Thursday, April 9, 2009

Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

I read that blurb on dkos a while back. What bothers me about it is that some people may think that it’s a profound (yet snarky) description of Conservatives. Um, no.

#1. I get it. I don’t agree, but I do see and understand the implications that elected officials are assumed to be elected to build and do. They are expected to perform and make things better. And the implication is that Conservatives don’t like the government, so they would not want to use government for those purposes. Got it.

But here are some things to consider: HAMMERS can be dangerous! Would you give one to a 3 year old? Heck I wouldn’t give one to some adults that I know; at least not to work on MY house. They’d do more damage than if they had done nothing at all. Therefore, hammers should be used wisely. They are precision tools that need to be used cautiously, aka conservatively. You don't just go around swinging more and more hammers thinking the more you swing the more you'll fix!

Also, there are many different types of hammers. It takes some expertise to be able to know which one is best for the task at hand. It also takes some insight into the 2nd and third order effects of swinging the hammer; i.e. you don’t swing as hard when in a 100 year old house with fragile plaster walls. Yes hammers are useful, but they can also do damage, But they are not evil.

Likewise, the government and legislation can also be dangerous. So they should be used wisely. Legislation should normally be a precision tool that needs to be used cautiously. Care needs to be taken about the 2nd and 3rd order effects of proposed legislation.

But Government, if done properly, wisely, cautiously, dare I say it: conservatively, is not (necessarily in and of itself) evil.

But I could be wrong, I often am.


  1. Amen, you are not wrong. Using a 20 pound sledgehammer to thump in a wire brad is quick and easy, but tends to leave marks on the woodwork.

  2. I love it when their own quips prove our points for us.

    Love that :)