This essay is in response to the following post from bommer1, originally appearing on the Huffington Post and written by Drew Westen, Emory University:
LiveLeak Link: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a31_1239893666&c=1#comments
Original Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/drew-westen/the-five-strands-of-conse_b_187675.html
The original author's thesis is that the GOP, and by extension conservatism in general, is failing because at its core, conservatism is a balkanized conglomeration of disparate, incompatible parts. I on the other hand, submit that conservatism is the ultimate driving force behind the unparalleled success of America. Rather, it is unchecked liberalism that is destroying America from within.
There is so much wrong with this author's assessment of the GOP and conservatism, that I am having trouble knowing where to begin.
Paragraph 1: I wholly disagree with the premise that conservative initiatives for reduced government is at fault for every economic problem experienced since the early twentieth century. One would think that the liberals were just along for the ride and all would have been sweetness and light if they had total control. It is a common debate tactic, state your opponent's position and corner them into trying to prove a negative. Rather than use the author's faulty premise as a starting point, I submit that limited government built this country into the world power it is today and poured the foundation on which our current standard of living is based. It is such a standard of freedom that blogs such as Huffington are able to exist and even thrive among its adherents. In another country very recently, a blogger has been or is facing a sentence of 18 months in jail for the activity in which we are engaging as you read this. Indeed, the development of the manufacturing base, the minimal tax burden and the individual can-do attitude of each and every American fought and won two world wars. Those years and the motivation they provided just might be the most transformative decades in the history of America short of the revolutionary war itself. Liberalism has eroded the sharp edge of individual endeavor and has produced a society that is looking for the government for everything from paying our mortgage to putting gas into our cars. What the hell happened to personal responsibility? I'll tell you what happened, the liberals successfully parlayed the tactics of class warfare and envy into political power. This has produced generations of weak, uneducated masses that run to the government to solve what used to be functions of individual judgement. It is at the core of America's decline.
Paragraph 2: Conservatism is not a movement. Conservatism is what founded this country. It has existed from day one. One need not invent strands to define conservatism. Conservatism IS America. Delineating conservative strands is the same divide and conquer strategy liberalism usually employs.
As I stated previously, the erosion of individual responsibility has allowed liberals to successfully divide Americans into factions and then to convince them to vote for whatever candidate promises to get them more money, more jobs, more retribution against other evil groups than the other candidate. As has been stated, democracy will end when the people realize that they can vote themselves benefits from the government. The liberal philosophy promotes and demands just such a path. Liberalism is not content to coexist. Liberalism must present evil bad guys and then divide the classes into struggling against one side or the other. Liberals promise to provide the solutions. "If only we can spend enough," "If only we can regulate enough," and "If we can only nationalize this industry or that," are all tenets of the liberal cause. Liberalism has become a cancer to the American dream. Not the other way around. Witness the regions of the country controlled (ruled?) by liberals. New Orleans prior to Jindal, New York, California to name a few. They are all bankrupt. And they have all been governed by liberal policies for years. Their solution is not freeing their populations to invent, dream and endeavor. No, they are taxing the producers even more. Talk about old, failing policies, anyone need not look far to see the damage that liberal social policies have wrought.
Now for those strands:
ONE: I notice that the author does not dwell on the aspect of libertarian conservatism. To the contrary, the author completely fails to mention that "strand one" pretty much exactly matches the Constitution. How about that? Moving right along:
TWO: It is hard to tell exactly what the author is trying to say here with regard to conservatism as a whole. This strand seems to be a diatribe against Christianity and abortion. If this is the limit of the author's view of social conservatism, he or she has revealed much about their motivations in this writing. To be sure, Christianity and abortion are favorite bailiwicks for liberalism. These issues are excellent points of division. One might notice that the author said nothing about freedom of religion. It is inescapable that America is founded on Judeo/Christian beliefs. Defining Christianity (fundamentalist or not) as an intrusive instrument of government is far too simplistic and convenient for stirring up the masses. The author posits that the evil Christians are trying to control government to the oppression of all others. Well, gee, the author would have me support gay marriage using the exact same tactics. What is the difference? The author's liberal bias supports one oppression while condemning the other. At the end of the day, I believe these are state issues and the federal government should mind its own business. The feeble references to loaded rifles, elimination of birth control education, and the ad hominem jab at Palin were vapid and childish. Conservatives believe in individual responsibility. The ultimate time for birth control decisions is before the clothes hit the floor. Not after. I will not suggest that birth control should be hushed up. Rather, the education of sexual relationships is a parental issue and it should happen long before the hormones kick in. That said, teens will do the darndest things. Abortion as birth control outside of any other factors is wrong. The easy access to abortion has degraded the importance of the consequences of casual, extra-marital sex. It has also led to the breakup of nuclear families. Single parent families are lauded in the media and promoted as the progressive way of life. A lifestyle to which everyone should aspire. Children are acquired more as accessories than as gifts of life, responsibility and reward. Anyone seen Madonna lately? Abortion and easy, casual sex has led to the destruction of the American social fabric the point that anything goes. If it feels good, do it. Accompanying this sexual revolution is a further erosion of individual responsibility. You know, wham, bam thank you ma'am. Then just walk away. Someone else will come clean up your mess and it wasn't your fault anyway. You probably had a poor childhood. America and conservatism is based on individuals doing what is morally right. Not blaming everyone else and running to the government for assistance in matters of poor judgement.
