I interviewed Bill Honigman, who is the California State Coordinator of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). He said conservatives are restrictive and intolerant like porcupines. While he doesn't think the values of individual conservatives have failed, he feels the values of the conservative movement have failed. I have to disagree with him there. I feel that individual conservative values have manifest themselves in the conservative movement and individual conservatives need to take 'individual responsibility' for these failures.
Conservatives tend to, in the nicest use of the term, want to conserve what they’ve got. And so they are looking to hang on to, say their property, or their bit of family and what they perceive of as their family’s rights in a kind of identity of self that way. It’s a little too, as far as I’m concerned, restrictive, meaning they’re not willing to reach out to people outside of their circle. And to me that’s probably a fundamental difference.
In the concept of rounding up or circling the wagons and taking a little too much and being too guarded about themselves, and not being willing to share with their community. And that translates into things like not wanting to contribute to, say, things like education and the infrastructure, and the whole tax revolution that occurred in this country in the last 30 or 40 years. It’s all about people saying, “I’m tired of giving of myself. I don’t seem to be getting back in return.”
They just want to hang on to what they have. And instead of saying to build society will require an investment, and maybe we just need better caretakers of the investment instead of not giving money and our own resources.
I see them – the smaller tent kind of thing – restrictive, not reaching out, intolerant, even. So to me that means that they have to change their minds a little bit. Going into a more global type environment and world, where we are communicating lively with the Internet and cable and satellite. That kind of thing. They need to expand their consciousness of others, and be respectful and mindful of others, too.
Basically, I believe we have the same type of values. They like to talk about their values being more important. I think we all have the same types of values. We’d like to see our children do well, do better than we did in life, and have that kind of opportunity. We’d like to see other people do well, and have opportunities for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
EDWIN: My question is did conservative values fail?
Bill: The conservative values of the conservative movement have failed, but the values of individual conservatives themselves have not. In other words, I am not against someone who’s the self-described conservative, but when it’s put in the context of the conservative movement, which would, say, exclude others from their – you know, they think people who are not conservatives don’t have the same values, and that’s not true.
Some kind of furry creature that has guarded and walled-off their little area and has decided that has decided that they are not going to reach outside, and just are protecting themselves. Maybe a porcupine.