Stories by Richmond Ramsey

Richmond Ramsey is a pseudonym for a conservative who would rather not be reproached for eating a Super Sonic and drinking a Route 44 cherry limeade when he goes home to visit his Mama. He can be emailed at

Best of FF: Fox Geezer Syndrome

December 28th, 2011 at 1:06 am 47 Comments

As 2011 comes to a close, FrumForum plans to re-run some of our best featured pieces from the year. We will be running past pieces up until January 2nd of 2012. We start with an analysis of ‘Fox Geezer Syndrome’ by Richard Ramsay.

Conor Friedersdorf remembers what a pain it was to live with a liberal roommate who watched Keith Olbermann every night, and would subsequently sulk around in a pissed-off mood. Friedersdorf too got a negative contact buzz from the show. He writes: “It seems to me that Olbermann’s show often brought out the worst impulses in people: petulance, self-righteousness, and blind anger at ‘the other side.’”

Sounds familiar to me, though from the other side. Except in my case, it’s not my liberal roommate. It’s my conservative parents – and maybe yours too.


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Fox Geezer Syndrome

January 30th, 2011 at 9:33 am 188 Comments

Conor Friedersdorf remembers what a pain it was to live with a liberal roommate who watched Keith Olbermann every night, and would subsequently sulk around in a pissed-off mood. Friedersdorf too got a negative contact buzz from the show. He writes: “It seems to me that Olbermann’s show often brought out the worst impulses in people: petulance, self-righteousness, and blind anger at ‘the other side.’”

Sounds familiar to me, though from the other side. Except in my case, it’s not my liberal roommate. It’s my conservative parents – and maybe yours too.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been keeping track of a trend among friends around my age (late thirties to mid-forties). Eight of us (so far) share something in common besides our conservatism: a deep frustration over how our parents have become impossible to take on the subject of politics. Without fail, it turns out that our folks have all been sitting at home watching Fox News Channel all day – especially Glenn Beck’s program.

Used to be I would call my mom and get updated on news from the neighborhood, her garden, the grandchildren, hometown gossip, and so forth. I’ve always been interested in politics, but never had the occasion to talk about them with her. She just doesn’t care.

Or didn’t. I don’t know when it happened, exactly, but she began peppering our conversation with red-hot remarks about President Obama. I would try to engage her, but unless I shared her particular judgment, and her outrage, she apparently thought that I was a dupe or a RINO. Finally I asked my father privately why Mom, who as far as I know never before had a political thought, was so worked up about Obama all the time.

“She’s been like that ever since she started watching Glenn Beck,” Dad said.

A few months later, she roped him into watching Beck, which had the same effect. Even though we’re all conservatives, I found myself having to steer our phone conversations away from politics and current events. It wasn’t that I disagreed with their opinions – though I often did – but rather that I found the vehemence with which they expressed those opinions to be so off-putting.

Then I flew out for a visit, and observed that their television was on all day long, even if no one was watching it. What channel was playing? Fox. Spending a few days in the company of the channel – especially Glenn Beck — it all became clear to me. If Fox was the window through which I saw the wider world, for hours every day, I’d be perpetually pissed off too.

Back home, I mentioned to a friend over beers how much Fox my mom and dad watched, and how angry they now were about politics.

“Yours too?!” he said. “I’ve noticed the same thing with mine. They weren’t always like this, but since they retired, they’ve gotten into Fox, and you can’t even talk to them anymore without hearing them read the riot act about Obama.”

I started to wonder how common this Fox Geezer Syndrome was. I began to poll conservative friends of my generation who had right-wing parents. At least eight different people – not an Obama voter among them, and one of them actually a George W. Bush political appointee in Washington – told me that yes, they had observed a correlation between the fevered emotionalism of their elderly parents’ politics, and increased exposure to Fox News.

After the Tucson shootings, Fox chief Roger Ailes said he had told his crew to “tone it down.” I’m skeptical, but I hope he succeeds. One of the great advantages of a conservative disposition is a suspicion of emotions, and emotionalism. The dumbest decisions I’ve ever made, about politics and everything else, were executed while I was worked up about something, and trusted my emotional response. Passion is inevitable – we are only human, after all – and can be constructive when properly channeled. But passion is the enemy of clear thought and, when given free reign, is the prerequisite for mob rule.

