Letter: Asheville’s progressive addiction is growing old

Graphic by Lori Deaton

As the ever-interesting potentials of a new year begin, it might be a good time to rethink habituation as a functional approach to politics. Nowhere is this soul train to misery more evident than among Asheville’s progressives.

Mr. Webster offers clarity through his definition of liberalism: “Willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas.” Progressives aren’t liberal anymore — they simply want their way.

Wanting what we want, when, where and how we want it, flags addiction. That affliction, regardless of what one is addicted to, comes packaged with three partners — denial, anger and depression. Today’s progressive movement is inconveniently mired in all three.

Regrettably, it’s not possible to get to good places through bad means. As the world grows crazier and more dangerous, habit will, of necessity, give way to a more authentic version of liberalism open to new or different thinking.

Don’t be afraid, Asheville. In contrast to left-leaning propaganda, your conservative opposition is rarely dull, ignorant, indifferent or rich. As with all political movements, there are notable exceptions, but most right-thinking folks operate out of the root word of conservativism: Conserve [v. kuh n-surv] to use or manage wisely; preserve; save.

It’s revealing that Asheville’s progressive community literally cringes at diversity of thought exposures found in conservative thinking. Don’t believe it? Ask the diversity-loving administrators at UNC Asheville and A-B Tech how many conservative faculty members they have. Ask yourself why a diversity-loving city like ours would have a 7-0 locked-in blue City Council. Finally, when’s the last time you heard of a local progressive political group suggesting a debate between opposing sides? This “good guys/bad guys” approach to politics is not remotely up the challenges of a 21st century world.

Contrary to the two-headed coin most mainstream outlets use to secure the liberal view, a simple penny reveals there are always two sides. Anyone believing that only their angle of view matters is naïve and dangerous.

It’s easy to see why conservatism is not the winner in today’s political popularity contest. In contrast to the left’s “any way you like it” seductions promising the downhill run, conservatism is hard. It commands the energy, courage and perseverance of an uphill climb. We get it that most things in life that are good are also hard.

Open-minded versus addicted progressives still receptive to new ideas might consider a simple truism. Mental masturbation has as much productive connection to reason as coyotes have to newborn winter calves. Culturists who get that distinction are needed more than ever — on both sides of the coin.

— Carl Mumpower
Asheville

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23 thoughts on “Letter: Asheville’s progressive addiction is growing old

  1. Lulz

    LOL progressive? All I see is crony capitalism and a large bureaucracy . And what’s even funnier is you have these so called socialists want even more government. You’d think they’d see that all the government around here has done is ensure a minority get rich on the backs of the working class and low income property owners. Those big CORPORATE HOTELS didn’t come about in spite of progressives. They came about because of them. And progressives have done everything to make sure downtown is protected from competition and remains a monopoly. Along with using taxes to keep the scam going.

  2. John Penley

    Look at the bright side Carl. Trump and your fellow conservatives will be out in full force at the RNC in Charlotte this year. Now that my parents who taught school here all their lives have passed away I am free to leave Asheville for a city of sin and legal marijuana Las Vegas. I was never a liberal always a hard core Anarchist radical and I am sure the fact that I am leaving will put a smile on your face. Hey Carl do you think we are having another Civil War or just some minor disagreements ? Me I hope it doesn’t happen because anyone who paid attention to Charlottesville [ I was there on a photo job for Al Jazeera] and Richmond knows that your side has all the militias and expensive weapons. Anyway I hope for Peace for us all now even you and your fellow conservatives we are all getting old, life is short and a visit to the Asheville VA makes it clear the Vietnam Era Vets are having a lot of medical problems now. Adios Carl

  3. Andy

    You’re just sore that you can’t get elected here, Carl. Was that an ALEC template letter where you can fill in the blanks to denigrate the local colleges? We know which party supports education, and it’s certainly not yours. The faculty at UNCA and A-B Tech didn’t get a pay increase again this year, thanks to your brethren in Raleigh. Meanwhile, insurance costs more, and adjunct instructors have no health insurance and use food pantries. Take your attacks elsewhere. These dedicated educators are making sacrifices. And you’re out spreading tired old tea party trumpism.