THREE: Fiscal conservatism calls for the government to stay out of our pockets. The New Deal is a liberal construct. To prove my point, look at social security. It is bankrupt. The money I have contributed to SS will not be there when I want/need it. To say nothing of its investment potential lost over the years. With Presidents from LBJ on down spending far too much, and now Obama really screwing the fiscal pooch, SS is non existent. If the government will simply give me back my contributions and allow me to opt out of SS, I would take that deal in a heartbeat. But no, liberal government insists on subsidizing stupidity. See point number two above. Instead of letting us keep our money and save and invest for ourselves, liberalism says that we must be protected from ourselves. This again erodes the self-initiative to do anything toward our own retirement. If you take away personal initiative and motivation, you create a dependent. This is exactly what liberalism desires. It is the wellspring of liberal power in government. Create as many dependents as possible and you have a perpetual voting block. You also have a country destined to fail. Keep it up and the Chinese children will be reading about the rise and fall of America the same way we read about the fall of the Roman empire. Conservative fiscal philosophy at its most basic core states that individuals are fully capable of making their own spending decisions far better than the government.
FOUR: Conservatives are hawkish. You bet. That is what I am trying to establish in this response. Conservatives want individual freedom and initiative to be the overarching philosophy in American government as well as American citizenship. Conservatives are not willing to stand by and watch military forces, overt or covert, manipulate and damage America's interests and those of our allies. America is a force for peace and freedom in the world. Anyone seen the USSR on any maps lately? The author makes an ad hominem attack on conservatives "taking their turn" in the military. Last time I checked, America utilizes an all-volunteer army. If you don't want to serve in the military, don't. When I turned eighteen, I signed my selective service card quite willingly. We do not conscript young men in the middle of the night. In the event of military action being required, conservatives are well-prepared philosophically and mentally to defend our country. The prospect of armed conflict flies in the face of liberalism however because liberalism does not understand moral absolutes. If a bully punches you, the liberal mindset wants to negotiate and try to understand why the bully hates you. It escapes liberalism entirely that the bully might just like punching you. On a broader international scale, some national leaders simply want to see the world burn. Weakness, or the appearance of weakness, is tantamount to an invitation to take advantage of our averted gaze. And there are no shortage of forces in the world willing to take a few shots at America for no more reason than that we exist.
FOUR, Continued: OK. So far I can understand the author's position on militarism and conservatism. It is at this point that things get bizarre. He attempts to illustrate a fundamental conflict between Christianity and the use of a military. I have to seriously wonder about how much a liberal understands Jesus but those are just my own feelings showing. Jesus did not preach against any evils of war. He preached extensively against the human and sinful motivations for war. But these are considerations for self-introspection on a personal and a societal scale. We can genuflect all we want but that won't keep the wolves away from the door for very long. For example, we see quite clearly that Jesus understood the business end of a whip when he kicked some righteous asses in the temple. That would be the day Jesus took the money lenders to task for defiling the temple grounds for those of you that slept through Sunday school. So no, there is nothing in Christianity, evangelical, fundamental or otherwise, that suggests military action in the defense of one's self and one's country is not honorable. If Bush led the country into a false war, Bush will eventually answer for those crimes in a way that liberals would cheerfully outlaw. I, for one, do not believe the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are based on lies but that is another debate.
