The centrists are delusional. There is no middle ground, no compromise, no moderation, no bipartisan way forward. It's not that liberals haven't tried. They have wasted years trying to reach across the aisle, and have gone along with conservatives jerking them to the Right, only to be bitten by the poisonous snakes each time. Conservatives have brought this upon themselves by their dereliction of truth and goodness. They have proved repeatedly that they really don't believe in American values... or Christian... or any other ethical, moral framework. Their ideology is based on ignorance, selfishness, greed, deceit, distortion and division, a sure-fire disaster in the modern world. The writing on the wall is plain to see. The signs are everywhere. Evidence against the inevitable is scant. Our nation is right back to being as divided as it was during the Civil Rights/Vietnam era, and deteriorating rapidly. Let us hope that it does not devolve further into the depths of division during the Revolution and Civil War. Yet both sides are moving outward towards their extremes. This is only halfway alarming. It actually represents a good thing on the liberal side: resurgence in strength and resolve from the true soul of America and the side of rationality and compassion. But it is, indeed, an apocalypse in the making on the conservative side, the chronic American traitors, who start off selfish and get worse from there. The future is stark: either Liberalism or Conservatism must utterly prevail. Otherwise, this abominable cycle of back-and-forth will continue with increasingly dangerous and potentially catastrophic results. All true Americans better hope it's the Liberals who win... or the original dream of America is doomed.
Conservatives... scroll to the bottom for the TL;DR version, just right for your brain size.
An Ideology on Trial
Of course, lost on the conservatives is the irony that they, of all ideologues, the ones who opposed American independence and nationhood from the start (and still don't agree with its values), then stomped off in a huff during the Civil War, and threaten to secede once again every time they lose an election, would appoint themselves the Inquisition empowered to remove the liberal brand upon which our country is actually founded. How rich. The Founding Fathers would be howling in laughter and scorn, recognizing conservatism, the ideology that marinates in incoherency even as it bubbles with hate.
We whole liberals are lovers. We don't hate. We can get angry when we see injustice; we can punch back when hit. We defend our values. So we certainly agree with the conservative deporters that one of the two major political ideologies in America should be disappeared; we just disagree on which one. Yet we would not want to deport our conservative fellow Americans, or harm a hair on even those with the swastika tattoos. Oh sure, that would be a simple, black-and-white solution, but at too monstrous a cost. It would make us conservatives.
Of course becoming the monsters they hate is always an option for conservatives. Because they really have no scruples, no higher values, no virtue... just a crazy quilt of quasi-religious, pseudo-rational, inconsistent, contradictory and hypocritical beliefs and raw "gut feeling." So it makes sense that they would become terrorists to thwart terrorism, destroy the village to save it, become torturers to find and kill other torturers, overthrow American democracy and all American values to prove to each other what macho "Americans" they are. An eye for an eye... the world is so easy, so black-and-white. That the "libtards" can't figure this out is proof positive to conservatives of their ideological and intellectual superiority.
Ah, the conservatives, they think they are mighty special. Alas for them, much of the civilized world is coming to the conclusion that it would be better off without them. Conservatives in most modern countries have become a lot more liberal, to their own, as well as their nation's, relief and benefit. These are not called "liberal democracies" for nothing. Among this collection of advanced nations, America is quickly falling far behind. Many other countries are now more "American" in their values than we are. We are being retarded by conservatives. Our conservatives - steeped in the myth of the rugged individual, as portrayed in so many westerns, cop thrillers, sci-fi and fantasy flicks - are determined to cling to their backwardness as hard as they cling to their AK-47s. This type of hero is how every American conservative thinks of themselves. Rambo is a good example, or one of those drivers in the Fast and Furious series. It all is a fantasy. Their self image is flipped upside down and inside out from reality. They think they are heroically defending America when they are actually villainously defending the tradition of domination. Moreover, if there is anything conservatives are not, it is very "individual," they are clones of clones in their rote conformity and willingness to follow authoriarians. Nor are they typically brave, some U.S. service men and women excepted. Most of them are actually scared shitless of the world.
It looks like we are stuck with them for now. Even if we wanted to, where would we deport them? Who would want them? We can't just cast them adrift in the sea. There is enough toxic waste dumped out there already. Yet no other "white" country would want them; they are too mean and stupid. The old mother country for many of them, Britain, has enough of a head-ache with its own Tories; it wouldn't want to add a whole bunch of American knuckleheads to the problem. Most other "authoritarian-loving" countries would not take our conservatives; they are too greedy. Maybe one of the theocracies would accept them. If they would just give up the Jesus charade, whom they have never shown much interest in emulating anyway, they would fit in almost perfectly with the 16th Century modeling, science-despising, gun-and-explosion-loving, liberal-hating, woman-subjugating, gay-bashing, trans-killing, fascist, nationalistic, but God-fearing Taliban. Just tell the conservatives that Obama hates the Taliban, and watch them go all Pavlov's dog, warm and fuzzy. Could work. The Taliban might go for it; their arsenal of guns would quintuple. It doesn't take much imagination to contemplate all of those guys quickly becoming besties and having a hoot going around blowing up Buddhist statues.
But none of that is necessary. As always, we liberals take a more sophisticated, more compassionate, more nuanced view of the world, and we can perceive that we have more options than just forced removal or genocide to choose from. It turns out it's not the people who are the root problem; it's their beliefs. Take away those nasty beliefs and, lo and behold, there's usually (but not always) a good person brainwashed and imprisoned in there. We don't have to commit a shred of violence on their personhood, but it has become crystal clear to all who have bothered to follow the true human story that the ideology of conservatism deserves no less than the death penalty.
The death penalty? That itself is problematic. True liberals don't believe in it. We can't. We don't believe that it is moral to kill someone under your complete control and who is no longer a threat to anyone. Conservatives do. We've studied the statistics and understand that it doesn't serve as a deterrent. Liberals see the death penalty for what it is: sheer revenge killing, the indulging of the worst emotion: rage, even as it is a clear abdication of higher virtues: love, compassion and forgiveness. Conservatives don't believe in statistics and science; these are not mentioned in the Bible, but the Good Book fully endorses being enraged and killing people. Conservatives are thrilled to be like God and bring down some wrath every once in awhile. Liberals are not willing to accept the inevitability that prisoners innocent of their accused crimes will be executed. Not a problem for conservatives; collateral damage is perfectly acceptable, let God sort them out. Liberals don't believe in that big of a Big Government that can determine whether someone lives or dies. Unless defending against an armed and dangerous enemy, the government should not be in the killing business. Conservatives love this biggest of all Big Governments. Liberals are actually "pro-life." Conservatives are not; greed and violence are good, oppression is "natural," war is exciting and killing is a "sport."
Go ahead; find the room for compromise and bipartisanship in those opposing viewpoints.
But we might be interested in applying the death penalty to things other than living beings. How about some of those "corporate persons?" We can easily come up with a list of those which are fully deserving. We will take the conservative declaration that "corporations are people" a little more seriously when one of them gets the death penalty. But even better than that would be capital punishment for the ideology that unleashed these pirate and predator corporations, and has meted out so much capital punishment and all other kinds of harm, torture, rape and pillage, prejudice, exploitation, subjugation, oppression, slavery, murder, war, environmental devastation and, yes, genocide for the past, oh, ten thousand years.
So there's our solution: let's arrest conservatism on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, and put it through the legal system. Give it a fair trial. Present the evidence pro and con (that won't be a pretty picture). And if it is convicted - which it surely will be if true justice is served - send it to the gallows. Or should we opt for the more ironic gas chamber? Definitely not the electric chair, as conservatives don't believe in science; executing their ideology with science would only add insult to injury, and we liberals are much too polite and compassionate to wish to do that.
