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Monday, October 26, 2009

Obstructionism and Fear: A Primer on the Modern Conservative Movement

Here's my latest Op-Ed piece that will appear in my local paper this week.

I have to ask myself why people would even align themselves with modern conservatives. The meaning behind the term conservative has morphed into something that, should people take time to see what modern conservatives do, would rightfully make them rethink their standpoint on a variety of issues

In the ongoing “debate” over healthcare reform, a variety of polls show people ( between 61% and 71% ) favoring a Public Option, with the CBO scoring the Public Option to show that it will reduce the deficit, with insurance companies fighting to keep their anti-trust exemption – a sure sign there is more concerned with monopolistic powers rather than customers - how can conservatives in the House and Senate not want to support their electorate?

Are conservatives are more interested in protecting big business rather than the average American? While it would be an over-simplification to just say “yes”, it’s not to be discounted that the insurance lobby has had ample amounts of currency flowing to select members of the Republican party. Seeing and hearing people like Mitch McConnell and John McCain continually going to bat for insurance giants and promoting the tactics of fear and irrational thought, it’s no surprise to know that these men are dripping wet with insurance lobbyist cash.

But what of other issues? From the continued fight in Afganistan and remaining occupying forces in Iraq – which conservatives aren’t the least bit concerned in knowing where those trillions of dollars are going to come from – to issues like Net Neutrality and our struggling economy, conservatives are more than willing to fabricate memes, conspiracy theories, and patent lies than address the issues themselves.

They want a “surge” in Afganistan when the “surge” in Iraq only prove to be a band-aid on a massive wound that is still bleeding to this day. They want to ignore the fact that our military strategy needs to be rethought and implemented in a more targeted, coordinated, fashion. They claim that Obama is playing politics with Afganistan when that entire conflict was botched to begin with and summarily ignored for nearly 8 years. The economy is slowly reviving and conservatives are still ignoring how we got in this financial mess to begin with, some even suggesting that Bush is responsible for the DOWs rebound. And there are more issues that conservatives are ignoring or twisting in order to promote fear.

Aside from continuing to play the victim and attempting to convince their audience that White House representatives calling them out for what they are – a propaganda arm of the Republican party – Fox”News” has gone full-tilt conspiracy theory. The man leading the charge is the new bright star of the conservative movement – Glenn Beck. Every night since his debut, Beck has weaved an intricate and often unintellegable web of deception, trickery, and malicious intent within the Obama administration. He’s linked them to everyone from the communist party, Nazis, fascists, and Maoists. Beck is the perfect example of what the conservative party has become – a completely unhinged movement that claims that progress and change means the death of America. They are a movement ripe with willful ignorance, willing to believe anything they hear from their leadership. They welcome and consume fear as a new and useful commodity.

The last true conservative leader this country had was one that you might not expect. Bill Clinton implemented ideals that modern conservatives claim to embrace but never approach with any honesty. From balancing the federal budget, leaving us with a trillion-plus surplus, lowering the welfare rolls, massively expanding the economy, and even making Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act a reality, Bill Clinton was more conservative than liberal. Had he been from Kentucky, there surely would have been an R after his name rather than the D that Republicans continually attacked.

So what does the word conservative mean to you? These days it means a person that is not willing to look forward, someone that is more concerned with the status quo, with creating a climate of fear instead of working to improve this country.

1 comment:

themom said...

that pretty well sums up the clusterf**k of the conservative movement! and one wonders why the GOP is imploding???? Ha!

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