Rescuing conservatism from the uglies

Rescuing conservatism from the uglies

Well it looks like Jason Kenney is going to win that one. I remember interviewing him as part of a group of young MPs back in the 1990s. I remember he looked a lot older than his age already, and I remember wondering if his soul wasn’t permanently middle-aged. Which is neither here nor there.

Point is, he’s been at it an awful long time and he works extremely hard. So I guess he was due for a little bit of Jason Time.  

I don’t have a dog in the Alberta fight. I like the province enough but I do think focusing so much on oil-industry jobs and economic growth is going to hurt it a lot ten years down the road. I know there’s more to Alberta than oil. I just wish us outsiders heard about that more.  

But! Democracy being what it is, you have to listen to what the people say. And right now, the people say “Jason” with more than a few voices in the back shouting ugly stuff.  

You know what I mean. The people in yellow vests who see UN conspiracies in a smile extended to a refugee family. The anti-gay crowd. The men who rail against feminist conspiracies and make themselves into such losers with their fevered talk that it becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. People who fear “globalism” and who knows what-all.  

The uglies, I call them. The people who vote conservative and have not a sweet clue in the world what conservatism actually stands for (hint: it’s not god-guns-gays). Sure, yes, of course. It’s a free county and provided they don’t advocate violence they have the right to say whatever they want and spell it all wrong while they’re at it. They also get to vote, and their ballot counts as much as anyone else’s.  

But as someone who used to call herself conservative and who still has a lot of sympathy for the movement’s intellectual roots, I have a bad case of hives. I explained nearly two years ago that there was no way I could be anywhere near those parties anymore. It hasn’t gotten better since.  

Now this is Kenney’s problem. He’s pretty out there on the social-religious front, but as far as I know he himself is not an ugly. Except now that he’s benefited from their movement, he sort of is one, too. Like Andrew Scheer is going to be this fall if he dethrones Justin Trudeau.  

A few weeks back I had a suggestion for Scheer on how to deal with extremists. I’m going to leave it here in case Jason Kenney is interested is my idea for wrestling conservatism away from the uglies. 

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