A lifelong conservative questions his hatred of hippies
Via Glenn Greenwald, conservative and National Review contributor Rod Dreher’s commentary on NPR is a must-hear (oral essay) on his disillusionment under the Bush Administration. Regarding Dave’s hippie-bashing bashing lately, this part is especially relevant:
As I sat in my office last night watching President Bush deliver his big speech, I seethed over the waste, the folly, the stupidity of this war.
I had a heretical thought for a conservative — that I have got to teach my kids that they must never, ever take Presidents and Generals at their word — that their government will send them to kill and die for noble-sounding rot — that they have to question authority.
On the walk to the parking garage, it hit me. Hadn’t the hippies tried to tell my generation that? Why had we scorned them so blithely?
The thing that always astonishes me about what Dave aptly calls GOP “lizard-brain” hippie-bashing is the positions it leads them to take. Hippies don’t like nuclear power? Nuclear power must be the solution to global warming! Never mind that it’s the iconic example of big government and corporate welfare — things conservatives were against, last I checked.
Dreher’s example is even more tragic, of course: Because hippies were against the war in Iraq, Dreher disregarded even other conservatives who warned against it.
I think greens in general start from a more skeptical place when it comes to government and business, but the lesson is clear for us too. Truth doesn’t lie in the “center”, it lies in facts, evidence, and reasoned (though perhaps not always polite!) debate.