The Closet Conservative

What do you do when you find yourself drifting slowly to the Right while living in a bright blue state and attending one of the top ten most liberal colleges in the country? When you censor your ideas on a daily basis in order to keep your job or your social status? You find a place where you can speak your mind freely and share your ideas while you are still living in secret. Thank heaven for the Internet!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

On Updates and Arguments

My summer research internship has left me very little time to write anything of my own accord. I miss updating this blog and will do so more often once I return to school in the Fall. I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of readers I've gleaned, and hope to gain more as time goes on.

On the subject of readers, I'd like to address a response I received today to my post on abortion. I appreciate that someone not only took the time to read my post but felt moved to respond. One of the great pleasures of political thought is the immense room for debate and analysis, and I welcome the opportunity for argument and disagreement, even on a subject I feel very passionately about.

However, I took issue with this particular response for three reasons. The first was the anonymity. If you are going to engage in debate and leave such a lengthy response, please leave an e-mail address (it does not have to be your official one) so that I may have the opportunity to address your ideas in dialogue. Not doing so appears to me to be a rather tame strategy for having the last word.

Secondly, it weakends your argument considerably when you are exclusively reliant on the material of an advocacy group. Being ardently pro-choice despite all reservations stated, reading material from a pro-life group will do little to sway me. I work for advocacy and political issue groups myself, and I know how to manipulate and present material in a way that sounds completely factual and objective despite obvious spin. Please take the time to develop your own ideas, primarily for the sake of your own intellect.

Thirdly, please don't insult me and my people by comparing abortion to the Holocaust and other genocides. This is a grotesque example of the manipulation of history and is an anti-intellectual approach.

Please continue reading and responding, but do it in a way that is respectful of your own intelligence and mine. I will then be more than happy to address and engage your arguments more directly.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

On commonly misunderstood words.

Think of this as the first installment of a conservative user's manual on the Left. All political movements have buzzwords and commonly accepted terms which they use to discuss their agendas and sway public opinion, but the new Left has taken this to amazing heights of Newspeak tyranny. Here is a sampling of words and phrases commonly used by today's Left-Wing politicians and activists, and what they really mean.

Social Justice: The Left loves this term with a passion and considers it an absolute. It is based on the belief that "justice" is something that goes beyond the enforcement of laws that ensure public safety, such as a prison sentence for a convicted murderer. In the world of the Left, true justice entails the forced, top-down equalization of all races, classes, genders, etc., usually through dramatically increasing government spending. Justice for women requires government funding for abortion, birth control, and child care. Justice for African Americans requires everything from aggressive affirmative action to reparations. Justice for transgendered people requires Medicaid funding for sex reassignment surgery. Besides these monstrous expenditures aimed at "leveling the playing field", social justice requires even more money and effort, from the top down, for social engineering programs to rid people of assumptions, prejudices, biases, judgements, opinions, and the general capacity for free thought. Free thought is the most clear and present danger for the cause of social justice, because it has the potential to lead to judgement, from which stems prejudice, from which stems racial/sexual/social disparity, from which stems the currently "unlevel playing field". Social justice can only be achieved when tax rates jump through the roof and government power becomes unlimited.

Patriarchy: Because the Left is in the business of denying or attempting to restructure natural law to fit their politically correct causes, they have spent roughly the last 100 years attempting to bring down the power structure (which has evolved naturally in almost every society ever known to man and animal) in which the males hold the majority of the power due to thier biologically-determined physical dominance. While the radical feminist movement of the 1960s succeeded in creating, temporarily, an environment in which women were allowed and encouraged to become the aggressors, thereby challenging traditional patriarchial structures, women of the post-feminist generation realized very quickly that this sort of social engineering created a great disbalance, forced women to behave in a way contrary to thier nature, and left society in disarray. They began to make choices that would allow them to assert power and pursue goals without bringing down the naturally-determined power structures. In response to this, radical feminists have intensified their efforts to convince women, and society at large, that patriarchy is always an oppressive, man-made force of dominance and that truly "natural" societies were matriarchial. Radical feminists claim to despise patriarchy, but patriarchy comes quite in handy--in fact, the "establishment" is actually inadvertantly accused of not being patriarchial enough--when a woman is abused/raped/exploited and requires legal protection, or when she is divorcing her husband and wants a huge alimony (whether or not the couple has children or she makes more than he does), or when she needs child support, or when, in general, her biological and social makeup makes her more vulnerable. Feminists appeal to the patriarchy for help more often than anyone, without admitting that is is the only power structure that truly protects women.