Now since it is true that conservatives are closely related to zombies, more or less brain dead, their ideology may not remain dead. This likelihood needs to be taken into consideration. So rather than dead-dead, perhaps our objective with conservatism should be something along the lines of shamed into irrelevance, refuted into inconsequence, marginalized to below Flat Earther status, so that it becomes as rare, sadly quaint and queer (in the old meaning of "strange," not "fabulous") as believers of black magic, which shares an approximate degree of validity with conservatism. Let's accept the probability that we may never be able to entirely expunge conservatism as a worldview. It is so simple and self-serving it is always going to hold some appeal for the simple and self-serving. Yet we can vow to remain ever vigilant to its potential resurgence (as we are experiencing right now) and consistent in our own drum-beat denigration of its false and immoral beliefs and behavior.
Why The Fierce Urgency?
Well, yes we have endured... but barely. But no, one of the ideologies has certainly not offered much or anything of real virtue to our culture. Quite the contrary, it has sought to block all positive progress, thus serving as the greatest impediment to each and every attempt to actualize true American values. The historic ramifications of this obstructionism and maliciousness have been horrific. Real lives have been ruined, wars have been started, the economy crashed again and again, the country has ruptured repeatedly as a consequence of the perennial conservative crusade to conserve bad ideas.
Does this news come as a shock, or sound like an utter fabrication? Well then you are certainly in the majority. This is one of those ugly truths that polite people in our society don't want to hear or know. The media, conservative, mainstream and even liberal-leaning, dare not speak or print the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Indeed, the mainstream media is terrified of losing a huge chunk of its audience or readership if it goes too far in tarnishing conservatism in general. So it engages in perpetual "false equivalency," tit-for-tat, an ultra-cautious dosey-doe with the facts, ever being careful not to step on too many toes. If the mainstream media were really liberal, it would be continually exoriating conservatism for its perennially dastardly positions and poisonous history of wrongness combined with meanness.
The media's continuing wallow in false equivalency is perhaps the biggest reason why so many people falsely believe that the political parties are both more or less equal partners in building the America we love. This is actually a huge disservice to the country, and a shirking of their own mandate to inform the public and act as the "fourth estate" in guarding the "general welfare." But notice even during the height of Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Bush-Cheney lying us into twin wars, and now with the imbecile Trump, the mainstream media avoids connecting the dots and educating the public on how the latest conservative scandal or crisis or bullrush is only part of a long, long line of conservative chicanery and un-American activities. In bending over backward to appear "fair and balanced" such media are not fair and balanced to the truth.
The urgency now is because the stakes have gotten perilously high. There was a time when conservatives could muck up only so much. They might crater a nation, but they couldn't wreck the world. But that day has long past. They now have the ability to literally destroy life on the planet as they continue to roll back hard-won progress on many fronts. They are a "clear and present danger" to America as we know it, to Western Civilization insofar as it has evolved into a science and civil rights based collective, to world peace, to higher human consciousness and virtue, and to the entire biosphere of Planet Earth.
Those conservatives who want to kill or deport liberals actually at least understand what is going on. We are truly in a "cultural war," a war for the soul of humanity. They know they must win outright, and if it takes firing back up the gas chambers, they have no problem with that. They are already playing hardball, while the liberal side continues to play patty-cake, stay soft and pliable, and want to get "back" to being chummy with their "colleagues," as if that dream of "bipartisanship" was the norm and hasn't actually been but rarely and fleetingly achieved (when liberals have succumbed to compromising with the devil) and is becoming more and more fanciful by the day.
Decades ago conservatives discarded any semblance of fair play, and are willing to lie and cheat and create mayhem in order to further demonize and ultimately destroy liberalism, and then American democracy as we know it. They have systematically built think tanks, a wholly partisan media death star (which they call "fair and balanced") and surrogate talk radio and web blog battle cruisers, an efficient and disciplined propaganda apparatus with a nationwide "echo chamber," stream of clever "talking points" and very effective "message control" techniques; they have bought off politicians, rigged local and state politics, are at this very moment maliciously seeking to suppress the vote, and have successfully brainwashed and weaponized a zombie army of angry and fearful social conservatives (storm troopers) who will do the bidding of the ideology even against their own best interests. They are the Evil Empire!
All of this has occurred while liberals basically sat back and watched, becoming "Republican Lite" in the process of being pulled rightward by conservative economic theory, commencing to pitch woo to their own favored "corporate persons" to the point of betraying their traditional identity as "the party of the people." Even as the Democrats put two "Republican Lite" presidents in the White House (and a third won the popular vote in 2016), the conservatives were running circles around them while holding barbed-wire. The results have been a humiliating hog-tie, if not, yet, a complete check-mate. As of this writing, conservatives control the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, 33 governorships, 32 state legislatures and 29 secretary of state positions. Conservatives are trying hard, and moving ever closer, to a system rigged permanently in their favor. This would be an utter catastrophe for America and the world. And yet, it's staring us right in the face.
Awakening to what has been happening on the Right should alarm every American who actually believes in democracy, and easily underscores which side must ultimately be defeated. Actual believers in American democracy delay with peril resolving to engage with vastly enhanced urgency and steeliness this truly mortal enemy.
What About the "Good" Conservatives?
The reality is that all violent fascist totalitarians are conservative, including those like Stalin and Mao and Castro who are called "leftists" simply because they co-opted and corrupted a theoretically liberal socio-political system such as socialism or communism. Authoritarian regimes in which liberty and equality, justice for all and pursuit of happiness are cast aside so that some thugs can live in luxury are the farthest thing from liberal... but they are thoroughly traditional dominating institutions, and thus thoroughly conservative. That some of the ideological kith and kin of these monsters of history aren't quite that bad is not terribly reassuring.
Some might claim that it is only because there are "middle of the road" conservatives that we aren't already living in a Mad Max conservative dystopia. Of course, that discounts the much greater role played by actual liberals in the existential struggle. But those nice conservatives... you know, the moderate, mainstream, religious conservatives... as well as those "independents" who can be so easily bamboozled into voting for conservatives, are also a part of the problem... a big part. They carve out the space, plow the furrows, and plant the seeds so that the ideology can flourish in our culture. They make the ideology acceptable, seemingly benign or even helpful. It is they who keep it mainstream. They seem like such nice folks, yet there is an essential problem. At its core, the ideology is based upon myths, tradition for domination's sake, clannishness, selfishness, superiority and division; it is inherently antithetical to universal values and virtue. Sure enough we see this in action over and over again through history. Conservatives simply cannot well discern between "traditional" values and "universal" values; consistently favoring the latter over the former. All of those "good" conservatives down the through the ages have supported a lot of very bad ideas and bad people, and continue to do so today.
Then, of course, it is inevitable that an ideology based on selfishness is going to spin into real evil. Again and again we see that those furrows the "good conservatives" plow and seeds they plant too often grow into fundamentalist zealots, and worse, outright sociopaths, or even worse diabolical super-villains. This is nowhere more evident than with homegrown, all-American, usually Christian, domestic terrorists. The conservatives who lynched all those innocent black people, murdered the three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi, tortured and left Matthew Shepard tied to a Wyoming fencepost to die, drug James Byrd Jr. behind a car until dead, blew up 168 people, including preschoolers, in the Oklahoma City bombing, executed nine black people he had been worshipping with in Charleston, massacred 49 gay and lesbian revelers at an Orlando nightclub, and just this year so far (mid August) have murdered 14 transgender people, all of these "bad seeds" emerged from the fields of the American conservative mainstream. The party of "personal responsibility" doesn't seem to want to take responsibility for any of this. Yet it shares the blame. Likewise, the blame and shame for the tragedy at Charlottesville certainly splashes on to anyone who voted for Trump. They should have seen this kind of episode building a year ago, and objected to the tenor of his campaign. Trump has exhorted intolerance and violence, giving comfort to rank nationalism and racism. But he, too, is just another "bad seed" from the furrows of conservatives. It's been said that Trump poisons everything. He's just another rancid conservative of which there have been far too many in history to even begin to count. It's not individuals who corrupt conservatism, it's conservatism that corrupts individuals. Even little Adolph Hitler was a nice kid until conservatism got hold of him. Like so many before him, Trump is the messenger, the vehicle, of toxic ideas. It's actually conservatism that poisons everything.
