Conservatives

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." -- John Kenneth Galbraith
"I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it." John Stuart Mill. Quoted in Eric Alterman's book: Why We're Liberals
“Political scientist Corey Robin is right to see modern conservatism as an effort to maintain hierarchies. Conservatives fight to protect the privileges of superiors – what Edmund Burke called the “chain of subordination” of soldiers to their officers, worker to their employers, tenants to their landlords, and children to their parents. But these political hierarchies are not the only concerns of conservatives, who will also go to the mat to defend cultural, moral, and theological hierarchies. And conservatives fight most fiercely to defend hierarchies that are falling away.” from Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars, Even When They Lose Elections: Stephen Prothero. Pg 249.
Freedom from trade unions and collective bargaining means the freedom to suppress wages. Freedom from regulation means the freedom to poison rivers, endanger workers, charge iniquitous rates of interest and design exotic financial instruments. Freedom from tax means freedom from the distribution of wealth that lifts people out of poverty."  Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems
What conservatives are really arguing for is a return to the three historic embodiments of tyranny that the Founders and Framers identified, declared war against, and fought and died to keep out of our land. Those tyrants were kings, theocrats, and noble feudal lords....They stripped the president of the power to declare war...Separated the State from the church and they rejected feudalism (broadly defined as "rule by the super rich.) From Thom Hartman's book Threshold.
...the fundamental truth about the right is that it has always wanted one and only one thing: to keep down those who are already down. This is what unites Edmund Burke and Sarah Palin. (From a review by Mark Lilla of the Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin by Corey Robin.
A self-proclaimed ''Moral Majority,'' and its satellite or client groups, cunning in the use of a native blend of old intimidation and new technology, threaten the values I have named. Angry at change, rigid in the application of chauvinistic slogans, absolutistic in morality, they threaten through political pressure of public denunciation whoever dares to disagree with their authoritarian positions. Using television, direct mail and economic boycott, they would sweep before them anyone who holds a different opinion. Bart Giametti, Yale President (1981)
"America's culture wars are conservative projects, instigated and waged disproportionately by conservatives anxious about the loss of old orders and the emergence of new ones. What liberals see as progress, they see as loss. And they are willing to fight and defend what is already passing away. Culture wars are battles between conservatives and liberals over conflicting cultural, moral, and religious goods. But at a deeper level, they are conservative dramas in which liberals are merely props. If liberals weren't there, conservatives would have to invent them (and, truth be told, they often do)." from Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars, Even When They Lose Elections: Stephen Prothero. Pg 13.
Tanenhaus suggests the conservative movement finally imploded because, in its senescence, it abandoned the conservatism of Burke, who highly valued prudence and civil responsibility. On this I disagree. The modern conservative movement abandoned Burke at its inception. Its ideology has not changed. What changed was that the movement finally came into full power under George W. Bush. Its ideology was well-suited for political growth but incapable of governing. A movement disdainful of government believes it does not matter who heads the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A movement convinced it alone possesses wisdom and virtue believes it patriotic to mislead Congress about reasons for taking a nation to war. And once in power, when decisions have consequences, a movement that cherishes ideology so much that it will adjust facts to fit philosophy, rather than vice versa, will eventually find reality impinge with volcanic-like force -- and be buried in the ash." From a review of The Death of Conservatism by Sam Tanenhaus

Why Bernie Sanders is Starting to Attract Conservative Voters (10/19/2015)

5 Conservative Hoaxes, Lies and Absurd Urban Legends That Have Made America Stupider (9/23/2015)

Katrina and Conservative Failure, Ten Years Later (8/19/2015)

Scientists Discover the Fascinating Psychological Reason Why Conservatives Are…Conservative (7/16/2014)

4 Inconvenient Facts Conservatives Conveniently Ignore (6/4/2014)

Conservatives, Evil and Psychopathy: Science Makes the Link! (5/1/2014)

6 Reasons There’s No Such Thing As Compassionate Conservatism (12/13/2013)

Boehner lashes at conservative groups: 'They've lost all credibility' (12/12/2013)

Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a "30 Front War" (7/25/2013)

The Morality Brigade (3/26/2013)

Conservatives: The New Taliban (3/13/2013)

Why I Stopped Being A Right Winger -- Modern Conservatism has become a form of Mass Hysteria (5/24/2012)

Low Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism

Blessed are those who Possess Colt Peacemakers

Real Conservative Values

Has American-Style Conservatism Become A Religion ? (9/17/2011)

Top Ten Conservative Idiots (December 1999)

Think again, What is Conservatism ?

From Teleprompter to Torture: Caricature of American Conservatism on display at CPAC 2010

Words are important. Republicans usually call themselves 'conservative', but the word 'conservative' has no relation to Republican activities.

Witness the cheering crowd of conservatives at CPAC 2010. Dick Cheney, the man who helped legitimize torture, renditions, secret prisons, universal phone taps, pre-emptive war, and practically unlimited use of resources for war, speaks stirringly of bringing down our sitting President.

