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Traditional Conservatism: Back away from the edge...

Occam's Razor

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The modern conservative party is a walking contradiction to itself.

I was raised by a traditional conservative. A dutch banker... and his father.. an entrepreneur, who learned from his father, all deeply religious. Everything I know about business I know from them. One of the many things drilled into my head was this... Take care of your people and your obligations first, if there's anything left, you can pay yourself something.

They taught me that the DOI meant something. That life is a right. If you hire someone for 40 hours a week, the least you can morally pay them is the minimum a person needs to live. Food, shelter, power, transport, clothing and savings. Pay them any less and you are stealing life from them.

I won't post beyond this as I don't believe this issue is up for debate. In all honesty, all attempts to refute this will be viewed in my humble opinion, as pathetic attempts to reconcile the christian right hypocrisy with justifications... a waste of space and time.
 

Einzige

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"Traditional" conservatism means a couple of different things.

A lot of American Goldwaterites - socially centrist-to-liberal, militaristic deficit hawks - like to think that they represent a more "traditional" form of conservatism, and that the go-go-Reaganauts hijacked their movement with social concerns. Qua Goldwater: "(Abortion) is not a conservative issue":


Then you have the very different paleoconservatives ala Pat Buchanan, who are skeptical of internationalism and consequentially the global neoliberal agenda of the business wing of the Republican Party, but who want it to double down on the socially collectivistic politics of resentment and the majoritarian rhetoric associated with opposition to minority groups.

Neither one of these are particularly "traditional", however. Really traditionalist conservatism in America is represented only by a few fringe Traditionalist Catholics, and, in a very different vein, the anti-Christian Evolaist post-fascists. I'm certainly more sympathetic to the Goldwaterites than the theocons, but neither can particularly claim to hold true to an older, and consequently more "authentic", conservatism.
 
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head of joaquin

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Conservatism is an empty concept, especially in the US. Basically it means revanchism against all modern progress, and a support for any policies that result in low wages, thus enriching the rich. Besides that, there is no there there. Conservatism is morally and intellectually bankrupt.
 

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Conservatism is an empty concept, especially in the US. Basically it means revanchism against all modern progress, and a support for any policies that result in low wages, thus enriching the rich. Besides that, there is no there there. Conservatism is morally and intellectually bankrupt.

Even there, though, it does not mean revanchism against all progress.

The conservative claims complete identification with capitalism. Very well, then: capitalism is inherently progressive. It invents new forms of goods - machines without parallel in human experience; new forms of experience itself; new social organizations and hierarchices. In the words of Karl Marx, under capitalism, "everything solid melts into air". It is impossible to identify both with capitalism and against progress. There has never been a more progressive form of organization in the history of man.
 

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In Germany, "conservatism" means an entirely different thing anyway... go back before 1945 and even before 1918 to get an idea.
 

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In Germany, "conservatism" means an entirely different thing anyway... go back before 1945 and even before 1918 to get an idea.

The problem here is meta-ironic in a way probably more familiar to a continental European than an American: conservatism must adapt itself to changing realities under a socioeconomic system based around change, where opponents of that system can remain immobile and inflexible.

Capitalism is almost change incarnate, and 'conserving' capitalism means 'conserving' its changes to the social order of the societies it operates within. Capitalism destroyed slavery in America, not the kindly sentiments of the abolitionists or the political machinations of the Lincoln Administration. Consequently, the conservative in America - with very few, ahistorical exceptions - completely embraces the results of abolition (the complete domination of a wage labor system in America), even if he questions the way it was brought about.
 
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German guy

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The problem here is meta-ironic in a way probably more familiar to a continental European than a European: conservatism must adapt itself to changing realities under a socioeconomic system based around change, where opponents of that system can remain immobile and inflexible.

Capitalism is almost change incarnate, and 'conserving' capitalism means 'conserving' its changes to the social order of the societies it operates within. Capitalism destroyed slavery in America, not the kindly sentiments of the abolitionists or the political machinations of the Lincoln Administration. Consequently, the conservative in America - with very few, ahistorical exceptions - completely embraces the results of abolition (the complete domination of a wage labor system in America), even if he questions the way it was brought about.

Maybe that's quarelling about semantics, but I've always thought the term "libertarian" applies better to a supporter of capitalism than the term "conservative". As "conservatives" usually want to "conserve"... the old order, tradition, religion, community above individualism. True conservatives value order above everything else.
 

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Maybe that's quarelling about semantics, but I've always thought the term "libertarian" applies better to a supporter of capitalism than the term "conservative". As "conservatives" usually want to "conserve"... the old order, tradition, religion, community above individualism. True conservatives value order above everything else.

