Time can change things.
I recently changed the name of this blog from "Sinistra's Bane" to "Heart of the Wise". I made the change to reflect a shift in some of my ideological views. My basic outlook hasn't changed but certain things have. Consequently, I feel I need to change what I call myself, something more important than what to call a blog that hardly anyone reads. *ss*
For nearly 20 years I've proudly called myself a conservative but now that label doesn't suit me anymore. Why not? It seems too...limiting, too..."small". It doesn't encompass the whole of what I now believe.
I know that conservatives and conservatism have long been divided into 3 main "denominations": social conservatives, who favor traditional, Bible-base morality and values; foreign policy conservatives, who favor a strong defense and an America active on the world stage; and fiscal/tea party conservatives, who're committed to lower taxes, balanced budgets, and limited, constitutional government. I've always considered myself to be all of the above but it was social issues, especially abortion, that helped me to define myself as "conservative". While fiscal and foreign policy are very important to me, social issues top my list of concerns. And that's why I have a problem with continuing to call myself a conservative.
For that last decade or so, and especially since Obama was first elected in 2008, the conservative movement has, in my view, distanced itself from social issues and become focused on fiscal issues. This shift was especially apparent in the 2010 midterm and 2012 presidential elections, with seemingly all major strategists on the right calling for conservative/Republican candidates to ignore social issues and focus on the economy. That strategy failed in 2012 and many conservatives seemed to conclude that traditionalist positions on social issues, especially the hot button issue of gay marriage, is what did Mitt Romney in.
Now we have more and more conservatives supporting gay marriage and worse, expressing the same disdain for traditionalists that liberals do. It's like they can't get to a microphone or tv camera fast enough to reveal their new found "enlightenment" and "tolerance". Such caving to the left is disgusting to me. I always thought that the conservative movement would be a place where traditionalists would be accepted, respected, understood, and heard. I was wrong.
The left has convinced a huge swath of Americans, particularly the young, that opposition to gay marriage is diabolical bigotry and "extremism". Rather than resist this lie too many conservatives have taken the easy way out and have caved. But it's all to win elections, I've heard. Younger voters, so the argument goes, won't give conservative/Republican candidates a chance so long as they're seen as "intolerant". They must moderate or censor their social views so they can win and stop Obama from imposing his nanny state and bankrupting the country, the only cause that really matters. Yeah, right. That logic is just an excuse for cowardice in the face of leftism.
If liberals managed to convince enough Americans that advocating smaller government and lower taxes was "extremism" and hate, would conservatives change their stand on those issues, too? Would they suddenly discover a "conservative" case for big government and sky high taxes as they've found a "conservative" case for gay marriage? Methinks they would.
That's why I can no longer and will no longer call myself a conservative.
This is hard for me. I feel adrift. As I said at the beginning of this post, I've been calling myself a conservative for nearly 20 years. Now, I don't know what to call myself. There doesn't seem to be a single term that encompasses the whole of my socio-political belief system. Maybe I'll have to cobble together a new, multiple word term for my worldview. Or maybe I'll have to resurrect some long forgotten label from history. Or maybe you, my readers, have some good ideas. All I'm certain of right now is that "conservative" is out. I'm still on the right, though, the side of the wise. That, my friends, will never change. Of that you can be sure.