The Problem with Conservatives and Politics

Posted on October 29, 2008 10:33 am

John Hawkins, responding to a post by Jon Henke, writes about his ideas for a Rightroots movement to help conservatives in the coming years. If I can be Allahpundit for a moment, I’d like to pour some cold water on these big plans because I think any big effort to organize conservatives will run into trouble because of the fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals:

Conservatives have jobs.

Real jobs that produce goods and services and add to the economy. Jobs that gives conservative real satisfaction at the end of the day so they don’t have this hole that needs to be filled with political activism.

I wrote a little bit ago about what occupations appeal to liberals, and if you think about it, I think you’ll realize the big problem for conservatives in politics: Politics is not conservative. Politics is about dicking around with rules and stuff while other people do actual work, so being a politician doesn’t generally appeal to a conservative the same way being a journalist doesn’t. Also, most true conservatives aren’t obsessing over politics as much as someone like me because they have much more important things to worry about. Sure, they vote, but they don’t follow politics more than watching a little news each day and maybe listening to talk radio. Why do you think talk radio has such an appeal to conservatives? Because radio is something you listen to while doing something else — probably something useful. In the end, blogs can’t compete with that (and don’t expect these people to download podcasts).

I think Ace is on the right track of trying to search out and find conservative candidates. As much organization as we can do, it won’t ever do as much good as one good personality. Look how far Obama has gotten when 95% of his appeal is, as Biden would say, that’s he’s clean and articulate. Still, it’s going to be hard to find good conservatives. If I may confess one thing about Sarah Palin that never settled with me right, it’s that one day she woke up and decided to become a politician. She had actual jobs; why would she resort to something like that? The best conservative candidate would be someone who is accomplished in the real world — probably combination military service and businessman — who we’d have to drag kicking and screaming into politics. A guy who would pay for political ads saying, “Please don’t vote for me. I don’t want to be in the House of Representatives; I have a business to run. And if I find who put me on the ballot, I will smash your face in with the butt of my shotgun, you little freak!”

Now that’s a conservative.

Joe the Plumber is kinda promising, as he just fell into politics by asking a question. He seems reasonably informed (but not too informed; be wary of anyone too informed because then he’s spending more time worry about politics than a conservative should). Only problem is that if he gets elected to be a Representative then eventually he’ll become a wonk and have his conservatism all ruined. Eh, I guess we can’t ever really win in the end. The real conservative strategy shouldn’t be to elect politicians but to instead make sure there’s less of them in the world.

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28 Responses to “The Problem with Conservatives and Politics”

  1. PaleoMedic says:

    Part of the problem is that good conservatives are treated rudely by the GOP apparatus. SSG David Bellavia, highly decorated Army Infantryman (and a founding member of Vets For Freedom) was talked by GOP types into running for a NY congressional seat, but the RNC dropped him like a hot potato when a Republican with tons of money decided to run. And I’m sure this is not an uncommon occurence. The GOP sucks only a little less than the Democrat party.

    I’m thinking of hitching a ride on Bill Whittle’s wagon.

  2. Scooter Van Neuter says:

    Good point, Frank. We’ve got millions of welfare recipients depending on us, we don’t have time for anything else but work.

  3. Sarah Palin says:

    “Woke up and decided to become a politician?”

    I served on the Wasilla city council when you were still in diapers, and worked my way up from there, you ignorant sexist cracker!

  4. Alucard says:

    There’s a handful of us fighting the good fight in the uber-liberal world of journalism. Check out this article (or just look at the headline): Then again, I’m also an Army reservist, so compared to your typical crumb-spewing anti-military “reporter,” I probably don’t count.

  5. liberal blogger says:

    “Conservatives have jobs.”

    OMG you are SO Racist!!!!! clearly you are alluding to poor black people not having jobs because of EVIL BUSH!!!!!!!

    Conservatives have jobs because they are white and Bush is white and Bush gave them the jobs


  6. MarkoMancuso says:

    Let’s just form commando groups.

  7. Idaho Spud says:

    Being a conservative does not mean you have to hide your head in sand. Conservatives do work and are occupied with fufulling life choices, but conservatives are also principled, and because of principle are forced to be involved in the political process.

    Those who CHOOSE NOT TO participate in the political process and govern themselves WILL BE governed by those who are less qualified.

    Conservatives have no choice. They must participate for their own survival.

    (In Sand) shares much of the same spelling as insane!

  8. Jimmy says:

    Well, Frank, somehow, millions of mostly conservative men and women found time to volunteer for the armed services over the years. For reservists, most have jobs and families but they do it anyway. People who feel duty bound to perform some kind of civil service (a very old term, indeed) within their lifetime somehow find a way.

