It’s unfortunate that philosophy and politics are not always on the same page. The conservatives as represented by the Republican Party are selfish, religious fundamentalist. They are viewed as hawkish, big business types who believe altruism should be abolished. They are felt to represent Corporate America, which connotes financial self-interest, greed and resistance to entitlements.
Liberals as represented by the Democratic Party are secular, perverted, minorities looking for a welfare state and for the government to control our lives. As you move further to the left in that party you are a socialist and bordering on communism.
William F. Buckley, who died last week, was one of my heroes and a champion of the conservatives. He was truly an intellect and a great spokesman for that cause. He certainly didn’t agree with all the political positions of the Republicans. He was opposed to the Iraq war and as editor of the National Review he printed nothing from the John Birch Society and denounced the view of Ayn Rand who believed altruism was a crime. He was more of a champion of the individual and believed that if government left man along, the human spirit would triumph. John Kenneth Galbraith, on the other hand, was an intellect and the spokesman for the liberal cause. He was also one of my heroes. It’s interesting that Buckley and Galbraith were the best of friends.
I like certain aspects of both conservative and liberal philosophies but don’t care for the politics of either. I need to start my own party and maybe call it the Porch Party. From my back porch I watch a herd of deer who live in my back yard. They have steadily grown through the years and now number about 20, with 4 scrawny bucks leading the pack. Unfortunately, the neighbors feed them and they supplement their diet with the shrubs and plants in my yard. It has cost me hundreds of dollars. The deer are completely dependent on the handouts of the foolish people in our neighborhood. The deer have interbred and are a scrawny bunch of animals who no longer deserve to be called wild and free like their strong and beautiful ancestors who graced the forest. They are victims of a welfare state and have become such a nuisance that the humans are threatening to leave. Like Buckley, I feel that if the deer were left to forage and hunt for themselves they would again become a wild, free, strong and beautiful species. Unfortunately, the deer population has increased so much and they are now so dependant and weakened that we are left with no choice but to take care of them. We may try to educate them, to again make them independent and care for their own, but our efforts are costly and ineffective compared to what they can do for themselves.
William F. Buckley will be missed by the conservatives just as John Kenneth Galbraith and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. are missed by the liberals. These men were intellectual giants who expressed their philosophy through the beauty of words and logic rather than emotions and empty promises. They were to political philosophy what C.S. Lewis was to the Christian faith. My concern is that there is no one around to replace them.