I suspect that many conservatives who write about politics lead two lives, as I do. One life is the life of intellectual engagement. The other life is the business of life itself: marrying, raising children, working, paying bills, taking the car in for service, buying groceries, and the thousand other things that make the years seem to roll by so quickly.
I suspect that I’m a typical conservative in that my mundane life isn’t politicized; for example:
I don’t choose the companies that I patronize because they support or oppose divestiture of Israeli bonds or oil-company stocks, unisex bathrooms, “green” energy, or any of the other causes du jour. I choose the companies I patronize because they deliver good value for the money I spend or invest there.
I certainly don’t patronize a grocery chain because of its owners’ politics. Why would I waste money at Whole Foods just because its founder, John Mackey, is supposed to be some kind of libertarian?
I didn’t send my children to private schools (of the right kind) so that they could avoid the left-wing indoctrination that prevailed in the public schools where they grew up.
I listen to music and read books composed, performed, or written by persons whose left-wing views are widely known and often evident in their works. Though I won’t tolerate outright preachiness (shut up and sing), I enjoy that which is good on its own merits and disregard the politics of those who create or present it.
I watch most of the shows presented by PBS on Masterpiece, despite the subsidies it receives directly and indirectly from the federal government. Again, it’s a matter of quality over politics. For the same reason I eschew bombastic “conservatives” like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh, whose shtick is as boring to me as that of any left-wing commentator.
I have absolutely no interest in the political leanings of the people I meet, and recoil when they insist on exposing their leanings (as leftists are wont to do). I take people as they come; that is, I evaluate them on the basis of their demonstrated competence, honesty, reliability, sense of humor, and likeability.
Most importantly, my marriage remains strong and happy despite the disparity between my wife’s political views and mine.
In daily life, then, my conservatism reveals itself as non-ideological and pragmatic. Non-ideological because conservatism isn’t an ideology, it’s a disposition. Pragmatic because the conservative disposition prefers the demonstrated value of a person or thing to the symbols of virtue or “correctness” which may attach to that person or thing.
More about Conservative Governance
The Authoritarianism of Modern Liberalism, and the Conservative Antidote
Economically Liberal, Socially Conservative
The Internet-Media-Academic Complex vs. Real Life
If Men Were Angels
Death of a Nation
Libertarianism, Conservatism, and Political Correctness