Tuesday, September 13, 2011

True conservatism and the moral bankruptcy of the Tea Party

As the saying goes, "The only thing evil needs to triumph is the indifference of good men". Last night, I saw the most disgusting display of absolute selfish callousness when the hypothetical question was posed to Ron Paul about an uninsured person and whether they should be allowed to die. I know Ron Paul is consistent in his ideology of Libertarianism and while I don't agree with him, I at least salute his consistency even if he is wrong.

I know there are many, many decent people out there who call themselves conservatives and Republican, or Libertarian. I know some of them personally and again, I don't agree with them but I know that in a crisis, they'll help those around them. Yet, there are those people who are so neurotically morally deficient, clinging to the notion that everyone who is poor or sick, deserves what they have because somehow they didn't try hard enough. The craziest thing is that many of these people call themselves "Christians" and justify their position by claiming that "God helps those who help themselves", a quote which is NOT in the Bible.

I actually agree with true conservatives on to some extent on issues which include limited government (and I am almost completely Libertarian when it comes to civil liberties), the death penalty (and not just for violent murders but child rape, etc.) and gun rights (within reason). I have no issue with war, when justified and I believe that those people who succeed should be held up as an example to others. I believe in small business, fair immigration policy and responsible capitalism.

Yet, those people in the GOP have been incredibly silent and allowed the rabid people like Bachmann, Palin, Beck, Santorum and other loonies to drive the bus and dictate policy. These are people who call for making government "inconsequential" in our lives, unless you happen to make lifestyle choices they don't agree with. They are all for letting people raise and educate their kids in religiously nutcase environments but God forbid you want to smoke a joint in the privacy of your own home. They believe that if you are baptized as a baby into their religion, you can't change that but somehow being gay is a choice. They believe that someone born over 2,000 years ago was the Son of God but someone born 50 years ago in a US state isn't an American. They think it is perfectly acceptable to spend trillions of dollars on failed foreign policy and prop up dictators or people like Bin Laden who eventually turn on us, but it is a travesty to use tax dollars to take care of our own people or rebuild our infrastructure. They oppose abortion, yet simultaneously oppose birth control or sex education that would prevent that pregnancy from happening in the first place. They call themselves "pro-life" but clamor for the death of prisoners or even people who can't afford healthcare. Believing that you are not your brother's keeper is the greatest hypocrisy of those who wrap themselves in a flag and wave a cross.

"Screw you, I got mine" is not true conservatism, that's not working class or Middle America values and if the GOP ever wants to get back to possibly gaining my vote, they need to realize that. I know there are good, decent people who call themselves Republicans yet they are allowing the nutcases to speak for them. I don't know if it has become a majority or just a rabid and shrill minority that has come to dictate policy but the reasonable people need to take the wheel back before it is too late. My fear is that it is indeed, too late.


  1. I'll just pose some questions based on your litany of "I believe" items simply because these perhaps obviously beg further questions:

    "Libertarian on civil liberties": can you offer some examples of this political philosophy and this particular aspect?

    Death Penalty: Is this expressed belief consistent with the above position? It's the state who puts people to death (often erroneously); so you are a proponent of the state's right to take life.

    Gun Rights: It's impossible to make this statement and attach the qualifier you do. Within what reasons and who determines these? Again, the state?

    Just War: As far as I can tell the only "just" war on offer is one of defense, i.e., the attacked party retaliates creating two parties in conflict and making "war". Currently, the US is fighting an "endless" war against an ideology, not a state. AND it is "attacking" the ideology (ostensibly) NOT a state and it is not defending its citizens or borders against attack. Also, as a rule conservatives/libertarians DO NOT promote "foreign wars".

    What is "small business"?

    What is "fair" immigration? Who defines this?

    What is "responsible" capitalism? You are aware the capitalism has one goal, accumulation of the surplus (ie, wealth). It is "Responsible" to that alone. In what way would you make it responsible to other things?

    It's not coherent to simply list things that sound like they have "meaning" but that require far more thinking and detail if you don't want others to misunderstand your positions.

  2. Wow, bunch of questions. Civil liberties, I don't want the government telling me what I can and cannot do so long as it isn't hurting anyone else.

    Death penalty is consistent with this and I believe that it should be used for the most heinous crimes, when it can be shown without a doubt that the person is guilty. They've taken away someone else's rights so they forfeit their own.

    Gun rights. I believe people should be able to own and carry guns with a license, but not open carry.

    War, I believe in war only for defense of oneself or an ally. I think every war we've been in since WWII was not justified.

    Small business is the family businesses, not the chain stores.

    Fair immigration (to me) allows people who are here illegally and contributing to society to stay. Kick out the ones who aren't being helpful.