Free Speech: The Left Wing ardently supports the right of anyone and everyone to express thier opinions about anything. As long as those opionions do not alienate any group, ethnicity, race, etc. As long as those opinions are not the product of traditional religious views. As long as those opinions are not politically incorrect. As long as those opinions cannot be interpreted as being supportive of a Republican policy or platform. As long as the person speaking is not a conservative.

Religious Freedom: The Left Wing quite generously allows you to be a person of faith, but there are a few contingencies to go along with this granting of permission. In general, you are encouraged to practice a non-Western religion such as Buddhism, even if you have absolutely no concrete connection to the faith and your observance of it is purely superficial, perhaps as a facet of your anti-war sentiment or whatever other Leftist idea you seek legitimation for. The most appropriate Western-like religion for a Leftist is, of course, Unitarian Universalism, which puts all world religions through a processing system known as the "cuddles machine", adds in a generous portion of liberal politics, discourages strong moral convictions of any kind (except a free-wheeling hatred of President Bush, which is encouraged), and obliterates any mention of G-d.

However, if you stubbornly insist on being a Jew or a Christian, you are expected to attend the most liberal, free-wheeling church or synagogue you can find. Examples of acceptable Western places of worship are those whose clergy take political stances and infuse their sermons with support for Democratic Party candidates. "Judgemental" places of worship that uphold and encourage traditional standards whether or not these standards are moral or popular should be left to the "fundamentalists", because these places can damage self-esteem and set unrealistic goals for moral rectitude and concentrate on sacred texts and spiritual guidance rather than legal codes and foreign policy.

Additionally, a society that values freedom of religion should treat it like an unspeakable taboo. If you are asked at work on Monday what you did over the weekend, never mention that you attended church or shul. Mentioning this could offend someone who is not of faith, make him/her feel judged, and possible create a hostile environment in which unreligious people feel persecuted by religious fundamentalists who have the shocking and intolerant audacity to mention that they had lunch with thier pastor on Sunday or to display a small, framed Ten Commandments card in their cubicle. To ensure freedom of religion, therefore, there should be a complex system of laws and codes which prohibit speaking about religion or displaying any and all religious symbols anywhere where someone who does not subscribe to that particular religious idea might see or overhear something offensive. Thus, whether they realize it or not, the religious freedom movement of the Left Wing is actually a progressive movement towards the phasing out of religious sentiment and observance alltogether.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Link of the Day

On Class Warfare, Social Security, and the Deaf Left:

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

On Things I have Learned

As the end of the semester approaches here in the Ivory Tower, I am reminded
of the fact that come December, I will graduate and will no longer be a part of
the "community" at this college or, as it is affectionately called, Camp (with
all the professors representing the very cool, guitar-strumming, pothead upper-
level counselor who lets everyone get away with murder). I find myself
reflecting on the person I was, intellectually and politically, when I started
here three years ago, and on the person that I am today. Many of my views and
ideas have changed drastically, and in totally the opposite way than what
the "counselors" here would have hoped, and this is due in large to a curiosity
that forced me to examine everything that I learned in order to reach my own
conclusions. Here is just a sampling of what I have been taught, and what I
have luckily not taken to heart. Keep in mind that while my school is a rather
extreme Leftist outpost, these things are taught at your local, taxpayer-funded
state university as well.

- America is responsible for each and every instance of evil, corruption,
suffering, and inequality in the world. Whether we are discussing China or the
Gambia, the environment or the AIDS crisis, terrorism or high global homicide
rates, America bears the responsibility and must find a way to correct the

- America should not, however, view itself as the world police force. Just
because America has achieved heights of freedom, democracy, and comfort
unparrallel throughout history does not mean that it should try to help take
down tyrants or offer anything but the most basic humanitarian aid. Instead of
installing democratic regimes in the Middle East, we should discreetly leave
packages of rations on Iraqi doorsteps and run away, unarmed.

