Gray Flannel Dwarf

7/19/2006

Another log on the fire

Thank you, John Dean, for stating that which I’ve been saying for years; you have some weight to throw around, I don’t.

For more than 40 years I have considered myself a “Goldwater conservative,” and am thoroughly familiar with the movement’s canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon “imperial presidency” on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.

Today’s Republican policies are antithetical to bedrock conservative fundamentals. There is nothing conservative about preemptive wars or disregarding international law by condoning torture. Abandoning fiscal responsibility is now standard operating procedure. Bible-thumping, finger-pointing, tongue-lashing attacks on homosexuals are not found in Russell Krik’s classic conservative canons, nor in James Burham’s guides to conservative governing. Conservatives in the tradition of former senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan believed in “conserving” this planet, not relaxing environmental laws to make life easier for big business. And neither man would have considered employing Christian evangelical criteria in federal programs, ranging from restricting stem cell research to fighting AIDs through abstinence.

Candid and knowledgeable Republicans on the far right concede — usually only when not speaking for attribution — that they are not truly conservative. They do not like to talk about why they behave as they do, or even to reflect on it. Nonetheless, their leaders admit they like being in charge, and their followers grant they find comfort in strong leaders who make them feel safe. This is what I gleaned from discussions with countless conservative leaders and followers, over a decade of questioning.

Today’s GOP does not hoist any true “conservative” values, much less any of the classic Republican planks. To think, back when I was in high school and college, that which bothered me most about the GOP was its reliance on “guns, tobacco, and the Christian right”. Oddly enough, those hardly seem like the biggest of the party’s problems right now, except say, maybe the rhetoric we keep hearing from the Dobsonites.


Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 8:24 am