Conservative Myths - What Every American Should Know About Republican Politics & Politicians

Is there anything good about Conservatives?

YES!!! We actually desperately need clear-thinking, open-minded, flexible, selfless "conservatives" amongst us. The paradox is.... the concept of an open-minded, flexible and selfless conservative is an oxymoron. What is needed is a "Conservative Reformation."

by Rusticus

The conservatives have only ever had one good idea. But it wasn't just a good idea, it was the second greatest idea ever!

The great conservative idea: some things need to be CONSERVED!

That's it. End of story. There have been no other good conservative ideas in the history of the world! Which would not even matter so much if the conservatives were very good at understanding and applying their one great idea.

Unfortunately for everyone, conservatives are horrible - indeed, the world's worst - at understanding the weight and responsibility of this idea and taking good care of it. They have a pathetic legacy of applying this jewel of an idea throughout all the long millennia of the human story. They fail to apply it when it is really called for, and ignorantly, stubbornly, meanly apply it to some of the absolute worst things in the world.

Oh, the first greatest idea in human history? That's a liberal idea, of course.... and the original foundation of human culture:

The great liberal idea: we need to be LIBERATED from some things!

The two ideas revolve around change: liberals instigate it; conservatives try to stop it.

This basic dicthotomy has been going on forever, and it is the very basis of what makes a liberal, and what makes a conservative. Anyone who thinks anything has changed in the 200,000 year history of humankind could not be more mistaken.

But why is the liberal idea ranked higher than the conservative idea?

Because change is the only constant in the Universe! Being resistant to change is not a sustainable ideology; it's like trying to swim up a waterfall; it's contrary to the divine laws of nature; it's disrespectful of the Tao. This is a fact that conservatives just can't, or don't want to, understand. They are pretty shaky on most facts, as a matter of fact, but failing to grasp this one is their Big Mistake... the one from which all the rest of their stubborness and wrongness arises.

The conservative impulse was perhaps best summarized by the crown prince of modern conservatism, William F. Buckley, who proclaimed that "a conservative is one who stands athwart history, yelling, 'Stop!'" Yes, indeed, they do... and, inevitably, predictably, they get flattened. History stops for nothing. Either get on board, or you will be left behind. And that's where conservatives so often find themselves... the train has left the station, and they are not on it. Or worse, they try to block the train and... splat!

You see, the human species could only develop by taking chances, by changing, by innovating, by adapting to new and different circumstances, and by constantly recreating itself... and through this process "liberate" ourselves from old ways of thinking that were stifling our evolution toward our greater potential. Humans are, in fact, evolution's superstars. Our greatest ability is not that we are bigger, faster, stronger, more ferocious than any other species. It's not even that we have higher intelligence (because that's a relatively new development). But for, oh, about 500 million years, our lineage has been the grand-champion at adapting, changing, evolving.

Conservative Obstructionism

This is all nonsense to conservatism, which course, doen't even believe in evolution! Even if conservatives believed in evolution, they wouldn't want to do it.

Conservatives want to stay the same, to "conserve" the old ways... which they poetically describe as "traditional values." If examined closely, this is the root and core of their ideology... and the source of their wrongness. Despite all their blustering and blathering about how religious and patriotic they are, in actuality conservatives are not very good at discerning true virtue. Routinely they conflate mere age or custom with actual virtue. It turns out the prime "traditional value" they want to conserve is not truth or justice or liberty or equality or love or compassion, but rather simply the traditional structure of society, which itself turns out to be based upon a Dominator Hierarchy. Basically, they like a society that offers advantages and privileges to them that others don't have/ They certainly don't want it to change, lest they lose those advantages.

The First Liberal vs. Conservative Argument

Conservatism is a selfish, fearful, unimaginative, narrow-minded, near-sighted worldview, which may serve some specific individuals quite nicely, but doesn't work well for groups, and certainly not for modern civilization or for the future of out species. If the human species had held to conservative "values," we would still be living in trees... and there would be no human species.

