Monday, December 12, 2011

Change over Time

A wonderful article written by Jim Wright on the Stonekettle Station blog. He discusses how his views have not changed in decades, but he is now considered a liberal when he used to be a conservative.

It's an interesting phenomenon, and one that people on both sides of the aisle have discussed. Glenn Beck even wrote a book on the topic (The Overton Window). While Beck's perspective was that the overall movement was to the extreme left, Jim points out that it seems to be shifting the other way.

Read the article. It's not that long. He makes some great points about how his opinions are now considered liberal when they used to be conservative. It's not that he's changed, but that the world has changed.

And things change all the time. Look at Gingrich, who recently called child labor laws "stupid." Such a thing would have been unheard of a decade or two ago, but now people celebrate that view. Science is no longer revered but reviled by the conservatives who maintain their position on the right of the spectrum. Evolution, pollution, global warming, overpopulation, resource disparities, all of the evidence to support these ideas is dismissed by the ardent conservative of today, even if it was embraced by the likes of Ronald Reagan, their patron saint.

And social issues are the same thing. It wasn't too long ago that the compromise between the Left and Right over abortion was that federal dollars could not be used to fund it. Now, that's not good enough. We have folks who say it needs to be made completely illegal, that it's their way or no way (which also happens to be their way), and we all need to give them what they want because they are right. Well, somewhere along the line, the mainstream conservatives forgot about moral relativism, that there are no absolutes, and thus can be no legislation. They forgot that not everyone is straight, Christian, white, and rich.

Time changes things, and it will take time to remedy these failings of the Right. I have no doubt that they can come back to the realm of sanity, but it's too soon for them. They are still marching in the wrong direction with their eyes closed to the destination, oblivious to reason, their own hypocrisy, and even law. We can change them, but we have to help them take the blinders off first, and teach them that America is a place where everything comes together, not as one, but in a unified coalition.

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