The semantics issue largely dates to the era of the Cold War, and, especially, the Red Scare immediately preceding the Cold War in America. Fundamentally it relates to a misconception about the role of political progressives under capitalism - bourgeois progressives have always only sought to realize changes necessary to preserve and extend the rule of Capital and to reflect the changing social realities of capitalism in their politics - but certain classical liberals thought their intent was to replace the capitalist system wholesale, consequently "conservatism". I do agree that "conservatism" is inadequate to denote what is really taking place, and basically obscures the political process within capitalist societies.
 

head of joaquin

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Even there, though, it does not mean revanchism against all progress.

The conservative claims complete identification with capitalism. Very well, then: capitalism is inherently progressive. It invents new forms of goods - machines without parallel in human experience; new forms of experience itself; new social organizations and hierarchices. In the words of Karl Marx, under capitalism, "everything solid melts into air". It is impossible to identify both with capitalism and against progress. There has never been a more progressive form of organization in the history of man.

American conservatives have been against every single issue that involved material and social progress -- whether it was the Tennessee Authority, the Interstate Highway Act, or environmental protection.

While promoting the interest of profit making for various industries, American conservatism is basically anti-modernist -- it is rhetorically against modern economic structures (like the Fed, credit, worker protection, etc). This doesn't contradict its agenda of maximizing profits by the rich; it promotes it. While the advent of advanced capitalism made the rich wealthy beyond imagination, the agenda now is to pull up the ladder. Modern capitalists don't need modern infrastructure to stay wealthy -- they just need desperate workers.
 

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Even there, though, it does not mean revanchism against all progress.

The conservative claims complete identification with capitalism. Very well, then: capitalism is inherently progressive. It invents new forms of goods - machines without parallel in human experience; new forms of experience itself; new social organizations and hierarchices. In the words of Karl Marx, under capitalism, "everything solid melts into air". It is impossible to identify both with capitalism and against progress. There has never been a more progressive form of organization in the history of man.

Distributism is the economic mode of a conservative, not capitalism.
 

Einzige

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Distributism is the economic mode of a conservative, not capitalism.

Of a certain kind of conservative. But Chestertonians are not very common, and probably have less of a claim to the term 'conservative' than do capitalist-conservatives (at least a capitalist society presently exists). Moreover, there's the quote from Chesterton - who I use as the Marx-figure of distributism - that "the business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected."
 

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Of a certain kind of conservative. But Chestertonians are not very common, and probably have less of a claim to the term 'conservative' than do capitalist-conservatives (at least a capitalist society presently exists). Moreover, there's the quote from Chesterton - who I use as the Marx-figure of distributism - that "the business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected."

This is true but the context of said quote lies in your own post, that being the conservatism of the day. So it isn't necessarily what is that makes a mode of economics such as capitalism, conservative but what ought...

You'll remember Chesterton's other quote "Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists."

and while a fellow traveler, I've always been a Belloc man myself...
 

Beaudreaux

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I told my congressman, a Republican, just a few days ago, that he needed to watch as many YouTube videos as he possibly could of Barry Goldwater. This was in response to him telling me that he was a "traditional" conservative.

The Republican party needs an infusion of Goldwater conservatism (his latter years) and an exorcism of the "Religious Right."

My oldest son told me just today, that the current Republican leadership wants a smaller government. So small that it fits in your bedroom. And he's a Republican. A true traditional Republican.

These social issues are not what "Conservatism" is about. A Conservative doesn't care what you do in your private life, or who you do it with.

A true Conservative is FOR gay rights... or more accurately is FOR the same rights for EVERYONE.

A true Conservative is FOR free markets... or more accurately is FOR the betterment of all through the fruits of their own labor, even and especially labor. Not unions per say, because in a true free market there's no need for unions because management works with and not against its labor. All work for the betterment of the company and all benefit from it.

A true Conservative worships their God in Church and not in the halls of Congress. Separation of Church and State is critical to free enterprise. Just look at history, or look at what's going on in Egypt and other countries today.

A true Conservative... well you get the point by now. Or maybe not?

I miss the Republican Party I grew up in. I miss the times when my Congressman and my Senators were more concerned with preventing the government from screwing me than worrying about who's doing it to whom in the privacy of their bedroom.

The Tea Party had a chance to bring back true Conservatism. Then it was corrupted and is now a frigging joke.

And the Democrats are no better. They have moved to the polar opposite of what the Democratic Party was when Goldwater was in the Senate as well.

The term Progressive, as has been so eloquently described earlier in this thread, has nothing to do with liberalism, or as it has been co-opted into in some cases, socialism.