    • Lulz

      Where’s the sales tax for AB Tech?

      As far as starving, what’s the median wage? Do tell us all.

  4. bsummers

    “It’s revealing that Asheville’s progressive community literally cringes at diversity of thought exposures found in conservative thinking.”

    I don’t think “diversity of thought exposure” is what we’re cringing at, Carl.

    “Ask yourself why a diversity-loving city like ours would have a 7-0 locked-in blue City Council.”

    Have you SEEN the candidates the BCGOP has recruited to run in recent elections? Oh, of course you have. You recruited a lot of them as Chairman of BCGOP. “Asheville is the heart of enemy territory”, etc.

  5. Jason W

    It’s easy to see why conservatism is not the winner in today’s political popularity contest. In contrast to the left’s “any way you like it” seductions promising the downhill run, conservatism is hard. It commands the energy, courage and perseverance of an uphill climb

    Conservatism is also nostalgic to a fault, always trying to return us to a past that once, maybe, existed, or “traditional values.” Those modes of thinking maybe worked for groups who benefited from it at the time, but it didn’t for the entire community, and so ways of thinking evolved as time progressed.
    I, for one, gravitate towards politics that address the problems of the present with an eye to the future, not with a longing to return to outdated ideas of the past.

  6. Austin

    This is perhaps the most coherent letter from Carl. I like that he mentions different sides of the coin. However, as Asheville’s most dedicated conservative, I hope he knows that there were centrist democrats out there looking for a Kasich presidency. His party went the other way, way out on some creepo trajectory, and voted in Trump. Trumpite politics are repulsive to people who choose to see the best in others. To many centrists right now the republican party has permanently tainted itself. The threat of spending wages to help others sounds better than four more years of jerks and constant lying. Sleep well Carl. I hope the mental masturbation works itself out.

    • Lulz

      Again, a sales tax was passed to fund AB Tech. The money was misused and yet no accountability and no questioning. So taking even more money because is SOUNDS good leads me to believe that people like yourself are either rich and won’t be affected or blatantly in denial and refuse to hold anyone to any standards. that label themselves a progressive/democrat.

      The TDA has run roughshod for years here. All we heard was how nothing could change locally. It had to be done i Raleigh. Again, another lie by progressives/democrats. Now they’re increasing their ad budget and guess who gets stuck with the bill.

      You allow yourselves to be deluded by liars and cons and beg for more. And why on Earth do you need the government to tax people into poverty to give to the so called poor? Are there not organizations you can donate to?

  7. cm

    Conservatives challenging progressive conformity can reliably count on commenters to illustrate our point.

  8. Parvenu

    I’m not a Democrat but conservatives calling out “progressives” as intolerant is not only hypocritical, it’s downright delusional projection. I’m not all gung ho about the impeachment, but Alan Dershowitz, Donald Trump’s current lawyer, just argued that if the president commits a crime in the “public interest” then he cannot be removed from office. Because it was done for the good of the nation. That is legitimate full blown authoritarianism and combined with the voter suppression tactics and even downright ballot fraud here in NC makes conservatives and the GOP no friend to democracy or the “choice” they so laud. I’ve come to find out that “Don’t Tread on Me” conservatives don’t want actual freedom, but instead the “freedom” to impose their worldview on other people through either direct violence, private force, or state force. American conservatism is no longer the conservatism of Lincoln, George W. Bush, or even Reagan. It’s now a far-right reactionary movement that no only wants a return to a mythical past, but also want to punish “the other” for people’s legitimate real life problems. “Do what we say or else” isn’t liberty, it’s the opposite of liberty, and the far-right Orwellian tactics of modern conservatism have made me decide to avoid it for the rest of my life. I despise the GOP and I make no bones about it that I hope Donald Trump and his dime store dictator criminal ilk drag it into irrelevance and oblivion. The “viewpoint” of your average conservative is like that of an abusive boyfriend. Everything is your fault. You’re not good enough. You’re too sensitive. And you don’t know what you’re talking about so why don’t you just shut up or I will get mad and hit you in the face. I never new that it would be Gamergaters and the host of the freaking Apprentice on NBC would be the people who’s boot would be on the face of humanity forever but that’s where we are in 2020. I will never take the views of a conservative in good faith again for as long as I live.

