Here I am on vacation in Southern California visiting family and friends. My father is sitting near me watching CBS news here in my 60′s era Aunt’s condo (the Aunt is 60s, not the condo ). My Aunt marched with another of my Aunts on Selma with MLK. This being MLK day seems to have brought that factoid of history to the forefront of my mind. The friends we have visited so far are generally academics and, yes, extremely liberal for the most part. I have been the lone conservative voice in the room so far and it has been difficult to say the least.
Suffice it to say that I simply MUST get a few things off my chest in a forum I can actually control a bit . The conversations have been wide ranging and the few general items I’ve been able to interject were widely accepted as “correct”. For example one thing I stated this afternoon, “This bailout business is bad for the country.” There were no less than 3 PHDs at the table (botantists), my parents (with MAs), my Aunt (MA), and myself. The table agreed to a person with that extremely general statement and I attempted another, “We should allow the bankrupt companies to fold and then the chaff will be blown away with the cream rising to the top.” I thought the cliches were appropriate, even artful to a point, for the room and the imagery might actually work.
How wrong I was. Immediately the debate turned from that general agreement to statements like, “I think it’s much more complicated than that…” to “You are too young to understand…” to “I think you should consider just how those failures will affect the workers…”… and on and on. With this one small conservative and free markets statement the conversation dissolved into “beat on the conservative”. My father - a quiet, reserved man, and a conservative - glanced at me with raised eyebrows and gave me an impish grin. I returned his glance with a rueful look as the table ran away from the center of the actual debate – “bailouts are bad” – for at least 10 minutes.
The interesting thing about that runaway debate was the table happily discussed their solutions to the current subject without ever returning to the crux. Each and every solution they reached meant MORE taxpayer money and MORE government programs…MORE handouts with LESS personal responsibility. Amazing. Pathetic. Predictable.
On the bright side, the weather is absolutely beautiful and I was able to pick an orange off the tree and eat it right there