Making the Case
To contrast the two ideologies, plaintiff and defendant in our trial, it is certainly pertinent to submit to the court all the dastardly deeds that conservatism has on its record, most of them in direct conflict with liberalism. We must hand it to them; conservatives have done a bang-up job of concealing and covering over that record. They know they have to; it is shockingly brazen and brutal. So they have become quite skilled at deceit, diversion and distortion, while also counting heavily on the very short attention span of most Americans. Most people, certainly including conservatives themselves, have scant clue of the despicable legacy of conservatives in America. But just pick up a good history book (well, avoid those written by the Texas Schoolbook Commission), and you'll find much of it vividly detailed. Generally speaking, in all of world history, liberals are the heroes and conservatives the villains. The American story is no different.
A good starting point would be the high treason to the fledgling United States of America back during the Revolutionary War, when the conservatives (i.e. "Tories") "conserved" their "tradition" of loyalty to king and crown. Yes, they were against America from the start. Then let's zoom ahead 85 years to the Civil War. Nearly a million American citizens would lose their lives as conservatives rejected America once more, this time to conserve another of their "noble causes:" slavery. After they were defeated in that horrible conflagration, and chivalrously pardoned by the winning side, the snakes immediately went back to their nefarious ways of trying to undermine the union in other ways. Nothing much ever changes with these conservatives.
All along conservatives have been defined by what they are against. It turns out they are against almost everyone and everything: change, progress, liberty (for anyone else, especially black people), equality (for anyone else, especially women), justice (for anyone else, especially the poor), compassion (for anyone else, especially Indians), all other races, creeds, languages, customs, religions, nationalities (except their beloved British... until they turned against them, too), and nature. They vehemently and viciously opposed: fair treatment and honoring of treaties with Native Americans, public education, civil rights, women's suffrage, workers' rights, workplace safety regulations, unions, environmental protections, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, contraceptives and abortion rights, welfare, food stamps, desegregation, interracial marriage, consumer protections, LGBT rights, universal healthcare, animal rights. And that's just a quick off the top of the head list. Dig into the details of these and other issues and it just gets worse and worse.
The Party of Common Nonsense
Conservatives think of themselves as having a monopoly on common sense, but they actually have the world's worst judgment (which explains their erroneous flattery of themselves). The partial list above of issues they supported or opposed are plenty to prove that conservatives are forever on the wrong side of history. But there's more, so much more. It would take a very large tome to list all of their craziness. Those wacked conservatives have opposed such things as the automobile, the telephone, vaccines, the space program, seatbelts, motorcycle helmets, medical marijuana, jazz, rock and roll, the bikini, Harry Potter, even dancing. And certainly their rote aversion to science has to be mentioned, denying almost each and every discovery since the days of Aristotle, with the theory of evolution - the most sublime scientific discovery of all - the subject of their greatest ire. Currently they are at war with climate science, insisting they and their idiot politicians and pundits understand it better than a huge consensus of climate experts, a stunning show of ignorance, obstinacy and obstructionism that just may cause us to miss our final opportunities to mitigate the most fearsome repercussions of this titanic threat to our very civilizations.
And, of course, this swarm of stupidity just elected Donald J. Trump president of the United States, transparently the most unqualified major presidential candidate ever, and a transparent charlatan, lout and jerk. Sixty-two million conservatives could not perceive the blatantly obvious, and not only flubbed good judgement and failed American values, they flunked basic decency. Excluding the most violent Americans to select from, a council of the wisest and most virtuous elders would consider someone like Donald J. Trump the least qualified person in America to be president. There is absolutely nothing in his character that suggests he should be anywhere near the halls of power, or even be invited to dinner in your own household. If you do, hide your beautiful wife and daughters. He is a common thug who has bullied his way in real estate and gambling and a few other sorded scams to proclaimed billionaire status. He knows virtually nothing about government, nothing about law, nothing about history, nothing about science, nothing about decorum, nothing about virtue; he only knows about domination. He would make for a terrible schoolboard chairperson, much less President of the United States. All of the other 16 Republican candidates, and most halfway thoughtful Republican politicians and writers said much the same thing. Yet, those paragons of "common sense" and keepers of the "moral high ground," the conservatives, were ridiculously easily hoodwinked. They fell head over heels for the ugliest, meanest, stupidest, most irreverent, most disgusting, most revolting, most self-serving major candidate ever.... and ended up foisting this barbarian upon America.
Coming up with virtues that conservatives are universally good at is difficult. Boy Scouts they are not, even if they were Boy Scouts. For instance, conservatives claim to be very loyal, but they will turn on you on a dime. How about all those past Republican presidential candidates who lost? The love and interest are gone. Mitt Romney? Who is he? Oh, that Mormon. Why they don't even want to talk too much about any of the Republicans that won their elections. Except for one, of course, St. Reagan. Conservatives voted Davy Crockett out of office! Come on, who the hell fires Davy Crockett, "King of the wild frontier," one of America's first superstars? Conservatives, that's who, mad that he took the side of Indians when Tennessee and Kentucky settlers wanted to steal their land. They also turned against legendary Sam Houston, the hero of the Texas Revolution. Why? Because he told them seceding from the union to join the Confederacy was dumb and doomed. Sam was right. The conservatives were wrong... as usual.
Their loss is our gain. We'll be happy to take Davy and Sam as good liberals for their day.
The "End Game"
Not according to conservatives obviously. Look what they are up to. Ever continuing to thwart universal values, including true American ideals, real spiritual truth and even their own Christian principles, as they seek to demean and diminish, if not subjugate and exploit "the other," which happens to be most of the rest of the world. They prove over and over again they really care little or nothing for human life that is outside of their in-group, and even less about the rest of nature. Far more than any concept in the Declaration of Independence or Constitution (except for the Second Amendment, of course), conservatives seem to revere tax cuts for the rich as their guiding principle, and not fair capitalism but "Trickle-Down" as their official economic system. Historically, they are to blame for America's most egregious sins: slavery, genocide and theft of property and culture from the Native Americans, subjugation of women and non-Christians, and the poor and workers and freed blacks and gays and lesbians and transgender people and immigrants and anyone speaking a language other than English, and of course, any animals other than their own beloved pets (in-group, you know). They were against America from the start and caused the Civil War, for crying out loud. Those two colossal collapses of moral judgment should have long ago disqualified them from any claim to remote moral equivalence with liberality. Yet their zombie army keeps electing them to public office.
So here they are in the 21st Century still feverishly erecting barriers to liberty, equality and justice for all, including corrupting democracy itself with their insidious voter suppression, wild gerrymandering, media juggernauts and floods of money influencing our politics. They have become the biggest liars the planet has ever known, denying and denigrating perhaps the most exquisite revelation in the history of science: the theory of evolution, and repudiating even the weather in front of our faces. Epic, historic, never-seen-before heatwaves, rainstorms, floods, wildfires, winter events, hurricanes, tornado swarms? No worries say the conservatives; it's all perfectly cyclical and natural. Besides we certainly don't want to inconvenience in any way our good coal and oil companies, do we? At the same time they are once again proving they just can't quit the immorality and meanness in wantonly placing profit above people as they actually take healthcare rights away from millions of Americans. What kind of vision for the future emerges from all of this?
It would seem that conservatism exists only to block cultural progress, and to do its best to "conserve" as many components as possible of the Dominator Hierarchy that lends advantage and privilege to a select few, while subjugating and exploiting everyone and everything else. That great conservative "intellectual," William F. Buckley confirmed as much when he said, "A conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling, "Stop!" Everyone should stop and read that, and think about what it really implies.