In fact, let's go back to probably the very first liberal-conservative disagreement in the history of the animal that became human. Some liberal chimp-like individual said to the troop, "Things are getting bad here in the trees; we don't have enough food, the other chimps and gorillas are stronger, we have to leave. Let's move out on the savanna." And the conservative member of the tribe said, "No way, we can't go out there... it's dangerous, it's scary, it's not our way of life, it's not our traditional value. Let's attack the other chimp colony one more time and take their bananas. Maybe we will win this time." So they attacked the other chimp colony and got their ass kicked, again. So the troop made the monumental decision to come down from the trees and start a brand new lifestyle... and eventually became humans! So humanity began with a liberal idea that prevailed over a conservative idea. They liberated themselves from the trees, despite the conservative's effort to conserve the old ways.

That story, in many different reprises, serves as the over-arching theme of the human saga. Our story features virtually non-stop junking of old ways and "traditional values," replaced by the new liberal way.

conservatives and technology To make matters worse, conservatives, at any particular time and place, dodge and weave, pick and choose, advocate for and reject, in a wildly inconsistent and chaotic pattern of selecting which things they wish to conserve. For instance, way back in evolutionary history they were scared to come down from the trees; now they rarely meet a tree (or forest) they don't long to cut down and sell. So the things they wish to conserve change over time. The only thing they consistently try to conserve turns out to be... the Dominator Hierarchy itself. The details vary from time to time, place to place, issues come and go, party affiliations may flip-flop, but keeping their precious hierarchy in place is the one and only constant for conservatives.

But what actually happens through this process is that the conservatives, themselves, are dragged into acceptance of the new, liberal idea they once opposed. So after humans came down from the trees and did pretty well out on the savanna, conservatives forgot about wanting to go back to the trees, and their new worry was the crazy liberal idea that everyone in the tribe had to learn... to speak! Being forced to use language, what an affront to liberty! But the conservatives got used to that, and then the liberals came up with another idea: let's play around with fire. If there was ever a "traditional value," it was that no animal ever messes with fire. But soon they were enjoying their scavenged gazelle meat roasted over a flame, had forgotten their opposition to it, and now were concerned about this new crazy liberal idea of putting sharp stones on the end of sticks and actually going after a live animal. Those liberals, never happy with the status-quo! Always taking risks! No good, prudent, cautious conservative could abide these terrible ideas. But soon the conservatives, themselves, were puffed with pride as big game hunters and loudly voiced their disapproval when some liberals suggested they stop following the herds around and just stay in one place and plant seeds and hoe gardens. "Whoa, how wacky is that?" protested the conservatives; "We've never done that! It will end our way of life as we know it." Which it did. The invention of the wheel? Oh, how the conservatives howled about that one. By now they had come up with the idea of gods, and they proclaimed that their god frowned on such unnatural inventions, and sternly warned that it would lead to more such abominations that upset their status-quo. Which it did. And so on, and so on, all the way, in a straight line, to the present.

In each of these phase changes, the Dominator Hierarchy was threatened, and often actually overturned. The biggest, baddest tree-climber dude, and his entourage, were aghast with the idea to stand upright and wander out on to the plains; then the conservative shaman and his followers who had always taught the tribe that fire was an evil spirit was upset when the idea came up to bring it right into camp; then the dominant fire-waver who was the expert at scaring away predators was non-plussed when the idea came along to tie rock points to spears and actually go after game and leave the fire-waver behind to tend to the roasting; and so on and so forth down to the day when the plantation owners were outraged when the idea came along to liberate the slaves, and the conservative white folk were outraged when black folk actually demanded their rights, and conservative males were incensed when uppity women wanted to break out of their subjugation and at least get the vote, and conservative religious folk were outraged when the idea came along to ban mandatory prayer in school and get rid of statues of Moses carrying the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, and the conservative heterosexual folk were inflamed when gays and lesbians demanded their rights, etc., etc. In each case, the Dominator Hierarchy and its attendant "way of life" (i.e. privilige and advantage for someone) was threatened, and usually supplanted. And so, civilization moved forward... in a general direction toward more liberty, equality, justice and compassion for all. Conservatives have tried to stand athwart progress and stop it all along the way.

Conservatives are not against all change... just change that threatens the dominator hierarchy... and its enforcing behavioral code, which we can call "clan mentality."

If such change supports, enhances or restores the dominator hierarchy, conservatives are all for it. If the same old crowd can profit from it, they are all for change. But if it threatens that hierarchy, if it levels the playing field, or provides opportunity to a greater diversity of people, or expands liberty and equality, then conservatives are adamantly opposed. That kind of change they can do without.

