Carnes: What am I, chopped liver?
I am shocked — shocked I tell you — that the Vail Daily has spent the last few weeks publicly “seeking a political columnist to provide a conservative voice on its opinion pages alongside Jonah Goldberg and Cal Thomas.”
Am I not conservative enough for you? I am a born and bred, diehard Dallas Cowboy fan, was a bird and deer hunter as a kid, worked cattle and rode horses as a teen, sold cattle, horses and Western art after college, eat beef, come from a family of Texas bankers, am a frugal self-employed and financially secure cheapskate, have been called “anal-retentive” when it comes to energy conservation, constantly question government decisions, play golf, love Christmas and have never voted for a Clinton.
Then again, I also support the Denver Broncos, feed deer in my yard, eat vegetables and turkey bacon, left banking for a “real career” in a ski resort, donate to my favorite charities, support Pride Month, am a proud member of the Vail Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team, an open-minded non-theist, constantly question government decisions, will happily admit to voting for a Democrat from time to time and can tell you the equivalent of how many trees have been planted compared to the total kilowatt-hours created by my solar panels over the years (it’s a small forest).
So I suppose I’m saying I am smack dab in the middle of the road when it comes to ideological generalizing. But the daily is looking more specifically for a political conservative, which is a different animal from your everyday conservative.
When prefaced with the word “political,” one immediately thinks of a conservative as a Republican, but this is where the unfair stereotypes become such a muddled mess. True Republicans are embarrassed by the incompetency of certain GOP members since around 2016, aka Trumplicans, who, rather than focusing on limited government and shaping policy for the good of the nation, instead focus solely on opposing any action taken by the other team, which is anyone other than themselves, whether it be true Republicans, Democrats or the largest demographic — independents.
In other words, true conservatism, as a political philosophy, has been hijacked by these extremists in the eyes of the general public, and hopefully, the Vail Daily can find someone (other than me, of course … damn, I wish I could insert the sarcastic “smiley face” emoticon here) to actually support a point of view worthy of debate and not just a weekly rehashing of why one team is better than the other.
The dearth of guest columns or letters to the-editor supporting anything Trumplicans pretend to stand for is very telling when it comes to understanding how and why they act the selfish and childish way they do. They’re as rare as a Lauren Boebert policy announcement based on consensus.
A true political conservative, however, should be able to support policy issues and decisions backed up with facts and logic, like Butch Mazzuca attempted on this very page for years.
I’ve never wasted a dime on cryptocoins, will never purchase a My Pillow product, and would love to see those truly responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection pay for their traitorous crimes, so yeah, I guess I’m not the best choice for a strictly political conservative point of view each week, but I could stomach just about anybody better than Cal Thomas.
Jonah Goldberg’s pretty OK though.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.