And For the Defense:
Oh sure, they have myths. Myths about how the Founding Fathers were actually conservative, about how the country is founded on Christian principles, about how the Civil War was not about slavery, about how conservatives are the real patriots, the real "free and the brave," about how people in rural areas and small towns are the "Real Americans," about how conservatives are the real innovators and business geniuses, indeed the "Masters of the Universe." There are "scholars" who will lecture on how conservatism is the "antidote to tyranny," a "magnificent, liberating philosophy," despite having not a real fact to chew on. Then conservatives have their distortions that are sometimes based in truth but are meant to deceive. Such as the claim (that you see everywhere) that "it was a Republican who freed the slaves, and Democrats who were in the KKK." Technically true, but the more pertinent truth is creepily concealed: that Republican was a liberal for his day, and those Democrats (or Dixiecrats, as they were called) were conservatives. Parties morph. Issues change. Liberal and conservative never do. This particular disingenuous pseudo-whopper is spouted by dolts to dupes they hope to dumb-down even further. It is meant to damage Democrats, the more liberal party these days; in the process such conservative charlatans don't seem to mind dissing their own pappies and grand-pappies and great-grand-pappies, all the way back to Andrew Jackson's day, as they seek to shroud the racism of their own true ideology: conservatism.
These myths and distortions easily fall apart upon close scrutiny. They admit as much themselves between the lines. In all of American history, they have only one hero, Ronald Reagan. And he's a fake. Notice they cannot really cozy up to any of the famous Founding Fathers (though they will cherry-pick a quote here and there), or any other Republican president because they were either too liberal (Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower) or simply too awful (Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Nixon, Bush the Mediocre, Bush the Lesser, and, soon, Trump). Without going back to the Gilded Age, they only have Reagan left standing, the B-rate movie actor (another of the celebrity type they are so enamored with). "The greatest modern president," they proclaim, as they desperately attempt to polish the sham while totally ignoring the actual details of this colossal conservative blunderer. If only they weren't so sadly false. Almost every major problem we face today was thrown into higher gear by Reagan.
What about those great ideas of conservatism, you know that "balance" so many people think exists and is essential to our democracy? Now, don't be tempted to stray away from the dictionary definitions of conservatism and liberalism. Too many people do stray far, far away when trying to visualize that nice socio-economic-political balance between liberals and conservatives. The common mistake such people make is to exaggerate liberal "excess," while magnanimously rewarding conservatives with concepts that are not actually exclusively conservative. There is so much confusion. When you ask a conservative why they are conservative you are very likely to get an answer such as: "Because I believe in freedom, damn it!" Or "Because I'm a real American." Or "Because I believe in limited government." Or "Because I believe in low taxes." These are all nonsense answers. Liberals believe these very same things (even limited government; we don't want a government one whit bigger than it has to be to administer and control history's largest military, largest economy, and going on 400 million people. Low taxes? Liberals want the lowest taxes possible for working families, but yes, we do want the highest taxes possible for those benefitting the most from our shared economy; we do not agree that obscene profit, income or hoarding of wealth serves the "general welfare" of the nation).
So then what are the great ideas of conservatism? There is only one great idea in all the history of conservatism. It's the golden nugget at the epi-center of every single conservative impulse. That idea is "Some things need to be conserved." We liberals AGREE! Yes. Yes. Yes. Some things very much do need to be conserved. Where it all breaks down is deciding just what needs to be conserved. Conservatives decided long ago that what needs to be conserved was not life or liberty or the virtues or even our own planet home. Instead what they chose to pledge their allegiance to conserving was the Dominator Hierarchy, an insidious system of subgugation, domination, division, privilege and prejudice. Precisely due to that epic, original failure, they haven't had a good idea since.
But what say the defendant, conservatism, in its own behalf?
Its counsel would be wise to advise it to plead the Fifth. There's not much else it can do. The historical record, and every single current event, clearly depict the habitual and horrendous criminality of this ideology. But past and present are not the whole point. We are talking about marginalizing this ideology going forward through the centuries. So let's consider the future. How might conservatism serve our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and even the "seventh generation" that Native American wisdom demands be taken into account with every major decision.
What do conservatives offer as an alternative to continual liberal progress? They hate the change that has already occurred. So what systemic state do they want to go back to? Perhaps the 1950s? (without the 92 percent tax on the rich, of course). The 1920s, when conservatism ruled, Prohibition was the law of the land, and the Great Depression was being cooked up? The 1880s, when the Robber Barons were running amok, the railroads were overlords, and there was a bank crash like clockwork every decade? The 1850s, when slavery was still steaming along? The 1740s, when all was right in the British-American colonies, Protestantism was unchallenged, blacks were slaves, Indians were on the run, women knew their places, the poor and uneducated were ignored, and there was no such thing as gays, lesbians or transgender people (though witches were still a potential concern)? Or is it even further back, say, Medieval Europe when Christianity was the forced single religion, feudal princes lorded over the peasants and townspeople, an hereditary king ruled over the princes, and a pope told the king what to do? A nice autocratic theocracy like that, replete with inequity, stark social striations, massive wealth and utter poverty and want seems to be very close to what American conservatives still pine for. If not, then when, where, what exactly is conservatism's grand vision?
Conservatives have never presented a fleshed-out blueprint of how they would remake American society. Their vision for America is about as well crafted as their recent replacement for Obamacare. They had seven years to mull and refine their great plan, but at last presented a dismantling and piecemeal replacement of our entire healthcare system, representing 20 percent of the American economy, hurriedly concocted by thirteen old white men sequestered in a closed chamber over a few days, taking little or no outside input. Consider the audacity, the perversion, the callousness. As with healthcare, conservatives can't fully agree on a shared vision of the future. That would require creative imagination and conservatives are horrible at that.
As monolithic as it seems, conservatism remains fractured into at least two major divisions. Social and corporate conservatives remain in a very flimsy and shaky pact in opposition to their common perceived enemy, the liberals. Yet down deep there is much they actually vehemently disagree upon. Some of those frictions came to light with the healthcare debacle: CorpCons perfectly willing to yank decent healthcare away from millions of Americans, including many of their own conservative constituents, while more moderate SoCons belatedly awoke to the virtues of Obamacare, and resisted this tyrannical abuse of We the People and sure-fire political loser legislation. Whenever SoCons finally realize how much they have been used and abused by the CorpCons the whole sorded betrothal will end in a messy divorce. For now the uneasy coalition continues, with the SoCons actually boxing the CorpCons' ears with the election of Trump.
Both CorpCons and SoCons probably realize that if they were to throw all of their various un-American wishes out there for all to carefully examine, it would resemble not a dream but a nightmare for everyone else. It seems most likely that conservatives really don't have a clear vision for the future at all. In their minds the perfect America is as hazy and ill-defined as heaven. There may be clouds and harps and all your loved ones are there but otherwise there are no details. Conservatives have a big problem. There are many flavors of conservatism and they do not share the same stance on many issues, though all support one or more of the strands of the Dominator Hierarchy. One thing all of them agree upon is that the vision for America cannot be the liberal vision. Perhaps conservatism just wants to serve as an anchor upon progress, setting as much of a drag as possible, in the meanwhile lying and stealing and oppressing and exploiting and destroying as much as they can before the End Times arrive and they are raptured up to heaven on account of their virtue. That's about the only scenario that seems to make any sense.
Closing Argument of the Prosecution:
Conservative "tradition" was what they were revolting against, first with the Boston Tea Party where they simultaneously trashed the private property (sacrosanct to conservatives) of a corporation (sacrosanct to conservatives) and thumbed their noses at the king (very sacrosanct to conservatives). The liberal patriots went further, much further, with the Declaration of Independence where they proclaimed for posterity that "All Men Are Created Equal." Equality in selfhood, about as liberal a concept as there is, though it was, and still is, abhorrent to the conservative mind. Yes, originally the era dictated that this applied only to white, male property owners. But does anyone believe these brilliant liberal minds were unaware of what that those five words would unleash in time? Also included in the Declaration are the "inalienable rights" of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In one sentence these liberals sanctify life, not just the life of royalty and wealth but common lives, then they added providentially guaranteed liberty - a punch in the nose to conservatism's "natural order" and "chain of subordination." Then they close with the very meaning of life: the pursuit of happiness. These are arguably the most important words in the history of modern social order.