So conservatives are for change that turns back the clock, returning to policies that restore the dominator hierarchy. Since the Enlightenment (which the conservatives were against), human culture has progressed at an ever increasing pace, bringing changes that threaten the dominator hierarchy. Most of us have a scanty view of history, and can't fathom the shockwaves some of these changes created. For instance, kings once ruled the world... now they are mostly a quaint artifact of a long by-gone age. The Church-State once reigned with a terrible iron fist (and still does in a few places), but in the rest of the civilized world, religion clings to vestiges of its former grandeur. Even not so long ago, Big Business could do anything it wanted and get away with it scot free (well, OK, they still can... but not quite like they used to, and only because conservatives remain somewhat successful at defending this part of the Dominator Hierarchy by blocking meaningful regulation... but that day will soon come to an end).

Meanwhile, concepts such as democracy, liberty, equality, justice for all, pursuit of happiness for the common man, public education, worker's rights, women's rights, civil rights, gay rights, environmental concerns, the uniting of nations, multiculturalism, global communications... all of these threaten the Dominator Hierarchy. So conservatives are eager for any "change" that will undo these changes and get things back to the way they used to be. If they could, they would undo the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, which went a long way toward demoting religion in Western cultural life. They want to thwart the U.S. Constitution's mandate to preserve the "welfare" of the People. They are still prickly about the equality of the races. Some would bring back slavery if they could (don't believe it? Check out any far right-wing chat room). Many of them would like to send women back to the kitchen, and gays and lesbians back to the closet, and liberals to hell. Many of them decry laws that require that public and commercial buildings be fitted with handicapped ramps and access. American conservatives want to conserve the Wild West mythology and its romanticization of the "rugged individual," and by that they don't mean the sheep farmer, they mean the the gun-fighter.

The conservative catch phrase for all of this is "traditional values," but in reality it's all about conserving or restoring the Dominator Hierarchy, of which they are toward the upper end of the scale in some regard (at least in their own minds).

Still, their pathetic record does not change the fact that conservatives hold a precious truth. Some old things, and old values, do need conserving. Some things need protection and preservation. These would be those that are of the greatest value to the greatest number of people. So they are "universal" in value. Conservatives should be the natural defenders of these "universal values."

Alas, conservatives have never truly believed in "universal" values... only "traditional" values, which may not be actual values at all, but just hoary old customs and beliefs which support and maintain the Dominator Hierarchy.

For instance, conservatives don't really believe in liberty, equality, justice for all, pursuit of happiness for all, love for one another, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, etc. Those are real "universal values," not simply "traditional values." Oh sure, conservatives think they believe in these values... but even a cursory observation reveals that they do not. They want these things for themselves, of course... and perhaps for others within their clan... but they are very stingy with them for anyone else whom they perceive to be outside their clan.

So, if conservatives have failed to champion "universal values" in the past... what are some of the "traditional values" they have fought to conserve? Let's take a look at some of their glorious causes: religious fundamentalism, racism, sexism, the divine right of kings, slavery, American subjugation to Britain, voting only for property owners, Southern secession, segregation, Jim Crow laws, voter suppression, Prohibition, union-busting, unfettered capitalism, trickle-down economics, deregulation, militarism, war, torture, fascism, even communism (when the Dominator Hierarchy is the Party), genocide (sure, genocide is a long-time "traditional value"... read your Old Testament, folks!), stealing Indian lands, jingoism, faux patriotism, hunting for "sport." These have been some of their great "moral" causes.

Meanwhile the list of what they have steadfastly opposed is equally revealing: women's suffrage, women's reproductive rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, workers' rights, child labor laws, Civil Rights, Affirmative Action, Gay Rights, veterans' rights, handicapped persons' rights, public education, Social Security, Medicare, AIDS research and treatment programs, welfare programs, food stamps, National Parks, environmental protections, protection of endangered species, Foreign Aid, League of Nations and United Nations, alternative energy, efforts to curb global warming, the slightest hint of gun control, science which threatens their worldview, art which threatens their worldview, and virtually any sort of taxation.

Wow... that's quite a diverse list, eh? You can see that many of their pet causes have long since been swept into the dustbin of history, and others remain alive, if barely. What is the common denominator? Only one thing: conservation of the hierarchy.

