Interview: The Progressive Conservative

Mike the Progressive Conservative, owner and operator of The Big Stick recently asked me when I was going to do any more interviews.  Ask and ye shall receive…

I am a big fan of his website and visit just about every day.  His is one of the few websites about politics that I feel comfortable actually posting comments.  Politics is such a sticky subject and there are hundreds of sites that express only extreme views or are totally entrenched on one side of the isle or another.  Compared to these The Big Stick is a refreshing breath of thoughtful mountain air.  I am gratified that he chose to respond to my interview questions. 

The interview:

Pf- I really enjoy the theme of your site. It nicely fills an underrepresented demographic that the main stream media seems to ignore.  Where did you get the idea? 

PC- My goal from the start was to demonstrate that there were more nuanced forms of conservatism out there and to use the blog as a sort of political diary. Being forced to articulate your ideas often makes you think harder about them. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I believed something and then when I tried to write about it I began to disagree with my own initial conclusions. So I like to think of The Big Stick as a place where stereotypical thinking is challenged on a daily basis.  


Pf- On your title page is says “Living the strenuous life” What does that phrase mean to you?

PC-     It comes from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt, one of my heroes. He said,

“I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.”

Living the strenuous life means realizing that the worst thing we can have is a life that is too easy.



Pf- At first glance the words Progressive Conservative seem to be at odds with each other.  Like Socialist Libertarian or Sexy Nun.  I think I understand what you mean, but can you describe, in one sentence, what it means to be a Progressive Conservative? 


PC- As a student of Catholic schools for 12 years, I will concur with that sexy nun comment. I actually had two nuns in my family growing up. They were nice little ladies. I miss them sometimes…but they were definitley not what I would call ‘sexy’. 

A Progressive Conservative is a conservative that respects the past but doesn’t resist the future. I like the analogy of a car approaching a turn. The liberal trusts their ability to reason out the best time to cut the wheel and they hit the gas. A traditional conservative is scared of the turn and pulls the car over to the side of the road. A Progressive Conservative knows we’ve got to get through the turn if we want to go anywhere, so we pump the brakes a bit and proceed with caution. We’re like the little angel on your shoulder that says, “Go ahead and light that rocket Prairie Flounder. Just make sure you have your safety goggles on when you do it.”





Well that’s all the questions I can think of right now.  Do you have one for me?

PC- If you could purchase any firearm on the planet and have unlimited ammo for it, what would it be and why?

That’s a tough question.  Should I take the usual route and pick the most expensive, unusual, collector’s item, or stick to what I would actually enjoy shooting?  My latest firearm craving is for a Sharps rifle in 45-70, it would have to have an octagonal barrel at least 32” long, peep sights, and all brass furniture.  I don’t want an original, but an accurate reproduction made with modern materials to handle the hottest modern cartridges. 

Why?  Because I already have one firearm in just about every category except a long range large bore rifle. And, well, it’s just such a cool weapon.  -pf



 Ok, so on to the serious interview:

 What is your favorite word?


I say ‘man’ and ‘dude’ a lot. I am true child of the 80’s.


What is your least favorite word?


I don’t enjoy most of the nicknames for female anatomy.


 What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]


Smart people.


 What turns you off?




 What sound or noise do you love?


There is nothing better than the sound of a turkey gobbling in the woods at sunrise.


 What sound or noise do you hate?


Kids crying for no good reason. (I recently made a kid cry because I beat him at a video game. That is just ridiculous).


What is your favorite curse word?


It’s not really a curse word but I say some variation of ‘Jesus Christ’ a lot. My wife gets on me about it. It’s a tough habit to break.


What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  


I’ll cheat and pick two:

– High school history teacher, Architect


What profession would you not like to do?


– Assembly line worker. (Seriously, I would go insane).


 If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 


– “Hey Mike, I’d like to introduce you to the Founding Fathers.”


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