Saturday, June 18, 2016

Being conservative

I met Pierre Trudeau in Ottawa when I was 20. I loved his red carnation.  I was an intellectual then, a revolutionary too.  Not a Marxist Communist like him, but rather a spiritual one.  I actually shook his hand.  Apparently that’s something most people can’t say because he didn’t like touching people.
I found his handshake cold, weak, withholding and lifeless.  Later I’d shake Mr. Chretien’s hand and note how exactly. opposite it was.   I actually thought Mr. Chretien’s handshake was like the “Hand” in the Munster’s, this animated strong thing.    I liked best Mr. Turner’s and Mr. Harper’s handshakes because they were  so warm and human.
But I digress.  Churchill said, “if you’re not a socialist at 20 you have no heart and if you are not a capitalist by 40 you have no brains.”
When I told my father I voted Liberal I remember him shaking his head. My father was a wise experienced man, a WWII veteran, an engineer and a man who had run major construction projects leading 150 men at a time.  “Son ," he said, "I don’t know how you’re going to survive in this world, you’re not living in Quebec.  The Liberals are the party of Quebec.  You ‘re English speaking and you live in western Canada.  Liberals don't like English speaking Canadians.  Frankly they don't care for anyone who doesn't speak  French . I don’t care whether you vote NDP or Conservative but the Liberals never did anything for the west and they don’t care much for anyone outside of Montreal."
I didn't agree when I was 20.  The Liberals offered change.  I didn't know then that Lennin and Hitler had campaigned for 'change' too.  I didn't even know that Communism was Socialism according to Stalin and that the Nazi's were the "national socialist' party.  Indeed I didn't know that the principle struggle of politics was between the monarchy and the people which caused the Magna Carta to be so important to western democracy just as the 'demos' of the Greek democracy had been between the 'tyrant' and the 'people'.  In modern terms this is the power of the 'STATE" or 'Government' and or Federal and State or the State and the Individuals. But it's really always simply 'Totalitarianism' versus 'freedom".  United Nations is totalitarian like the Saudi Arabian monarchy.  All of us today know "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose'. When the totalitarians have taken everything else and silenced or killed their opposition .  Me and Bobby McGee.
I thought my father was the smartest man until I was a teen ager then when I smoked dope in my 20’s  and became a legend in my own mind I thought he knew even less. I was reading Betrand Russel, Nietze, Marx, and all those other urbane people while he thought the sun rose and fell on the Winnipeg Free Press.
So I was a liberal for more than 20 years, campaigning for my local MP’s, going door to door and folding envelopes and distributing fliers.  I liked all the promise and yet despite all the claim of change and the high flying words, the poor got poorer, state control got greater, and government got bigger.   Finally the nepotism, cronyism and corruption got to me.  Being in the west we could see what the Quebec faction was doing. We could see it so clearly.  I don’t think people in the East could.
Meanwhile all over the world the lies of socialism and communism were becoming apparent.  Liberals were secretive. Communists hated ‘freedom of speech’.  Political correctness, the Frankfurt school of ‘social communism’ was spreading all over the ‘free world’ all the while that the 100’s of millions killed in Communist  countries were being exposed. Liberals don't like dissent. Mommy knows best.
Increasingly I became a “libertarian’.  This is a ‘right wing’ idea which says that the ‘least government’ is the ‘best government’. I’d seen the destruction of health care in Canada close up with increasing waitlists, layers and layers of incompetent arrogant bureaucracy and more and more government interference in anything that seemed meritorious.  Government and ‘mediocrity’ were the same word until proven otherwise.
So one day I walked away from the Liberals and joined the Conservatives.  I was in my 40’s then.  When I’d been a student and wasn’t making money I thought it was great that government took other peoples money and gave it to themselves and to street people doing drugs.  All the liberal words seemed great.  Like recently when they wanted to ‘legalize marijuana’. It all sounded like they cared about people but what it came down to was that their Chief Financial Officer had millions invested in BIG MARIJUANA and was in bed with BIG TOBACCO so they wanted money.
In politics ‘follow the money trails’.
Liberals say “trust me”.
I don’t trust Conservatives or NDP either. In fact I don’t particularly trust politicians.  I liked the joke that said politicians are like diapers. They should be changed often for the same reasons.
I couldn’t tell this joke among Liberals. They were so self righteous and knew what was best for everyone else.
But Conservatives were experienced and accepted people as they were with all their flaws.  I liked that my gay friends were Conservative and my Christian friends were conservative and my immigrant friends were conservative and my sober friends were conservative.  There was a ‘pragmatism’ in the conservative party.  “Show me’, don’t “tell me’ was  the bottom lime.
