Perhaps it’s time that we all recognize and simply accept that one conviction is in fact no more rational (or irrational) than another. With so many contradictory beliefs, either there is some other unifying and overarching principle, or we will continue to sabotage our individual and collective lives by fighting to assert we’re right and everyone else is wrong. We own that choice.[From my bookLife Will Answer.]
If the only advantage in preserving a status quo is to delay doing anything, the primary achievement will be to ensure the difficulties have been compounded. It’s difficult to get anything done when nothing is being done! That means more will be impacted by delay and/or neglect, which only a few will find satisfactory.
But on matters of significance outside of our own four walls, where facts actually matter a great deal, what is the ultimate benefit to an individual or for the community at large if factual accuracy is not the objective in both the analysis and in the solutions?
Our Constitution granted each and every one of us the freedom to believe or not believe as we decide. That protection applies to all of us. When one group has decided by some form of spiritual osmosis that their version of the unverifiable and occasionally insane has been decreed to be the new Law, and thus their political mission is to ensure that is so, then it is up to the rest of us to put that crazy back where it belongs: away from public influence. Continue reading →
My observation—borne out in my own life as well—is that most people give up at the thought of even trying to figure anything out about how Life works. We tend to pick a path and hope for the best, understandably focusing on our own narrow range of interests, expertise, and experiences. There’s nothing wrong with that. But this approach narrows the scope of contributions offered and opportunities available.
As I witness more discord in this nation—the vicious and judgmental condemnation by some; the ignorance; the greed; the willingness of so many in positions of authority to misrepresent, deceive, and lie for selfish gain at the expense of so many others who in good faith rely on that very ‘leadership’; and the choice by some to deliberately turn fact into mere questionable opinion (risking the well-being of countless millions in doing so), I became more and more convinced that we all need to take a moment to catch our collective breaths and figure out where we’re all going and just what the hell we’re doing.
Conservatives take a dim view of progress. They are not so foolish as to deny that great advances have been made in science, technology, medicine, communication, management, education, and so forth, and that they have changed human lives for the better. But they have also changed them for the worse. Advances have been both beneficial and harmful. They have certainly enlarged the stock of human possibilities, but the possibilities are for both good and evil, and new possibilities are seldom without new evils. Conservatives tend to be pessimistic because they doubt that more possibilities will make lives on the whole better. They believe that there are obstacles that stand in the way of the permanent overall improvement of the human condition.
[There is] the commonly held notion that conservatives are especially likely to value tradition, conformity, social order, and consensual adherence to rules, norms, and conventions….It is also consistent with the assumption that it is generally easier to establish common ground with respect to the status quo than with respect to its many possible alternatives and to communicate effectively by transmitting messages that are relatively simple and unambiguous rather than reflecting the kind of complex, nuanced, and perhaps ambivalent cognitive and rhetorical styles that seem to be more common on the political left than the right. (links/citations in original) *
Conservatives, argues researcher Philip Tetlock of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, are less tolerant of compromise; see the world in ‘us’ versus ‘them’ terms; are more willing to use force to gain an advantage; are ‘more prone to rely on simple (good vs. bad) evaluative rules in interpreting policy issues;’ are ‘motivated to punish violators of social norms (e.g., deviations from traditional norms of sexuality or responsible behavior) and to deter free riders….’ [citations in original]
In a rapidly-changing and evolving world, leading the way seems to be a better tactic than trying to hold back the tides of change. Conservatism has much to offer, and a more cooperative approach to policy and problem-solving will afford the Right a more meaningful role to contribute rather than merely obstruct.