1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Long Winding Trail
Herman King  
July 21, 2010

I was once asked to define the difference between a conservative and a liberal.  I took the easy way out and replied it is easiest by comparing votes on different issues. When I was actively interested in politics, I knew from their past voting records how every senator (and some members of the House) would vote on future issues.  But this did not resolve the philosophical difference. Just what is the difference between liberalism and conservatism? I have given a lot (well, some) thought to that question. They think differently. Liberals are essentially intellectuals. I don't mean they are smarter. They live by ideas. Conservatives go more by experience. If liberals believe their idea is right, they will continue pushing it come hell or high water. Conservatives are more restrained, they believe in gradual change, people should have time to adjust to change instead of having it rammed down their throats all of a sudden.  I personally don't believe in restricting one's thoughts and action because of an "ism."  I don't believe that one size fits all.  Sometimes we should go slow, sometimes push straight ahead. Change for its own sake is dubious. So is stone-walling against change.  Let's tackle the problem with whatever ism is suitable. I no longer call myself conservative, certainly not liberal. I like libertarianism but it's all over the spectrum. Libertarians don't seem to have any moral or intellectual compass.  I guess independent is a good enough label. Throw away straight jackets, especially abstract ones which shackle the mind just as physical ones shackle the body. A free mind is just as important, or more so, as a free body.