    Responsible capitalism...I believe in the right of a company to make infinite profits, so long as it isn't done by exploiting consumers or employees. Preferably those employees get some type of profit-sharing as well.

    Hope this helps

  3. I was trying really to help you a bit come to more clarity on positions.

    Primarily what you offer is state regulation of nearly all of the above while calling out to a "libertarian" perspective. Also, you are only making statements with qualifiers that leave those statements meaningless.


    "Civil liberties, I don't want the government telling me what I can and cannot do so long as it isn't hurting anyone else."

    So, govt can tell you what to do if it deems you are being harmful, correct?

    Death Penalty: "when it can be shown without a doubt"--normally folks use "reasonable doubt" here, but either way, you are asking for certainties when there are nearly always mitigating factors in all crimes.

    This leads to a serious question about the illegal and unjust wars you declared above: If we honor treaties (which we don't, ever) as our Constitution requires (though we don't, ever) then the US and its leaders have committed countless war crimes and should have been/should be put to death under those laws. This means you would have to advocate for the death penalty for Bush, Cheney, et al., Clinton, Gore, et al., Obama, Biden et al. and so on. Which is okay with me, because that is a fact of international law regarding treaties we have signed.

    Gun rights: so conceal carry is okay? Any kind of gun?

    Small business--so you would propose to dissolve all corporations?

    Immigrants--who decides how/why someone is "helpful"?

    Infinite profits are ONLY made via exploitation. Again, you would want to do some more thinking about what capitalism really is and how it's practiced.

  4. Thank you very much for this post. I was saddened by that very real disinterest in another mans plight. We have to do better and people like you speaking the truth to power is exactly what the GOP needs to hear. Thank you so so much.

  5. --""Civil liberties, I don't want the government telling me what I can and cannot do so long as it isn't hurting anyone else."

    So, govt can tell you what to do if it deems you are being harmful, correct?"--

    I think common sense should dictate what is harmful or unjust.

  6. This article deals in generalities, so Storm back off! You're like a lawyer trying to pin down a client. The point of this piece to me was that we as a nation used to believe in each other and that our country is viewed by others as the greatest in world. A country that all others aspire to be. It isn't that way anymore. That in and of itself is a shame. That's what need to get back to. It's what got us out of Vietnam, it's what made Nixon resign, it's what gave us civil rights for all. There is too much hate, vitriol and division all caused by our own media. The sad part is their is only one man who could pull off the change. I won't name him, I'll leave that for you the reader to figure out.

  7. Your post was right on target. Thank you.

  8. Ron Paul and his fellow libertarians read into the Constitution all sorts of imaginary rules that don't exist and ignore the part about the Congress being enabled to pass laws for the general welfare. I've also recently been told by Ron Paul supporters that "[all] gun control is unconstitutional" and when I explained that that's not what the Supreme Court said, I was told that "they're not the authority" and that the citizens (presumably a small percentage of libertarians only) were the final authorities on what was constitutional. Apparently the judicial branch of government is also unconstitutional in their minds now - basically, whatever they don't like is "unconstitutional". Some of them have been obsessed enough to either tell me or agree with the sentiment that "a civil war is coming" (Ron Paul Newsletter's race war maybe) due to the government's "willful refusal to obey the Constitution" (which they can't cite me any specific examples of) between the blue and red states and, I quote, "not to bet on the blue". Charming folks.

  9. Thomas Jefferson himself warned America to never look at the Constitution as a holy text. It was written by men and was written for the time they were living in. He said each generation has the responsibility of amending and changing the document as needed to reflect social progress. Madison, the man who drafted the constitution refused to add the word "expressly" before the clause where all powers not claimed by the states would fall onto the federal government because he knew the political landscape was changing daily and to hold the union together the federal government would need the power to create and enforce federal laws that could override state law. The last time this was challenged.. well folks, we call that our Civil War. 620,000 men dead because they felt the federal government didn't have the right to legislate... despite what Jefferson and Madison had to say.

    Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a friend in 1816, he mocked "men [who] look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched"; "who ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment." "Let us follow no such examples, nor weakly believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself, and of ordering its own affairs," he concluded. "Each generation is as independent as the one preceding, as that was of all which had gone before."

  10. I am so thrilled that people of your intellectual prowess enjoy this. I love this discussion

  11. Great article. Most of the GOP can't see their true reflections in the mirror through all the imagined halos and puffed out chests.

    Articles like this make them react like fabled holy water does to imaginary demons.

  12. "Ron Paul is consistent in his ideology of Libertarianism" is correct. Paul has consistently stated that liberties are the province of individual states, not the federal government. One example is his opposition to federal drug laws - he is ok with states having such laws. It is not liberty per se which he defends. It is the ability of states to determine the applicability of liberties within their jurisdictions that he advocates. This is a very old position, old enough that it was a component of the Civil War. How did that turn out?