Conservatives just want to be liked

Growing up and living in a blue state, it’s not easy being a conservative. Quite honestly, it’s hard to break out of the protective shell surrounding for those of us who don’t like to be strictly emotional when it comes to politics and the economy.

Harold Witkov has an article posted at American Thinker where he considers the occasional embarrassment of being a conservative. He thinks the issue is our preoccupation with being liked and American television programing. My emphasis added.

Politically speaking, I am a conservative whereas my wife is often on a different page.  When we got into the car, she more or less let me have it.  She told me how embarrassed she was that Rush Limbaugh’s picture and name kept popping up on the screen and that our technicians probably thought we were some kind of racists.

Of course I was quick to dispel her fears with, “They probably didn’t even notice,” and, “Why would you think that?”  The problem was, although I did not fess up to it, I had shared some of the same uneasy feelings that she did.

This caused me to do much reflection and I believe I now understand my uneasiness and perhaps the root problem of the entire conservative movement: America’s preoccupation with television and the human desire to be liked.

Let me explain. Conservatism is in trouble, not because liberalism is better for the nation, but because conservatism does not play well on the much watched television news, which is short on substance yet high on passive thinking imagery. Just as one picture is worth ten thousand words, a carefully narrated television image can be worth a million votes. Read more

So what can we do? First of all, I think I become a better advocate for conservatism when I stay informed on the issue and become comfortable with analogies and history. I’m not combative with my approach, and frequently find debaters – whether in person or online – change the subject or leave the conversation when I make my point well.

Of course I have a desire to be liked, but I’m not going to bend my personal beliefs just so people will say nice things about me behind my back.

On a macro scale, let’s see how well President Obama does getting other countries to like us. That was a big part of the last campaign; other countries don’t like us so we must be doing something totally wrong.

How far will we go – individually and as a country – to be liked?

Note: Have not had much time to blog this week, but will try to post during the next 36 hours or so – will be traveling Thursday through Sunday. – Steve

6 replies
  1. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    I don't think that "like" is the right verb. It may apply to individuals, but not so much to governments. Most "people" may "like Americans", but not necessarily the American government (policies), hence the disconnect that one may find traveling outside the US.

  2. Darlene
    Darlene says:

    There is a huge difference between working together and liking each other. There is a need for nations to work together. World peace, human rights and liberty to mention a few. And likewise, there are reasons not to work with nations who … ahem … want to kill Americans or annihilate Israel. While I would like nations to "like" us, or be willing to work with us, I do not want American's to become Obama's sacrificial lamb.

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Obambi and his lame need to be "loved" by the world notwithstanding, being a conservative is easy if you know how.

    Just never admit it, and play along. Then, playing a low key Devil's Advocate, ask a question, saying you "heard it on the radio or TV the other day." The question will be a leading question that will put the liberal on the defensive. Remember to look innocent and concerned about the quandary you have discovered. Then hit them with the next "problem." Start to look concerned here. They may get past the first volley, but inasmuch as liberalism is based on feelings and not facts, you can tear them up pretty effectively and look innocent at the same time.

    If you are up on your facts, you can really torture them, and still look like an ersatz liberal, keeping your low profile. Just casting doubt on the waters is enough. It is easy to make them question beliefs (talking points) that were handed out to them on the MSM broadcasts.

    With any luck, unlike that of Witkov, you can convert your formerly liberal wife like I did!

  4. skepticalcynic
    skepticalcynic says:

    Shoot, at family gatherings I get it from BOTH sides. The conservatives hate me because I call them on their "we want less government" bull, and the hideous liberals hate me because they can shove global warming where the sun don't shine.

    PEOPLE lie. Both sides. And they will NEVER change a political stance NO MATTER how much evidence is presented contradicting what they believe. A Clinton robot will NEVER given in, and a Reagan robot will always think he "can't remember"

    Thats why an honest man or woman will NEVER be able to get elected to high office. People don't WANT the truth. They want what they WANT TO BELIEVE.

  5. Martha
    Martha says:

    I could not agree more. My Mother and my Daughter both voted for Obama, and it has gotten to the point that politics cannot even be mentioned between us without a shutdown. It is particularly upsetting because my daughter and I are very close and can talk about anything in the world, but politics is strictly taboo! Her values are 100% conservative, and she doesn't even know it! Drives me crazy!

    To bridge this gap, I wrote a column and sent it to I wanted to write in a way that would sound as neutral as possible (so hard for me), that would be conversational rather than confrontational, that my daughter might even be able to read all the way through. If it gives her second thoughts, my success is complete! actually posted it! The first story was posted today at under Opinion: Lunch with Saint Betty (my Mom). I hope you will take a peek and let me know what you think!

  6. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    After a brief read, I come with an impression that what we consevatives need to do is not feel like we are the odd person in the crowd but rather have no fear in being able to express in a clear thinking manner our principles and positions.

Comments are closed.