The failures of conservatism stack up all around the world. Austerity in Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe has condemned those economies, and to some degree the US economy, to recession, underemployment and increased disparity between the very well-off and everyone else.
Conservative obstruction in this country has led to disemployment in government at the very time when increased employment is desperately needed for individuals and for the economy as a whole. Conservatives have torpedoed and undermined banking regulations that would prevent a repeat of the bubble/crash of the last decade and from which we will suffer for decades ahead. Conservatives have stalled murder control for years and are again, leaving untold numbers of tragic death and damage by bullet. Conservatives have caused the inaction on carbon emissions and the resulting climate change to bring on more numerous and more severe weather disasters.
But wait, there's more...
The conservative blight lied the US into wars that killed hundreds of thousands, maimed hundreds of thousands more, of US service people, Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani civilians, destroyed the infrastructure of at least two countries and contributed to at least half of this country's debt. The conservative blight spent at the Federal level like the bribery specialists they are to produce giveaways to their voting constituencies to secure "a permanent conservative majority" -- a permanent blight.
Conservative deregulation has led to increased pollution, decreased safety for people's lives and physical well-being, decreased security for people's future economic well-being, permanently impoverished millions in this country and more millions around the world. The conservative blight in healthcare policy led to spending in that sector that increased at multiples of the general inflation rate until Obamacare, lining the pockets of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies and members of various surgical subspecialties, this at the expense of accessible care for the millions who truly need it and have been bankrupted with medical spending.
Conservatives spread bigotry against immigrants to this great country, against good people of Muslim faith, against people of any non-white color, against people whose biology lead them to be homosexual, against the poor, against anyone in any particular need of anything from one's fellow man. Conservatives worship wealth, mouth the words of the Christian bible, excoriate anyone who isn't in that particular tribe, and give themselves a pass on accountability for anything. Conservatives have built and maintain a virulent tribalism that creates and exacerbates divisions between people of otherwise good faith.
Conservatives drove exorbitant defense spending throughout the Cold War and continue to do so today, using exaggerated threat estimates and threatening politicians with right wing rage. Conservatives have caused the deaths of thousands in this country at the hands of enraged people with damaged souls who have shot, bombed, torched, hung, strangled and dragged to death innocents in the name of their wild conspiracies.
Conservatism is a blight.
It is what we get when people vote Republican.
Any Republican vote, for whatever belief benign or otherwise, brings with it all of the conservative blight. To be a Republican politician means that you service the entire block of the conservative blight, as that party has mastered all-for-con and con-for-all voting under the threat of defeat from the right. Re-districting by Republicans has made conservative territories more concentrated with conservatives, more demand for more conservative policies.
Any Republican is going to bring more conservative blight, until the back of the conservative movement is broken.
The worst part of all is that all the sacrifice to the conservative blight should have had some large gain, some enormous victory that attended the conservative ascendency.
But there has been none. Not one expansion in our economy, not a major victory for the American way, nothing that will take up a chapter with pictures in our children's history books. This ascendency, unlike other movements in our history, has produced nothing of value to the general society or to our legacy as a nation. The legacy of the conservative outbreak from the 80's to the 2010's will be enriching the rich at the expense of the poor, betrayal of the American heritage, betrayal of the world.
If conservatism has any role at all, it is to tap the brakes on excess progressivism from time-to-time. This nation has shown that some of the progressive experiments were not successes, that welfare got out of hand, that excess taxation may have cost a point or two of growth over time. However, no failure of progressivism or liberalism ever has cost the country and the world one billionth of that inflicted by the conservative blight. Liberalism doesn't start unprovoked wars. Liberalism doesn't murder in the streets and rob whole segments of the population. Conservatives like to point to what they see as "the excesses" of the extreme left in the Sixties and early Seventies. Never mind that the riots came out of conservative police murders in oppressed minority neighborhoods, that the anti-war movement was motivated by conservative intransigence and malfeasance in national leadership on a horribly destructive issue, and that the fears of that time that created today's rightists were overblown and induced by that very reactionary right wing.
The conservative blight.
The virulent conservative politics blunts all but the most daring progressive politics. A highly activist progressivism among senior Democratic politicians has not occurred. It has been a gentle, protesting, negotiating progressivism rather than one on a ride of righteous revolt against the conservative blight. That progressive leadership fears the excesses of the conservatives who have shown themselves capable of violence against person and principle. The robbers in the right have been treated very gently thus far, with few prosecutions, few investigations, little backlash in the press and few protests in the streets. It must be fear that tempers the reaction to the conservative blight, fear of reprisal from the wealthy and powerful, fear of energizing a grassroots conservatism, fear of the unknown if large institutions were to be brought under the leash. The progressive lesson probably came out of Obamacare and the backlash of 2010. The wailing, the fear-mongering, the crazy talk, and the rise of the crazies doing the talking.
Rational people fear what damage fearful conservatives can unleash, for the conservatives have demonstrated there are no self-imposed limits to the damage they are willing to cause for their cause. They believe they are just, they believe their cause is right, they believe they are sent by God. They are people of the most dangerous sort. They have proven it in their rolling ascendency in psychotic resentfulness from McCarthy and Nixon, through the western Goldwater troglodytes, through Wallace and the southern strategy, through Nixon and Agnew, through Reagan, through W and into today's set of obstreperous lesser lights, midgets like Boehner, Ryan, McConnell, Sessions, and Graham, driven by fear-mad pockets of older white conservatives driven themselves by the fear-arsonists in the conservative media. They resent being in the political minority for so long, but mostly they resent policies that don't favor themselves. They think themselves under attack, they think themselves to be protectors of what once was America, back before the progressivism that they resent began to drive preference away from them, and they think it is their duty to hold onto preference at whatever the cost. Conservatives will preserve preference for themselves over others at any cost. Conservatism in this country is the politics of resentment and fear.
Conservatism is a blight.
It comes from unholy origins, wrapped itself in religious robes, and has brought us an unholy mess. Conservatism since the 1950's has been the source of a massive, massive betrayal on a scale probably never seen previously in American history. In one hundred years time, history books will look back at the several generations that passed from the 1950's through the 2010's and conclude that America went through a period of madness, a period completely irrational and completely at odds with America's objective station in that period, the only superpower, the greatest nation the Earth had ever seen, providing the world's currency, the world's market of last resort, and the world's police force. The driving question in the history books will be how we managed to nearly squander it all in an internecine struggle for the nation's soul, driven by a soulless faction resentful and fearful of its diminution. History will likely see our last 60 years as the last battle of the American Civil War, and leading to the final resolution of the paradoxes contained in our Constitution, a battle that brought with it the usual pestilence, death, and destruction. It will be the last conquest of America's conservative blight that arose from the compromises made in our Constitution to mollify reactionary forces at the founding.
Conservatism is the American blight.