Next came the Constitution with its resounding call to unity out of many, "We the People!" They were out to form a "more perfect union" than had ever been created before, again, a quintessential liberal quest, the very opposite of the rote conformity, stability and staidness of conservative "tradition." This is followed by the union's essential mandate: to establish justice (not just for the privileged but for We the People), insure domestic tranquility (not continual domination, strife and suffering as was "traditional"), provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare, all to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. The general welfare? Caring for one another? These are concepts on the opposite side of the political spectrum from selfish conservative ideology. Then, wary of the irrationality of religion, in the First Amendment they permanently severed the toxic marriage of church and state, a shocking sacrilege to conservatives, then and now. There is not a single mention of Jesus in any of the founding documents. These Founding Fathers were "spiritual but not religious" raving liberals for their day.
In their new experiment, the Founding Fathers "conserved" only a few parts of the old tradition. They dumped the king. They dumped the pope and archbishop and all religious entanglement. They dumped the lords and dukes and duchesses and barons. They hated the corporation. They did conserve the best of the liberal traditions of their own British heritage dating back to the Magna Carta, an early liberal manifesto of its own, as well as European Enlightenment philosophy and the best governing ideas of ancient Rome and Greece. They even invoked the Iroquois nation in forging a union of tribes, states in this case, into a single whole. They were carefully cherry-picking the best liberal ideas they could find, while consistently shunning true conservative dogma.
Conservatism is antithetical to all of this. The British elite, world champion conservatives, recognized this immediately and were outraged, and came across the ocean to destroy this new ideological threat and all who hewed to it. They called the American patriots "radicals," "extremists," "traitors," "zealots," and even "terrorists." They were not terrorists, but the British were right with these other descriptions. They were radical liberals for the era, extreme liberals, zealous liberals. And they were traitors... to conservatism. They despised it. Oposed by the greatest military force in the world at the time, they defeated it, and the United States of America was born. This was truly the "Greatest Generation" of Americans, one that put everything on the line, including all of their lives, to create this nation in the first place.
Yet right on our own shores there were conservatives who conspired against the patriots. The Tories remained loyal to the old traditions, the old country, the corporation, the king. Conservatism was not dead in America. For 240 some odd years they have continued to fight against those original American values, and for the old traditions, for the wealthy and privileged, for the white man, and for the corporations. They have sought to undermine the Constitution's mandate to continue the effort to "perfect the union" and to provide for the "general welfare." They have sought to divide We the People and return real control of our nation to a conservative elite few. They have sought to thwart the liberty, equality, the pursuit of happiness and even the life of millions of Americans. They have deviously attempted to preclude, or at least delay, the evolving enfranchisement (that is, voting rights) of additional citizens, as the founders surely anticipated and would have approved. And once enfranchised, they have sought to intimidate, to block, to make difficult, to suppress and to discount the votes of those more recently enfranchised citizens They have steadfastly attempted to reinsert the church into the state, erecting a system of Protestant hegemony that pervaded almost all aspects of society for generations, only now being partially dismantled, to the extreme anger of conservatives. There is no real "war on Christmas," but there is an effort to get back to the founders' admonition to respect all religions, and non-belief, equally. Favoring Christianity is just another example of how every way possible conservatives have demonstrated again and again their utter disdain for and disbelief in the actual founding principles of our country, and democracy itself.
Rivers of American blood have been spilled by conservatives, dwarfing the rest of our wars put together. After the Revolution, conservative ideology targeted the Native American tribes, and set about stealing their lands and systematically exterminating as many as they could. They justified this blatant violation of equality of personhood, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness even as they piously read from their Bibles. No liberal principle could support this genocidal wave, but conservatism, rooted in selfishness, offers plenty of cover. How many Native Americans were outright killed, or later perished from abuse, no one knows. We have better estimates for the Civil War, which destroyed almost one million lives, a war instigated by conservative rejection of the principle of equality of selfhood proclaimed by the founders. These deaths, from North and South alike, hang like an anchor around the neck of conservatism. Of all the "traditions" to conserve, these anti-Americans chose slavery upon which to make their "moral" stand. This abominable belief and choice still stands as the worst in a long, long line of other ill-considered and reprehensible beliefs and behaviors engaged in by conservatives.
Again the conservatives were defeated by the liberals of America. But once more the ideology refused to die. Conservatives merely picked up where they had left off, continuing to treat the freed blacks as sub-human, subject to their direction and oppression, while barely missing a beat getting right back to work subverting American values and democracy itself.
In time, many aspects of conservative ideology became entrenched and spread across the nation. Soon corporate bullying, worker oppression, racial prejudice and segregation, and of course steady application of that thousands-year-old conservative chestnut, female subjugation, were widespread in America. Liberality fought back by getting organized, literally, into unions, the old We the People concept reshaped. They demanded, and eventually received concessions from the big corporations. If you like the 40-hour workweek, weekends, decent wages, and workplace safety regulations, thank the liberal unions. But these gains were won against fierce conservative opposition, including corporate goon squads for whom the blood of a line-worker was a prize.
On through the decades the struggle has gone. With each step forward by liberal progress, the conservatives have tried mightily to roll us back. In the 1920s, three straight conservative presidents nearly undid all of the progressive gains of the previous 40 years. And the nation paid a huge price for their mistakes: the Great Depression. But that was followed by the Golden Age of American liberalism, highlighted by the New Deal, which included Social Security and placed the big banks, which had caused calamity after calamity, in straitjackets. This switchover from conservative economic ideology to liberal theories steered the nation through the Great Depression and eventually resulted in the greatest expansion of the Middle Class in human history.
The conservatives have chafed at all of this, biding their time but determined to regain their prominence. They opposed involvement in World War II, some even finding the German and Japanese allegiance to purity of race and control of the government by a conservative elite few very appealing. Indeed, these are fully conservative "traditions."
Following victory in the war, the economy stepped into high gear. The American public by and large was prosperous and happy within a modern liberal nation. It seemed anything was possible. The positive exuberance of the time was expressed best in a brand new form of American music: rock and roll. With that attitude and rock and roll as the soundtrack, America continued its New Deal legacy by committing to another Big Government liberal endeavor: the Interstate Highway System.
Not everyone was riding high, however. In particular, African Americans were still under the thumb of conservative Jim Crow laws and strict segregation. They began organizing and marching for their rights. White liberals slowly (too slowly) but surely got behind them. Predictably, conservatives vehemently opposed any expansion of rights for this group of people they continued to firmly believe were not equal in personhood. Many conservatives to this day still hold to this view. The Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s sent a shock wave through the American political system. Almost overnight, huge swaths of the social conservatives, particularly in the South, who had aligned with the Democratic Party dating back to the days of Andrew Jackson, switched parties. For generations they had been Democrats in opposition to the Republican controlled banks and predatory corporations which so often jerked around farmers and small business people. Now the socially conservative "Dixiecrats" joined in toxic alliance with the corporate conservative elite. It was a marriage made in hell. Now both conservative extremes, social and corporate, were united in their capacity to extend their separate and shared selfishness. In response, African Americans fled the Republican Party, the Party of Lincoln their emancipator, as it filled with former Democrats they knew to be the rankest of racists. They switched to the Democratic Party, which had championed their civil rights. For many years many black American homes displayed a photo of John F. Kennedy.