- As the world's greatest oppressor, we have a responsibility to learn about,
and respect, every possible culture, religion, and custom, with preference
granted to the most primitive and least developed cultures. We must resist any
value judgement or comparison and not only embrace everyone from Muslim
fundamentalists to pagan eco-feminists, but actually go out of our way to
understand and respect thier culture, regardless of what that culture thinks of
us as Americans. Any cultural disdain expressed by an American is racism or
bigotry, while anti-American rallies, sentiments, and even terrorist acts
throughout the world are fully justifiable. In effect, this means that we
should sit quietly, Koran in hand, trying to find its "peaceful" passages,
while an Islamofacist sets off a bomb beneath our chairs.

-Capitalism, especially American Capitalism, is a great evil that feeds off of
greed and exploitation. Socialism, however, is the highest and most developed
form of economics and government. Just because it has dismally failed
everywhere, we should not disregard its possibilities or "resign ourselves" to

- The threat of Communism during the Cold War was greatly overstated, just as
the threat of Muslim extremism is greatly overstated today. Never mind the
fact that leaders in both factions made no secret of the fact that thier
ultimate purpose was to take over the world--no overstatements, no paranoia,
just fact. These threats are essentially manufactured by the American propaganda machine to keep the people complacent and fearful while we continue to commit atrocities like fighting terrorism.

- American nationalism, perpetuated in a large part through scare tactics, myths, and the "othering", is possibly the greatest evil of all. We have no right to feel patriotic, display the American flag, or to speak of the ways in which America has lent a hand a stood as an example of freedom and democracy in a chaotic world. We must continually hate ourselves for the evils we have inflicted on the world, such as free elections and the liberation of Middle Eastern women. Nationalism is allowed and encouraged for any group that is fighting American or Western interests, even if such nationalism results in the deliberate loss of countless innocent lives. Certain nationalists are so oppressed that they "have no choice" but to board civilian buses with explosives strapped to thier backs. To argue against this would be imperialist.

- American women are the constant victims of rampant sexism and internalized oppression. To liberate women from the internalized feelings of oppression that result in their choosing a male partner, having children, or wearing a miniskirt, we must pump thousands of taxpayer dollars into public social engineering programs. However, to use taxpayer money to both defend the US and to liberate women from the horrific oppression of Islamic fundamentalism is imperialist and Western-centric. While we are free to judge an American woman who decides to keep an unplanned pregnancy or become a home maker, we cannot make value judgements on a fascist regime that bans women from attending school and publicly flogs them for wearing colored socks.

- All Caucasians are racist. It does not matter if you have never looked down upon a person of color or even allowed yourself to think in a racist manner. You are a racist because racism has a new definition: race + power. You benefit from racist power structures simply because you are a Caucasian, and you do not acknowledge or fight them because this would not be in your favor. If you are white, uneducated, and poor, you still have power over a person of color who is highly educated and affluent. This means that any race-based hatred towards Caucasians from a person of color is simpy prejudice, and justified prejudice at that. Because they cannot possibly have power, people of color cannot be racists. If you think that this is a far more racist idea that anything that has ever gone, or ever will go, through your head, it is because you are having trouble dealing with your latent feelings of racism. Just admit it and start hating yourself now.

- People of color--and women, and minorities in general--who reject the radical Leftist agenda are traitors, tokens, tools of the oppressors. They have internalized thier oppression to such an extent that they are now working for the very people who keep them down. It is not possible that they find more empowerment and less "latent racism" on the Right than they do on the Left, or that they have realized that conservcative principles are much more practical in overcoming socio-economic difficulties. This is why people like Condoleeza Rice is rarely mentioned by feminists or black activists, despite the fact that she is a female of color whose accomplishments are staggering. This silence is due to the fact that such people have refused to jump on the victimhood bandwagon and have succeeded without an orthodox Leftist worldview.

- The best way to disregard or take away credibility from someone's idea is to point out that they are white and upper-middle-class, or simply "priviledged". This works even better if they are male. This means that anything positive that has ever been done by a white man should be completely disregarded. This includes the Great Books and the Constitution.

- There are no moral absolutes. There is no such thing as right and wrong. We cannot judge anyone based on our own system of morals, values, and government. Just because we happen to believe in freedom and democracy does not make it right. We must regard everyone equally, be they great moral leaders or murderers and terrorists. This empty-headed tolerance does not apply, of course, to anyone who is an American and is a traditionalist, a conservative, a Republican, etc. These people are always wrong.

