Sunday, August 09, 2009

I’ve learned a lot in the last several months carpooling with a guy who really likes his conservative talk radio and working for two years at a place that is by and large conservative. Now I understand the need for conservatives in the political debate. Those who want fiscal responsibility and limited government serve as our political doting mothers. They do not want to see us rush foolishly here and there and everywhere and not scrape up our knees. They want success for us but want us to be careful about it. Much like Chris Rock has said “I don’t condone it but I understand.”

In the past conservatism has brought us fine thinkers and even a few good presidents like Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt. Modern conservatism is sadly such an unholy mess of ideas that I can’t see anyone worth a damn coming out of it until conservatives and the Republican Party change. The GOP is horrible mix of plutocratic policies, religious fanaticism and thinly veiled bigotry against women, minorities, homosexuals and the poor that I have no idea if this party can even make it another decade. Sure it worked temporarily. The religious right voted en masse for the GOP and white suburban folks ate it up. Eventually however their fortress made of sand got washed into the sea. The policies of Reagan of don’t tax the rich, spend endlessly on bullets and bombs and not bread or books and let the market do as it damn well pleases have bit us in the dead square in the ass. Reagan was little more than a really good used car salesman. He sold America a Buick with a broken transmission and we loved, for a while anyway.

Most people are wising up to this ideology and are turning away. But some do however cling to it ferociously. Why the ferocity? Because conservatives are playing the only card that has worked for them recently, fear.

Vote for a Democrat and there will be another 9/11!

They will take your guns!

National Health Care will kill old people and ration health care!

Death Panels!

Gay marriage will ruin marriage and turn everyone gay!

Is this blatant fear mongering? You bethca!

Dwight David Eisenhower once said that he would rather convince a man than intimidate him because once the fear was gone the man was lost but if you convinced him he would stick with you forever. Sadly this sort of thinking is lost on the modern conservative movement and the GOP. All the noise and fear and piss and vinegar in the world will not convince the people.