We need to look at what makes sense. What makes us all rise together. To each to the best of his/her abilities.

Governments role should be to provide opportunity (education, training, regulations to ensure a level playing field, etc.), not provide programs or regulations or taxes that take away the incentive to succeed.

I'm done for now. I could right a tome but no one would read it. And before anyone tells me that there's more to this than I've written, I know that. This is just Cliff's Notes version.
 

TheNextEra

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Conservatism is an empty concept, especially in the US. Basically it means revanchism against all modern progress, and a support for any policies that result in low wages, thus enriching the rich. Besides that, there is no there there. Conservatism is morally and intellectually bankrupt.

Society needs both Conservatism and liberalism to survive. This nation has prospered when it has applied both principles. You cannot have constant change in every little thing and you cannot be stagnant all the time.
 

Drake McHugh

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I told my congressman, a Republican, just a few days ago, that he needed to watch as many YouTube videos as he possibly could of Barry Goldwater. This was in response to him telling me that he was a "traditional" conservative.

The Republican party needs an infusion of Goldwater conservatism (his latter years) and an exorcism of the "Religious Right."

My oldest son told me just today, that the current Republican leadership wants a smaller government. So small that it fits in your bedroom. And he's a Republican. A true traditional Republican.

These social issues are not what "Conservatism" is about. A Conservative doesn't care what you do in your private life, or who you do it with.

A true Conservative is FOR gay rights... or more accurately is FOR the same rights for EVERYONE.

A true Conservative is FOR free markets... or more accurately is FOR the betterment of all through the fruits of their own labor, even and especially labor. Not unions per say, because in a true free market there's no need for unions because management works with and not against its labor. All work for the betterment of the company and all benefit from it.

A true Conservative worships their God in Church and not in the halls of Congress. Separation of Church and State is critical to free enterprise. Just look at history, or look at what's going on in Egypt and other countries today.

A true Conservative... well you get the point by now. Or maybe not?

I miss the Republican Party I grew up in. I miss the times when my Congressman and my Senators were more concerned with preventing the government from screwing me than worrying about who's doing it to whom in the privacy of their bedroom.

The Tea Party had a chance to bring back true Conservatism. Then it was corrupted and is now a frigging joke.

And the Democrats are no better. They have moved to the polar opposite of what the Democratic Party was when Goldwater was in the Senate as well.

The term Progressive, as has been so eloquently described earlier in this thread, has nothing to do with liberalism, or as it has been co-opted into in some cases, socialism.

We need to look at what makes sense. What makes us all rise together. To each to the best of his/her abilities.

Governments role should be to provide opportunity (education, training, regulations to ensure a level playing field, etc.), not provide programs or regulations or taxes that take away the incentive to succeed.

I'm done for now. I could right a tome but no one would read it. And before anyone tells me that there's more to this than I've written, I know that. This is just Cliff's Notes version.

Ok,I'm calling bullcrap. Romney nor Ryan emphasized social issues. AT ALL. It was the Obama campaign that constantly brought it up. When do you very hear McConnell,Boehner or any prominent conservative talking about same sex marriage,abortion or things like that? It is almost always the left.
 

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Ok,I'm calling bullcrap. Romney nor Ryan emphasized social issues. AT ALL. It was the Obama campaign that constantly brought it up. When do you very hear McConnell,Boehner or any prominent conservative talking about same sex marriage,abortion or things like that? It is almost always the left.

And I'm calling bullcrap on you

The post you responded to doesn't mention Romney or Ryan

And during the republican primaries, both of them spoke about social issues along with all the other candidates
 

head of joaquin

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Society needs both Conservatism and liberalism to survive. This nation has prospered when it has applied both principles. You cannot have constant change in every little thing and you cannot be stagnant all the time.

I'm quite happy with legislative action that addresses problems in a prudent and considerate and factual manner; indeed our democracy is structured to do that, since it's relatively hard to get any major legislation through the Senate without bipartisan support.

That said, I don't think conservatives have ever been right on any major issue -- from women's suffrage to worker's rights to integration to the Vietnam War to environmental protection. On each issue, it took a huge progressive majority to go forward as conservatives did their best to prevent progress. Reading back issues of the National Review is like reading a chronicle of stupidity, prejudice and demagoguery.

Where conservatives did prevail -- in the Cold War frenzy, the Bush vanity wars, the Patriot Act -- America was the worse off.

So while I'm not for major legislation without due consideration and debate, I fail to see what conservatives have ever added to the debate except poisoning our political rhetoric.
 

