Mar. 5, 2015 By Jack Jodell.
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——————————————————————————————————— The trem “conservative” is defined as follows: “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.” Today’s Tea Party-infested, reactionary Republican Party doesn’t quite fit this definition. For many of those who boast proudly that they are “conservative” are actually, in reality, very deluded, backward-looking, radical far-right reactionaries who wish to chain this country to a fictional past they mistakenly believe once existed . I was struck by the ignorance of a relatively young female self-proclaimed “conservative” I recently saw in a debate on Thom Hartmann’s “The Big Picture” on Free Speech TV. Thom was reciting a long list of liberal accomplishments in America (unemployment compensation, Social Security, overtime pay, civil rights, etc.), and when he mentioned Lincoln freeing the slaves, she looked incredulous at the fact that it was liberals who freed the slaves, or that Lincoln could even be considered a liberal. Her only retort was that liberal programs such as welfare trapped the black race into being dependent and have somehow led to the majority of black children being raised in single parent households. I knew at that instant that this young conservative simply didn’t know her history and had simply assumed, as conservatives are so prone to do, that Lincoln, being a Republican, was therefore a conservative too…
I then began to think how little critical thinking was coming from these modern so-called conservatives. I began to think of how shallow most of their beliefs are. For example,
1). Modern “conservatives” hate government, and, by extension, government regulation of any kind. They fail to recognize that government regulation is a necessary buffer against corporate greed and actually protects the public from corporate excesses. They don’t realize that loosened regulation on banking led directly to the horrid Great Recession of 2008!
2). Modern “conservatives” hate minorities, immigrants, the poor, working class people, programs which help the poor, and especially that black family who currently inhabits the White House. They feel no kinship with people who are different than themselves, and actually revile many of them.
3). Modern “conservatives” hate Muslims and foreigners. They blame all Arabs and Muslims for 9/11 and subsequent acts of terrorism in the Middle East or elsewhere, and fail to recognize that the small band of terrorists who were and are responsible for these acts are but a tiny fraction of wayward radicals who really AREN’T true practitioners of Islam. All these “conservatives” really care about is Christian fundamentalism and authoritarianism. In many asprcts, they are America’s version of the Taliban!
4), Modern “conservatives” absolutely HATE paying taxes and will cheat the government whenever they can. While heaping loads of verbal abuse on progressives who, out of genuine concern, criticize many of the less desirable traits of this country, these “conservatives” think nothing of setting up fraudulent tax shelters abroad to selfishly keep BILLIONS of dollars for themselves that are rightfully owed the government…and they have the audacity to call themselves “patriots”!
5). Modern “conservatives” HATE environmentalists and deny the existence of climate change. They refuse to accept the findings of an overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists who believe that these changes are man-made, and reject the warning that humans must abandon fossil fuels SOON or face possible extinction. They believe the lying propaganda spread by the notoriously selfish Koch Brothers and Fox “News” that the Keystone XL pipeline will create thousands of jobs and that climate change is a natural phenomenon. They cite crackpot “experts” who are actually involved with fossil fuel industry giants for “proof” that climate change is a hoax and derisively refer to those who disagree with them as “tree huggers.” This is surely a reckless and snotty, almost flippant approach to take on such an important topic…
6). Modern “conservatives” claim to be lovers of liberty and champion democracy and freedom, yet they vote for authoritarian creeps like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, who actively tries to limit the economic freedom of workers through the passage of draconian anti-labor laws; like Michigan’s Rick Snyder, who actively limits the rights of voters by dissolving their democratically elected city councils and then sets up all-powerful new “City Managers” appointed by him to run their cities; and like Florida’s Rick Scott, who systematically purges the names of likely opposition voters from the voting rolls. These are definitely NOT champions of real democracy! Their steadfast support of the so-called “free” market unveils a naivete about capitalism itself, as economics today are far from free, in that they are becoming increasingly dominated by an ever-shrinking narrow band of economic elites known as the 1%. These “conservatives” also elect governors and legislatures across the country who try to disenfranchise likely voters of the other party.
7). Modern “conservatives” are fearful and paranoid about the future. They are easily misled into believing crazy conspiracy theories which are put to them by lying fearmongers such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the devious crew over at Fox “News”. Their belief in this nonsense causes them to make rash and incorrect judgments about too many things, many, like the Iraq War, with DIRE consequences!
8). Modern “conservatives” are intellectually lazy and are poorly informed. Very few of them deeply research a topic, and far too many prefer to get their information from brief soundbytes or only one or two sources. It is little wonder that so much of what they express is so shallow or full of errors, especially considering that many of their news sources tend to be disreputable ones like talk radio, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, or Michelle Malkin and the like. They tend to parrot each other using the very same talking points and show little capacity for deep, contemplative thought.
9). Modern “conservatives” tend to br vain, overconfident believers in Christianity, only the Christianity they believe in is FALSE and has little to do with the Gospel of St. Matthew or what Jesus Christ preached in the Sermon on the Mount. After all, Christ NEVER preached that the rich should be made richer through generous, unneeded tax breaks, or that all people should carry a gun, or that renditioning and then torturing enemy prisoners was acceptable!
10). Modern “conservatives” naively believe that our country and its military can do no wrong and that only our enemies are guilty of war crimes. They never take into account that paranoid and very wrong leaders like DICK Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, through their repeated use of rendition and torture and their advocacy of pre-emptive military strikes, were INDEED guilty of heinous war crimes and deserve to be tried and sentenced before the World Court at the Hague! They also ignore the very true FACT that we have deliberately overthrown democratically-elected governments many times in the past, including Iran in 1953, Chile in 1971, and Ukraine in 2014!
11). Many modern “conservatives” ignorantly assert that the United States has the best health care system in the world. This, of course, is an absolute delusion, as our ranking in infant mortality (among numerous other categories) is abysmal. Rather than the best health care system, we have instead the most EXPENSIVE one on the planet, (nearly DOUBLE the cost of nearly every other major industrialized country which employs the “socialized medicine” method of a single-payer system, as it is plagued by corporate health care insurance and pharmaceutical company fraud, greed, and corruption, with wholly unjustified excess profit!
These are only a few of the many examples of how today’s “conservatives” aren’t really conservative in the least, but are instead nstauble, paranoid reactionaries who aren’t trying to preserve traditional American values at all. In reality, they are a destructive force hell-bent on privatizing everything, helping the rich further expand our already far too expansive wealth disparity, and trying to turn our economic, social, and political clocks back to the 19th century, before progressives fought hard to obtain civil eights and a social safety net. They lie, cheat, and steal to realize their aims. They spread fear, injustice, and corruption like wildfire. They are unfit for governing this great nation!
THAT is why we progressives must remove them from political office and neutralize their economic and social influence, before they succeed in destroying this country. Therefore, we must NOT vote for ANY more Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans or enabling, corporatist Democrats! To do so is to slit your own throat! AVERT DISASTER BY ALWAYS ELECTING PROGRESSIVE, FAIR-MINDED CANDIDATES!
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