TL/DR version: please recommend some conservative web sites or podcasts for someone who wants to learn the conservative thought process.
If you pay attention to me here or on Facebook, you’ve probably seen me mix it up with the politics. I’m no political scientist, but it’s easy to get caught up in the nuttiness.
I’d describe myself as an extreme social progressive but much more moderate on fiscal and foreign policy. That might be because I know little about economics or foreign relations. Averages out to fairly liberal, I suppose. At least left-leaning enough to understand the liberal philosophy even if I don’t always agree with it.
When arguing with conservative friends and family, I’m often getting the “liberals just want handouts from the government” and “lefties don’t want to work for a living” and “stop posting pictures of your damn dog.” Now, I know this is nonsense — liberals are not simply looking for someone else to pay for them, and my dogs are charming. But the conservative media and information sources and talking heads all say this is true. Mitt Romney made a similar comment in his infamous 47% speech.
So how can you get past that? Any meaningful political discussion (and I am truly tired of the other kind) must come from a similar understanding of terminology, right? How can I make my point about a liberal position if the reaction is this tired “you just want free stuff” crap?
What I tried (to so far no success) was to challenge the conservatives in my life to spend a month with liberal media/web sites/talking heads. It might not change anyone’s minds on any issues, but maybe they would learn that liberals aren’t all unwashed hippies who have no desire to contribute to society beyond whatever we get from drum circles. After that, we can at least move past the character assassinations and ad hominem attacks and talk about issues like grownups, right? How could that be a bad thing?
Knowledge may not always be power, but ignorance is invariably weakness.
Recently, it hit me — I don’t have the moral authority to suggest that of my Republicans. I have been a conservative in the past and listened to talk radio and all that, but I haven’t done so recently. Certainly not since the Tea Party started influencing the Republican platform. Being staunchly socially liberal, I tend to gravitate to information sources that are also pro-LGBT issues, pro-women’s reproductive rights, and all the other stuff that denotes a rainbow-flag-waving-white-guilt-victim-who-hates-fetuses. And while I don’t listen to a lot of talking heads, when I do it’s usually Rachel Maddow — she’s intelligent and silly and polite to her guests even when they disagree with her (though she gets few people from the right on her show).
This is where I need your help.
Fortunately, all my shows are on summer hiatus. Almost, anyway — Pretty Little Liars just started season 4, but I binge-watch those later.
So I am going to immerse myself in conservative media. I want to discover what there is behind their fiscal policy — I assume there’s more to it than “Reagan said so.” I do not understand supply-side theory enough to know if it works if implemented “properly.” The liberal media would have me believe it’s all pandering to the voters and obstructionism against a liberal president. I have similar questions about foreign policy and immigration reform.
The problem is I have no idea where to look for in-depth discussions like this. Someone please tell me. Are there websites or podcasts where you get conservative philosophy? I don’t have cable or listen to a lot of radio, so watching Fox and listening to Rush Limbaugh live aren’t really options. And life is too short to waste time on WorldNetDaily or anything spewing forth from Alex Jones.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Not looking for conspiracy nuts or religious nuts — I can find plenty of those on my own. Rational people writing or saying rational things, even if I disagree with their conclusions: that’s the goal.
Damned if I know where to start.
Also, here’s a picture of my dogs.