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Ok,I'm calling bullcrap. Romney nor Ryan emphasized social issues. AT ALL. It was the Obama campaign that constantly brought it up. When do you very hear McConnell,Boehner or any prominent conservative talking about same sex marriage,abortion or things like that? It is almost always the left.

Here ya go... In there own words... (granted, the Ryan clip is in response to a debate question) The Romney clip is Romney making abortion a major point in his campaign...




There are many other social issues that are at the forefront of the modern Republican party leadership's agenda.

Be honest with me and more importantly yourself, before calling bull crap on me, please.
 
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Beaudreaux

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And I'm calling bullcrap on you

The post you responded to doesn't mention Romney or Ryan

And during the republican primaries, both of them spoke about social issues along with all the other candidates

Thanks.

My original post was in reference to the OP and the what I thought was the subject of this thread.

I don't have a problem shining the light of truth and fact on any political position or political party. And that ruffles some feathers from time to time.
 

Beaudreaux

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I'm quite happy with legislative action that addresses problems in a prudent and considerate and factual manner; indeed our democracy is structured to do that, since it's relatively hard to get any major legislation through the Senate without bipartisan support.

That said, I don't think conservatives have ever been right on any major issue -- from women's suffrage to worker's rights to integration to the Vietnam War to environmental protection. On each issue, it took a huge progressive majority to go forward as conservatives did their best to prevent progress. Reading back issues of the National Review is like reading a chronicle of stupidity, prejudice and demagoguery.

Where conservatives did prevail -- in the Cold War frenzy, the Bush vanity wars, the Patriot Act -- America was the worse off.

So while I'm not for major legislation without due consideration and debate, I fail to see what conservatives have ever added to the debate except poisoning our political rhetoric.

I also agree that it takes a combined effort of all views to form and enact legislation that has both effectiveness and consideration.

However, there are some inaccuracies, or at the very least misapplication of "blame", in the rest of your post.

It was Kennedy and then Johnson that got us into Vietnam and escalated that war exponentially, respectively. Nixon was the one that got us out.

The Cold War was also started under the Truman Administration, and under his administration was one of the only two times that the Cold War turned HOT (Korea / the other was Vietnam under Kennedy).

There are other historically inaccurate assertions made in your post, but I understand how you or anyone else could fell or think the way you do, given the spin put on historical facts, as well as the current hawk mentality of many on the right.

I'm a veteran, and hate war. I'd go back in heartbeat to serve my country, even though I have also been wounded in combat (I have a pre-op appointment tomorrow as a matter of fact for my fifth knee surgery thanks to a mortar exploding too close to me). I would be completely committed up to and including sacrificing my own life in the service of my country if necessary. That may sound folksy or overly gung ho to some. It isn't. Just a fact.

Primarily what I would like to impart to you is this:

There is a huge difference between being a conservative and being a war hawk, just as there is a huge difference between being a progressive and being an appeasement coward.
 

head of joaquin

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I also agree that it takes a combined effort of all views to form and enact legislation that has both effectiveness and consideration.

However, there are some inaccuracies, or at the very least misapplication of "blame", in the rest of your post.

It was Kennedy and then Johnson that got us into Vietnam and escalated that war exponentially, respectively. Nixon was the one that got us out.

The Cold War was also started under the Truman Administration, and under his administration was one of the only two times that the Cold War turned HOT (Korea / the other was Vietnam under Kennedy).

There are other historically inaccurate assertions made in your post, but I understand how you or anyone else could fell or think the way you do, given the spin put on historical facts, as well as the current hawk mentality of many on the right.

I'm a veteran, and hate war. I'd go back in heartbeat to serve my country, even though I have also been wounded in combat (I have a pre-op appointment tomorrow as a matter of fact for my fifth knee surgery thanks to a mortar exploding too close to me). I would be completely committed up to and including sacrificing my own life in the service of my country if necessary. That may sound folksy or overly gung ho to some. It isn't. Just a fact.

Primarily what I would like to impart to you is this:

There is a huge difference between being a conservative and being a war hawk, just as there is a huge difference between being a progressive and being an appeasement coward.

We got into Vietnam for a lot of reasons, not the least of which Johnson's New Society was held up by conservatives in the Congress who required him to be a hawk on foreign policy even though he didn't want to. He didn't give a damn about Vietnam and was told it would over in a year or two. That doesn't absolve him of responsibility (and he took it by not running for reelection). But it shows that the situation was complex and once again involved conservative obstructionism.

But in any case, the fact remains that the opposition to Vietnam came exclusively from progressives and the support came from conservatives. There were no conservatives in the anti-war movement, and conservative demagogued the issue shameless. I remember their ugly rhetoric vividly.
 

