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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Convincing Conservative

How does a person know when they've crossed the line from being open-minded to being overly suggestible?

I found myself asking this question a lot reading the trenchant and hilarious essays from Tom Wolfe's 2000 collection called  "Hooking Up". When scribbling "yeah!" in the margins, nodding in agreement, or laughing at the liberal nincompoops Wolfe loves to skewer, I was initially pleased by my willingness to be persuaded by his conservatism.

But what about the depth of my espoused beliefs? As Wolfe's positions began loosening the hold of those beliefs, my laughter felt a bit hollow. Any of this sound familiar? It wasn't real hard to push back at some of Wolfe's ideas but I'll pass on any invitation to debate. Especially after reading his scathing piece called "My Three Stooges", detailing a public spat he had with John Updike, Norman Mailer and John Irving. Based on the roasting he gives those three gifted writers, this secular humanist left-of-liberal blogger with the mushy opinions prefers to remain permanently anonymous.           

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