Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Real Litmus Test

Movement Conservatives have trotted out a wonkish list of hurdles which they insist would-be Republican candidates clear before they are exempted from the label of Republican-In-Name-Only (RINO).  As a column at today’s American Thinker by Pedro Primavera, They Are All RINOs, observes, it’s probably a good idea to follow the advice of Stephen Green on his Big Government posting, The Political Landscape: The Slobs Versus the Snobs, where he says, “Kick the bastards out, all of them.  We certainly couldn’t do any worse.”

I would suggest that American Conservatives apply a litmus test to themselves and the citizens around them, set aside the Bastards of the Beltway.  Here are a few hurdles which any good American should be able to clear:

  • Do you recognize that the Constitution, as strictly constructed and amended, is 1) the supreme law of the land, or 2) a “living document”, subject to interpretation through the filter of contemporary cultural values?
  • Whether or not you believe in a Higher Power, do you think 1) people who do are intellectually fit and holding a right to their belief, or 2) superstitious fools whose beliefs are open to ridicule and suppression?
  • Do you think that 1) Budweiser, NASCAR, and Wal-Mart are respectable American products, or 2) that a person must exclusively quaff certain vintage wines, know who won last year’s Gran Prix, and shop at Nordstrom to be a respectable sophisticate?
  • Do you recognize 1) that the USA and American culture has done more good for more people in the history of the human race than all other countries and cultures combined, or 2) do you think (as does the President) that there is no such thing as American exceptionalism?
  • Do you think common sense and life experience are equal (if not superior) to intellect and higher education?

I’m sure you could add to this list or develop your own along similar lines, but I think you get the idea.  My urging to the reader is to take such dichotomies to heart and apply them to themselves and those around them critically, speaking out to those who don’t clear the hurdles not as Bad Americans, but as Bad-at-Being Americans.  Until we quit tolerating defects of the American character, we are sustaining it.