The last political testament
Both Professor Emeritus Reverend Olson and I are lifetime conservatives in the tradition of its founder, Edmund Burke, for we have always had a deep respect for tradition. What that meant for us is that we had a deep respect for the continuity of past, present, and future, that our world does not belong just to the present generation, the necessity of passing our basic values and traditions on to our children, the necessity not to change when change was not necessary, and if change was necessary, it was always best to support gradual change rather than revolutionary change.
We also agreed that our faith always came first, our basic principles came next, our love of country came next, and our support for our particular party was a matter of reason and not a matter of faith. Because of these principles, we could always enjoy our political discussions.
We also agreed that political parties are not necessary evils but the way our political system works best. But it also works best when politics is fun, when it is based on a respect for one’s political opponents, and a willingness to compromise, for that is the only way a democracy can really function.
Now Pastor Olson and I also believe that recently the Republican Party has lost its way and that the best way for him to get his party back is to get rid of that stupid oath called the Grover Norquist pledge. Can anyone here believe that General and President Dwight Eisenhower would have signed a pledge to a lobbyist? In fact, I would have loved to have heard the blunt words that he was known for, if a Washington lobbyist had dared to ask him such a thing.
Now there are some people who confuse religion and politics, and we both know from experience that for those who make a religion out of their party views, there is no sense even in talking politics with them because they can’t really handle it. Now we all know people like that.
One last comment that I would like to add is that the older one becomes, it is usually more difficult to accept a new political world view, situation, or reality, especially if they contradict with one’s long-held beliefs or values. At the end of World War I, when Germany suddenly got rid of its Emperor and became a democratic republic, this was something that was very difficult for many believers in constitutional monarchy to accept, for they remained monarchists at heart.
When two of the friends of Otto Hintze asked him to help them establish a party that accepted both a republic and a democracy but that would be force for moderate principles and change rather than revolutionary change, he replied to them in this way. Basically, he said, because of my health conditions, I can’t really be of much help to you. But more than that, he added, “One doesn’t change one’s gods overnight!”