- You are free to say and write whatever you want. This is, of course, provided that you never offend any individual or group in any way whatsoever. Except for traditionalists, conservatives, Republicans, heterosexuals, housewives, virgins, and Condolezza Rice. These people must be offended as often as possible to help them see "the truth". This is called free speech.

- There is no such thing as gender. Gender is a fluid concept and a social construct. We must eradicate the idea of gender differences, even if this means defying proven biological concepts. The idea that a woman is more nurturing than her male counterpart because she is designed to bear children is too difficult to swallow. It is far preferable to pump even more taxpayer dollars into social engineering programs that teach people--at as young an age as possible--that gender does not exist. It is also helpful to pump money into programs that draw as many young women as possible towards "non-traditional" fields such as science and technology. The fact that most women choose the arts and humanities due to innate learning differences, and the fact that there are fewer women in science and technology than men despite all the "encouragement" that colleges and universities spend millions of dollars on each year, is simply a result of internalized oppression and low self-esteem. Again, if the idea that many young women choose Shakespeare over Newton because they are scared and have low opinions of themselves sounds sexist to you, ignore your reaction. You do not yet know the whole truth, and you are still enslaved in your "gender role". When you start cross-dressing and demanding gender-neutral bathrooms, then we'll talk.

This is just a small sampling of things I have learned here. Looking over this list, I wonder (as I often do) if I am crazy to be setting a Ph.d and an academic career as my ultimate goal. However, I believe that now more than ever, a conservative voice is needed within the halls of academia. Even if that voice is soft, feminine, and habitually used for the teaching of Russian literature.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Link of the Day

Quite a funny, if overly long, quiz to determine your political sympathies--takes no affiliation seriously, and has gone a long way to relieve my daily, politically-induced pounding headache! Check it out!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

On Grappling with Abortion, Part 1

Let me begin by saying that while the majority of my political beliefs are fairly in tune with the modern conservative movement, one issue that binds me to my Left-Wing past (and still guides much of my political work) is my belief in the right of a woman to have an abortion. While the leaders of the Republican Party reject this idea (despite the fact that many Republicans DO support some form of reproductive choice), I hold that the belief in reproductive choice is firmly conservative. If we truly want a limited government, one that will stay out of our lives as much as possible, how can we support legislation that would govern a woman's body? That would deny her the right to choose what happens within her own womb? Legislation that would have to be enforced by watchful government agents, the very type we fear from the Left? Would we begin by closing down Planned Parenthood clinics? Would we arrest women based on phone calls from neighbors, reporting that the wife next door appeared pregnant and is now claiming a miscarriage? Would women taken to the hospital for complications resulting from botched abortions once again be greeted by police? Would we follow down the same road as a country like Nepal, exacting life sentences of homicide for women who abort a 2-month-old fetus? I wonder if pro-life activists ever think their position through to law enforcement and realize that anti-abortion laws would create exactly the type of government intrusion that conservatives shudder at in all other aspects. Even if one holds that a fetus represents the same category of human being as a person of 20, the nature of a living fetus--its existance inside the body of a living woman--prevents an aborted one from being treated like a murdered person. Abortion laws would necessarily destroy the privacy of women and thier families.

That said, I'm much more uncomfortable with the actual idea of abortion than most women I work with and most dogmatic Leftists. I cannot and will not accept the concept of abortion as an empowering feminist act, a cold and detached choice, or a form of birth control. These ideas alienate women from the creation and cycle of life to which they are inextricably tied, and they allow the radical feminist movement to socially engineert women whose essential femininity and humanity is distorted, to say nothing of thier grasp on reality. The right to an abortion, for a consenting and fully-informed adult woman, is far different from an embracing of the act. Since my political thinking has developed and I have allowed myself to think outside of the accepted and now-dogmatic radical feminist framework, I have been able to consider all implications of abortion itself, as well as the culture of reproductive choice politics. And while I generally dislike the use of personal anecdotes in theoretical political argument, the narration of my stories may contribute to a tangible understanding of the ideas I am grappling with.

A few weeks before I left my rural little college for Spring Break, my friend Haley called me to ask, in a very shaky voice, if I would come by her dorm room as soon as possible. I had been studying in the library--a five minute walk from Haley's dorm--and ten minutes later, I was at the door, greeted by a very pale and nervous-looking girl. When I asked her what was wrong, she sat down softly on her bed and was silent for a minute.

