Wavering conservative principles show a party in flux

Ruben Nararrette
Liberal Opinion

Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author
Archive |

With only a few weeks remaining until the Nov. 8 midterm election, liberals and conservatives are gearing up to cast their votes. Polls indicate America is more divided than at any point in the last 40 years with few areas overlapping on major issues. Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette argues that there are even divisions within the major parties, making what it means to be a Democrat or Republican more amorphous than ever.

The other day I was speaking to an audience and during the question answer session, someone casually identified himself as a conservative. I remember thinking, what kind of conservative Are you? The kind of conservative who supports the rule of law, or the kind who makes excuses for the unlawful Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. The kind of conservative who’s tough on crime, and thinks we should throw the book at law breakers are the kind who approves of the pardons and commutations by Donald Trump, about laws like Joe Arpaio, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and other Trump allies.

The kind of conservative who claims to be pro-law enforcement and back the blue are the kind who said nothing. When Jan. 6 rioters attacked Metro DC police officers and threatened to kill them, “with their own guns.” The kind of conservative who along with economist Milton Friedman, opposes tariffs and other trade restrictions, because they cripple the free market or the kinds of supports, along with Democratic Labor unions, by the way, the Trump tariffs against China that intended to put America first. The kind of conservative who thinks that only the guilty have to worry about police infringing on their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable and unlawful search and seizure or the kind who protested the FBI raid of Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago and then turn a blind eye to the threats leveled at the individual FBI agents who carried it out.

The kind of conservative who hates it when people play the victim or the kind who these days wines that have been victimized by immigration, trade deals, affirmative action, the liberal media, critical race theory, vaccine mandates you name it. The kind of conservative who preaches that people absolutely must take responsibility for their actions and own up to their mistakes and their bad decisions. Or the kind who bristle when liberals and Democrats try to hold them accountable. When the GOP panders to racists, coddles nativists, or caves to extremists. The kind of conservative who thinks people are too sensitive and need to toughen their skins, and not take offense so easily are the kind who got their feelings hurt, and their noses bent out of shape. I could go on and on and on. But you get the idea.

 

The other day I was speaking to an audience and during the question answer session, someone casually identified himself as a conservative. I remember thinking, what kind of conservative Are you? The kind of conservative who supports the rule of law, or the kind who makes excuses for the unlawful January 6 assault on the US Capitol. The kind of conservative who’s tough on crime, and thinks we should throw the book at law breakers are the kind who approves of the pardons and commutations by Donald Trump, about laws like Joe Arpaio, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and other Trump allies. The kind of conservative who claims to be pro law enforcement and back the blue are the kind who said nothing. When January 6 writers attacked Metro DC police officers and threatened to kill them, quote with their own guns. The kind of conservative who along with economist Milton Friedman, opposes tariffs and other trade restrictions, because they cripple the free market or the kinds of supports, along with Democratic Labor unions, by the way, the Trump tariffs against China that intended to put America first. The kind of conservative who thinks that only the guilty only the guilty have to worry about police infringing on their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable and unlawful search and seizure or the kind who protested the FBI raid of Trump’s home at Mar a Lago and then turn a blind eye to the threats levelled at the individual FBI agents who carried it out. The kind of conservative who hates hates it when people play the victim or the kind who these days wines that have been victimized by immigration, trade deals, affirmative action, the liberal media, critical race theory, vaccine mandates you name it. The kind of conservative who preaches that people absolutely must take responsibility for their actions and own up to their mistakes and their bad decisions. Or the kind who bristle when liberals and Democrats try to hold them accountable. When the GOP panders to racists, coddles nativist, or caves to extremists. The kind of conservative who thinks people are too sensitive and need to toughen their skins, and not take offense so easily are the kind who got their feelings hurt, and their noses bent out of shape. Recently, when President Biden called out Trump and his supporters as dangerous extremists, even traders, the kind of conservative who agrees with Republican icon Ronald Reagan, that immigrants improve America. And then the undocumented should get amnesty, or the kind who denies the contributions by undocumented immigrants and wants to keep out even illegal immigrants because they compete with a native born. The kind of conservative who believes in local control of the public schools are the kind who agrees with former Republican President George W. Bush, that there should be national testing national standards and national academic requirements of the sort that formed the basis of the law known as No Child Left Behind. I could go on and on and on. But you get the idea. Now understand, liberals are no different. Okay, liberals are the same. They’re guilty of the same sort of hypocrisy and inconsistency. When someone says I’m a liberal, I have to wonder is that the kind of liberal who thinks that Americans should all be colorblind, or the kind who supports racial preferences and believes we should, as vice president Kamala Harris, seem to suggest recently, dole out disaster relief based on skin color in order to be more equitable, the kind of liberal who thinks that undocumented immigrants should have a shot and legal status, or the kind who voted twice for Barack Obama, who was president deported more than 3 million people. The truth is, this is a really lousy time to align yourself with either political party, or to identify with quaint labels, such as liberals or conservatives. The parties are in flux. And their views are all over the place. Their principles went out the window and now all they care about is pragmatism. Today, more than ever, the parties and the partisans only care about winning, winning winning, and they will say or do or believe in anything, if it helps them pull that off. Why would anyone want be affiliated with something as empty and shallow and slimy is that so here’s an idea. Don’t be a conservative. Don’t be a liberal, just be an American, and a critical thinking American at that, which is the very best kind


Get unbiased straight facts, context, and perspective!