I like to debate with myself what would I do if I had been born in a different time.
For instance, who would I vote for in past elections?
Would I be a Republican in 1940? Would I be a Whig in 1840?
Is my conservatism just a belief in a certain set of ideas or is it a tendency to like the status quo of my time?
I am reading The Plot against America and it deals specifically with this kind of problem. I mean, I’d have been completely against a lot of the social policies of FDR. But I am totally against isolationism that was prevalent in the Republican Party. So what would I had chosen?
I think the current division in American politics is much less problematic than before. I am mostly a economic conservative, and even though I am in the middle on social issues, I think the Democrats take the liberal stance way too far. More than Republicans do on the other side.
But I guess the real differentiator is foreign policy. I could never vote for someone who doesn’t understand how violence works. That is internally but most importantly externally. It should be a pre-req for any candidate to understand how easily a country can be destroyed. All one needs to do is to look at the recent history of 2WW.
People who don’t understand how close the whole thing was should stay out of politics. Even more importantly, people need to understand the absurdity of what happened after it. I would bet that 99.9% of people in the world have no idea that the 3WW started right after the second when the Russians violated the Potsdam Agreement.
This should be the most important lesson of both great wars: that the most gruesome and murderous war in history was followed by another war of choice (against previous allies) by the country that arguably suffered the most after both wars, the Soviet Union.
So my conclusion (and hope) is that I’d vote for the party who best understands human violence.