Unbridled anger at the deserving enemies is a danger to the civil order, and ultimately to ourselves. Remember Thomas More’s warning to the hotheaded William Roper in A Man For All Seasons, when Roper accused More of going easy on a scoundrel who hadn’t (yet) broken the law. Roper charged More with wanting to give the Devil the benefit of the law.

“This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s!” More responded. “And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?”

More adds that he would give the Devil the benefit of the law “for my own safety’s sake.” There’s a profound conservative truth in this, a warning that even passion for righteousness can be turned to evil, precisely because it is passion.

The popularity of vigorous rage merchants like Beck and Olbermann are not a sign of our political culture’s vitality, but rather its decadence. We live in a time and place that puts high value on emotion, and that views emotions as self-validating. To feel something is thought by many to be sufficient evidence of its truthfulness, or at least its authenticity. This is a mark of the barbarian. I understand why post-Sixties liberals make the mistake of believing that nonsense. But conservatives?

I love my own Fox Geezers, who are big-hearted, salt-of-the-earth folks when they’re not talking about politics. But they are living proof that growing older doesn’t always mean growing wiser.

Richmond Ramsey is the pseudonym of an executive who lives and works in Blue America.

How to Win the War on Christmas

December 24th, 2010 at 8:38 pm 83 Comments

The other night I attended a Lessons and Carols service, an Anglican Advent tradition dating from the 19th century, in which key Scripture readings detailing salvation history (“lessons”) are interspersed with hymns and Christmas songs (“carols”). Narratively and theologically, it’s an extraordinary service, in that it begins with the Fall, continues with God’s redemptive interaction with mankind through the Patriarchs and the Prophets, and culminates with the birth of the Messiah, the God-man, to a lowly woman of a minor Near Eastern tribe, in a barn in a backwater province of the Roman Empire. The service concludes with the marvelous opening of the Gospel of John, in which the true meaning of Jesus’s birth is proclaimed — both the tragedy of his life to come, and the liberation and salvation to all who believe in him, no matter the circumstances of their own birth. It is a story that is either a gorgeous myth, or, for Christian believers (like me), a gorgeous myth that happens to be true. In either case, it is exceedingly difficult to stand back from the seasonal busy-ness to take the Nativity story in all its strange and confounding glory. Just think: God became one of us — and not a king or an emperor, but a common man — so that we might be one with God. J.R.R. Tolkien, whose formulation that Christianity is a “myth that is true” is said to have led to his friend C.S. Lewis’s conversion, said that true joy occasions “a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality of truth.” So it is with the Nativity myth: a revelation that we aren’t alone in a cold, meaningless universe, that God loves us so much that He became one of us, to show us how to live and open the gates of eternity.

How to reconcile a story as awesome as that with this innovation in Advent liturgies from a Texas megachurch?:

On Saturday night in Grapevine, about 4,000 people – nearly a full house – came for the first of the church’s well-advertised 3-D Christmas services. Adults and children alike each got a pair of paper-frame glasses with red and blue plastic lenses.

They donned them for three brief videos shot in 3-D. The third re-created a real-life episode from last Christmas, in which [Pastor] Young’s dogs got into the living room and tore up gift packages.

After that video, the lights went up, and Young himself, fully dimensional in jeans and a sweater, appeared on stage. “You can take your glasses off now,” he said, laughing.

He then preached on the Christmas story, arguing that accepting Jesus as savior is the way to find depth in life.

Under his leadership, Fellowship also has become a leader in using technology in worship. His sermons are broadcast on big screens both in Grapevine and at satellite campuses. The main auditorium’s lighting could rival that of a Broadway theater.

And on Saturday, the 3-D videos had to compete with a six-member band that used iPads to play “Feliz Navidad” and other Christmas songs.

To Young, taking advantage of the latest 3-D craze is just another way to reach people who might not otherwise come to church.

“Christmas is the best time of the year for people to give God a shot,” he said.

Fellowship bought 28,000 pairs of 3-D glasses, but rented cameras for the videos, and spent about $8,000 overall to create the special effect.

The 3-D videos will be used in Fellowship’s services Thursday and Christmas Eve. Young plans to use 3-D again in a sermon series early in 2011.

“What a great opportunity for the church,” he said. “3-D is so hot.”