Then she said, "I think I might be pregnant...and I need you to be with me while I take this test."

She held up a pink box containing a pregnancy test. I sighed and sat down beside her.

"I'll stay as long as you want," I said. Haley nodded.

"I'm sure it will be all right," I tried, lamely at that, because I wasn't sure what would be all right, or what all right could even mean. I'd never seen Haley visibly upset. And besides. Haley was a fellow activist, a girl whose mother volunteered three nights a week for her local chapters of Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Haley had been attending pro-choice rallies since she was eight, and espoused some of the more radical feminist ideology. Whenever the subject of unwanted pregnancy came up, she always said, with far more assurance than anyone else present, that she would never hesitate to get an abortion if her life circumstances did not allow for a child. I always assumed that if she did have a pregnancy scare, it would be a quick anecdote quickly and laughingly narrated when we ran into each other on the way to class. To see her nervous and disheveled, staring at the little pink box that would determine her future, was surprising and disheartening.

Haley finally left the room and walked to the bathroom with the box. A few minutes later she emerged, sat beside me again, and began to make conversation to pass the five minutes. She told me of how embarrassed she had felt at the local CVS, having to ask the pharmacist--the very pharmacist who filled her prescriptions every month--to unlock the inexplicable plastic case that held the tests. She was not sure if his eyes had been judgmental or just concerned, but she had nearly sprinted out of the store just the same. I had rarely known Haley to get embarrassed. She became pale again, though, looking down and checking her watch. After few more moments of silence, she left for the bathroom.

She came back in a few minutes later, throwing the test into a trashcan by the door as she walked in.

"So?" I asked softly, getting up.

"I'm fine," she said, trying to appear light and unconcerned, "I'm not's fine."

"Haley," I responded, "you don't look very happy. This is great--false alarm! No dodging those obnoxious protestors on the way to the clinic!"

She looked at me.

"I'm not sure, though," she said.

"Not sure? If you're pregnant?"

"No...I'm not sure if...if the test had been positive, whether I would have gone to the clinic at all."

I stared at her. This was the girl who had screamed loudest at rallies, who had signed up countless girls for the March for Women's Lives, who had argued that late-term abortion was no different than any other procedure. This was someone who always put her career first.

"What do you mean? You wouldn't have gotten an abortion at all?"

"I just don't get it," she said. "I know this sounds crazy, but I just don't get it. Why is it that...if I want this child...then it's a child...and then I have to quit smoking, quit drinking, get prenatal care right away, change my whole life to be a mother, or else go to the adoption agency and do everything I can to make sure the child has a decent life...but if I don't want it...then it's just a bunch of undeveloped cells, and I can just abort it and move on with my life, as if I had just had my tonsils out?"

And there, in a room plastered with pro-choice paraphernelia, with a girl who'd devoted her life to feminist politics, I heard the first pro-life argument I couldn't dismiss.

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Quote of the Day

An interesting quote from a book review that seems otherwise to lack a coherent point. I might take this on as a personal label:

"The idea that one possesses social views that diverge from the average conservative has caused many of us on the Right to use “libertarian” as a means of self-description. Yet, there may be a better term for those devoted to the free market, the nation’s defense, and who consider pornography…slightly less than offensive. Andrew Sullivan was the first to describe such a subclass with words, "South Park Republicans." The notion of cross-cultural rightists has since been expounded upon by numerous pundits. Brian Anderson first addressed the subject in 2003 through an essay in City Journal, a magazine he edits, called “We’re Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore.” Mr. Anderson now celebrates this ultramodern breed of anti-perfectionists in his South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias.

....What is so provocative about the work is the notion of “South Park Conservative.” What one immediately must ask is whether or not such people even exist. The reviewer can answer the question affirmatively because he has had the pleasure to meet many of them. It is undeniable that political correctness and the smugness of liberals has generated a hybrid breed of conservative; one who possesses earthy cultural trappings but can no longer tolerate the self-righteousness and mock seriousness inherent to the emotion fueled left. If the existence of the South Parker surprises traditional conservatives, imagine how unnerving it must be for your average liberal to discover that the guy who sat next to him during Phish’s last concert had the Opinion Journal delivered to his Inbox every morning."

~Bernard Chapin