By the mid-1970s the American political party migrations and mutations were complete. Further divisions in the country were spawned by the Vietnam War and the shameful resignation of Republican Richard Nixon, accompanied by a rapidly increasing dismay with and distrust of the government. Division and distrust, both of these are extremely dangerous to any nation, but they are perennial conservative strategies to instigate and manipulate. History clearly illustrates how conservatives have never been reticent to play with explosive peril to the nation itself in their quest to further their ideological dogma.
With the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, conservatives had at long last fully reclaimed their political leverage. As their predecessor in the 1920s had done, they set about undoing the previous decades of liberal progress. The "Reagan Revolution" swept over America, carrying even many Democrats along with it. Most egregiously, financial regulations which had protected the American public for decades and precluded a single major economic shock were systematically dismantled. The ink was barely dry on their legislative roll-backs when the Savings and Loan crisis and scandal rocked the nation. But that was just the start. Full freedom for giant banks to wheel and deal in complex and dangerous ways was actually granted by a Democratic president in the thrall of Reaganomics, despite stern warnings from liberal economists that this would almost guarantee a major economic shock in the near future. It would, just nine years later when the "Great Recession" came down like a hammer, ruining millions of lives and livelihoods, the largest economic shock since the Great Depression, both directly caused by conservative economic policy.
As well, conservative promises that their economic policies, centered around slashing taxes on the wealthy and corporations, would stimulate the economy while actually reducing the deficit and national debt were proven, again, as in the 1920s, to be nothing short of magical thinking.
The devastatingly adverse effects of these economic myths being enacted as official policy would enough in themselves to condemn conservative ideology. How many people lost their jobs, their homes, their future as a result of this stubbornly ignorant but stunningly greedy gamble? Millions. But to be totally fair, we cannot deny that conservative economics has worked like a charm... for the wealthy and the largest corporations. Since 1980, corporate profits have soared while the percentage of taxes they pay has plunged. In the liberal Golden Age, corporations paid over 30 percent of all taxes; now they pay less than 10. The top one percent of the wealthy have siphoned the lion's share of the gains since Reaganomics took over, as they, too, pay far less in taxes. CEO pay has gone from 30 times that of their average worker in the 1970s to 300 times, even as the buying power of the middle class has decreased, unions have been devastated, and disparity of wealth in our country has ballooned. Concurrent and facilitated by such conservative economic theory were the merger mania and consolidations of so many industries, vulture capitalists swooping in to dismantle and sell off viable companies piece by piece, offshoring of factories, unfair "free trade" agreements, and a sharp escalation of the conservative war against unions. Today union memebership is a fraction of what it was in the Golden Age of liberal economics, and there is a direct connection between this and the woeful wages of average workers across America. Corporate conservatives know that only the government and unions stand between them and utter domination of their employees. They can buy the government's acquiesence, but they have to destroy unions.
But if you can handle the truth, there is actually much worse. At the very same time as they were rigging the economic system to make the rich richer, conservatives were also busy trampling all over the Constitution and the most basic American values. They attempted to conduct secret wars in Cambodia, Laos and Central America. Secret war, imagine that! Keeping war secret from the American public means you know what you are doing is wrong, but you're going to go ahead and do it anyway. The ends always justify the means for conservatives. Ask the Nazis. If the idea of secret war isn't abhoorrent enought to the virtuous American mind, there's this as well: to fund their secret war in Central America, conservatives at the highest levels of government thought it was a good idea to clandestinely sell arms to Iran, a sworn enemy, and, believe it or not, run drugs into America, actually sparking the cocaine crisis. Elsewhere the Reagan administration coddled the tyrant Sadam Hussein, and armed and trained a fellow named Osama bin Laden. Those imprudent decisions both worked out well. But all that was just a warm up. George W. Bush, hoping to emulate and recapture Reagan's magical appeal, lied the nation into two wars at the same time, one, Afghanistan the longest war in American history, still going on at this writing. They other, Iraq, removed the top of a Pandora's Box of seething, 1400-year hatred and rage in the Middle East, allowing the terrorist population to convulse into a variety of organized and armed militias such as Al Qaeda in Iraq, which later morphed into Daesh, otherwise known as ISIL or ISIS. Intentionally committed immoral acts and high crimes were kept secret by the Bush conservatives as well. The administration officially sanctioned torture, eventually admitted to it and, incredibly, Bush's legal team tried to justify it. Even some Republicans, such as former POW John McCain did not buy the Bush team illogic and non-virtue. While he was putting these twin wars on the national credit card, Bush stubbornly refused to raise taxes by a slim dime, the first wars in American history not to be accompanied by a facilitating tax increase.
Bush would hurry the clock on that financial time bomb which started ticking following the dismantling of New Deal regulations. He egged on ridiculously reckless banking practices, including a national blizzard of predatory sub-prime loans and complex "musical chairs" financial instrument trading on Wall Street that were certain to leave someone screwed (it did, the American people). Such wanton, foolhardy gambling by an entire sector inebriated by massive profits, leading directly to the world economy coming close to collapse should not be seen as some kind of freaky misfortune, but rather an entirely predictable inevitability, a virtual, willful, repeat of some of the exact same mistakes that created the Great Depression. Both of these gargantuan catastrophes were brought to us by conservative greed and stupidity.
Such high levels and degrees of base incompetence, of cavalier disdain for the democracy and true American values, stunning lack of compassion and moral compass, such easy capitulation to the temptations of greed, and most of all the incessant, consistent and utter wrongness and falseness, and eventual dire results, of their core beliefs and agenda should all combine to easily convince a judge and jury to convict conservatism of dereliction of duty at minimum and high treason at worst.
Then we still have to factor in Trumpism, the most recent ugly chapter in the conservative Book of Wrongness. With the election of the first black president in 2008, a previously somewhat contained infection that has long plagued America, bigotry and racism, broke out into a new fever. One of the early agents of this outbreak was none other than Donald J. Trump. The boastful real estate shyster and shameless narcissist deduced that he could make a splash and burnish his brand among the most gullible Americans, social conservatives, by becoming the principle banner-carrier of the notion that Barack Obama was not a legitimate American, and thus, president. Assuming leadership of the "birther" movement, Trump endeared himself to a seedy underbelly of the American public. There was no truth to the claim that Obama was not an American citizen, born in Hawaii, which the actual birth certificate confirmed. But when have conservatives ever been swayed by the truth to abandon a cherished myth? Never. Neither the gullible, eager racists, nor Trump himself would let it go, keeping the lie going throughout Obama's eight years in office. The conservative base never got its hoped for ouster of an illegal president, but Trump got what he wanted: media attention and the establishment of a significant base for a possible run for president of his own.
In his presidential campaign, Trump craftily positioned himself as a populist, wildly promising some very un-conservative concepts, such as "much better, but cheaper, healthcare; everyone's going to be taken care of," and "a trillion dollars in infrastructure projects," and "taxes are going to be raised on the rich; we can afford it," and "these free trade agreements are killing us; we will renegotiate them," and "we're going to bring our factories back," and "we will institute tariffs." All of this sounded good even to some erstwhile Democrats, including a critical number in the Midwest "rust belt," many of whom had become very frustrated by the Democrats' seeming love affair with Big Finance, Big Tech and Big Pharma. But these liberal-sounding promises were secondary to his primary thrust, which was all-conservative. Every conservative needs a bogey-man, or two or three, and Trump took to tooting on the old reliable conservative "dog whistle" louder than any modern candidate has dared as he energized a base of bigots and racists and the simply fearful. Muslims and Mexicans were the most pointed victims of his dubious ire, but a much larger group of supposed enemies were encapsulated in his screeds against "political correctness," which he claimed is the "number one problem in America." Not the unequal economy, or terrorism, or climate change, but "political correctness," the sarcastic epithet conservatives use to denigrate the totality of liberal social change and progress that has occurred in the past 50 years. Rolling back "political correctness," and thus the hard-won gains of women and blacks and LGBT people and environmentalists and educators and scientists, is a wet-dream of conservatives of all stripes, and those silly enough to agree with them.
