So one cannot be “critical thinking” and hardcore Republican?
I am a rock-ribbed conservative, BECAUSE I habitually engage in critical thinking.
Sure, but there are just as many here on FR that are Hardcore Republicans first, then critical thinkers second.
IMHO, I'm a conservative precisely because I'm a critical thinker. Being able to objectively and dispassionately discuss ideas should be a foundation to conservatism. It's one thing that separates us from Democrats.
BTW, I don't think that conservatism = Republican so much anymore. In many ways, they're a close approximation and closer to conservatism than Democrats....but in many others, they're little more than Democrat-lite. BUT - that's a whole other thread, and something that we could kick back and forth all night. :-)