Conservatism

Conservatism:
1. commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation
2. the holding of political views that favor free enterprise, private ownership, and socially
traditional ideas

Taken to its extreme, conservatism puts women back in their “place”: as housewives and helpmates, the junior partner in a marriage where she pledges to obey her husband. It hearkens back to the days when daughters and sons were pawns in the Medieval game of war between members of the same royal family. It puts white males and their “rights” above not only women but blacks and native Americans. Conservatism supported slavery. It supported westward expansion into territories already occupied by others thought inferior. Today, conservatism supports the rights of millionaires and billionaires over the rights of their workers, customers, community or nation. And it supports those rights against people in the Third World with less wealth, less destructive power, and less freedom. And, lately, it supports wealthy investors and their children and grandchildren, whatever their nationality, against the American people who actually do the work to produce our goods and services.

We are now seeing the dirty underbelly of conservatism: the willingness to go along with lies and cheating as long as it benefits their own agenda; the threats of massively funded campaigns of slander and rumor against any and all opposition; and the labeling of fellows as “Republican In Name Only“(RINO) when they don’t buy into the smear campaigns, graft and dishonesty.

Donald J. Trump isn’t the first dishonest politician or the first to be impeached (although he is the first to be impeached twice and only the third to lead an insurrection against his own federal government). It is clear to anyone who has been paying attention that “The Donald” has broken a number of his nations laws and has hoodwinked his supporters out of $250,000,000 and counting by disregarding the results of an electoral system that was already highly biased in his favor. While his Presidential bid was somewhat close, a one-person-one-vote tally had him losing by a whopping 7,000,000 American voters! But, of course, he had planned to claim victory before we all voted. He doesn’t respect us voters and he holds himself immune to the dictates of democracy AND the rule of law. He isn’t the first or the last to do that either. If there were actually such thing as the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” (an oxymoron as well as a Marxist Communist concept), I think Donald J. Trump would certainly qualify far better than Lenin or Stalin. He was at least elected once and he claims to represent the common man while actually holding him (and her) in contempt.

It looks like the Republicans will regain control of the Senate and maybe even the House. They need the Presidency to be held by their opposition periodically because their schemes haven’t worked and they need someone else to blame it on.

Trump put us behind the 8-ball with Covid-19 by downplaying it, but the inevitable results were all blamed on his successor, Joe Biden.

Republican “trickle down economics” (giving big, permanent tax breaks to the wealthy who, in turn, pour millions into their campaign coffers) hasn’t helped the American taxpayer, yet they still promote it. And they give small, temporary tax breaks to everyone else which seems to satisfy a lot of us who just don’t look at the big picture. What actually has been happening is that the large corporations use the tax break windfalls to give themselves bonuses, buy back their own stock and that of foreign competitors, and reinvest in foreign countries without minimum wages, environmental protections, health and safety requirements, or liability enforcement. And, of course, they reward their faithful litigators and benefactors with even larger campaign contributions.

Behind all this are the Great American Myths that are spoon-fed to each and every child in these United States. We learn about the Constitution, that “protector of Human Rights” and the Supreme Court that, in turn, protects the Constitution. We learn about the “Bill of Rights” which protects citizens against overreach by the Federal Government (but not state governments).

Fact: Of the first ten Presidents of the United States, eight were slave owners! George Washington owned Mount Vernon, a plantation with over 300 slaves and Thomas Jefferson owned another plantation, Monticello, and its 600 slaves. Of the senators that approved of the first Supreme Court, half of THEM were slave owners. So, of course, the people appointed to the top position in the legal profession weren’t about to declare slavery unconstitutional or illegal and found ways to inch around the quibble that slaves were legally 3/5 of a human being without the “rights” enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and signed by men, most of whom owned other people and considered themselves entitled to their work, their bodies and their children and grandchildren.

Fact: When “Honest Abe” declared in his speech at the Gettysburg battlefield in 1863 that we had been a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people” for 87 years, he was lying through his teeth since women were admitted into politics more than 50 years AFTER this speech. We seem to have a double standard. “Well, sure, that’s just the way society WAS then” while missing the point that the old laws, the old precedents, the old ways of doing things was enshrined in our legal system and we STILL haven’t ratified the Equal Rights Amendment!

Fact: France permanently abolished slavery before the United States.

Fact: The states of Wyoming (1869), Utah (1895), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), California (1911), Kansas, Oregon, Arizona (1912), Illinois (1913), and the countries of New Zealand (1893), Finland (1906), Australia (1908), Norway (1913), Denmark (1915), Russia (1917), Lithuania, Canada, Austria, Latvia, Georgia, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Estonia (1918) all preceded the United States (1920) in including women in elections.

Fact: The Civil War was fought for states’ rights, not to end slavery and, of course, blacks weren’t actually treated as equals in many states, north and south, until the Civil Rights legislation 100 years later. The battle for equal rights under the law isn’t completely won yet! This is because of states rights and the tenacity of local and state politicians holding on to local power by any and all means necessary.

These same “conservatives” want to enshrine old, antiquated, outdated, ineffective, and unequal values.

Conservatives run rampant over human rights in the rest of the world as well. “Make America Great Again” is a rallying cry that likens bullying smaller, weaker nations for special prices and favorable treatment to “greatness” and invading smaller, weaker nations in support of dictatorships to “keeping the world safe for democracy.”

The military has become a sacred cow that nobody of either party dares mess with. Our “defense” has been offense with the possible exception of the two world wars where we joined one group of colonizers against a new, upstart group of colonizers all salivating at the oil-rich Ottoman Empire, ripe for the picking. A hundred years later, our invasions and occupations have succeeded only in places where the natives were bought off (Kuwait) or Europeans and Americans have taken over the government by force (Palestine/Israel). As well as the countries we conquered, made prosperous and protect for free: Japan, Germany, and South Korea, where about 100,000 US troops have been there for over 70 years and counting.

Meanwhile, the unsupported belief in our own virtue seems unassailable and the completely bogus idea that our 200,000 troops stationed all over the world and in each ocean and most seas armed with nuclear weaponry are there supporting democracy goes unchallenged. Our “defense” expends over 34% of the world’s destructive funds to “protect” 4.25% of the world’s population living in one of the most defensible places there is.

As corporations weigh in with unlimited spending, elections have become a gentleman’s contest over whose corporate representatives will sponsor bills which favor their particular industry or enterprise. And even most Democrats will not bite the hands that feed them. As is most evident with the pending defeat of conservative congresswoman Liz Cheney, it’s become all about money and, with money choosing the Senate and the Senate choosing the Supreme Court, our laws are all slanted to support the status quo rather than allow any of that “equality” that our founders gave lip service to.

Today, “conservatives,” with very few exceptions, have aligned themselves with the money or bowed out of politics. I’m not singing the praises of the Democratic Party, I’m merely stating that if you’re voting for a conservative because you’re a loyal American and you believe they’re protecting American values, you might reconsider why we have a global economy with little competition.

Vladimir Putin is the madman who is threatening the world with a nuclear holocaust and Donald Trump thinks he’s a great guy and even unilaterally held up support for the small, democratic country Putin insists on destroying. Whatever Trump’s motives, does he really have the Free World in his heart? It seems to me he’s in it for himself and all those who agree or pretend to agree with whatever he wants!

What is your explanation? Does conservatism really come through on its promises? Are conservatives “making the world safe for democracy” or giving the middle class a chance at the American dream? Or are they actually trading on old myths and new fears created out of chaos and bought with lies and the lives of young people in unnecessary, unwarranted foreign wars and conquests?

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