A friend asked me about politics and said he was meeting another conservative friend and would return loaded for bear
By now I’ve had a lot of experience talking with people who have other opinions (gasp). These talks have not, for the most part, gone well. They all tend to unravel into each person talking over the other or into agreements to disagree. Nothing seems to get resolved.
I myself try to apply critical thinking to politicians, especially presidential ones. This means that I do research on them whether I like them or don’t. When I’ve finished I usually have a good idea of what they really stand for and who they really are, at least sufficient knowledge for me to support or reject them.
My criteria are:
Is this person out for power or for service?
Do they understand the importance of the Rule of Law?
Have they read and understood the Constitution and it’s time and context?
Do they understand justice and compassion?
There are more of course but these are a start.
If I don’t want to get into arguments about bullet lists, what do I want?
I want to say to people: Here these are some of the books I read and some of the people I spent time with, trying to figure things out. I had to absorb this knowledge to get to a place where I could place things in their proper perspective, identify the real players and understand their agendas. These are the tools you need to get real about things.
It took me thirty years to get to this point so don’t despair. I also don’t expect everyone to have these experiences – frankly – if you just read all of Shakespeare you could throw about 95% of this stuff out. In fact you’ll learn more about human nature than all of the other books combined.
Frederic von Hayak
John Galbraith (Older and younger)
Sun Tzu – Art of War
Musashi – A Book of Five Rings
Julius Ceasar – The conquest of Gaul
Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
William Schreiber – The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Bruce Catton – The Civil War
The Federalist Papers
The Anti-Federalist Papers
People Whose Work You Should Know About
Oliver Wendell Holmes
William O. Douglas
People and Organizations You Should Know About So You Can Run From them in Terror
Fred Koch – yes, their father and the founder of the John Birch Society
Peter G. Peterson
James M. Buchanan (not the president, the economist)
The Heritage Foundation
The Cato Institute
The Fellowship – Doug Coe
The Ku Klux Klan – doing quite well thank you very much
Jeff Sessions – remember him? He’s now US AG
A.L.E.C. – look it up
Rush Limbaugh (still)
Know your enemy. All war is a crime.