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Like many other words in the English language, i.e. Healthy Forests and Clear Skies, the Republicans have turned words upside down in their meaning.  And one they've done the most to obliterate any original meaning is what they claim they are -- conservative.

The dictionary applies words like traditional, restrained, moderate and cautious to describe a "conservative" person.  The modern conservative movement is exactly the opposite.  It's actually utterly reckless, feckless, irresponsible and against traditional American values and character.

And in the political sense of conservatism, they have done nothing to earn that mantle either.

The funny thing is, I can agree in theory with the goals of much of what political conservatism has claimed to be about:  personal responsibility, limited (but I would add EFFECTIVE) government, strong (but I would say COST-EFFECTIVE) defense, low taxes (who doesn't want that in a perfect world?).

Not enough to base my entire political philosophy on, but I can see how much of this could and probably should be included in any progressive agenda (read The Next Progressive Era to learn more about that particular subject).

But the modern "conservative" movement has failed politically in meeting any of the stated goals of conservatism:

o "Personal responsibility" was mainly code for poor, minority folks, not for financial kingpins.
 
o Limited government is great for cutting programs geared to the poor, but not corporate welfare programs for oil barons and military contractors.  In fact, the Bush era grew government at a greater rate than at any time since LBJ.
 
o Strong defense.  Ignoring all the warning signs and counsel of the pending largest attack on CIVILIANS in US history says defense FAILURE. An invasion of a sovereign country that had nothing to with the attack and sparking additional terrorist recruits through that invasion, torture, and lack of trials, speaks MASSIVE FAILURE.

o Lower taxes were predominately concentrated on wealthy individuals and corporations, with no plan on paying for things the government is actually spending huge amounts of money on (i.e. Bush's Iraq war).

o Balanced budget.  Forget about it.  The Bush I and II and Reagan eras were all about running up the debt for future generations to pay.  And there's another strike against the vaunted "personal responsibility."

On the purely symantic front of the word "conservative", I don't think what these people actually do holds water either:

o the Environment -- No. 1 issue for me.  If you don't think conserving our natural world in an era of rampant population increases then how the hell do you get off calling yourself a conservative?  If you ignore every climate scientist, botanist, biologist and every other educated ist who tell us the world's in a world of trouble, then you're a reckless gambler willing to roll the dice on the future of your children and grandchildren.  How is that "conservative"?

o The War -- Spending money on a giant federal program that never met it's top priority -- stop weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists, then you are neither a moderate or cautious.  You're a reckless idiot.  And the amazing fact the many "conservatives" still don't see the war as a massive failure only adds to the lack of true conservatism.  

o The Financial Meltdown -- It was the Bush administration that was forced to do the biggest federal bailout of the private sector in US history because of it's "hands off" approach to the market.  Never requiring responsibility leaves human nature to look for any self-gain possible, resulting in pure FRAUD in our financial system from top to bottom.  And instead of putting people in jail, we're forced to give them money to protect to the global financial system, and they end up giving each other bonuses.

The bottom line is we all know what the modern conservative movement has been about -- a power-grab by the greediest among us using poor minorities as the scapegoat for all the electorate's ills to get elected.  Well, that dog don't hunt anymore.

Originally posted to greenasteroid on Sat May 30, 2009 at 10:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why Do You Have to Be A Conservative? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    godwhataklutz, bogmanoc

    I don't really understand why members of the GOP pride themselves on being conservative. If you want to join their party it's like having to pass the conservative test before they will vote you in as a member. If you cannot answer truthfully in the affirmative when asked if you are a conservative then you are not permitted to join their club.

    I'm not even sure if the current body of GOP membership understands the true definition of conservative. I guess it's just saying you are a conservative regardless of how you feel inside and what your true values are that is the ticket to being lovingly accepted as another Republican.

    I think the GOP is in serious trouble today. It seems that when confronted by a few rationale policy changes members of this party fall apart and act in an irrational and irresponsible manner.

    Private citizen residing in Woodbridge, Virginia who is supporting and volunteers for Terry McAuliffe's campaign for Governor of Virginia.

    by Sora Dina on Sun May 31, 2009 at 12:20:53 AM PDT

  •  Allow me to boil it down for you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bogmanoc

    Ever since Reagan, the conservative philosophy can be boiled down to: "Fuck everyone else, I've got mine."

    Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

    by Whimsical on Sun May 31, 2009 at 05:37:42 AM PDT

  •  I do not understand how Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bogmanoc

    can claim to be conservative when they run such irresponsible defecits by cutting taxes and then passing all spending bills. This is the ultimate pandering to all group's immediate financial self-interest at the expense of future generations.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:18:49 AM PDT

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