  9. Daniel

    “…the root word of conservativism: Conserve [v. kuh n-surv] to use or manage wisely; preserve; save.”
    Where is the evidence that the above even remotely applies to those calling themselves “Conservative” these days?
    If it somehow does, God only knows what it is they’re trying to conserve.
    Oh well, by their fruits we shall know them.

    • SpareChange

      ^ ^ ^ ^
      Yes. This!

      Mumpower has demonstrated repeatedly (but never more than through his unquestioning support of Trump) that he does not hold to this definition of conservative. If he did, then he might have a message or possible candidacy worth supporting.

      As it is, he has sadly become part of the sycophantic cult which has permitted Trump, who, personally, morally, socially, economically and politically could not be further removed from core conservative principles, to hijack his soul. He has lost whatever sliver of credibility he ever had with those who adhere to the definition of conservative which he offers, but does not now in any way adhere to.

  10. Austin

    Carl? Carl?? Here is the debate you requested and created. Some interesting responses. Time to shine buddy. You got this! You’re not mentally masturbating (your words, see above) again are you? Focus! Bring it back. We still love you. Literally, we know you’re basically a good person, but are holding you accountable for your actions in writing this letter. We know you understand. Justify it. Answer these people in THE FORUM YOU CREATED.

  11. Peter Robbins

    Cheer up, Doctor Munpower, there’s hope for the future. From what I hear, the Sunrise Movement kids are all about imposing hard choices and tough sacrifices on the anything-goes, ruin-everything, facts-don’t-matter, carbon-burning hedonists of our wicked generation. That is what you mean by “conservatism,” isn’t it? Cause I’d hate to think that hypocrisy has become so pervasive that it’s corroded even that once-noble fortress of virtue.

    • Peter Robbins

      Correction: “Mumpower.” I get so angry when these progressives attack our shared values that sometimes I can’t type straight.

  12. cm

    It’s worth repeating – “Conservatives challenging progressive conformity can reliably count on commenters to illustrate our point.”

  13. cm

    Lou, et al – its best not to argue with those who are busily making one’s point. That said, if there are any organized groups out there who can find their courage button and put together a debate on any current subject of social and political relevance, it will be my pleasure to participate in representing the conservative view.

    • Lou

      What’s the point? You are all so convinced you’re right, or so terrified of the loss of your ill-gotten position on the food chain, that none of you listen anyway, No, it’s better we work tirelessly to rid the political and social scene of your ilk once and for all. See you at the polls!

      • cm

        Those who understand the importance of constructively debating issues from both sides of view have the potential to impact our culture in a good way. Those that don’t, well. . .

  14. cm

    Those who have no understanding of the importance of constructively debating differing views will do no more than accelerate our cultural decline – those who get that importance may be able to slow it down. One finds plenty of anger, comfort rhetoric, and malice among the progressive community – very little intellectual courage.

  15. Lou

    “One finds plenty of anger, xenophobia, and malice among the conservative community – very little genuine courage but an excess of moral turpitude.” There Carl, fixed it for you.

    • cm

      Sorry, cleverness doesn’t come that cheaply.

      But I am grateful that you and your compatriots continue to demonstrate the habituation of today’s progressive movement. “Mr. Webster offers clarity through his definition of liberalism: “Willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas.” Progressives aren’t liberal anymore — they simply want their way.”

      • William

        Progressive/Liberal/Democrat
        These are some of the names that I used to describe myself when I was 15 years old. Joining the Army has made me realize that Im a Conservative. The left is not tolerant like they describe themselves. They think they are all social justice warriors when they are actually dividing the country. LBTQ are all more categories. TRUMP2020

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