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View Diary: A Debating Society For Mean People (9 comments)

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  •   Out of ideas, but not out of rants (0+ / 0-)

    I was raised in a strongly Republican household and have always believed that conservatism stood for individual freedom and self-reliance, fiscal responsibility, limited government, efficiency in government operations, and a foreign policy which measured the utility of interactions with other governments in terms of the national interest.  A conservative supports capitalism, believing that an individual’s talent and drive are thereby enabled (this in no wise suggests condoning of illegal or unfair actions which take advantage of other’s weaknesses.)  A conservative supports a strong military, but is extremely chary of employing it in any but the most exigent circumstances.  A conservative believes that a nation needs a strong moral foundation, but does not require others to subscribe to his particular creed.  To be a conservative, one must have an awareness of history in order to apply its lessons in the present.

    If this is indeed conservatism, the Republican Party has lost its moorings and can no longer claim to be conservative.  They have empowered the greedy and enriched further those already wealthy.  They have worked, by and large, only in their own interest, and not in the larger interest of society as a whole, claiming all the while to be acting only for the greater good.  They have been complicit in allowing George W. Bush to start a war of choice, rather than necessity.  They have supinely allowed him to run the national debt to a level that will affect our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  Many of them have been exposed as corrupt and decadent.  They have supported Bush in his spying on American citizens, and his flagrant misuse of government power in to further purely political ends.  They have drummed out of the party those who dared disagree with their agenda.

    Further, while many may be admirable and even likable individuals, they have by their silence given assent to a cadre which spews hate into the airwaves and media.  Take for example this recent vituperative diatribe from Rush Limbaugh:

               

    Also, this notion of governing from the center? His first appointment, his chief of staff is Rahm Emanuel. Do we know if Emanuel has accepted? Rahm Emanuel wants to be Speaker of the House. Let me tell you a little bit about Rahm Emanuel. Hillary Clinton hates him. In the White House, Rahm Emanuel pushed NAFTA and made that go first instead of her health care baby, and her health care baby suffered. There’s no love lost between Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton, and he is good a old-fashioned Chicago thug just like Obama is a good old-fashioned Chicago thug. On the night of the Clinton election, Rahm Emanuel was so angry at the president’s enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign; Rahm Emanuel grabbed a steak knife and he began rattling off a list of betrayers.

                 As he listed their names, he shouted, "Dead! Dead! Dead!" and he plunged the steak knife into the table after every name.

    What in the world does this kind of playground name-calling do for the cause of conservatism?  I submit that one of the reasons McCain fared so poorly was precisely because he ran a rovian campaign of personal attack, rather than a campaign of ideas based on a coherent philosophy of governing.

    This kind of  "conservatism" is, in my view, not conservative at all. The Republican party was sent a resounding message in November.  They truly need a season in the wilderness to rediscover their soul, and once again become a party conservatives can proudly support.

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