What has become of the Conservatives of my youth? The Eisenhowers? The Nelson Rockefellers? The Bill Buckleys? Eisenhower cautioned about the danger of the military-industrial complex. Bill Buckley waxed eloquent on almost any subject; today’s Conservatives idea of eloquent is “Drill, baby, drill.”
Today's dull-witted replacements apparently have never read the Preamble to the US Constitution or The Wealth of Nations. The Preamble lays out the purpose of this experiment in self-government – to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare. I italicized that last because Conservatives are unaware that welfare is a Constitutional imperative.
Adam Smith flatly stated that the purpose of capitalism was not to promote the interests and the obscene enrichment of the Have-Mores, but to promote the Commonweal. The Commonweal was the common good; or again as our Constitution has it, the general welfare.
These days, there’s nothing conservative about Conservatives – that's why I call them Consumatives. The only thing they want to conserve is the advantages that guarantee the playing field has a distinct tilt in their direction. Oh – and all their income while enjoying all the benefits of living in a civilized society that makes the accumulation of great (obscene) wealth possible.
No, today’s Conservatives are too thick-headed, too indoctrinated or too willfully blind to see what is all too blatantly, painfully obvious: Voodoo Economics was an abject and tragic failure. Yet – with rare exceptions – they continue to drink the Freemarketeer Kool-Aid.
Cutting taxes increases revenues? Don’t make me Laffer.
Deregulation creates jobs? No, and even if it did, what good are jobs that don’t pay a living wage?
Mega-mergers benefit consumers? Outfits like Exxon/Mobil, Enron, Hospital Corporation of America are proof merger mania benefited only a few multi-national corporations now too big to control and a handful of banks now too big to fail.
Government isn’t the solution; it’s the problem? No Conservative in their right mind would hire a CEO who professed not to believe in the purpose of the company he or she aspired to run. That leads to the inescapable conclusion Conservatives aren’t in their right mind when it comes to government. Furthermore, they assume bigger is always better (see merger-mania) when it comes to private companies, but not when it comes to government.
Globalization is the rising tide that lifts all boats? Ralph Nader quipped that it was the rising tide that lifts all yachts. I say it’s much worse than that – it’s the tsunami that sinks all life rafts. That a relative handful of people absorb most of the profits from increased productivity and cheap (slave) labor is why I call it gobblization.
The Information Age? The Neo-Econs told us we no longer needed a manufacturing base, told us we'd be paper-handlers to the world. Instead, outfits like Goldmine Sux turned us into the paper-hangers of the world.
Cutting taxes on the rich stimulates growth? To believe that you have to believe Mitt Romney is a job-creator. Like other Neo-Econs, Mitt thinks it’s perfectly okay to rape and pillage companies and destroy communities so he and his friends the Have-Mores can become even more obscenely wealthy.
Criticism of capitalism is Unamerican? It boggles the mind that anyone would conflate the rapacious form of capitalism practiced by Neo-Econs with freedom. Well, if that’s the American Way, I’m Unamerican.
The past should be left in the past? People who have been consistently, persistently, tragically wrong, and what’s worse refuse to admit it and learn from their mistakes, somehow expect us to respect their opinion. Well, first they should get on the right side of history, rather than trying to convince us the Founders ended slavery or that Ronald Reagan belongs on Mount Rushmore.
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These people have conveniently forgotten they twice voted for Bush the Lesser, the worst President in US history. And why, oh why, is that name never even spoken by Conservatives? That's a rhetorical question.
Their collective amnesia is stupefying. What explains that collective amnesia? Well, there’s plenty of blame to go around, but a good place to start might be with John “Duke” Wayne, who once infamously advised “Never apologize; it's a sign of weakness."
Apologize or not, today’s Conservatives are on the whole a sorry lot. Those who can’t admit error are incapable of learning, and those incapable of learning will inevitably repeat their mistakes.
As for me, I’ll take my advice from Albert Einstein:
“Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity.”
©2012 Tom Cordle