So what exactly is this "dominator hierarchy," and why is it so bad? Well, it's a hierarchy (a ranking system) that dominates people... and the rest of the planet. It's oppressive, exploitative, unjust, undemocratic, un-American, and un-Christian (and equally contrary to just about all other religions). Yet it endures forever (so far) because it very effectively manipulates the primal emotions of fear, greed and prejudice. The basic hierarchy is one everyone is familiar with. It goes like this: at the very top are wealthy individuals (that's the key attribute), the white (or paler-toned) race, the male sex, the heterosexual, and the dominant religious group (in America that would be Protestant Christian). A kindred ranking exists in every country, and has for thousands of years.

Everybody in the society takes their place upon this hierarchical ranking system. Even if they are not at (or even close) to the top of the hierarchy, those who are members of the "in-group" (or clan), feel superior to those who are outside the primary group. So if you are not rich, but you are a male... you still have a place of superiority. If you are a woman, but you are rich... you have place of superiority. If you are a woman and poor and brown, but you are a Protestant Christian, you still may find a position of some superiority somewhere in a society where that religion has some built-in advantages. And so it goes. The closer you are to the tippy-top of the hiearchy, the more advantages you will have... the further down the ranking you go, the less you will be considered part of the "clan," and the less "clan mentality" will assist you in society. If you are well outside the established clan, you can expect that "clan mentality" will usually attempt to thwart your progress in society.

So this is the one essential "traditional value" that conservatives desperately wish to conserve. They take their one great idea and squander it on preserving - at all costs - the hierarchy... and anything that goes along with it, while opposing anything that might threaten it.

Unfortunately, for them, the opposing force is commonly known as "progress." And what we see through the long lens of history is that the dominator hierarchy, itself, has to evolve with the changes... and it does, but since the Enlightenment, in particular, the hierarchy has become a bit wobbly and pliant. It's still defiantly there, to be sure... and may always be to some degree... but as "universal vales" slowly but surely replace "traditional values" in human culture, the hierarchy will continue to soften and shrink in power. And so the dream is that today's still harsh and strict disparity of opportunity, justice, compassion, and ability to pursue happiness, will continue to contract, and just like the kings and lords of old, the dominators of today will find themselves melded back into a far more egalitarian culture in the not-too-distant future.

It turns out liberals are much better at the delicate process of winnowing out the wheat from the chaff of old ways. But even liberals are far from perfect. In their zeal to progress, to perfect, to expand liberty and equality, and to protect social justice, they may fall into the trap of discounting something of real value and virtue along the way, and failing to exercise the full compassion that their "liberality" ought to demand. This situation comes up on occasion... and right then and there is where we need clear-thinking conservatives to say, "Wait a minute. Let's think very carefully and deeply about what we are about to diminish or discard."

Liberals can sometimes be too hasty to rush into the future, and in their zeal to promote universal ideals and protect the downtrodden may push for change that fails to take into consideration all factors and their full implications. As well, the liberal impulse to seek new knowledge always holds the potential for subsequent abuse by the dominator hierarchy itself... the upper level of which, CorpCons, are quick to spot an opportunity to expand their dominance into fresh areas of activity, even if rank-and-file members of the hierarchy, SoCons, remain adamantly opposed to the new idea... at least until their own clan leaders have secured the concept or technology for their own purposes. For instance, conservatives once railed against those new-fangled, back-firing automobiles that spewed noxious fumes and scared their horses. Now they worship at the altar of Big Oil.

Another example of conservative co-option involves the liberal impulse to break through old thought and tradition (and threaten the entire religious paradigm) in its development of the theory of evolution, which led directly to discoveries in molecular biology and genetics. Today selfish, conservative capitalist corporations are busy trying to monopolize markets by patenting natural genes and interjecting them into the food supply, medicines, etc. Liberals now are alarmed at how this originally liberating and immensely helpful information has become grotesquely redirected into activities of highly dubious true value for society. Meanwhile, social conservatives incoherently continue to deny evolution itself, on the one hand, while cheerleading the mega-corporations and filthy rich executives who are engaged in the exploitation of the concept, on the other!

How much better would it have been if clear-headed and open-hearted conservatives had, all along, worked with the liberal impulse to ever seek new ways of thinking and being that truly help people (and the human species), while concurrently forging safeguards that would guide the development of the technology?

That would have been ideal. But it seems it just can't work. Conservatives, being conservative, have to adamantly oppose any such radical new ideas in the first place... with as much vitriol as they can muster. Then, if they see that the idea holds profit potential for themselves, they want no regulation whatsover to thwart their exploitation of an idea they didn't want in the first place!

