Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why Conservatives are the problem

The biggest division in American society, which has been developing since the late 1970's, has been the divide between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives often speak of liberalism in extreme terms -- they like to claim that liberals are all tree-hugging, irreligious, drug-using, lazy, unproductive, communists, socialists, and ultimately un-American. Liberal ideas and people in the news are frequently portrayed by conservative pundits as evil, having hidden agendas, or worse.

Conservatives often speak as though being religious automatically makes a person morally superior. Tell that to the victims of all the abortion clinic bombers and doctor-assassins, who thought they were doing God's work. You may want to tell that to the Catholic church, too, which forced women in Ireland into slavery for getting pregnant out of wedlock, and who buried hundreds of dead kids without so much as an epitaph or explanation of how they died.

The Conservatives clearly are projecting their own shortcomings onto liberals, because most of them, particularly the most vocal commentators, are actually worse than what they accuse liberals of. When you see another conservative, religious televangelist or congressman involved in an extramarital affair, or involved in a financial scandal or patronage scandal, it's sometimes too traumatic for even other conservatives to take, and many of them actually accuse their criminal colleagues of being liberal democrats!

The problem is that liberals often do not respond to the conservative message, and let their claims go unchallenged. This is a big mistake, because the real problem with America is, and always has been, conservatives. I can say this with relative confidence, too. We can go into this for weeks, but there is a real meaty part of this issue that I'd rather discuss here, which concerns the very essence of America, and why conservatives who claim to support it, by their words and actions, actually stand against it.

Do you agree that the bill of rights, as outlined in the United States Constitution, is an important part of the makeup of America's culture? Do you value free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion? Do you believe that the power of government originates from the consent of the governed? Do you believe that the purpose of government is to "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"?

If you do not agree, then you are obviously against the US Constitution, and really should just be honest about it, instead of trying to give the U.S. Constitution lip service, while really trying to undermine it. If you really want to overturn the Constitution, just admit it.

However, if you believe these things, the very foundation of the United States Constitution, and you believe they are beyond reproach, and should not be altered, then you cannot possibly align yourself with the current conservative movement, without risking being dishonest, or ignorant of what you really believe.

Conservatives do not respect Freedom Of Religion

Conservatives stand in stark contrast to the values outlined in the US Constitution. This is an easily established fact. Just look at what they say about Freedom Of Religion, for example. Many in the Republican party, on Conservative talk shows, and in writing, have expressed their belief that America was "founded as a Christian Nation." They promote the idea that the constitution provides for freedom of religion, but only within the confines of the Judeo-Christian faiths. Of course, this is not supported by the US Constitution, but they will claim it is, anyway. They usually point out the superficial "in the year of Our Lord..." as the proof, though this is rather specious. The US Supreme court has always established that there is no limitation to which religions are free to be practiced in the USA.

Some conservatives go even further. David Barton, and many other Conservative Christian Fundamentalists, which includes plenty of movers and shakers in the Republican party, has gone so far as to suggest that the Constitution is based entirely on Biblical principles, which is a ridiculous notion, because the founding fathers actually wrote about what inspired them to write the Constitution, and it was not the writings of Jesus they cited at all, but people like Rousseau, Montesquieu, John Locke, Voltaire, Hume, and Diderot. Most of these men were not particularly religious, and are not know to have quoted the Bible as justification of their beliefs.

And still they go further. Many conservatives even suggest that we should ban, or restrict the non-Christian religious people among us; that we say, ban Muslims and atheists from running for public office, and that there be a religious test as a per-requisite for running for public office (Which, by the way, is in direct violation of the first Amendment, as well as article 6 section 3, of the US Constitution, which specifies "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States").

Conservatives do not respect Freedom Of Speech or of the press.

We often hear conservatives refer to people whose opinions they don't like as "traitors", and suggest that we punish them as traitors (always being carefult to not mention that this may include the death penalty). They were quite vociferous about this during the protests that sprung up in the lead-up to President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. If you're old enough to remember, you will note that people who protested President Nixon and Reagan's war policies, also were condemned as traitors by conservative commentators. They cited an unwritten rule that "you can't criticize the president during a time of war." as their reason. Of course, there is no actual law or constitutional principle that this is based on. They claim that since the definition of "traitor" is "one who gives aid and comfort to the enemy", that criticism of a president during a war gives comfort and aid to the enemy." Unfortunately for them, nobody has ever successfully proven this. The First Amendment doesn't have any exceptions in it -- it doesn't say "freedom of speech and of the press, EXCEPT when you criticize a president during a war."

But conservatives go further. Some have gone on record as suggsting that we need to modify the First Amendment; that freedom of speech should have limitations or exceptions. They have crafted legislation in several states, for example, which would ban teachers from teaching scientific, medical, and historical facts in Public schools. Specifically, they have constantly tried to ban teaching Evolution, sex education, and some historical facts which clash with some of their southern beliefs. The bans usually follow the logic, that teachers should not be allowed to teach things that are harmful to children -- yes, it's always about protecting the children, of course. They then label evolution, sensible, common sense, hygienic knowledge of sex, and certain things about the civil war as harmful. Teachers are then faced with not being able to educate properly.

