Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The "New" Conservatism

The conservative movement in America was started decades ago. I'm not exactly sure when it first arose, but there are certainly various people who were clear conservatives in the 1950s (Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley, etc.). But today, the whole movement appears to have been hijacked by elite statists who have no regard for the most basic fundamental principles of conservatism. They mask their conservative ideology by adding terms on the end, like "compassionate," and thereby mocking the traditional movement.

Conservatism used to be about smaller government. The idea was to reverse the New Deal, which essentially was entirely unconstitutional (see the 10th Amendment) and basically created a welfare class of poor people who are totally dependent on the government's nipple.

But that was the Socialism (or Progressives) which started out in the late 1800s and spent decades trying to force their flawed idealism on the United States citizenry. They were finally able to do so using the Great Depression as an excuse. And while they weren't able to implement all of their retarded and backward policies, they got many of them through and now these policies are bankrupting the nation (like Social Security and Medicare).

This is what conservatism was fighting against from the start. Barry Goldwater himself fought against President Eisenhower's interstate road project and other programs calling them a "Dime Store New Deal." Eisenhower wasn't a conservative himself. That's probably why he had Nixon as his Vice President (usually Presidential candidates will pick a Vice Presidential candidate to fill the void which he can't fill).

These days, conservatism has been hijacked by the Republican leadership, mostly because the revitalized conservative movement supported the Republican party back in the late 1970s. And Ronald Reagan, for the most part, was conservative himself. But Reagan is gone now. I mourn his passing, as he truly was the greatest president of the past century, but there is no sense in crying our split milk.

These days, we have George W. Bush. He has never called himself conservative, only compassionate conservative. This should have been considered an insult to everyone who had worked so hard and who had done so much to define conservatism. The mere notion that conservatism isn't compassionate is a huge outrage and shows a serious lack of understanding of true conservatism. Which is more compassionate, a parent who allows their adult child to live in the basement or a parent who treats their adult children the way a finch treats its adult children (you know, they drive them crazy to the point they pluck out their own feathers)? If you think the latter option is more compassionate, then you have just picked the conservative option. When it comes to social issues, conservatism is about ensuring that people learn how to find their own way. Whenever I hear whiners complaining about lost jobs, I just remind myself that the average American will have 12 jobs in his or her lifetime. If you spent all your life working at a particular company and they lay you off at age 55, tell me why you haven't developed better skills or expanded your skills so that you could get a better job?

In any case, compassionate conservatism has redefined the movement and confused a great number of people. People (especially women) have a tendency to need to rely on something else for support. I don't know where this need comes from, but people are naturally lazy. Why do something themselves when someone or something else can do it for them. Indeed, a majority of the advances in technology have been in the name of laziness, prolonging our lives, or blowing things up more efficiently. Call it an unrecognized universal law, but that's how human beings are. And when government promises to do things for them, most people immediately jump on the bandwagon.

So this is where the new conservatism comes in. It is an attempt to reconcile polar opposites and it doesn't do a good job at that. Bill Cosby once said that the key to failure is trying to please everyone at the same time. Throughout President Bush's terms, he has attempted to do just that. From "No Child Left Behind" to Harriet Miers, President Bush has tried to appease Socialists and conservatives, Americans and Mexicans, Israelis and Palestinians, etc. And yet, appeasement has shown to only further divide us and garner more aggression and anger at our opponents. Conservatives didn't like the high government spending (to which the Bush Administration blamed on Republican Congress and worked out nicely in 2006) and Socialists would just demand more money (because that's how they get elected).

So now we have a Presidential election on the horizon and a bunch of Presidential candidates who aren't conservative at all. On the Republican side, each one has claimed the mantle of Reagan and yet we have a Senator who stifled freedom of speech, a governor who wants to micromanage what you eat, another governor who ran Massachusetts and a mayor who ran New York City. These folks are far from being conservative as I am from being a woman.

I think I'll be voting write-in this year. I'll write in Rush Limbaugh or Vox Day or someone else who could probably do a great job as President. At least I can say that I didn't vote for the puppet.