At the heart of any political ideology is disagreement.
This disagreement can come in the form of debate with other ideologies or debate within an ideology. Whether it comes from without or within, a strong movement has the necessary mechanisms in place to deal with disagreement constructively. As luck would have it, conservatives -- true conservatives -- have a common willingness to discuss their differences with one another using gentility and respect. In most cases, ideological differences with other belief systems, is treated with the same respect and gentility. There are always exceptions, of course; but I like to think at US Conservative Politics & Perspectives, a dialogue of disagreement can be civil and respectful.
In this week's Friday's Guest column, About.com Guest Commentator Jack Kerwick offers a dissenting opinion to a blog post I wrote earlier this week. Kerwick has spoken before of the necessity for constructive discourse when it comes to disagreements of ideology, and while I maintain my position, I can certainly appreciate his perspective.
From the article:
Earlier this week, ten-term Republican Texas Congressman Ron Paul formally withdrew from his party’s presidential primary race. In commenting on the event, About.com Guide Justin Quinn indicated ambivalence. On the one hand, Justin affirms what he perceives to be Paul’s “conservative” bona fides, and it is in no uncertain terms that he expresses his admiration and respect for him. On the other hand, however, Justin admits to feeling “duped” by Paul’s parting words which, he believes, were “disquieting.” It is the following remark of Paul’s that Justin likens to “sour grapes”:
“We don’t have to live in the kind of America the two major parties have in store for us.”
Paul’s diligent refusal to endorse “presumptive” Republican nominee John McCain, coupled with his (so far modest) efforts to legitimize Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr’s candidacy, are facts that Justin no doubt thinks further underscores the aptness of his “sour grapes” metaphor.
Justin’s reading of Paul is not implausible, and he defends it with a graciousness of which our public political discourse is sorely in need. Be that as it may, and, hopefully, with the same generosity of spirit that he himself unfailingly exhibits, I must take issue with Justin’s analysis.
Also by Jack Kerwick: