conservative; I would attach the words "more thoughtful" and humility" in addition to you being less partisan.
The more I study Scripture, the more I realize there is actually very little in this world I can know for sure. Yet as an almost proportionate response, my faith has grown stronger in the midst of all that is occurring. I believe I am seeing things as you do: seeking to understand this world and to be as informed as possible is vitally important for us to "seek the welfare" of those surrounding us.
And.... understanding that "this too will pass away....." This was extremely meaningful.
Thanks Erick. We enjoy listening to you every day!
Thanks for your candor Erick. I love your humility.
On unionization--I don't know which "Conservatives" you are talking to who are promoting it--I do not know ANY pushing it. That is an aberration.
On "Free Trade"--that is a reckless term. Trump was right to go after China's unfair advantages and manipulations, which had been a 1-way street to Beijing. NeoCon's who are now Democrat's, like Bill Kristol and Rick Wilson, are all for "Free Trade". They care nothing about American workers. I think you would agree Erick that Trump helped our domestic Mfg. grow a lot. IF the fear of Inflation on goods is the main concern raised with tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, why didn't we see it during Trump's tenure? It has all happened THIS YEAR for a multitude of causes, not related to Trump.
Happy Columbus Day!