Conservatives do not respect your right to vote

Republicans in several states, notably Texas, have crafted legislation that is blatant in it's usurpation of the Constitution. They have literally brought up legislation that would appoint senators, rather than let the public vote on their representatives. They even tried to make it harder to register to vote, making it necessary for voters to get ID documentation that most people don't have to show for employment or to a police officer. All of the voter-ID laws that were proposed by conservatives were cleverly written to overlook the reality that those most affected by them would be people living near or below the poverty line, and in most Southern Conservative-held states, that would be African Americans. The laws were designed to combat voter fraud - which has never been a problem, and which has never been substantiated. The only electoral frauds that police and federal investigators have ever substantiated were those committed by Republicans appointed to run elections in various districts. Most of the offenses of "voter fraud" that the Republicans got caught doing involved trashing ballots from districts that tended to vote for democrats.

Conservatives are against your protection from illegal search & Seizure, as well as your Miranda rights. Oh, and they don't even like your right to a fair and speedy trial...

Conservatives Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and others have all suggested that the 5th Amendment is a terrible hinderence on law enforcement. They all responded to the forthcoming trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by suggesting that we suspend his Miranda Rights because he was a terrorist, and may know about other bombings to come. They even suggested that a trial should not even be neccesary -- that we should be just holding him in indefinite detention, constantly interrogating him until he tells us everything he knows.

In almost the same breath, many suggested that we wiretap all of the mosques and other Islamic associations in the country, looking for evidence of potential crimes. This is interesting, because these people would be the first to complain if someone suggested that we wire-tap the churches of abortion clinic bombers, all of whom, so far, have been Christian. They even dared to suggest that we disallow muslims from becoming school teachers, and Anne Coulter even quiped that the wife of the deceased Bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, be arrested merely for wearing a hijjab. Within a single 30-minute discussion on Fox News, all but one of the bill of rights was found to be a problem for conservatives seeking expediency over fairness.

As John Stewart of the popular Comedy show "The Daily Show" pointed out in a montage of conservative pundits discussing the Boston Marathon bombing, only the Second Amendment was spared, held up as too sacred to alter!

Conservatives are against domestic tranquility

Nothing can be more disgusting than to see people cheering for a bully, or lauding a person for breaking the law. Cliven Bundy showed us that conservatives love bullies, especially when those bullies arm themselves and face-off against police. What conservatives didn't say about Bundy was that he refused to pay the fees for using public lands which all the other farmers in his area have paid. He refused to pay the fees, and when the government came to serve him with a court order, he called up a bunch of gun-nuts to help him stand up to the law. Bundy didn't actually abuse his neighbors or fellow citizens, but he has been allowed to skirt federal law, and conservatives are on his side, even though the obvious fact that he is breaking the law is never even discussed.

When Americans are abused by their fellow citizens, or discriminated against, conservatives are the first ones to come to the aid of the abusers. Time and time again, when legislation to end discrimination against non-white Americans, against religious minorities, against gay people, or against women, is proposed, the ones who always oppose it are conservatives. They openly question whether or not rape should be a crime. They demand that willingly discriminating against African Americans is a freedom of speech and freedom of association issue, not a civil rights issue.

When conservatives defend rapists, defend racists, and defend bullies, they are in favor of a society where domestic conflict is the norm, and abuse of fellow citizens is encouraged. This is essentially opposition to domestic tranquility.

Conservatives do not think that a government's power is derived from the consent of the governed

When you hear conservatives, especially those with Evangelical Christian Fundamentalist beliefs, try to explain where the government's power, and our rights come from, they will claim that your rights came from God, and so don't the powers of governments. They will even go as far as to claim that this is what the constitution says, but they're wrong, of course. The founding fathers wrote into the Declaration of Independence, that the power of government is derived from the consent of the governed. If they believed it came from God, they should have written that, but they didn't. What conservatives fail to realize, when they try to proclaim that God personally appoints governments and leaders, and that the Bible is clear about this, is that if we were to go to the Bible for advice on governing, or for human rights, we run into serious problems. The bible doesn't support anything similar to the Bill Of Rights. The Bible clearly sets up a monarchy as the preferred system of government, that women are property, with little more value than farm animals, and it even goes as far as to promote slavery.

The implications are clear if you side with the Biblical notion of governing and society. Voting is antithetical to Christianity -- God appoints leaders to be absolute and unquestioned representatives of his law on earth. Citizens have no rights, except what the King says. Faith in the religion of the King is the ultimate arbiter of one's value in society, and if you are wealthy, it's because God wants it, or because you pleased God. This is exactly what King George The Third believed when we sent him the Declaration of Independence. In other words, Conservatives are against the very principles that the founding fathers fought for! You can't get any clearer than that.

With all of these things put together, it is impossible for anyone to say, with a straight face, that conservatives really care about preserving the constitution, or just have a slightly different interpretation, which they claim is closer to the intent of the founding fathers. If the founding fathers could see what conservatives are saying today, they would not just roll over in their graves, but they would rise from them and vomit in disgust. Vomit and disgust are not strong enough reactions to the vast and monstrous hypocrisy that the right wing shows. They literally have spoken out against nearly every part of the constitution, save the Second Amendment, of course, just within the last couple of years. In my opinion, speaking out against any part of the constitution, or suggesting that the bill of rights might be outdated, is not just UN-American, it's sociopathy, inhumane, and just plain evil.

1 comment:

  1. 1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

    2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

    4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread

    domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

    5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

    6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

    7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

    8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

    9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

    10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

    14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.