Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Basic Problem of Conservatism.

I used the title phrase here, and Dale asked me about it in comments. Rather than bury the answer, and since I'm too stupid to figure out how to put hyper links in my comments, I decided to make my answer a full fledged post. So here goes...:

I tried to explain the basic problem of conservatism in my first post. It's difficult to explain, because as I see it, true belief in conservatism requires the total suspension of reason. It is only through its failure that Conservatism proves itself correct. Even before Reagan, conservatives were for free, unregulated markets, which led to the Robber Barons, monopolies, crazed speculation on the stock and commodities markets, and then the Great Depression. Those same principles are fucking up our economy now. It doesn't really matter how far back you go, to try to find a particular brand of Conservatism. They're all at their roots, the same. Dubyaism is just Conservatism on steroids. OK, with some hubris, insanity and despotism thrown in.

A conservative once told me that the government's job was to "protect the borders." How? Militarily? OK. But what about from illegal immigrants? From the introduction of infectious disease? From lead painted toys? From tainted food stuffs? From cheap, shoddy goods made by slave labor? Those are just a few things I think Government should consider when protesting our borders, and we're not even getting to, "...promote the general welfare and ensure the prospects of liberty for ourselves and our posterity." (from the Preamble to the Constitution)

Small government, like the idea of trickle down economics, is a Conservative mantra. You were just a tot when Reagan ran for Pres, but he ran on an anti-government platform. I've quoted him here, and I know I've said it to you, but the one I really love: "I've often thought that the Nine most feared words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" Then he would go on to explain that government cannot solve problems; that government IS the problem. So Ron... as leader of the nation, what will you do? Nothing; Government CAN'T do anything. Reagan set the presidential vacation record that Dubya broke.

Conservatism seems to hold this as an inherent problem, that can only be solved through deregulation and privatization, and conservatives will often go to great lengths to prove this. Bush has over and over again appointed cronies and incompetents to head programs and agencies, with sad results. It's not by accident; it's by design. It's so that they'll get people to say things like, "Look at how the State department fucks up passports. Sure as hell don't want those assholes running health care." Things don't have to be that way. They are that way, because want them that way; because it makes them seem right.

So what about Conservative programs that work? I really can't think of any. Certainly not like Social Security, FHA and the rest of FDR's New Deal. What about the EPA? True that was started by Nixon, and Nixon was a Republican, but he wasn't necessarily a conservative. He also tried to institute a comprehensive health care plan, OSHA, Affirmative Action and tried to control inflation through a price and wage control board. Not exactly free market small gov stuff there. Eisenhower was also a Republican, but besides fucking up the White House floors with his golf shoes, I can't say what he did. I remember he was quoted that he ran as a Republican to "save the two-party system."

Reagan... good old Ronnie Raygun. The guy the Refuckyoucans worship, emulate, imitate and see on Mt Rushmore during their wet dreams. Gutted the civil rights act, affirmative action, the EPA... discontinued all the Carter initiatives into alternative fuels and conservation... tried to start drilling in ANWR... dumped shitloads of money into stuff like Star Wars... set the deficit records that Dubya broke... deregulated the airlines, so they could become the models of efficiency they are today... busted unions... So he appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court and she turned out to be a centrist/swing vote, but he also appointed Rehnquist, Scalia, and Kennedy when he couldn't get Bork -- who was truly bugfuck crazy -- appointed. "Amnesty" for illegal immigrants? A Liberal idea? NOPE.

Basically, if a conservative Refuckyoucan administration ever instituted a program that worked, they would prove Reagan wrong. They have NO incentive to succeed. They purposely break government programs and then replace them with shit from deregulated private industries. They make the army more efficient by taking away duties like cooking meals and trucking fuel, resulting in scamming and over charging by KBR and others. Not to mention soldiers getting sick from tainted water. They offer "improved service" from public utilities supposedly through competition by deregulating and privatizing, resulting in power grid failures, rolling blackouts, massive rate increases, and ENRON. Could you fucking imagine privatized Social Security, backed by securities packages backed by sub-prime mortgages?

These are a few of their favorite things... when the dog bites... when the bee stings... when they're feeling sad. They simply deregulate some other thing, and then they don't feeeeeel soooo baaaaaaad.

Fucked up government is good for Conservatives.


DCup said...

Suspension of reason. So true. And they expect us to congratulate them for their ability to "govern" small.

The bastards.

Chris in Seattle said...

The thing is though, for all their claims of being the champions of small government, who's presided over the largest single increase in the government work force?

Dale said...

I think I can understand most of that. The only thing I have to ask is are you really talking about true conservatism, or Reaganism? Conservatives/Republicans were around long before Reagan.

I guess my main question would be what is the basic differences that make someone a republican/conservative or a democrat/liberal?

From doing some VERY quick reading on wikipedia, it would seam that in general, republicans and democrats, by definition (Republic & Democracy) would share many of the same beliefs. They are both forms of government that believe in the rule of law, holding government accountable, protecting individual rights, liberty, etc.

I honestly think both parties have been given bad reputations because of certain leaders that were self-proclaimed members of their parties. If we get a terrible leader in charge, and he turns out to be total fuckup, regardless of what political party he belongs to, that party is going to get a bad rep for it. That is not fair to the party. I think in general, the majority of civilians want the same thing, regardless of their political parties.

I think it is safe to say that members of both parties want their individual rights to be protected, they want their country to be economically secure, they want the country to be well protected against international threats, they want people to be able to come in from another country and become a citizen LEGALLY, they want healthcare and aren't opposed to paying for it themselves if the price is right, and they want their government officials to be held accountable to the same laws the rest of us are required to follow.

I don't see why there is such a gap, sometimes hatred, between the two parties.

Maybe I'm way the fuck out there, I don't know, it's been a long day so far.

Chris in Seattle said...

are you really talking about true conservatism, or Reaganism? Conservatives/Republicans were around long before Reagan.

That's why I brought up the Great Depression. What's going on now, is much of the same shit as what was going on then. With Republicans in power. As far as the supposed similarities, you're right, but then what else would each party say? And Dubya's... well... who knows what the fuck he is, other than a treasonous snake. Someone once called him a big government conservative, which is a total contradiction in terms. Such a thing by definition cannot exist. Oh...

And Ron Paul..? Wants to somehow chop government back to the size it was at the Civil War. You tell me how that can be done without creating total chaos and I'll detail your car with my tongue. He's a crazy in the Barry Goldwater mold.

Dale said...

Here is a list of federal agencies. I am willing to bet that 90% of them are not necesary for the success of our nation. Did you know there is a fucking "Office of the First Lady"?

Forty_Two said...

Q: What will they call the "Office of the First Lady" if Clinton gets elected?

A: Hooters.