Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Heinlein's Tea Party

A fun article about Heinlein and the American Conservative movement.


  1. I always suspected you and defined "fun" differently. Now I know for sure. :)

  2. I'm sure there's SOME overlap somewhere in there. If you don't mind me asking, what did you think of it?

  3. I don't object to Nick's general hypothesis: that Rand is quite unreadable due to her ever-present soapbox, and that Heinlein is much less so. I've said as much myself, several times. I also concur that Heinlein was not a true conservative - a point I have *also* made again and again, because there are almost none in the spec fiction field. Libertarians and anarchists? Yes. A cultural conservative? Nowhere to be found.

    But the more I read of Nick's articles and such, the harder it becomes. He displays a basic misunderstanding of the Tea Party - and I daresay conservatism in general - that reads like it could have come out of Media Matters talking points. We're not all knuckle-dragging racists, any more than all liberals are drugged-out welfare queens.

    >>But the cultural reactionary planks of the Tea Party platform aren't the ones winning in the public square.

    A CNN poll from a few months ago (here: shows the majority of Americans are still against legalizing pot. When put to the will of the people in 2008, the people of California (California!) did not endorse the right of gay marriage. The right to bear arms - concealed or otherwise - has steadily advanced over the last decade. Another poll ( shows attitudes on abortion generally haven't moved much over the past few years.

    None of these issues are ones that I am hard over about (other than the right to bear arms) but Nick's thesis isn't born out by a simple five minute search of the facts.

    In short, no, I don't enjoy reading comments from someone who is not only disdainful of my beliefs in a way that is sneering in its condescension, but who has not even fully educated themselves to understand my position.

    I disagree with most leftist positions. I still respect the people that carry them (assuming they return the feeling) and am willing to carry on civilized debates, with a free exchange of ideas. Even when things get heated, I may insult the idea, but the not the person carrying it.

    Which is why I have diminishing use for Nick's brand of arrogant, patronizing mischaracterizations. He's free to be a dick. But I don't have to read him any more.

  4. Ah, sorry to have put you in that position then. I really do appreciate that you come in here and give your side of things, and that you always do so calmly and eloquently. You're a patient man.

    I admit, the main reason I put up the article was that I've always found it odd how much the Tea Party does seem to bandy about Rand without giving attention to the fact that she was neither religious nor populist, and Heinlein does seem like a better fit, but then again, I'm not exactly a conservative either (and not actually as well read in Heinlein as I probably ought to be).

    Thanks again for your input!

  5. Nothing to be sorry about - you didn't make me read anything. :)