In his short time as president, Trump has embarrassed himself and the country on a weekly basis. It is telling that he remains unconvinced of his own incompetence and temperamental inadequacy, even as he has reneged on his most populist promises, the very planks that appealed to the more moderate voters who put him over the top. His promises of a better healthcare system melted into a version of "TrumpCare" that was too flawed, wicked and immoral even for some Republicans. His posturing as an expert negotiator has proved an utter illusion; he can't even control his own White House. His boast to bring in "the best people" has been revealed as nonsense as he staffed his cabinet with wholly unqualified for, even absolute enemies of, the departments they were assigned, while a raft of his top choices either said, "No thanks," or have already flunked the test. He has alienated foe and friend. The man is a walking, talking, tweeting bully and bumbler. Worse, he has surrounded himself with sycophants, celebrity enablers and true conservative ideologues determined to "deconstruct" what is left of the grand liberal legacy of our nation. Worst of all, he is poised to set into lifetime placements ultra conservative Supreme Court and lower court justices who will thwart the will of We the People for decades to come. Trump and his merry band of zombies should be the last straw for any fair-minded American. He is the culmination of an ideology so sordid, it simply cannot tell up from down, right from wrong, healthy from hideous. All of this AND we haven't yet mentioned that his campaign may well have colluded with a foreign enemy to influence our presidential election... an indisputable step across the line into treason. Stunning!
Trump and his conservative supporters have made it clear that they care nothing for truth, decency, justice for all, the liberty of anyone else, equality of personhood, ompassion, rationality, science, decorum, manners, for actual American ideals. Donald Trump ran for office being Donald Trump. While eschewing decorum and decency, he never wavered from his comfortable spot of ignorance, greed, selfishness, privilege, prejudice and the wildest narcissism we have ever seen in American politics. Amongst a storm of lies, he said some horrible things. Then he was elected by millions of people who believed almost every word and thought he was just great. Excepting the Civil War and the worst of the Civil Rights and Vietnam era atrocities, the election of Donald Trump may well be remembered as a nadir in the American experiment.
The situation is dire. Not only are citizens filled with dismay and distrust of politicians, government and democracy itself, the economy has been no friend to the average American for a long, long time as wages have stagnated, jobs sent overseas or automated, unions have been destroyed and disparity of wealth has exploded. Young people in particular are losing faith in capitalism. They don't remember when American capitalism - liberal style - worked for the Middle Class. Even with all its warts, capitalism has proven itself as the least bad of all possible economic systems, but it must be fair capitalism, highly regulated capitalism, not the predatory free-for-all that conservative ideology enshrines. But consider the pessimistic, corrosive, explosive danger of this brewing discontent. When the people lose faith in all parts of their social system, a total collapse is ever possible. One more shock like in 2008 could push it all over the edge. This is the risk conservatives have been ever willing to take. As you read this, they are busy as beavers trying to rig the system even more in favor of the wealthy and the hugest corporations. The greed monsters of Wall Street and conservatives across the land gleefully play dice with the fate of America.
Only conservatism could manage this serial carnage. From the Tories to the Confederates to the Klan and Segregationists to McCarthyism to Reaganomics to the Union Busters to the Bush-Cheney neocons to the predators of Wall Street to Trump and his Alt-Right minions, conservatism is utterly unmatched in its debauchery. The greatest real scandals of American history: Teapot Dome, Prohibition, the Great Depression, the McCarthy witch-hunts, Nixon's lies and crimes, Reagan's lies, Iran-Contra, Iranian arms, the Savings and Loan Crisis, Gulf War Syndrome, Bush and Cheney lying us into war, American torture, the Great Recession, the Birther movement, and now Trump, the ignorant, lecherous liar sitting smugly behind our glorious Resolute Desk, all were bequeathed to us by American conservatism.
Lying is a constant in conservative politics. They simply must, because the truth is never on their wide. They are always trying to get away with something, which then must be obfuscated. They are always trying to dominate someone or something, or pick a pocket, yet play the role of honest fellow. It is true that Trump has taken lying to a shocking, new level. Usually conservatives are cautious and clever enough to be much more covert in their lying, wrapping it in half-truths and hazy distortions. Trump spouts lies that take 30 second on the internet to debunk, and has proudly broadcasted to the entire world what a schmuck he is. He boasts about how easily he dupes people, including his own doting, doltish base. Nevertheless, he is yet another conservative when it comes to his relationship with truth and goodness. Think about that for minute. Truth and honesty are among the most noble virtues. Conservatives trash both of them. How can a personal relationship between two people, much less a relationship between over 300 million, survive amidst a bed of lies? It cannot for long.
The evidence is clear. Conservatism has always been and still is, in component part and sum, an overwhelmingly negative component of our democratic system. It has failed in every way possible our American ideals. At times this is from sheer stupidity and incompetence. But more often it is a clever, willful and systematic effort to undermine and thwart those ideals. Conservatism is all about division and domination. Its very essence is un-American. America has been shackled by conservatism for far too long. It is well past time to at last put a stop to it. We cannot continue to risk our own lives and that of the nation itself and all it is supposed to stand for in the wholly mistaken viewpoint that conservatism offers something good, or some virtuous balance to America's original philosophical heritage: liberalism. It does not, now or ever. Any non-partisan observer would clearly perceive this truth. If we don't understand this, and quickly, as the stakes continue to rise, we may find ourselves crossing a bridge too far, and never able to return.
We can only wistfully wonder where we would be without conservatism. What progress might America have made by now if the ship of state had sailed without a conservative anchor dragging the bottom all along the way? We saw what that brief Golden Age of liberal economic policy wrought: it weathered the Great Depression building bridges and dams and National Park lodges and so much more that are still in use today, won the second World War, sent the G.I.s to free college, built the Interstate Highway System, crafted an economy that was hitting on all cylinders allowing average families to buy new houses, new cars, send their kids to the orthodontist, piano lessons and college, and secure a decent retirement, all often with just one parent working. We saw that Golden Age wake up to the plight of African Americans and Native Americans and the horrendous way we had been treating the sacred environment. The struggle to finally make women fully equal citizens was renewed (and rebuffed again by conservatives). Certainly a pinnacle of that Golden Age of liberalism in America was on July 20, 1969, when an American eagle landed on the Moon. What more might we have accomplished together, what astounding triumphs might we have achieved, what type of advanced civilization would we have today if conservatism had not hijacked and twisted our country sideways and backwards, and here at last into this grotesque parody of America in the day of Trumpism?
The very sad truth is that conservatives never wanted to be united in these fifty states. They are in solidarity only with people who look like them, think like them, believe like them, vote like them, worship like them. Their mindset is set against all "others," those being, actually, a majority of other Americans! Time and again we see that their moral compass is badly askew.
Let us finally face up to a harsh truth that the media and nice, "moderate" people are paralyzed to admit. Conservatism is the worst thing about America... and the world. If we require further proof from beyond our own shores, we need only cast our gaze toward other countries to clearly see the inverse relationship of peace, freedom, prosperity and modernity and the degree to which a particular country subscribes to conservatism. The more conservative the country, the less attractive its allure. The troubled hotspots of our age are located precisely on the tectonic cracks where the hot magma of conservatism is disgorged. The worst places are groveling in the backwardness of religious conformity and intolerance, hostility to science, reverence for tradition over universal virtue, discompassion for life (human and non-human), subjugation of women, grotesque disparity of wealth, autocratic rule and brutal, glorified violence. All of these components are perfectly conservative. These are the nations and cultures which have given themselves to conservatism. So they share much with all other conservative cultures. The corporatists in Iran and the U.S. speak the same language, money. The mullahs and ayatollas of Islam differ only slightly from Christian fire-and-brimstone preachers and charlatan televangelists. They hate many of the same things. Al Qaeda and ISIS are kissing conservative cousins with such homegrown American terrorists as Timothy McVeigh, Dylann Roof and Omar Mateen. The face of conservatism comes in every color and every creed. What binds it in solidarity are ignorance and the emotions of fear, greed, prejudice, anger... and the will to dominate.
