In the wake of destruction in Ukraine followed by horrifically ignorant statements made by our last president, it is long past time for true conservatives to renounce any support of or association with Donald Trump.
Conservatism used to be often described as an attitude towards the speed and direction of change. Liberalism was similarly described. In civil circles, these differences were traditionally discussed with great energy and often some heat. But in today’s world, too many people seem to enjoy expressing their views mostly as a condemnation of those who feel differently and prefer to segregate themselves into tribal groups. They rant and then revel in it — and it’s a recipe for social disaster.
While I may not have much affinity for the urban liberal agenda — some of it is likely because the city was not my life — I have far less affinity for people whose distaste for liberals allows them to distort their own thinking to the point that ignorant demagogues like Trump become acceptable leaders. On the other hand, it is equally distasteful and intellectually stupid for non-conservatives to disregard the obviously large number of productive, charitable and intelligent people living around us who don’t identify as liberals. The spoken and written ugliness that pervades current political discourse was not started by any one group, and it certainly is found equally across the political landscape.
The underlying principles of our Constitution were not aimed at making the United States a homogenized group of people. Instead, they were targeted to minimize the friction arising from the obvious differences between people. Its highest representation was our willingness to allow a great deal of self determination to be decided in an individual state’s rights. It is certain that today’s age is more complicated and moving faster than in 1800, but the principle of focusing on our commonality to save our unity has not changed — and it is in high demand today. A good start to this is finding the courage to spend some time ignoring the major media outlets and finding time to discuss the nuts and bolts of maintaining peace while seeking improvements in life.
Of far more consequence than freedom of speech to our future is the responsibility for civil discourse and intellectual honesty. There is absolutely nothing civil or smart about following a deranged man because you think liberals are crazy.
Mike Heimbuch is a lifelong Alaskan with roots in fisheries, music and politics. A firm believer in ranked choice voting, he is no. 2 on everybody’s list.