I have been called many things, including being an extremist of the right side … and a… (Gasp!!) Republican…
And this is in my own house, mind you. Where my dear wife is a descendent of a long line of liberal democrats. I think by now more through tradition than conviction.
Actually, I have been a registered independent for some 40 years who has actually voted on both sides of the aisle. Yes, I know this excludes me from primary voting, but it allows me to look and listen. To actually listen to what is being said and look at what has been done, or not. My swaying is encouraged by the latter, not the former.
I am a conservative who is willing to talk, dialogue and to listen. As long as the other part is also willing to do the same. Now, I am not saying my mind will change easily, but if the arguments are coherent, I will listen.
It is easy to lump me, along with many other Cubans into the “reactionary right” bag without giving any of the group a chance to be heard. "Oh Yeah!! You are Cuban, therefore you are a far right advocate". My leanings to the right-of-center are the result of, yes, my own and my family’s experiences in Cuba after the “Coming Of Castro” but, more importantly, they are the result of talking to many people as well as of observing firsthand the actual generational results of unchecked left oriented liberal governments all over the world. 50 countries visited and worked in over a 20 year span; from the highest levels to the poorer levels. It has been a long trek.
As a general rule, the higher the education level of a country’s citizenry (at all levels, not just the upper 25%) the less one of these governments has a chance to succeed. Also, there tend to be more job opportunities for the citizens, therefore there is less of an opportunity for the usual harangue the populist leaders’ use as a platform: “Take from ‘them’ so you can have”. Those privileged countries where there is respect for the institutions of the republic will be better off and more sustainable. The countries where the following of individual(s) becomes the norm, will suffer greatly, economically, socially and emotionally.
Populism, whether from the right or the left, tends to fall into the latter group. By definition, there is a “popular” leader who will spouse “populist” (of the people) ideas, at the expense of the wellbeing and the future of the republic. The terms Right and Left are also becoming a little overused and abused by anyone who wishes to have five minutes of fame.
In the political world terms and symbols are bandied about and most people follow them without bothering to dig a little and understand what they actually mean or stand (stood) for. Witness the (in)famous Che t-shirt. Those who wear it today have no idea the man was a blood thirsty criminal who happened to also be an avowed racist and bigot. It’s trendy, that is enough for them.
It is high time to understand that being a republican (as in “Republic”, not party) and standing for the institutions that guarantee its evolution (not “revolution”) and its adapting to and adopting changes with order and certainty is much more important than simply espousing liberal, conservative or populist stock sayings which, very often, are repetitive and meaningless.
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