Monday, September 22, 2008

I would NEVER identify myself as a Conservative...

...but I have many friends who are conservative. Good friends, good people, people who - like me - want the best for our nation and our children.

My own political leanings are evident to those who know me, but I also hope that it's clear I have respect for those who may hold different views than mine. I lose respect for either side when lies enter the picture, and I'm partisan enough to say that I've seen much more truth-stretching on the Right.

I have conservative friends who are as angry as any fire-breathing Liberal at the direction our country is taking, and are more interested in solving the problem than lying about how we got here.

Below is an interesting article by Wick Allison, editor of D magazine (Dallas), and it gives me hope.

And as you read this article, please consider contacting your congress-person (House AND Senate) and let them know that if our country is going to bail out Wall Street, it cannot be a fast and dirty push.

It's important to act quickly, but prudently. To be frightened into giving a huge GIFT to Wall Street because of fear is walking into the trap that was so eloquently outlined by FDR:
"... the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Annie's wish list for the Wall Street Bail Out

  1. I'd like to see the strings on the golden parachutes of the Wall Street firms clipped.
  2. I think it's high time that the usurious interest rates charged by credit cards to be made illegal.
  3. I want firmer regulation for banks and financial institutions.
  4. I want healthcare for the uninsured to be part of the package.

A Conservative for Obama

My party has slipped its moorings.
It’s time for a true pragmatist to lead the country.

Leading Off By Wick Allison, Editor In Chief, D Magazine

THE MORE I LISTEN TO AND READ ABOUT “the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate,” the more I like him. Barack Obama strikes a chord with me like no political figure since Ronald Reagan. To explain why, I need to explain why I am a conservative and what it means to me.

In 1964, at the age of 16, I organized the Dallas County Youth for Goldwater. My senior thesis at the University of Texas was on the conservative intellectual revival in America. Twenty years later, I was invited by William F. Buckley Jr. to join the board of National Review. I later became its publisher.

Conservatism to me is less a political philosophy than a stance, a recognition of the fallibility of man and of man’s institutions. Conservatives respect the past not for its antiquity but because it represents, as G.K. Chesterton said, the democracy of the dead; it gives the benefit of the doubt to customs and laws tried and tested in the crucible of time. Conservatives are skeptical of abstract theories and utopian schemes, doubtful that government is wiser than its citizens, and always ready to test any political program against actual results.

Liberalism always seemed to me to be a system of “oughts.” We ought to do this or that because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of whether it works or not. It is a doctrine based on intentions, not results, on feeling good rather than doing good.

But today it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don’t work. The Bush tax cuts—a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war—led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his “conservative” credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.

Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world “safe for democracy.” It is John McCain who says America’s job is to “defeat evil,” a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.

This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.

Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president. (In fact, I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses.) But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama’s books (which, it is worth noting, he wrote himself) or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.

Most important, Obama will be a realist. I doubt he will taunt Russia, as McCain has, at the very moment when our national interest requires it as an ally. The crucial distinction in my mind is that, unlike John McCain, I am convinced he will not impulsively take us into another war unless American national interests are directly threatened.

“Every great cause,” Eric Hoffer wrote, “begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” As a cause, conservatism may be dead. But as a stance, as a way of making judgments in a complex and difficult world, I believe it is very much alive in the instincts and predispositions of a liberal named Barack Obama.

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posted by Annie at


Blogger maxine said...

Sorry to post this in your comments, but I wasn't sure an email would get to you as I have emailed in the past with no reply. There is a reading in St Paul at a church on Sunday Oct. 5th by Patti Digh. I read her blog and think you might find her interesting. The info is on her blog at

September 22, 2008 9:53 AM  
Blogger grey eyes said...

this is great! thank you! :-)


September 22, 2008 12:17 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Thought-provoking. Now I wonder if I could classify myself more as "conservative" than "liberal", if in the idea of supportive of limited government. I'm going to have to research more of what "conservative" means, "liberal" means, and what these parties TRULY represent.

September 22, 2008 12:35 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Thanks for this, Annie! I passed this article along to a friend who I think will appreciate it.

September 22, 2008 12:51 PM  
Anonymous martha marques said...

When I lived in Arizona (I now live in Maine) I voted for McCain for Senate several times. I say this to make it clear that I have backed him in the past, and also to state that I would vote for him again as Senator. But this man does not have the character for a president. He is reactive and protectionist, which can be virtues in someone representing the interests of a state. But a president needs a larger, broader, more univeral view. And Obama is the first presidential candidate of my adult years who has the even handed long view that is quite possibly the only view that will safely steer us through the troubled state that our union is now in.

My husband, who hasn't voted since he was 18, has registered this year as a Republican and will be voting for Obama.

September 22, 2008 6:12 PM  
Anonymous twinsetellen said...

Wilson and I have long thought of Obama as the conservative and McCain as the radical.

September 22, 2008 10:15 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you.

No matter what your political leanings, your post was thoughtful and insightful. As usual.

That's why I keep coming here again and again and again.

September 22, 2008 11:22 PM  
Anonymous dawn from texas said...

I love you Annie but Obama is the "Emperor with No Clothes". McCain all the way. Listen to what he says about Wall Street, too.

September 22, 2008 11:25 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I'm with you on this. I think we're in a new era of robber barons.

September 23, 2008 12:28 AM  
Blogger evie said...

I am looking forward to a president who will have the intellectual capacity to guide our country and it's people to do what is ultimately right for all of us rather than a few ultra rich ceos and their shareholders who would rather build a pile of cash for themselves than make it so all of us could prosper.

Eight years ago I still had hope that I could set aside enough money for my retirement. Despite putting in the max each year my savings are at the same rate or lower than when George first took office. There are millions more like me.

We can't continue to war with the world. It has to stop now and we have to turn our focus back to providing food, health care, education and job training to all.

September 23, 2008 2:54 AM  
Anonymous Mundi said...

Thanks so much for that Annie. He says so well what I couldn't articulate. It's Obama for me !!!!
We so clearly need someone who is capable of leading this nation through the turmoil that has been 'our cross to bear' for far too long.

September 23, 2008 8:48 AM  

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