If ever a story about conservatism could make fellow conservatives upset, it’s this one. We’re going to be talking about generalities, stereotypes, and manipulation of the truth perpetrated by both the right and the left. Some of this is certainly going to sting a portion of our readers.
There are four groups of politically-minded people in this country.
- Thoughtful Conservatives: These are often seen as the “intellectual conservatives” who take every situation individually to determine a perspective. That’s not to say that one has to be highly intelligent or educated to be a thoughtful conservative (look at me, for example), but one cannot blindly follow a pundit just because they have some conservative views. The thoughtful conservatives are the ones who recognize that the Republican party’s “victories” in the last two elections have not done anything to move Congress towards conservative doctrines. It’s just more of the same and that makes us upset.
- Ignorant Conservatives: Again, this has nothing to do with IQ. It’s about blindly following a leader, accepting a platform, or relaying a talking point without investigating the reasoning behind their source. They are the ones who still adore George W. Bush despite several actions that were very liberal. They love to listen to Rush Limbaugh, an entertainer who has conservative tendencies rather than someone who is a true conservative. That’s not to say that Limbaugh or other ignorant conservatives are necessarily wrong; in most circumstances they’re right because of the ideology they profess to follow. However, they are more Republican than conservative.
- Thoughtful Liberals: These are the most enigmatic of the group. They are intelligent enough to recognize the fallacies of liberalism but willfully ignore these realities for ideological reasons. These reasons are diverse. Perhaps they are intelligent but atheist and therefore identify with fellow leftist atheists. Maybe they realize that the popular perspective of leftism makes life easier, especially if they’re a politician. It could even be righteous indignation driven by an education system that has indoctrinated many intellectuals into the realms of liberal thought. For whatever reason, they are able to feign free thinking but their actions are geared towards mass appeal.
- Ignorant Liberals: This is the most common of the four groups. They are liberal because it’s easy. They are followers because the media has given them all of the ammunition they need to maintain their ignorance.
You’ll notice that I did not include independents. The idea of being an independent is only relevant when discussing Republicans and Democrats, not when discussing conservatives and liberals. Even if someone is a mix such as fiscally conservative but socially liberal, they still lean in one direction or another as a whole. If someone’s views are 49.9% conservative and 50.1% liberal, then they’re a moderate liberal.
Now, let’s talk about the importance of separating thoughtful conservatives and ignorant ones. This has never been too much of an issue in the past. The rise of Donald Trump makes this particular election cycle very different. We’ve always held to Reagan’s 11th commandment, but that doesn’t seem possible this time around. Current polls show that Trump is in the lead. Since he is very clearly not the right person to lead the party nor the country, one has to assume that his greatest appeal is to the ignorant branch of the conservative movement.
We cannot stress this enough: being an ignorant conservative has nothing to do with intelligence level. It’s about a pure vulnerability to the talk tracks of Republicans that enable the masses to rally around an idea regardless of whether it’s real or not. Donald Trump is making promises that are absolutely and insanely impossible to keep. He possess neither the skill nor the intelligence to make things happen the way he has planned. In many ways, his platforms echo very closely to the same types of promises that candidate Barack Obama was making in 2007. Just as he was unable to meet the majority of his campaign promises, so too will Trump be unable to fulfill his.
He’s an entertainer, much like Limbaugh. He’s great at rallying the masses but he won’t be able to deliver the goods.
Breaking through to the ignorant side of the conservative movement is going to be a challenge, but for the first time in decades it’s an imperative. Otherwise, we’re going to end up with something worse than a do-little Congress. We’re going to end up with a do-nothing President.