Apologize For My Conservatism? Fat Chance.

Written by Steve Pauwels on June 20, 2013

Similarly, I’ve heard Bill O’Reilly bemoan America’s voracious tax policy — yet first, grandly insist he’s copasetic with the drunken-sailor government’s absconding with fifty percent of his income; but not one farthing more! Seriously? So, demanding he be vouchsafed fifty-five percent of his earnings? Sixty percent? That would be what? Shameful?

Committed, walking-the-lifestyle Christians, cultural traditionalists and determined Constitutionalists  — i.e., right thinking folks — owe no hand-wringing apologies for their convictions. 

Must every decent person denouncing pop entertainment’s profusion of profanity and lewdness reflexively preface his objections with “Now, I’m no prude …” .

Legions of hard-working Americans kvetch about unacceptably burdensome taxes and smothering regulations — might they do so without, every time they broach the subject, grovelingly reciting, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for helping the poor…”. 

Knocking a policy that fattens an already corpulent and corrosive welfare state? That doesn’t necessarily out a person as a “racist”. Too often, however, the hemming-and-hawing of small-government/personal responsibility types gives the impression it does: I’m no bigot, but …; Lots of my friends are black! I work with an Hispanic — we get along muy bueno!

Enough.

It was talk-radio legend Bob Grant, I believe , who came to a point relatively late in his career where he indignantly foreswore ritual, I’m-not-a-racist hoop-jumping — y’know, vocally checking off all his non-racist bona fides — anytime he addressed matters that even indirectly impinged upon skin color or ethnicity. (My program director is black! I marched for Civil Rights back in the late ‘60’s! KKK? Ba-a-a-a-addd!)

There are times, I suppose, such clarifications are effective — but sensible folks who recur to them in every exuberant exchange indulge the rhetorical equivalent of staring embarrassedly at one’s shoes or squirming guiltily in one’s seat. The confident authority an assertion might hold shrivels. Hopes of persuasion are self-defeatingly undercut.   

Unintentionally, noble truth becomes misrepresented as untruth, nervous and red-faced.

Precisely what the other, rarely-apologizes-for-anything side is hoping for.

Image: Jacob August Riis; date: c. 1903; source: United States Library of Congress; author: J. E. Purdy, Boston; public domain

Topics: Conservatism, Taxes, Social Issues, Entertainment/Culture, Race

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Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.