Nothing in this article should be construed to promote or condone violence of any sort. If you are out for violence, you are not liberal, you are conservative. Violence is condoned by liberalism only in self-defense. Liberals make love, not war, unless we absolutely have to, as we have had to in American history, including several times against our conservative countrymen. We kicked their ass each time, and will do so again and again if we have to. We win because we fight from the true moral high ground, and thus have more allies. They lose because too many of them know in their hearts that they are wrong, and fewer and fewer will join their cause.
So shame on the "liberal" protestors who turn into conservatives when they show up with weapons. Shame on any who embrace conservative-style hate and rage and domination. Shame on the "regressive left" (an apt term: regressing back toward conservatism) who sometime turn on their own liberal allies. Antifa, you aren't liberal; you're a sham, fascists in your own right in wanting to commit violence, actually harming the liberal cause. An "extreme" liberal is an extreme lover and liberator, not a wannabe tyrant or thug. Shame on the person who hoped that Trump would be assassinated. (That is actually the last thing liberals should ever want for anyone, least of all Trump, who would then become a conservative martyr instead of going out, as he surely will, in utter shame and disgrace after having performed a glorious service for the liberal cause in shining the brightest light ever upon the sleazy innards of conservatism). Such haters are "liberals" by self-description only, but are behaving far more like conservatives, fulling engaging in some of their cherished traditions: "might makes right," and "an eye for an eye," and "demonization and domination," ignorance and plain old, ever stupid, rage.
Liberals are not looking to fight. As always, we are looking to unite. Unlike conservatives, we actually believe in We the People. We believe in the union. We believe in democracy. We believe in equality of personhood. We believe in justice for all. We are Pro People and Pro Planet. You don't have to pass a racial or religious or sexual orientation or gullibilty test to join us. We welcome anyone of any race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, language, background, age, ability into our fold. It is your character that counts. But we know many conservatives are spoiling for battle. They've got all those guns. Some are just itching to use them. They've also got friends in powerful places. So did the Tories. So did the Confederates. So did the KKK and the racists of the 20th Century. So did the opponents of women's liberation, environmentalism and LGBT rights. And every time the conservatives lost.
They may have the guns and the connections, but we have the overwhelming numbers. America has always been a lot more liberal than everyone thinks. There are obvious and blatant signs of the deep yearning in America to get back to our liberal roots. Recall the electric excitement and passion that Obama's 2008 campaign generated as he set himself up as a true liberal (then disappointed in governing as yet another Republican Lite). The incredible Bernie Sanders phenomenon is perhaps even more revealing. It's one thing for Democrats to rally around a young, handsome, extremely eloquent black guy who had carefully set the stage and raised a formidable set of allies and warchest for his meteoric rise. It's quite another for an older, bespeckled, balding, a bit paunchy, Jewish guy to explode out of obscurity and seemingly out of nowhere (sorry Vermont) with virtually no bigtime supporters and almost zero money in his coffers to quickly start filling stadiums and racking up major state primary victories, prompting the Democratic National Committee to feel the need to tilt the field to guarantee their more mainstream candidate's victory. What both Obama and Sanders had in common was they were perceived as the far more liberal candidate - against the exact same primary rival, Hillary Clinton. Both Obama's and Sanders' energized campaigns were based on solidly liberal rhetoric, and the faith, hope and elation of their wildly enthusiastic supporters locked on actual American virtues. America is figuratively and literally dying for a true liberal champion. That person will come. Taking back OUR country, the real, liberal America, is not just imperative, it is eventually guaranteed.
Unless the conservatives destroy it first. There really are conservatives hoping to start a race war, or a cultural war, or stage a coup or fascist revolution. If they ever do, the real America, liberals and their allies, will crush them again.
This may be what it comes to. The ideologies are now hardening, now entrenching. This, too, is to be expected. When people falsely remember some friendly "bipartisan" phase of American governance, they are thinking only of issues that were easy to compromise on (especially when Democrats were overly willing to go over partially to the dark side). Mostly those days of seeming bipartisanship, with such gauzy scenes as Reagan and Tip O'Neill slapping each other on the back, were also before such conservative entities as Fox News, rabid consertavive talk radio, the Tea Party, Americans for Tax Reform, the neocons and other forces began to demand that the Republican Party march rightward and shun any semblance of compromised with an increasingly demonized opposing party. But the harder issues, most particularly granting equal rights, protecting the public, the commons and the environment, as well as determining which side's economic system is going to be deployed, have never been easily compromised. These are often either/or questions, requiring a decision that comes down wholly on one side or the other. How exactly do you "compromise" on civil rights? Or on teaching only science in science class? Or a clean and healthy environment? Or public, worker and consumer safety? Or on an economic system that is not fact-based? In such gnarly matters, one side wins, the other side loses.
Conservatives are understandably (if wrongly) tired of these "rights" and other liberal social decisions smashing their ideolgy on the head, while liberals are understandably (rightly) perturbed when conservative economic systems clash with true American ideals, actual facts, as well as basic human decency, leaving a wake of wreckage. But this is exactly what has happened as civil rights, LGBT rights, public and consumer protection regulations and environimental regulations have slammed down against the will of conservatives, and Trickle-Down is still our guiding economic lodestar, galling any real liberal.
There is no bipartisan solution to this. It will just get worse. For decades Republicans have been skewing to the right, and have long had "purity tests" to survive their own primaries. They have a rigid media system atuned to keeping them in line. Democrats have been all too willing to be pulled rightward as well, but it hasn't been enough for the Republicans who during Obama's eight years essentially refused to even make a show of compromising. In the Trump Era, they are emboldened to be even less interested in bipartisanship. Finally, at least some top Democrats are thinking enough is enough. Belatedly, they are growing back their own spines and momentum is gathering for a return to real liberal ideals. Ideals that are Pro People, Pro Planet. The days of bipartisanship, as flimsy and fleeting as they ever were, are now gone.
As the rate of change accelerates, liberals are struggling to guide and shape the change, while conservatives are only becoming ever more alarmed, frightened and angry. Even as they firmly hold the reins of government and the economic system remains firmly in conservative control, they know they are badly losing the cultural wars, and must make a final stand soon, before their "way of life" is swept into oblivion. They are right. Their awful "way of life" is going to be swept into oblivion. What they are wrong about is that this is a bad thing. It's entirely overdue. There is no going back. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle. The days of easy "compromise" are over, thankfully. Dealing with the devil got us nowhere. We can't continue on this macabre whiplash of one liberal step forward, followed by a half-step of conservative regression. Our challenges are too great to stand for that insanity any longer. With nuclear weapons, an intricate, entertwined world economic system, technological changes spinning faster than anyone can control or comprehend, Mother Earth getting angrier and angrier, and cross-currents of social change sloshing around the globe, and conservative terrorism on the rise, we can no longer risk our future and that of our posterity to the abysmally poor judgment and values of conservatives themselves. Conservatism's ineptness and meanness, its fear, greed and prejudice, its ignorance and selfishness, its deceit, lying and distortion are the worst possible set of tools and strategies with which to go forward in life in the best of times, much less to navigate these perilous shoals. We must stop them before they kill us all.
Conservatives are ascendant in their political hold right now, but the Liberal Lion has awoken, and is about to roar. Conservatives aren't going to like it. They are going to resist, as they always do. One of these ideologies is going down in the very near future.
Hopefully it will be because it was shamed into submission upon the field of ideas and public sentiment, not through a reign of conservative terror that we are forced to quell with more American blood.
Each and every American gets a vote on which of these options comes to fruition. Now what say you?
If you agree that conservatism is guilty as charged... proclaim your verdict to the world.