Yesterday, I chatted with a political and social Conservative, and found it refreshing.
Now, I usually don’t spend much time chatting with Conservatives these days. I’ve discovered almost all of them say little more than to repeat the Republican Party talking points, perhaps as interpreted by Fox News.
Repeating that strange balderdash seems to be a contemporary Conservative habit — or possibly a new religion. Unsurprisingly, I find it seldom turns out to be an adequate substitute for original thought and the give and take of genuine conversation — unless you somehow never tire of hearing that Obama is a filthy socialist, etc.
Chatting with Lindsey was refreshingly different. She’s a Conservative 16 year old who impresses me as actually quite good at thinking. Moreover — and this pleased me more than anything else — she delights in learning. I’m not being sarcastic when I state it was difficult to believe at first. It was difficult to believe, but perhaps only because of bad luck on my part: Easily, the last 25 or so Conservatives I’ve spoken with have been parrots.
Yet, the main effect Lindsey had on me was to leave me with the realization I miss having Conservatives to talk with. There was once a time in this country — it seems largely before Reagan — when it was not uncommon to meet a Conservative who was a well-informed, fresh, engaging thinker and even a good conversationalist. The fact is, it was downright fun to talk with them. The chances were good you would learn something new.
At any rate, I’ve been hoping this morning that Lindsey is the wave of the future. I want there to be thousands — tens of thousands — of young people like her. That is not just because I miss the fun of talking with genuinely thoughtful Conservatives, but because I think this country needs such people.
We need them to hold up the Conservative end of the eternal dialog between Conservatives and Liberals. On the health of that dialog depends the political health of the nation.
The Conservative end has been especially ill served these past 30 or so years by ersatz Conservatives who in too many tragic cases are only capable of parroting the Republican Party Talking Points. For the most part, it has not been an honest dialog these past three decades.
So let there be thousands of Lindseys out there! And let them never be corrupted by the Republican noise machine.
Well, I can hope, can’t I?