Bill Kristol was Always a Democrat: Understanding the political spectrum that doesn’t change, only the relativity of a person within it

It came up a bunch this past week, and why recently I have been talking about the political spectrum more than the label of Republican or Democrat. For review, it has been my offering that the more intelligent and worldly a person is, the further along that political spectrum to the right that they are. For instance, I have known a lot of Democrats and went to many, many social events where there were lots of Democrats, and “arty” people and they think of themselves as smart academics. They can tell you all about the names of wines and what they should be paired with, they will talk about sail boats in Nantucket and tell you all about their second homes in Florida, but they aren’t very wise in matters of life. The more they learn however, the further to the right they might be said to be. And that is why there is all this business of some people swapping back and forth between Republican and Democrats, such as Bill Kristol going from the bastion of conservatives with his now bankrupt magazine to looking like a clone of Karl Marx as an anti-Trumper, anti-capitalist. Kristol never moved ideologically, but the party of Republicans under Trump’s White House leadership has moved further to the right leaving Kristol behind.

I haven’t listened much to WLW for many years as I lost respect for the audience they are trying to attract. I’m much, much more of a 55 KRC guy than someone who likes to hear hours and hours of sports broadcasting and middle of the road political commentary. But in my office, professionally, which is surrounded by lots of very intense machinery only WLW comes in on my radio. I don’t live stream it on the internet, I still use a broadcast radio that I’ve had for thirty years more for sentiment than practicality, but I like having it since its not dependent on a computer system, it only needs electric to receive a signal, so I let it play all hours of the day 7 days a week and is always there to give me news at the top and bottom of every hour. So I put up with WLW’s soft side because I want the news. It’s the same arrangement at my home, in my workshop/shooting range I have WLW on for the same time slot depending on where I am, I still get the news at the top and bottom of every hour and can track stories as they develop. So it didn’t go without my notice that they have a new slogan, “explained not shouted” which is meant to aim their programming at those further down the political spectrum where the not so smart people are, the Democrats. Because they think that is their future.

I’d say it’s a miscalculation on their part. The future is further to the right not the left of our political spectrum. Even though our public schools and colleges are clearly teaching socialism and have been for quite a long time, life experiences push people to the right. I was thinking of this very issue as I was speaking to Kathy Wyenandt at a recent event. She is listed as a Democrat currently because she lives near me in Liberty Township, Ohio and all the Republican seats are taken pretty much. She can easily dominate on the Democrat side because she is very smart and talented. As she was talking to me I kept thinking, its too bad the Republicans didn’t have her running against Sherrod Brown during the last election for the Senator from Ohio. Or why she wasn’t on the Cincinnati City Council running for Mayor of the City, because she could beat those people like a killer whale having a snack on a beach of baby seals, as a Republican. If she lived Hamilton County she could have her way with anybody because as a person she is pretty far down the political spectrum and would fit a nice spot somewhere prominent in the Trump administration’s Republican Party which is the trend of the country now that the news is fun and people are learning more about how things work. They aren’t moving to the left, they are going to the right and the center of the political spectrum is not where Bill Kristol always was, or Mitt Romney for that matter, or the current Bill Cunningham of WLW radio, its much further to the right.

If you’ve ever wondered how people who are Democrats and Republicans can hug and go out to dinner together its because in all honesty, they are most of the time at the same place on the political spectrum. They may call themselves by the “D” if they are in Hamilton County or an “R” if they are in Butler County depending on where that area’s political spectrum of educated voters are, but by personal belief, they are pretty close to agreeing on most things until someone like a Trump comes along and moves the bar in a particular direction that makes everyone feel uncomfortable. When I’m in those kinds of meetings I never meet anybody to the right of myself, everyone is always to the left, so I get used to being alone in that discussion. But that doesn’t make me a radical right winger, rather something that is often misplaced, I would say that the more that someone knows about the ways of the world, the further to the right that they will be on that spectrum. Some people are born into that by regional influence, but in general, the more educated you are as a person, the more life experience we can draw wisdom from, the more conservative you become.

A couple of people I admire a lot is Thomas Edison and his friend Teddy Roosevelt. Both men were conservatives who found themselves experimenting with progressivism around the 1912 period and its easy to see why they allowed themselves to get caught up in all the robber baron syndrome that appealed to the public at that time as Marxism was rushing into our country from Europe to influence all of civilized society. It was the equivalent to WLW announcing that they are “explaining, not shouting” the news, early American progressivism was rocking the Republican Party to its very core, and both Edison and Roosevelt were brilliant people who were not very good with money, so their value systems put them on the edge of the political spectrum at the time that leaned to the left on issues, but left them to the right on many others. However, if in their lifetimes they had mastered elements of personal wealth, they would likely not found themselves consumed with the temptations of progressivism, and would always had been committed to the Republican Party as it was defined by Abraham Lincoln.

The point of the matter is that while I say that Democrats are garbage and should be defeated everywhere that they reside, that is the old talk radio side of me who understands that points need to be made quickly so that people don’t change the dial over to some other program. And while I do believe that, the real answer is much deeper than just making that statement. I don’t like Democrats because I like intelligence and the beauty of wisdom that people further down the political spectrum exhibit, and I want that for the world honestly. But I am not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I understand many people have their own journey to make and that not all of them are as far along the political spectrum as I am. I have worked hard over the years reading one to two books every week for all of my adult life and learning everything I can along the way in a multitude of professional opportunities. I don’t have the problems of Roosevelt and Edison in having weak points in my own thoughts that keep me bound to a centrist position on that political spectrum. But most people I know are nowhere near as ambitious toward true wisdom as I might be. They enjoy primetime television shows, they like sports, and they are still learning about the ways of the universe, and they might still call themselves Democrats even though I can clearly see the budding flower of a grand Republican. Things are never quite what they appear, but what is clear if you know what to look for, is what they might become.

Rich Hoffman