FIVE: The author spends a great deal of time and effort at trying to simply say that conservatives are racists. Not only is this the longest paragraph in the essay but it is also the most convoluted. The author posits that at a time when the country is trying to be non-racist, conservatives are moving in the wrong direction by the use of the politics of race. If any political movement would recognize racial politics, it would be liberalism. Once again, we see the liberal approach to dividing the populace along some issue, in this case its race, and then playing one side against the other. The author mentions "welfare queens." I suppose by the use of this term that he is suggesting that conservatives are against the use of welfare. This simply is not true. Conservatives do, however, believe those receiving public support should have to do something to earn the income. After all, everyone else has to get a job to earn a paycheck. Just because someone is in a tough spot does not eliminate their need to get out of bed in the morning and find something productive to do that day. Affirmative action is positively a liberal initiative. Conservatives really don't care about skin color. The question is , can this person do the job better than the other applicants. The advantages of affirmative action to liberals comes, again, in the class warfare arena of garnering the voting block. For so many years, minorities have been told that conservatives are racist and they want to hold down the blacks, hispanics, etc. all because of brown skin. It all fits very nicely into the abdication of personal responsibility. If a minority job applicant did not get the job, it cannot possibly be because someone else was more qualified. No, it must be because the evil corporate structure is against minorities. Enter the liberal government and you have a voter and a dependent for life. If we, as a society want to implement affirmative action quotas, then I say we do it all the way. I wonder what will happen to all the sports teams when we implement such a policy?
FIVE, Continued: The author uses the example of Bob Corker, Republican, in a Tennessee Senate race against Harold Ford, Democrat. The author suggests that asking the question "Who is the real Tennessean" is a back door ploy to instill racial overtones into the race. This is utter and complete nonsense. To understand the vacuous and misleading nature of this description of the senate race, you need to understand a bit about Tennessee. Harold Ford is from Memphis in the far western part of the state. Bob Corker is from Knoxville in the eastern part of the state. There is an enormous difference in politics between the western Memphis area and the rest of the state. Harold Ford is wildly liberal. Bob Corker, is usually conservative. Posing the question about the "real Tennessean" was a demonstration of how Harold Ford's politics were greatly at odds with the majority of the rest of the state. So there you go, the race could not possibly have been a rejection of liberalism by what has been a historically conservative state. No, this author rather weakly blames the liberal rejection in this campaign on non-existent racism. It must have been the evil, racist Republicans. Maybe Ford simply lost on ideals and it is as simple as that. That argument does not fit the liberal template though, does it?
FIVE Continued Again: The author also tries to supplant the debate of LEGAL immigration with a debate of how racist the conservatives are toward hispanics. Again, this is utterly absurd. I simply cannot understand how so many people actively overlook the ILLEGAL part of runaway immigration. Liberalism is very good at ignoring inconvenient laws when it suits. If liberal government can somehow enact amnesty, then presto, an instant voting block. And how should liberals accomplish this feat? You guessed it. Play the hispanics against the nasty, racist conservatives. Make the argument not about obeying the law. Make it about how hard-hearted the conservatives are and how loving and compassionate the liberals are. Come to us (the liberals) and we will make sure the government takes care of you. Of course it is fair for you to simply cross the border while many law-abiding people try to immigrate the proper way. I might add that Mexico certainly does NOT return the favor. Laws regarding immigrants in Mexico might charitably be described as draconian. And that is putting it mildly compared to the treatment of illegals here in America. The conservative plan for immigration is to do it LEGALLY, and then come to America and take advantage of all the opportunities available for education, self-determination and the pursuit of happiness for all individuals willing to put in the effort and the time.
FIVE, Continued Again and Again: The rest of the paragraph is an unfocused and rambling attempt to marginalize the conservative viewpoint as generally racist in its very nature. He uses the example of an all-white Presidential election. He suggests that Obama would have lost such an election and therefore, the white conservatives are racist. This is so far removed from any means of logic as to be juvenile. I might take the same premise and suggest that all the blacks voted for Obama. Who are the racists here?
Finally, and I do mean finally, the author states that the demographics are running away from conservatives. The examples of pandering to minorities, amnesty for hispanics, generational mis-education in our schools have, and are, no doubt making it difficult for conservatives to make a case. It is especially difficult in an environment of government largesse and seemingly unending handouts. Therein lies the rub. It cannot continue forever. As Madoff discovered to his ruin, sooner or later the house of cards will come crashing down. Where will America be then? America will be a third-world caliber country that is subservient to whichever country holds the majority of our debt.
In the end, the author belittles the ability of conservatives to mount a serious political campaign. He claims that the tea parties were elitist and "gay." Seriously, a liberal used the term gay as a pejorative against the consumption of tea. At moments like these, the liberal mindset cracks just a bit and it becomes easier to see what they are really about. In the end, I have read varying estimates of how many tea parties were held and how many people attended them. In one estimate, approximately 500 tea parties were held with an average attendance of 2,000. The two parties I attended certainly met that attendance standard. The sum total attendance across the country would then be about a million attendees. In the middle of a work day. Now that really is a million-man march. The liberals have something to worry about in 2010.
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