An espistle on the true character of Conservatives, to an old friend rediscovered…

My Dearest SK,

Am in receipt of your missive of July 11, and am surely blessed to have reacquired your friendship after these many years. We are especially glad to hear that things are going so well for you in the Carolinas, and we anticipate calling on you there perhaps in late August or early September. Also, I’m grateful for your inclusion of the entertaining tract on Liberals vs. Conservatives and the Historical Development of Beer. As you are doubtless aware, I take all manner of Spirits very seriously, as do all True Patriots.

Sadly, I find myself in your debt, as my initial response was intemperate and lacking in all grace and manners. As enjoyable as the essay was, I nonetheless found myself drawn into the cynical, simplistic dichotomy that our leaders have lately insinuated into our politics for their own material gain, and in the process ruined the humor for myself and besmirched the honor of mine own house. Your breeding and intelligence far surpass what my letter credited, and for that I must humbly beg your forgiveness.

My “snarkiness,” if I might borrow a term lately in fashion with our Intellectuals here, was aimed not at real Conservatives (a hardy, honest cohort for whom I harbor only the greatest respect), but at the unholy coalition of Country Club privilege, which has never worked an honest day in its collective life, and the neo-Puritan Congregationalists (a legion capable of far greater feeling than thinking) who have formed what the Country Clubbers assure the rabble is Common Cause and stolen the name for themselves. As I have said to our mutual friend JG any number of times, the Neo-Conservatives are many things, but they are most assuredly not conservative in any way that my father or yours would recognize. Upon further reflection, it seems clear enough to me that you are most assuredly of the Real variety.

To wit:

  1. As long as you aren’t hurting anybody else, a Real Conservative would say it’s none of anybody’s business what you do – especially the Government’s. However, the Neo-Cons are the nosy, petty neighbor lady next door, obsessively concerned with making sure you live your private life like her preacher says she ought to. What curious reading of the 1st Amendment has led these simple souls to conclude that all Americans are endowed with the inalienable right to worship Jaheeeezus exactly as they do?
  2. Real conservatives are inherently given to Prudence and Responsibilty in the conduct of their fiscal affairs, whereas our Neo-Conservative leaders overspend with an abandon that would make Ted Kennedy blush like a schoolgirl.
  3. Real Conservatives look to their own affairs in their relations with other Nations. As evidenced by our present, and apparently interminable adventures in Araby, it’s clear that Neo-Conservatives believe in an eye for an eye, save that it doesn’t really matter whose eye is plucked out. Reasonable men will not quarrel on the point that the Saddam is an evil man, and in all our travels we have encountered no inhumanity, degradation, or torture that he has not earned. But tell me honestly, is there any wisdom in the decision to invade Iraq instead of North Korea, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or a half-dozen other troublesome kingdoms around the globe whose crimes have borne directly on the conduct of cowardly violence against innocents that is now popularly styled as “Terror”?
  4. Real Conservatives tend to believe that in the authoring of our beloved and much-aggrieved Constitutiton, Messrs. Jefferson, Mason, and Madison more or less said what they meant, and thus accord a good deal more respect to the 10th than most. What would such an authentic Conservative make of those raising a Federal question against, of all things, Marriage? For my part, I’m still examining our Republic’s formative writings for some explanation as to why any Governmental authority should be entrusted with the license and definition of that Sacred Institution, which to my way of thinking is a matter best left to the Citizens involved and whatever Deity(ies) they worship. If a man wants to invite his friends, hire a minstrel, and set forth a dessert reception, then stand up in his back yard and marry a tree, it’s none of my business or your business, and it’s damned sure none of the Republican Representative from Bumfuck’s business.

I’m sure that after contemplation of these issues and conditions you will understand why thinking men such as us might be vexed into boorish behavior from time to time. This is offered not as an excuse for my outburst, but as a mere explanation, a distinction which is no doubt evident to a Gentleman such as yourself.

We will look forward to seeing you in a couple months, and my wife is in great anticipation of learning more about this new carriage you have procured for your wife. I fear that soon she, too, will require a “Cadillac” for her periodic tours of the estate. Also, you should have your hands inform the local vermin that I shall arrive with my small Terrier, who is to their kind as an army of avenging angels will be to the infidels on the fields of Megiddo….

I remain your humble servant,

Samuel Smith

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