These same people, knowing the dysfunction of our health care system, cheer that they can throw up obstacles to any kind of reform. Meanwhile, they know people in the US are dying for lack of proper care. They call themselves 'pro-life' with the same hypocrisy that they call themselves 'conservative'. Their committment to life stops at birth.  They are blind to the fact that overpopulation is killing nature.

Matt Ygelsias still wonders what conservatives want to actually accomplish in governing:: "I guess I don't really understand what it is that the GOP has a great opportunity to do. The view they're articulating at the moment is that (a) the deficit should be lower, (b) taxes should be lower, (c) Medicare shouldn't be cut, (d) defense spending should be higher. With unemployment at 10 percent, this is a somewhat potent political message that helped them become only slightly less popular than the other party. That's a huge improvement from where they were 18 months ago. But it's not a governing agenda. What would they do if they took over?"

Right Wing Politics is mostly dirty tricks (1/28/2010)

HOW conservatives RUINED GOVERNMENT _ Moyers Journal (video) 1/16/2010

Bill Moyers: Conservative Radicals and the Politics of Vengeance (9/21/2009)

Through the Bush years, without apology, R's have:

Passed trillions of dollars in debt to our children and redistributed wealth upward by 'lowering taxes', profligate spending, putting the cost of war on the tab, and rewarding their crony friends from the government ATM. They say they are for 'shrinking government', but it has grown in ways that demonstrate their hypocrisy. They made the US one of the worst countries for inequality of income distribution and they want to cut social programs.  

They demonstrated an ability to create financial instability, and to bring on economic crisis. See these stories by Joseph Stiglitz.

While Iraq war profiteering was rampant, Congress did no oversight of the privatized, waste in contracting, troops were under strength, under equipped, and rotated too often. Wounded warriors overloaded the VA. Domestic security was compromised by removal of first responders to Iraq, the trashing of the National Guard, and widespread drop outs from service. The Bush administration's Iraq War, torture, and disregard of human rights destroyed the US claim to the moral high ground and its good reputation abroad.

In the US, 'conservatives' are mainly concerned with money. They don't much care about the environment because they would do away with the EPA if they could. They will tell you that global warming is a hoax. They reject the argument for sustainability and dismiss the UN's Agenda 21 effort.

Real Christians, unlike Republicans, would want to assist the poor, make peace, and do good. Republicans do quite the opposite. They are human rights abusers, torturing when it suits them, engaging in renditions, and thumbing their nose at international law. This has cost the US the good will of the rest of the world, and may yet lead to terrorism on our own soil. We are targets now. We are not safer. Warmongering, empire-building Republicans have sacrificed those high American values for greedy, mean spirited, short-term, goals. That is NOT conservative. Evangelical churches have become the propaganda tool of Republicans.

They don't care about other people, they're on their own.

Real conservatives would want to protect the best features of the Constitution at the very least. Instead Bush's administration undermined the bill of rights, neglected important assumptions such as the avoidance of entangling foreign alliances, the revulsion against concentration of power (whether it be the media, corporations, or the Presidency.), or the continued functioning of those 'checks and balances'.

The US, thanks to 'law and order' Republicans now is  a leader in incarcerations of its own people.  The better to suppress minority voting. U.S. elections, thanks to Republicans, do not measure up to even minimal standards.

US government now wiretaps at will, searches people at airports, spies on their every move, conducts much of its public business in secrecy, engages in completely unethical behavior by secret, covert agencies. R's profess support for law and order...just not for themselves.

Party hacks staffed important government positions and incompetence has been the trademark of the Bush administration. Bible school graduates staffed the Justice Department, political minders censored scientists, and corporate cronies were allowed to run regulatory agencies. The results are clear now.

Supreme Court justice Scalia, when discussing the 2000 election, said "Get over it".  The Court has made many bad decisions in the past,  mostly because they always take the Corporate interest over that of the people. Appointing Bush was, in 20/20 hindsight, the worst decision they ever made. The US may never recover from it.

Real conservatives would want to mitigate possible damage to the environment. R's do not.

See Republicans for further details, since they apply the label Conservative to themselves without any clue of what it would mean to conserve. Not only have R's raced to the bottom, they have crashed the US there. As Larry Lessig writes...we have lost our republic. (Download the free book.)

See the forecast.

Meet the Patriots.

Links

Tea Party

Institute  For Research and Education on Human Rights

Right Wing Watch

Liberalism Resurgent

Bibliography

The Wrongs of the Right: Language, race and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama: Matthew w.Hughey and Gregory S Parks.

The Reactionary Mind: Corey Robin

Before the Storm: Rick Perlstein

Why the Right Went Wrong, Conservatism - From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond: E.J. Dionne Jr.

Answering Back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments: David Coates

Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals and Reagan's Rise to Power: Seth Rosenfeld

The Conservative Nanny State: Dean Baker (Read it on line.)

The Price of Right: How the Conservative Agenda Has Failed America (and Always Will): Alicia Morgan

Conservatives Without Conscience: John W. Dean

Up From Conservatism, Why the Right is Wrong For America: Michael Lind

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