Yes, it's crazy. But it works like a charm for CorpCons. SoCons, not so much. They are still fighting evolution. Please visit the Creation Museum in Kentucky for details. Of course, those are the real sloths... who haven't moved out of the 19th Century yet. Most conservatives aren't that loony... but you see the trend. They can't recognize a great idea when it smacks them in the head.

Here's another example where conservative ideology should have brought some liberals-acting-badly back around to virtue. Remember toward the end of the Vietnam War, soldiers were returning home, and some activist liberals, justifiably enraged by stories of the wanton death and destuction by carpet-bombing and the use of napalm and Agent Orange, and by such atrocities as the My Lai Massacre, protested, cursed and even spat on some of the returning veterans. "Baby killer" and "Murderer" were some of the epithets thrown their way. It was wrong. These liberals, in their zeal to protest true injustices, also temporarily forgot that bravery, loyalty and perseverence are also lofty virtues - universal values to be honored. These are values that we should always "conserve." Yet they were lost in the emotions of the war. Most of the American soldiers who went, and fought, and died, or returned from Vietnam were also victims of that ill-conceived war that went on for nearly 10 years. Unlike today's military, most of the Vietnam soldiers had not wanted to go; they were drafted. And so they went... and did what their country asked... and they came home... to scorn by some. They were, and still are, heroes.

Neither liberals or conservatives saw it that way. No one rallied around the returning warriors who had been used and abused by their government. During that timeframe American conservatives did not rise up and proclaim the validity of their virtues. They, too, did not welcome the soldiers back home, but treated them with crude indifference. Once they were home, conservatives (as usual) had no interest whatsoever in the Vietnam veterans... their usefulness was over, most especially those, like decorated officer John Kerry, who spoke up against the war. Instead, American conservatives bemoaned the ending of the war at all. "Keep fighting," most declared (and some would be fighting it still). So, once again, when it came to actual universal virtues, the conservatives were AWOL. They were too busy promoting a "traditional value" - America, right or wrong!

America was wrong in the Vietnam War, and righteousness prevailed... we bailed out of the country, Vietnam was reunited, and today, just 40 years on, Vietnam is a favored vacation spot, and place to move your factory if you're an American "job-creator." So 58,000 American soldiers died for... nothing. And, to this day, the survivors of that debacle have not received an apology from America.

Then there's the greatest "universal value" of all... at least for us humans. That would be Mother Earth. Without her, forget everything. We can argue about the existence of God, and what kind of being or energy that is. Nobody really knows. It's all abstract, dogma, and various leaps of "faith" (read: suspension of rationality). There may or may not be a God sitting up there in heaven, judging us. But there should be no argument about the value of Mother Earth. No "faith" required. She goes down, we go down. And yet... conserving the Earth has never factored into conservative ideology.

Isn't that strange? Indeed. More than that, it's ludicrous, ignorant and digusting. It's the No. 1 example of how conservatives don't understand their own, one, great idea.

But what would you expect? Again, we must emphasize: conservatives are NOT about conserving "universal" values, only "traditional" values. And conserving the Earth has never been a "traditional" value.... at least in Judeo-Christian culture.

Yet it turns out that loving and protecting Mother Earth actually is an ancient "traditional value" for many other cultures... typically those that conservatives call primitive, savage, uncivilized. Once again, it is liberal political thinking that has revisited the ideas of these peoples, and have come to agree with such sentiments.

And so, ironically, the new political and spiritual orientations toward enviromentalism, as well as the new science of ecology, fully engage the conservative's one great idea... the idea they can't seem to ever master.

Instead, the "traditional value" vis-a-vis the environment for conservatives has always centered not on protection or conservation but on exploitation: despoil, tear and claw and gouge, rape and pillage.. kill and eat anything that moves... hell, kill just for "sport" if you want... kill the last Passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet, and laugh about it... take what you want and dump the trash in the nearest river or ocean, or just leave it for someone else to step in... take what the Earth freely gives and sell it to some other poor sucker. Now that's the way it's always been done. Pappy did it. Grand-pappy did it. All the way back to Adam and Eve (so the story goes).

