Thursday, October 1, 2015

Whisper Sweet Nothings in My Ear Conservatism

     It has recently occurred to me that there are two main drawbacks to living one's political life in an echo chamber. The first is that in being constantly bombarded with one's own beliefs, the senses become dulled and flaccid. The second is that echoes never solidify into solutions, they just create more echoes. It disheartens me that so many of my fellow conservatives have chosen to firmly occupy space inside a political echo chamber, resisting any attempts by truth or common sense to extricate them from this vacuous crucible.
     It seems that some in the conservative movement have substituted the substance of solutions for the vapidity of sweet nothings being whispered in their political ear. They seem willing to ban the torpedoes of real solutions in favor of emotionalism spoken in a language their hearts understand, but which is foreign to their intellectual sensibilities. The whisper-sweet-nothings-in-my-ear form of politics is the only explanation I can find for the popularity of candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
     Both men say the things impressionable conservatives want to hear, yet in the echo chamber there is no room for the substance of results. There is only more and more echoes, building to a fevered and completely emotional pitch as one would experience at a Grateful Dead concert. In some cases the feeding of this echo chamber is characterized as "standing on principles." As if this is always a good thing. Sometimes the principles one stands on are not the right principles, then "standing on principles" is just pigheadedness for the sole sake of being pigheaded.
     Once one steps out of the echo chamber a whole world, brimming with ideas and solutions, can be realized. No more is the individual trapped in a relationship with self where political charlatans can advantage their political careers on the back of the individual's "principles." Not that principles are a bad thing, just the opposite. But principles that one never challenges are not principles as much as they are dogma. And dogma in politics is shorthand for achieving nothing.
     So I would implore my fellow conservatives to look at the good a candidate does and not whether they make you feel good. Step out of the echo chamber and intellectually process new information. It is only then that you will be able to truly see reality as it exists, not how you wished it existed. It is only then that you be able to see the destruction wreaked by the whisperers of sweet nothings in your ear, and your conservatism will be even stronger and more dynamic.

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