Is there any “hot” thing that Evangelicals can’t baptize by claiming that it’s necessary to “reach” the unconverted? It’s so embarrassing. I look at junk like this, and at the touchy-feely preaching and “relevant” stunts that I’ve endured over the years in my own church, and I can’t altogether blame non-Christians from rolling their eyes at what we Christians get up to. Dallas’s First Baptist Church has launched a Grinch Alert online watchdog list where Christians offended by the way stores and institutions fail to celebrate Christmas properly can anonymously shame them. A woman relates a discount chain’s shame:

I was looking for an ornament that reflected the reason for the season, and I could not find anything that said Merry Christmas. I’m tired of seeing ONLY snowmen, Santa Clauses, snowflakes, birds, glitter, etc. I could not find a gift bag, an ornament, or a gift box with a manger or the Holy Family on it.

Think about that for a moment. Here is a Christian who feels that the feast of the birth of the Saviour is disrespected by the failure of a retailer to provide her with commercial gift bags featuring the Holy Family. The cognitive dissonance is jarring.

Then again, I have been in holy places like Jerusalem, and despaired over the Jesus junk spilling out of tourist-geared shops in the Old City, yet had to recognize that beyond the kitsch and the trash — literally, a few steps away — is a church built over the patch of ground on which tradition says God suffered, died, was buried — and rose again. (And in that church, clerics of the ancient Christian churches fight like dogs). We are both wheat and chaff.

In his column Monday, Ross Douthat writes of two important books written this year about the state of the Christian religion in America. He praises both American Grace, by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell, and To Change the World, by the prominent Christian sociologist James Davison Hunter. I happen to have read the Hunter book, which is mostly an elegy for Christendom, a lament over how the faith of our fathers has faded to increasing irrelevance. I’ve thought for a long time about why this is, and how we Christians might turn it around, without success. If a man as intelligent as Hunter fumbles for an efficacious prescription, I don’t feel quite so bad that I myself have come up empty-handed. If what I’ve read about American Grace is true, then Christianity as anything more than a sentimental notion and a psychotherapeutic attitude is in eclipse. The megachurch burlesques have been somewhat more successful than us more traditional Christians at holding on to the faithful, but for all of us, the direction is downhill. If Putnam and Campbell are right, outright atheists are not gaining as much as their media profile would have you believe (in fact, they’re not gaining at all), but people are falling away from traditional Christianity in large numbers. They could come back, I suppose, but if I were a betting man, I’d wager that their children will be atheists, or believers so nominal in their Christianity that they might as well be atheists.

It is not hard for me to understand why Christians feel besieged nowadays, especially at Christmas. Not every skirmish in the culture war counts as a “War on Christmas,” and the quickness of Christians to complain about this surely does us no credit. On the other hand, there really is a steady rollback in public recognition of Christmas, as if recognizing the particularly Christian notion of the holiday were itself a grave offense. The message from the public sphere, or at least its self-appointed guardians, is that Christians should be ashamed of their faith. It is one thing to hold to one’s faith while recognizing that not everyone shares it, and that non-Christians deserve respect; it is another to absorb the lesson that the sensitive and morally respectable thing to do is to denude one of Christianity’s greatest feast days of its particular power.

Americans are so strange about this. In Germany, where Christianity has a far weaker hold on the public’s imagination, they have no problem celebrating with annual Christkindlmarkts. But this year in Philadelphia, birthplace of American liberty, city government bureaucrats stripped the local Christkindlmarkt of its religious identity, rechristening it “Holiday Village.” The public stood up to this PC nonsense, and the city’s mayor reversed the decision. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin, who is Jewish, had a sensible take on the controversy, writing, “Yes, it’s the Christmas season. Get over it. I have.” Rubin says it doesn’t hurt him to be wished a Merry Christmas, and that he enjoys partaking in another culture’s traditions — just as long as they leave him to his own.

What on earth is wrong with that? I’m about as whitebread a Christian as you can be, and in the cities I’ve lived in, I’ve enjoyed participating in the religious and cultural festivals of Asians, Jews, Hindus, Latinos, and so on. What kind of thin-skinned Puritan believes that somebody else’s fun steals from his own? My Jewish friends love chipping in to decorate our Christmas tree. I have been truly pleased to sit at their seder table. That, to me, is one of the great things about America. Only mean minds and poor spirits see tolerance as a mandate to take away, rather than add to. Why is it so difficult to recognize, without hesitation or apology, the fullness of Christmas, and in turn, the key role Christianity has played in the shaping of our common culture?

