Viewpoint

Wikipedia says I'm a 'conservative.' I need to get that changed

Too many conservatives have explained away Donald Trump for too long.
Too many conservatives have explained away Donald Trump for too long. AP

I’ve just launched my first project of the summer: Changing who Wikipedia says I am.

“Keith Larson is an American radio host and conservative political commentator,” it says.

That “conservative” label has now got to go.

I’ve never been big on labels. They exist so we don’t have to try to understand something ourselves. We know if we like it just from the label. That’s fine for soup cans.

Our American lives are more complex than soup. Politicians, pundits, and press of all kinds like us packaged that way, though, neatly divided between “us" and "them.” Makes manipulation so much easier.

My political beliefs always leaned toward small government, local control, taking by force as little money from people as possible (often referred to as “taxes”), having a strong military to defend against enemies and a strong justice system to defend against criminals; with people otherwise able to live as they please. Just so they weren’t stepping on other people’s living as they please.

And I believe in a Creator who endowed me with life, and a liberty that allows me to worship Him – or not. As our founders worshiped – or did not.

That’s simplified, but it’s what “conservative” has meant to me. Wrapped in prudence and decency, which writers from Edmund Burke to George Will have called its central virtues.

There have been glaring holes in the gown of conservatism over the years, but the Trump Era has made it unwearable.

He has outspent Obama, continued costly and deadly deployments, threatened federal authority over states and cities, started trade wars with adversaries and allies, and attacked the Justice Department and FBI in ways Nixon never dreamed.

There has been a tax cut, Supreme Court pick, and talking-up God. He knows how to pander.

Then there’s Stormy. Not merely the affair but the payoff. Not merely the payoff but the lying. And so many other women and lies.

This president has a habit of lying, and being a misogynistic slime ball and just plain toad. There is nothing prudent or decent about the man.

The best restaurant managers and chefs know there are things they cannot walk past in a kitchen without calling them out NOW. If they ignore a glaring food safety or sanitation issue, they’re making it clear that level of safety or sanitation is part of their brand.

Too many people of the conservative brand have explained away Real Donald Trump for too long. I can’t walk past him bearing the conservative brand and let it be mine.

I’m told, “Small ‘l’ libertarian” describes me. Probably has for a while. It’s a mouthful, though. I’ve never been able to go “Capital ‘L’” because they have their whack jobs, too. A Libertarian candidate for mayor of Charlotte once claimed the city’s problems were caused by the Curse of Ramses brought when the Egyptian Pharaoh’s exhibit came to town in 1988.

Despite their local wackos, I’ve never known Libertarians to suggest an American should maybe get out of the country for not standing during a song, as the Darling of the Conservative Political Action Conference and conservative radio and TV did recently.

If that’s conservative, I’ll take the Ramses guy.

Charlotte Observer contributor Keith Larson can be heard on TheLarsonPage.com
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