Tuesday, December 13, 2005

They're not conservative

One of the things that has really bothered me about today's right-wing ideologues is that they call themselves conservative but they, assuredly, are not. Today I found an article that makes this point called, "Conservative? No.Radical, Regressive, and Reckless? Yes."

Here are some passages:

Just because someone calls him or herself a conservative doesn't make it so. I regularly hear critics of the Bush Administration and its policies referred to as "conservative." Well, here's a news flash:

George W. Bush is not a conservative.
Richard B. Cheney is not a conservative.
Donald Rumsfeld is not a conservative.
Karl Rove is not a conservative.
Paul Wolfowitz is not a conservative.
John Bolton is not a conservative.
Grover Norquist is not a conservative.
Bill Bennett is not a conservative.
Pat Robertson is not a conservative.
James Dobson is not a conservative.
Jerry Falwell is not a conservative.
Rush Limbaugh is not a conservative.
And Bill O'Reilly is not a conservative.

No, indeed, this is a list of radical, regressive, and often reckless political partisans who have exhibited careless disregard for other people, often ignored traditional or established policies, and many of them have flouted the rule of law or have had their hypocrisy publicly exposed (Bennett and Limbaugh, for example). In the mouths of these people, the "conservative" mantle (with or without its alleged compassion) merely supplies the sheep's clothing to cloak their wolf-like avarice.

Webster's Dictionary defines "conservatism" as the "disposition in politics to preserve what is established". It is further defined as "a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions and preferring gradual development to abrupt change."
The original species of "conservative" (perhaps best defined by Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative) seems now to be an endangered one. The current Administration has bloated the size of government, creating not one but two new federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Defense and the Transportation Security Agency. It has engaged in unprecedented deficit spending and trade deficits that are fast becoming matters of national security. And their idea of sacrifice in wartime is to give away tax receipts, mostly to the richest Americans. Only the poor have been asked to make sacrifices in a time of war.
Speaking of war, the Bush Doctrine was used to justify the invasion of Iraq. The Bush Doctrine is, of course, a rationalization for "pre-emptive" war. In plain language, this means that the U.S. arrogates to itself the right to attack another nation which has not attacked us first; in other words, this Administration feels fully justified in starting a war without provocation. Can any reasonable person consider this "conservative"?

The problem is that they call themselves conservative. And uninformed people who want to support conservatives then vote for them.

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