    The militiamen who fought and won our revolutionary war had farms, businesses, trades, etc., but they thought freedom important enough to risk their lives and fortunes.

    My generation was taught that being an honest ‘civil servant’ was a virtue and its own reward. In this respect, Sarah Palin strikes a chord in the minority that still believe that. Sarah Palin somehow found time to get involved in jobs, businesses, raising kids AND politics. Perhaps she found the later to be important and consistent with her outlook on life.

    [Being a soldier is way different than being a politician. Soldiers actually do useful things. Conservatives would find participation in the military very fulfilling. -Ed.]

  9. Freemon Sandlewould says:

    Well don’t worry Frankly we won’t have jobs if we follow your line of reasoning….er not real jobs. We’ll have activist jobs at somewhere like ACORN. It does not require gobs of time to be effective. A for instance…..we form a website to take over a particular gov’t position let’s say Idaho Senator #1. Normal folk can like you could us the same amount of energy you put into the IMAO blog and when its all summed up coherently it is bound to best even the most rabid activists.

    I don’t want to hear any more of this negativity. Not getting involved has yielded what we have now….which is a cluster fudge of mamouth proportions from which I doubt we will recover the lost economic freedoms until genetic engineering allows us to augment our intelligences 10000X and there are no more democrats ( only libertarians will be left after that! )

  10. Freemon Sandlewould says:

    Gees I can not rag on yuo enough about this. The very core of conservatism and this country is the volunteerism that created it. What your entire tome said was == “I Frank am fat and lazy” …. for once I am not entertained but enraged.

    A disculpa …that’s what you gave. You might as well be a liberal saying “You’ll eat my crap and like it”

  11. Jimmy says:

    Frank, perhaps there’s a real difference between the terms “public servant” and “politician.” I think Mrs. Palin would view herself as the former.

    Having read you for 1-1/2 years now, I know what you think of social and political scientists. It’s been my experience that actual engineers really do have better ideas about politics. They also get turned off easily and usually never get involved. The State of Washington had a two-term civil engineer as governor when I was young: Dan Evans. He treated our state government like a PERT chart and it ran like a top.

    So what happened to “Frank J. ’16” ? I’ve been hoarding campaign contributions for you!

  12. Freemon Sandlewould says:

    And just to disabuse your previous commenter who said “being a soldier is different than being a politician” ……..completely wrong

    -1- shall we start with Julius Caesar ? — the original democratic party dictator the while noting that war is merely a form of political policy … yeah so people die but in reality they are just more visible than other more mundane political policy

    -2- note Eisenhower – back from war he got elected on much the same dynamic as J.C.

    -3- The armed forces of the USA are very very very political places where you do not move up if you do not take orders and be a company man….well hate to tell you the company is the US Gov’t and that huck is a very political place.

    No the most effective and conservative like place for a conservative to be is to get his bloody arse elected to the Senate or the House and start voting the way a real conservative would vote and getting tossed out by his group the minute he stops voting that way.

  13. Freemon Sandlewould says:

    …and one more thing… the sooner you stop paying for the welfare recipients the sooner the whole house of she-ite falls. Excuses for softness is all I hear. Man I am riled

  14. ILoveMyFreedoms says:

    There’s an old saying that if you want something done, give the task to a busy person.

    Conservatives are generally busy people. Busy with work, education, family, community, life in general. Conservatives are thoughtful, but are rarely seen gimmicking in front of tv cameras. Conservatives are givers, not takers. Conservatives place country before self.

    The RNC is a hopeless hodge-podge, lacking in creativity and gameplay, heavy on money and light on compassion. Reagan is rolling over in his grave. The RNC befuddles true conservatives and mocks true conservative ideology. It needs a major overhaul to not only pull off a win, but to pull off a win for the future of the U.S.

    True, busy, everyday conservatives – such as Palin – stand ready for the revolution – but we are in dire need of one leader fearless enough to speak the truth, move forward without hesitation, and be unmotivated by the lure of money and power and RNC directives.

    Until then, we’re stuck with Obamuhamad oatmeal laced with arsenic.

  15. Writer says:

    As Conservatives (not Republicans) we have an Independent and Chaotic streak in all of us. That is why we hate having too many Rules and Regulations. When we see a problem, we like to take care of it for ourselves. We become disgusted with the inevitable tedious slowness of bureaucracies.
    Moreover, we do not seek the limelight, leaving that for others who do. This makes it appear that there are fewer of us than reality bears out. Not seeking to draw attention to ourselves seems to usually work, while we allow the Liberals to act up and become obnoxious until we can bear it no more and flatten them!