Now that I was working 80 hours a week and paying an obscene amount of taxes for the white collar welfare in government and the blue collar welfare ‘takers’, I really began to look at how Liberals preened themselves.  Like the communist leaders in China and Russia with their multi billion dollar abodes and their dachas and private armies I saw the liberals constantly taking care of themselves and only talking the talk.  I was appalled at the grandiose glamorous lives liberals lived while claiming to represent the people whereas in the conservatives I saw a whole lot of hard working people caring about themselves and others equally. They were moral as well.  They had a code.  They might be hypocrites but their hypocrisy was garden variety not like the huge lies of the left.
So I’m conservative today.  I like the conservative women I know today too.  They’re mostly working mothers.  I kind of miss the drunk and stoned liberal revolutionary women I knew who had daddy’s expense accounts and were limousine revolutionaries and lipstick feminists. The silk underwear and the designer gowns and fine beds with expensive perfumes linger in my memory. But maybe that’s just my youth.  The conservative women I know today are older like me and we laugh about our ‘coming of age’.  So many of them too were in San Francisco with flowers painted on their faces then one day they had bills to pay and families and stopped being liberals.  Like me they became conservative.  I really see a lot of silk underwear and perfume in their pasts but I suspect Daddy wasn't paying the bills as much as lovers and husbands or they themselves.
Sometimes we wish the conservatives who didn’t ‘drop out’ were not so successful.  These ‘steady eddies’, the ‘straight and narrow’ folk are pretty admirable. They’re the mainstream of the shakers and makers.  I know them as the most creative and innovative scientist and engineers and inventors. They don’t just talk about solutions and their creations are more in the way of solutions to ‘smog’ than new hair styles but they aren’t particularly deviant. Their idea of a good time is barbecues and camping or photography and world travel.  They really always have cared for their families and I just didn’t see them when I was partying.  They never liked the fatuous and always had better things to do with their valued time.
Conservatives are quieter than liberals. They’re not always hogging the spot line and claiming that they were the ones who invented something just because they had an idea while smoking stuff on the couch.  The hard work of invention takes years and an ability to get along with people. It’s the back bone of industry and even in the music and arts industry the conservatives are the backbone though the front stage is full of liberals galore.  Loud people. I was loud when I was young.
Now I’m quieter. I’m more experienced.  I’m probably less clever and more wise.  I understand reality more. I’m less caught up in lies and I see the deceit more clearly. My father was like that. He was a really good judge of people and made things that lasted.  I admire that now.  I’ve become conservative.  It surprises me sometimes.  I was always thought to be so radical.
One step a head of the crowd you’re a leader. Two steps ahead of the crowd you’re a martyr.
I’m finding myself among radicals in the conservatives.  Being conservative means being courageous. There was such a sheep like mentality to being liberal.  Group speak and political correctness and so much religious ideology.   Everyone had to be the same.  It’s not that way, ironically with the conservatives.  There’s real diversity.  There is real courage in conviction too.  There’s a celebration of life.  There’s also tremendous respect.  I guess when it comes down to it I think being conservative is being a young adult whereas being a liberal is early adolescent still sucking on the tit one day and biting the tit the next.  I guess with this analogy the NDP would be the older adolescents, ready to work together, form unions and really original in their thinking because they’re more independent.
I liked learning too that people with higher IQ’s were more likely to be conservative. While liberals had a lot of ‘theoretical’ people in their camp like the ‘academics’ in america who depend on the university tenure tract tit those who were most highly trained and advanced but also had a capacity to take their ideas and ‘apply’ them were more likely conservative.  Entrepreneurs and those who got down and dirty were more likely conservatives than those who liked to talk.  That was my impression really.
No one ever accused me of being stupid except my father.  Frankly I don’t know if he voted conservative or NDP. I suspect he voted Conservative though.  I know today he’d never vote liberal.  Justin Trudeau reminds me of what I was like when I was a teen ager.  I think my Dad would see the resemblance too.  At the time he was paying the bills like Canadians are paying for Justin Trudeau’s adolescence at our expense.   I just love the pictures of Sophie with her two nannies, her designer clothes and Justin in their multi million dollar home surrounded by all those armed and dangerous French speaking men with Glock 9 mm in holsters and AR15's close at hand.   All we need is love.

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