“What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?”
Okay, Mr. Lincoln, but how do you live that where the rubber meets the road? The world is a complicated place; left to our own devices, we’re likely to screw it up.
The Marine Corps teaches the concept of the “SME,” the Subject Matter Expert. Have a problem? Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, find a SME.
You, young padawan, need a sensei, a guru, a consiglieri. But how does one differentiate the sensei from the quack, the guru from the charlatan, the consigliere from the snake-oil salesman?
I will be your guide, your Virgil, your Sacagewea. What do I bring to the table? Why should you listen to me? Well I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’ve been around the block: I’ve roughnecked in the West Texas oil fields, hitchhiked across the country, and backpacked through the Scottish Highlands. I’m a Marine Corps Infantry officer, a father (soon to be times two), and I managed to marry above my station. More than anything, I know when I need to find a SME. So that’s why. Take it or leave it. It’s a free country.
If you’re a young conservative gentleman or lady, send in your questions about living a balanced, virtuous life: mind, body, and soul. Iron sharpens iron. Submit your question, name (anonymous or not), and town to Vitruvian.Man@nationalreview.com. Questions might be lightly edited for publication, but they’ll never be made up.
Week after week, those questions will be answered in a regular Saturday column.