  16. Organizing the conservatives | Prepare To Be Offended links:

    […] IMAO touched on why he believes it won’t work either. I think his reason is rather humorous: If I can be Allahpundit for a moment, I’d like to pour some cold water on these big plans because I think any big effort to organize conservatives will run into trouble because of the fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals: […]

  17. Freemon Sandlewould says:

    Frank you are probably in your 30’s and still wrapped up in your career as electrical engineer. Wait till you get to your 40’s. You realize you are a technical whore and might as well try some other stuff that are a little out of the box.

    Have you ever noticed there are not alot of engineers in their 50’s and beyond working at your company? I sure did when I worked at a large company. I looked around and noted they could not have all died. Where they heck did they go? Think about it.

    Let’s put up a blog based candidate and get him in the senate. Then we can all kibutz to write his speechs humorous and otherwise. And best of all lots of gentleman filibusters where he shuts it all down when there is even a faint whiff of socialism contained in the bill in question.

  18. GiantJellyFishKiller says:

    At their core, liberals are meddlers. Kinda like the Scoobie gang, but not in a good way. For liberals, the world is imperfect and they meddle to make it perfect. Of course, they often end up destroying things of great value (traditions, morality, religion, etc. – which they blame for the imperfection) and muck things up, which, of course, justifies even more meddling and mucking. It is a never ending cycle. People who see the world like that will always see government as the best way to meddle and will be drawn to it like Scooby to his Scooby snacks (or Buffy to vampires).

    Conservatives are the anti-meddlers. That is why it is very hard to find a conservative political candidate. Any true conservative, his first instinct is to run far, far, away from government, which is full of meddlers, and should therefore be avoided at all costs.

  19. Burt says:

    Re-read “The Time Machine”. Then ask yourself what a liberal would taste like. Heck, if we are feeding them and taking care of them cradle to grave, why shouldn’t we eat them? Yeah, I consider myself a good Morlock.

  20. Paleo Pat says:

    I am assuming you’re being funny. I live here in Liberal Michigan and I cannot a freakin’ Job. Nothing that pays anything worth getting outta the bed for. I’m 36, and I’m just not getting out of bed for less than $15.00 an hour, I would for around $10.00 an hour, if it was close by.

    Thanks to the stupid assed Liberals here, who want to tax this fookin’ state into Communism lite. that runs the fookin’ businesses out!

    So, I’m blogging full time and doing various other stuff make money…

    Thank you Marxist liberals! I even got a damn CDL-A (no hazmat) and cannot get a job!

  21. Barack Obama says:

    The problem with you racist crackers is that you dont have an effective Organizer for your Community.

    Rush comes closest, but admittedly he pretty much just hangs around the broadcast booth.

  22. AndrewZimmern(not really) says:

    I would hazzard to guess that liberals taste a little bit gamey.

  23. Paul Gross says:

    Its not just that we have jobs, we dont find it necessary to stick our noses in everyone’s business. Conservatives are content to let you do your thing as long as you dont mess up my thing. Consequently they do not easily band together for any causes. Look at this years Republican primary. Liberals on the other hand believe that not only is their way better, but you must be reformed. Think the environmental movement, PETA, Global Warming, etc. Despite their claim that they are tolerant (one mans terrorist is another’s freedom fighter), they actually believe that if you disagree with them, you are an ignorant, racist, Christian redneck.

  24. Freemon Sandlewould says:

    RE: Paul Gross — If we conservatives do not stick our nose into gov’t business and put a stick in the spokes of socialism we are going to go the way of the religious sect called the economites. They did not believe in reproducing. They now only exist in the history books.

  25. Ralph says:

    All that you wrote is true. But there is another thing. Conservatives are chicken shit. I read many blogs written by many good people with great educations. They seem to have nothing better to do than write about politics. Yet they won’t run. Our leaders who do run are chicken shits. They’re scared to death of the media. We need a generation of politicians who go into politics and journalism as a matter of sacrifice for their country, much as a young man goes into the Army. Yes this runs counter to our beliefs in individual liberty but this country needs it. Our Founding Fathers were of such a generation. We need another.

  26. Ralph says:

    Also your quibble about Pain is unfair. We need repeat need more Palin’s. She can obviously take the barbs from the media and the left but when spears start coming from the right I’m sure those hurt her more than anything. We need to encourage politics as a career path for those on our side, not take swipes at our newest bright spot for her career path.

  27. Ralph says:

    Don’t worry were smart enough to tell the difference between the charlatans and the real deal. Currently because of comments like yours almost all we have is the former.

  28. 4 of 7 says:

    Months ago I read a comment here that really inspired me.
    It was in reference to working American’s reaction to foreign trouble-makers;
    “We’re busy! Don’t make us kill you!”

    It might work as a campaign slogan, as well.

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