As distasteful as is the readiness of many Christians to take offense over slights, real or perceived to Christmas, it can’t be denied that this is an epiphenomenon of Christianity’s decline in the West. By what perverse logic are Christians to be happy about this? And not only Christians. On the cold walk home after Lessons and Carols, I thought about the difference the birth of Jesus of Nazareth made for the world. Earlier this year, a friend passed along a surprising book, “Paul Among the People,” by a liberal Christian and classics scholar named Sarah Ruden. In the book, Ruden paints a portrait of the pre-Christian Greco-Roman world that was a place of real suffering and oppression for women and the poor. The teachings Jesus brought into the world, and that the Apostle Paul popularized, were truly liberating. We have come to take the liberal democratic world, and the culture it has produced, as a given, and bizarrely we see Christianity as the enemy of what we cherish, instead of its very foundation. Can America, as a polity and as a culture, hold on to its goodness and decency without the God of the Bible? It’s a question that our children, and their children, will likely live to see answered. Those who wish to drive Christmas from the public square should give thought to what else they exile, unawares.

Richmond Ramsey is the pseudonym of a corporate executive who really wanted to be a dentist.

Freedom’s Just Another Word for 50 Lbs to Lose

December 14th, 2010 at 3:15 pm 31 Comments

Food and food politics are not normally the kind of thing that occupies my attention, but I continue to be fascinated by the discussion on FrumForum of the cultural politics surrounding what we eat. As David Frum astutely points out, the Right has no problem using the tools of government to help parents police their children’s TV-watching habits, but freak out when the government proposes to do the same over junk food offered to children. As a parent, I welcome all of this. Any help at all I can get trying to raise self-disciplined, morally conservative children in this free-for-all culture, I appreciate.

Nothing made me more critical of the marketplace than becoming a father, and suddenly becoming aware of how insidious marketers are about selling things to children. I’m not just talking about merchandising toys and junk food to kids. The messages kids get about what’s acceptable and what’s not in our society come through exposure to television and other forms of popular culture. In my house, we don’t live like the Amish, but my wife and I nevertheless work hard to limit the pop-culture exposure of our kids, because we want to be the primary shapers of their moral sensibility for as long as that is possible. It’s difficult, and getting harder all the time, but it’s the most important duty we have, and shame on us if we don’t give it our all. Raising kids of my own has made me realize how much easier my parents had it in this task than parents of my generation do, given that they benefited from a weak but still intact cultural consensus about what was acceptable material for the public square inhabited by both kids and adults. My mother and father ought to have been more critical than they were, but they at least were able to depend on a culture that, however feebly, believed that there was such a thing as the common good, and that the good of children depended on treating them paternalistically. Children are not miniature adults, but immature persons whose decisions need to be guided by wise and discerning adults, until such time as they can make responsible decisions on their own. This is common sense that most Americans — even those calling themselves conservatives — seem to have forgotten.

As I wrote in this space recently, visiting my relatives down South makes me understand how intense the culture war is over food, and specifically how it’s bound up in deeply felt beliefs about class — beliefs that only incidentally have to do with income. Writing at The Atlantic’s website, Marion Nestle recognizes that we have a political war over food in America, but almost totally misses the cultural dynamics in this food fight. I don’t doubt that she is correct to point out how industrial agricultural entities and food conglomerates lobby for their priorities. And as someone who has been a late convert to the glories of farmer’s markets and locally-grown or raised meat and produce, I am all in favor of opening up our food system to competition from small growers. Having said that, Nestle’s characterization of this battle as industrial Goliaths against a democratic army of Davids fails to account for why the kind of people who fight most passionately for small-scale agriculture tend to be educated urbanites (some with better than average incomes) who have read Michael Pollan. These are precisely the kind of people my friends and family back home hate, seeing them as arrogant busybodies. It does no good to point out that the mainstream of this food movement is calling on Americans to do nothing more radical than to try to eat like their grandparents and great-grandparents ate — a culturally conservative initiative if ever there was one. It’s an interesting and instructive paradox to see farmer’s market culture booming in my city, but to venture back to the rural South, and see a cultural bias against them, as if small, local farmers selling what they grow to their neighbors were somehow a liberal thing. I am not sure why this is, but I know that it is, and I know that the Marion Nestles of the world will never succeed until they figure out where this attitude comes from, and how to change minds. The notion that the gist of the conflict is between a faceless Big Ag and legions of little guys is only sustainable if you live inside an urban coastal bubble.

