Over the past few years, as I have followed politics more and more closely, a couple of things have stood out to me about the nature of the debate. First, as far as I can tell, many people never bother to actually understand most others’ positions. As I listen to both sides argue in various forums–private debates among friends, online, public figures in public media outlets–I consistently get the sense that people argue mainly to hear themselves argue. Debates quickly devolve into repetitions of the same talking points, and nobody is really listening to each other. And, frustratingly, each side’s talking points are based on a different set of premises, but we continue to try to yell at each other about our different conclusions when the premises are where the disagreement lies. Most of us can agree that 2 + 2 = 4, certainly, but if I’m adding 3 and 6 when you think I’m adding 2 and 5, and vice versa, we each reasonably think that the other is an idiot for coming to a different conclusion. And we tell each other so, and go on with our lives, comfortable in the knowledge that everyone in the world is wrong but ourselves.

Secondly, I’ve found that both conservatives and liberals are generally patriotic, selfless, thoughtful, and logical. Both camps—despite what each says about the other—want what’s best for us all, including (and specifically), a better life for the poor. And I mean it when I say both can think logically and rationally, though some individuals on either side may demonstrate this skill better than others.

My desire for this blog is twofold. First, I want to do my part to dispel various myths about conservatives. I will build a case for conservatism from the ground up, from first principles, starting with those premises we all like to ignore. I want to demonstrate the logic of the Basic Conservative position.

A second goal, though related, is reflected in my tagline. I want to push the debate in a more rational direction, away from the yelling and name calling, away from the false assumptions that each side makes about the other. I want this to be a forum for thoughtful disagreement.

All arguments, all points of view are welcome, as long as you are rational. I reserve the right to remove or hilariously edit any comments that grossly overstep the bounds of civility. Beyond that, I simply hope that everyone who comes here, myself included, will always go away with a deeper understanding of the other side’s point of view than when they came.