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Friday, December 9, 2011

Exploring A Tension

Tradition plays an important part in my life; I suspect this is true for many people. I enjoy most traditional American holidays and I look forward to traditions my family of origin has, some of which are related to those holidays. And I like the silly traditions my wife and I have developed over our years together.

Since preserving tradition is one important element of conservatism, I'm beginning an exploration of my longheld resistance to that word. To those out there who share my resistance, I'd like to hear how you deal with the tension between these concepts. To those out there who identify with the word conservative, which tradition(s) have you willfully abandoned and how difficult was it to do so?

In the nearly 200 blog posts I've written, I estimate less than 5% have had anything even remotely political and I plan to keep it that way; I've been largely apolitical since 1972 and I usually find the public discourse on politics much too shrill. But as I reflected yesterday on this tension between my enjoyment of tradition and resistance to conservatism, I realized I needed help from others on the bell curve. I hope you'll share your thoughts. It's safer here than on talk radio.


1 comment:

  1. Good topic, Pat. By the way, it was a gas speaking with you today. My take on this subject is that there is "conservative" with small "c" and that's what Karen and I came up with after I read your blog aloud here in the kitchen tonight. Keeping a tradition alive has a strong component of emotional pleasure. I think Jung would say that we have a "complex" about traditions. Sorry, lecture mode. Anyway if one is an adherent of a political philosophy, that would be a conservative with a capital "C". Unlike preserving traditions that have an bundance of emotion, big "C" conservatism is about preserving the status quo from a defensive posture and the emotions are usually fearful or distressed. I can be either one or the other but I never have to both at the same time. So that's how it's possible to be a tradition loving conservative and still (mentally) hold one's nose whilst standing too close to Conservative.