I have a theory that conservative parents and liberal parents engage in selective civic paternalism only partly because of ideological commitments (e.g., liberals react against anything restrictive of free speech, and conservatives reflexively oppose measures that restrict the market). I suspect there’s also the matter of a guilty conscience at work. I have heard many liberal parents of my acquaintance making the most ridiculous arguments in favor of not restricting their kids’ access to movies, music, and so on, usually along the culturally relativistic lines of “Elvis was considered radical once.” After a while, it occurred to me that what these people were really doing was trying to talk themselves out of their own responsibility to do better by their children, and to diminish their own guilt over permissive parenting by denying that what conservatives call a problem is a problem at all. Similarly, I believe many conservatives who decry efforts to encourage Americans to eat more sensibly, and to feed their children more reasonably, are actually attempting to mitigate their own bad consciences over both the garbage they eat, and the junk they feed their kids because they are too lazy or indifferent to do the hard work necessary to inculcate virtuous habits in the hearts of their children.

It is not up to the government to raise your children or mine. But if you ask me, a good government is one that makes it easier for people to choose the good, and to avoid the bad. This is especially true when it comes to children, and child-raising. I didn’t vote for her husband, but I appreciate what Michelle Obama is trying to do with her healthy school food campaign. The conservative press is taking a quote from the First Lady’s statement — “We can’t just leave it up to the parents” — entirely out of context, making it appear as if she’s usurping parental authority. In fact, a fair reading of Mrs. Obama’s remarks indicates that she’s actually proposing to bolster parental authority. In any case, I cannot understand why conservatives would oppose the idea of improving the diets of kids during school hours — especially given that the poor, those most dependent on meals at school, are most at risk for obesity and the medical problems that accompany it — and the most likely to depend on the taxpayer to subsidize their care. There is a direct financial, and even national security, interest in improving the eating habits of Americans. Again, why is this liberal, or ideological at all? Sarah Palin (of course) calls it “the nanny state run amok.” Such is the degraded state of popular conservatism: for the Palin-Limbaugh crowd, freedom is just another word for fifty pounds to lose.

Richmond Ramsey is the pseudonym for a Southern-born executive who lives quietly in a liberal coastal city, unsuspected by his neighbors of right-wing tendencies. Write him at

Food Fight Becomes Open Class Warfare

December 7th, 2010 at 12:55 am 39 Comments

Ross Douthat’s latest column, doctor observing the decline of religion, store marriage, and the two-parent family among the working class, was a depressing read. So much for the Palinesque illusion that there exists a virtuous, traditional “Real America” in the heartland, besieged by liberal coastal elites — educated, cultured despisers who hate them for their homespun values. In fact, according to a forthcoming study by the National Marriage Project, cited by Douthat, strong marriages and fidelity to churchgoing are increasingly the habits not of liberals or conservatives, as such, but of the educated middle class. As Douthat avers, whatever the regional, income and class voting patterns of Americans, the statistical evidence indicates “that a culture war that’s often seen as a clash between liberal elites and a conservative middle America looks more and more like a conflict within the educated class.”

As a Southern-born conservative who has for many years lived and worked among the coastal elites, I have been struck on my visits back home over the past few years how difficult it is to talk about anything political with my friends and family there. They are as closed-minded and combative about politics as any urban coastal liberal I’ve suffered over my years in exile. I was shocked, but (on second thought) not surprised, by the new study Douthat reported, because over the past decades, I’ve seen the same social trends play out in my very Red America homeland, on return visits.

There was another report today that hit me even harder than Douthat’s column: this interactive diabetes map showing the explosive growth of diabetes rates from 2004 to 2008. The Southeast – my home region – is by far the worst place in the country for diabetes. I checked the stats on my home county, and its rate is among the most dismal in America. Surprising? Not really, at least not to me. I’ve watched over the years as people back home have become much heavier than they were when I was growing up there. The interesting thing is how food and food culture is as much a cultural marker there as it is in Alice Waters’ San Francisco – but in the opposite direction.