Who knew it wouldn't always work out so well? Nobody. Until fairly recently. An ecological consciousness (and conscience) is yet another liberal realization and paradigm change. Now we know the world is not as big as we thought it was. Now we know the rivers and oceans are not infinite. Now we know the skies are not infinite. Now we know the ground is not infinite. Now we know the forests are not infinite. Now we know the buffalo herds and Carolina parakeet flocks and populations of cheetah and tiger and elephant and rhino and snow leopard and blue whale and bald eagle and spotted owl and bluefin tuna and prairie dog and snail darter are not infinite. Now we know that seven billion human beings, a tenth of those living large, can put a tremendous strain on the carrying capacity of Mother Earth. Now we know that human greed and gluttony are responsible for creating tremendous damage across the face of the globe, across every continent, high into the skies and deep into the deepest sea. Now we know we are near a terrible tipping point. Now we know... once again, we MUST CHANGE!

"Not so fast," object the conservatives... CorpCon and SoCon alike. Once again, conservatives are united in opposing meaningful action that conserves the very thing most worth conserving: Mother Earth. "Let's study it for a few years more to confirm the obvious... meanwhile, pedal to the metal... drill, baby, drill... burn, baby, burn... get while the getting's good! There's still fortunes to be made! We'll deal with the consequences later."

It's such an insult, such disrespect, such ignorance, such greed, such selfishness, such irreverence, such blasphemy to the Creator whom they pretend to believe in but clearly, absolutely, do not.

And so conservatives profusely prove that they have not the slightest discernment about how to apply their own, one, great idea. That means that we liberals have to pick up the slack... and so liberals become the true conservers of good.

That's not how it should be. Liberals accept that change is inevitable, all things must pass. We do want to put a quick end to those traditions and institutions and laws that are more harmful than helpful. But we also believe some things should and must be conserved. Oh, do we ever! What do you think those liberals are doing hanging in old growth trees, and chasing off Japanese whalers, and defending innocent migrant workers, and fighting for safe work places, and urging for higher wages? These may not be "traditional values" in our society, but they are damned sure related to universal virtues such as liberty, equality and justice that everyone should agree need to be conserved. If only we could reasonably rely on the conservatives to help us decide which things should be conserved... and to join with us in the effort to conserve them, we would have a much better chance to hold on to those truly good things as long as we possibly can.

What humanity needs is a Conservative Reformation!

Human society, and the entire world, would greatly benefit if conservatives would return to the golden nugget at the heart of their impulses, the idea that some things need to be conserved, and reconfigure they way they conserve, protect and serve it. Conservatives, just hold that idea in your hearts and minds for awhile. You hold one of the two most precious jewels of human thought! Then the obvious next question is, "What needs to be conserved?" There is great danger here. This is the very crossroad where conservatives have gone bad and so disserved the world. They have chosen poorly throughout history. But it doesn't always have to be this way. A Conservative Reformation would start all over again, and get it right this time, and thus take their rightful place as conservers of the true good.

It's not hard. They key is to take the Second Greatest Idea in the World and then link it, unbreakably, with the virtues.

Start with just one virtue: Love. Enough with the selfishness, the division, the distrust, the bigotry, the hate. LOVE must be CONSERVED!

Then move on to a second virtue: Truth. Enough with the myths, the distortions, the incessant lies. The TRUTH must be CONSERVED!

With just those two virtues, you can hardly go wrong, but there is one more that should be immediately added to form a strong moral triangle of values: Home. No intelligent creature fouls its own nest; no ethical creature plunders its own ecosystem; no moral creature harms or destroys the innocent;, no non-demonic creature rapes its own mother. Yet that is what conservatism has not just allowed but encouraged to happen to our Mother Earth. This must stop NOW! In all the wide world, the No. 1 thing that should be conserved is the world!

So the Conservative Reformation could start with just those three virtues - love, truth and home - and the world would change for the better tomorrow. Of course, there are other virtues: wisdom, mercy, integrity, valor, patience, equanimity, generosity, discipline, prudence, and many more. Together we can nurture all of the virtues, which combine to make universal values. These, and only these, should become our "traditional values." Humanity is too large, and too powerful, for any ideology to wander far from the roots of virtue.

Come on, conservatives. Meet us at the tree of virtue, you with your jewel of truth and we with ours, and let us put them side by side to shine forever more, guiding us precisely toward becoming the best liberals and conservatives... all of us together, at the exact same time!