Gaugingcatenate

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We got into Vietnam for a lot of reasons, not the least of which Johnson's New Society was held up by conservatives in the Congress who required him to be a hawk on foreign policy even though he didn't want to. He didn't give a damn about Vietnam and was told it would over in a year or two. That doesn't absolve him of responsibility (and he took it by not running for reelection). But it shows that the situation was complex and once again involved conservative obstructionism.

But in any case, the fact remains that the opposition to Vietnam came exclusively from progressives and the support came from conservatives. There were no conservatives in the anti-war movement, and conservative demagogued the issue shameless. I remember their ugly rhetoric vividly.

Those were not the Republican conservatives, those were the Southern Democrat conservatives...and there is quite a difference. The Eisenhower Administration is the one that got the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills rolling again in '57 and 60, which, in fact, LBJ worked hard to water down and which JFK voted against. Both the 64 and 65 Civil and Voting Rights Acts were voted by Republicans [ Liberal, Moderate and Conservative ] at the Rate of 80% in both houses on both vs 60+% by the LBJ directed dems, so lets get it straight and dismount off your rather high horse.

The Vietnam War was a result of many things, sure, but mainly it was in keeping with our pledge to the world that if you were free and wanted help fighting back communists to remain free, we had told the world we would help them [ Containment Policy and Truman Doctrine, later buttressed in the region with the Domino Theory under Eisenhower]. We stuck to that pledge, it was right ...and it was in our own interest, best of both worlds.

Absolve, LBJ? For Vietnam because of the GOP holding up the Great Society [didnt hold it up enough for my tastes]...?? What a joke, LBJ wanted us in there, Vietnam... recall the Gulf of Tonkin manufactured incident? All LBJ decision. Then the massive escalations having half a million American boys over there... a limited war, we had no plan to win, that is not how America should fight wars, but Vietnam, like North Korea before it, bordered China... creates a whole new set of problems... Fact of the matter was, we were in a struggle against what we had finally figured out was an almost blood lust for power by the communists. They were killing tens of millions of their own at the time. We were right to be in Vietnam, a valuable pawn in the global chess game of the time. We didn't win that battle [ much of the visual problem came from the leftist dissent at home ] but we won the Cold War, which was the greater of the prizes.

Ya better start running, yanno.
 

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The modern conservative party is a walking contradiction to itself.

I was raised by a traditional conservative. A dutch banker... and his father.. an entrepreneur, who learned from his father, all deeply religious. Everything I know about business I know from them. One of the many things drilled into my head was this... Take care of your people and your obligations first, if there's anything left, you can pay yourself something.

They taught me that the DOI meant something. That life is a right. If you hire someone for 40 hours a week, the least you can morally pay them is the minimum a person needs to live. Food, shelter, power, transport, clothing and savings. Pay them any less and you are stealing life from them.

I won't post beyond this as I don't believe this issue is up for debate. In all honesty, all attempts to refute this will be viewed in my humble opinion, as pathetic attempts to reconcile the christian right hypocrisy with justifications... a waste of space and time.

well, I think we learned the same sort of lessons, but with 2 very different upbringings.
I didn't have capitalists to learn from, I didn't have entrepreneurs to learn from.. I had lazy mentors, entitled mentors, mentors who didn't think twice about stealing the fruit of another mans labor to finance their life... I had ,well, modern progressive Democrats as mentors...
except for my grandpa... an accountant with a firm set of moral principles.. foremost among those principles was "mind your own business" ... he was old school conservative.
war was a waste of time, money, resources, and lives ( he never was happy about my career as a Marine).. and generally speaking, foreign wars were "none of our business".
he opposed WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and every other conflict I could ever remember him talking about ( HOJ's meme about there being no anti-war conservatives is simply wrong, like most of his arguments).... he did have a special interest in the Civil war though, he was an enthusiast of sorts.

as a business owner, i'm very much a "rising tide lifts all boats" sorta guy... and i find it to be my mission.. my sole job... to get that tide to rise... and i'm very good at it ( didn't know I was good until about 10 years ago)
I don't like the idea of tending to employee "needs", I'm much more comfortable about going beyond "need" into "want" territory.. it's fulfilling for me, and it makes employees happy to be rewarded above and beyond market value for a their labor...it's good business, and I don't end the day feeling like a schmuck that steals a mans labor for my own enrichment...I ask only for an honest days labor and I ask for employees to adopt the "rising tides" mentality while they work for us... if I get anything less, they are weeded out.
.
that sorta stuff used to be considered conservative.... now it's rather libertarian

oh yeah, I'm personally religious( unaffiliated)... so I would watch painting religious folks with such broad brush.
 
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