In a much-discussed 2009 Policy Review essay, Mary Eberstadt talked about how odd it was that liberal elites are extremely permissive about sex, but Puritan fussbudgets about food. What’s less well explored is the culture-war role food plays among conservatives, especially in the South.  My experience is anecdotal, of course, but I’ve seen emerging back home a growing sense that food intake is not something that can be held up for moral analysis and judgment. Those who attempt to do so are typically seen as liberal snobs trying to impose their own preferences.

There’s no doubt that liberal foodies can be horrible snobs, and excruciatingly moralistic (to shop at the organic co-op in my uber-liberal neighborhood is to rub shoulders with people every bit as prissy and intolerant as the Church Lady). But at some point, it’s downright absurd for conservatives to ignore that food choices have moral implications. For me, going to my home county is an occasion for culinary culture shock, because middle-class people there simply do not have the same outlook on eating – especially for their children – as middle-class people do in my liberal city. Put plainly, people eat whatever they want, and lots of it, without giving it a second thought. More to my point here, they see the idea that one ought to care about such things as a sign of effete, high-handed liberalism.

It comes as news to my churchgoing conservative friends here in Coastal Liberal Land that making sure your kids limit sugary snacks and junk food is something only liberals care about. None of us are what you’d call foodies, and none of us go to the gym. It’s just understood that living responsibly, especially in a culture that celebrates the abolition of limits, requires a great deal of vigilance, especially when it comes to child-raising. That’s why though fasting is not really a part of American religious life today, there is still among my conservative friends real moral awareness of a religious duty to live a self-disciplined life, and to avoid the sin of gluttony. Why is the South – the most culturally conservative part of the country, in most respects, especially in Christian piety – so thoughtlessly permissive about eating?

The obvious answer is that they don’t see food choices as having moral weight. That stance is groundless from a Biblical point of view. Scripture aside, how can that point of view be sustainable from a common-sense conservative position when so many people are coming down with diabetes, a chronic disease closely related to overeating? New neuroscience research suggests that overeating certain foods earlier in life changes one’s brain in ways that make it harder to stop later in life. This means that parents who let their kids eat lots of sugar set them up for a lifetime of diabetes, and other obesity-related diseases. How is that not a moral failing?

The costs to society of treating diabetes is enormous, and is expected to triple to over $300 billion – if obesity plateaus, which it may not do. Who is going to pay for that indulgence? Both the taxpayer, in higher Medicare and Medicaid costs, and individual insurance ratepayers. It becomes difficult to take seriously Southern conservatives who complain about the morally lax lower orders (read: poor black people) being a drain on the taxpayer when they themselves have their mouths full of Super Sonic Cheeseburger.

It must be admitted that diabetes, like obesity, is correlated with race and poverty. You would expect to find a higher prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the South, given that the South is home to a greater concentration of poverty and African-Americans – especially poor African-Americans. Appalachia, please note, is a diabetes hotspot; it has few blacks, but many poor whites – as does the rest of the South. For all that, it is striking to see how America’s Diabetes Belt coincides so neatly with the geographical core of Republican voters.

I remain puzzled by how normal, everyday discussions about diet and nutrition among my people either don’t happen, or occur in an emotionally charged, culture-war context. Like most folks, I don’t appreciate being preached at or lectured to about food or anything else, but as a conservative, self-reliance, self-discipline and personal responsibility are principles I seek to live by. What’s wrong with that? The careless, self-indulgent, self-righteous attitude towards eating that I see among many of my fellow right-wingers back home in the South can be called many things, but conservative is not one of them.

I was going to say that however gluttonous our side can be, unlike the Coastal Left, at least we get it right on God and sex. But the forthcoming National Marriage Project study indicates that outside of the educated middle class, we increasingly can’t claim the high ground there either. What, then, constitutes proof of our supposed conservatism as a superior way to live?

Richmond Ramsey is a pseudonym for a conservative who would rather not be reproached for eating a Super Sonic and drinking a Route 44 cherry limeade when he goes home to visit his Mama.