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[politics] Will the real conservatives please stand up? - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-10-15 05:35
Subject: [politics] Will the real conservatives please stand up?
Security: Public
Tags:personal, politics
One thing I've noticed lately in my own comments section, on my Twitter feed, and around the blogosphere in general, is a growing trend for conservatives to say something along the lines of "Don't confuse X with real conservatives, we're not like that." The most common values of X are neocons, theocons and George W. Bush.

I find this comment both amusing and saddening. On behalf of liberal-progressives everywhere, let me extend a hearty and loving raspberry to all you conservatives.

See, I remember the dawn of the Reagan era, when Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes were quite happy to goose the latent theocon base of the GOP in order to recover from the Republican disaster that was Richard Nixon. I don't recall "real conservatives" speaking out against the cynical manipulation of the abortion issue or the "God, guns and gays" strategy, at least not when it was picking up votes for the GOP.

I remember during the Reagan presidency when the neocons were getting footholds in the Republican establishment, helping drive policy into such unConstitutional dead ends as the Iran-Contra affair. I don't recall "real conservatives" speaking out against abuse of executive power, unilateralism, or sheer bugfuck paranoid policy regarding the projection of American power, at least not when it was securing the right political flank of a popular Republican administration.

I remember the elections of 2000 and 2004, and the Permanent Majority, when George W. Bush rode a neocon/theocon coalition into office and built, at least for a while, a heady perception that conservative values and governance could be permanently cemented into the American body politic. I don't recall "real conservatives" speaking out against the whole constellation of bizarre blunders, deliberate ineptitude, unConstitutionality and outright criminal activity of the Bush administration, at least not when that alliance seemed to guarantee a Republican ascendancy and prove America's resolute might on the world stage.

So, now that conservative values and governance have generated the largest political and economic trainwreck in modern history, and the wheels have come off of Reagan's Eleventh Commandment, and your party's spokesman seems to be Sarah Palin (who could not be a more bizarre political figure if she'd been scripted by Mel Brooks), and the media mad dogs are setting the conservative agenda, and your polling numbers are somewhere down near Charles Manson's, you, my conservative friends, are grumbling that these are not "real conservatives"? I'd be a hell of a lot more impressed with your complaints if you hadn't been mocking me and telling me to shut my traitorous liberal mouth between, oh, 1980 and 2006. And even if you personally weren't doing that, you were happily voting for and supporting politicians, commentators and media that were doing so. Without objecting to their their alleged lack of real conservatism.

All those crazies and criminals were good friends to "real conservatives" when the going was good. Maybe you guys should look in the mirror now before you complain to people like me about how we lump all conservatives together. You'll see what I've been seeing all my adult life, and maybe you'll understand where my strong negative reaction to the American Right comes from.

Or maybe not.

Post A Comment | 25 Comments | | Link






wldhrsjen3
User: wldhrsjen3
Date: 2009-10-15 12:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't recall "real conservatives" speaking out against the cynical manipulation of the abortion issue or the "God, guns and gays" strategy, at least not when it was picking up votes for the GOP.
I don't recall "real conservatives" speaking out against abuse of executive power, unilateralism, or sheer bugfuck paranoid policy regarding the projection of American power, at least not when it was securing the right political flank of a popular Republican administration.

People like my parents DID speak out. And often. Just because no one listened doesn't mean they weren't voicing their opposition. Not everyone is in a position to garner national attention, and back then they didn't have blogs. Local activism was as much as my parents could do, and they both DID.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-10-15 13:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's a shame voices like your parents were not heard, and for that matter, still are not heard, in national conservative discourse.

But did your parents continue to vote Republican despite their speaking out? If so, they rewarded this behavior in the only way that counts, and helped build today's problems one vote at a time.
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sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2009-10-15 13:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Exactly. "Don't Rock The Boat", or "Tradition!" are horrible political thoughts. As if the future somehow isn't actually built, one moment at a time, out of the choices we make each and every day.

Now, this is one reason I register with "alternative" parties. This duopoly we currently work with/under is not flexible enough and has too black and white thinking for me.
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sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2009-10-15 14:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Oh yes, and the people who vote for the side that looks like it's already winning, just so they can be on the winning side, like it's a betting pool on a football game? They need to have their right to vote flat out revoked. Idiots.
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wldhrsjen3
User: wldhrsjen3
Date: 2009-10-15 14:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No, as a matter of fact they did not - although they continued to identify themselves as Republicans, so maybe as you say that's part of the problem. I've seen it repeated as a sarcastic joke, but my family _truly_ votes for the candidate and not the party.

While I agree with a lot of what you say, I just hate to see generalizations about a party applied with overly broad brushstrokes, because there _are_ people within the Republican party wanting desperately to change it.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-10-15 14:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
because there _are_ people within the Republican party wanting desperately to change it.

Right. But where the hell have they been the last thirty years? It's like a bully who's gleeful and unapologetic until they meet a bigger bully, and only then starts being concerned with how the less powerful or able can be protected.

So while I'm quite interested as a decided non-Republican in seeing the GOP reformed, because I think it will be far healthier for both the party and the system as a whole, I'm not evolved enough to give a free pass *now* to people who were along for the ride when all the crap look like a winning play. I probably should be -- forgiveness is a liberal-progressive ideal, as is inclusiveness -- but I'm not there yet.
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martyn44
User: martyn44
Date: 2009-10-15 12:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Okay, Jay, that's out. You can relax. Breathe deeply. Think good thoughts. Go do something productive with people you know actually give a damn about you and the values you espouse.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-10-15 13:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Breathing, breathing...
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Keffy
User: kehrli
Date: 2009-10-15 12:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wish Sarah Palin was scripted by Mel Brooks. :(
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2009-10-15 13:31 (UTC)
Subject: Cheap Shot
*I* wish Sarah Palin was scripted by *Max* Brooks.
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The Texas Triffid Ranch - Odd Plants and Oddities
User: txtriffidranch
Date: 2009-10-15 14:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, the news is half-good. Her whole family was scripted by John Waters.
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Karen, aka Ana Lake, ska Aine inghean Cathal
User: summers_place
Date: 2009-10-15 14:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Scripts can be edited, and she'd be so edited out by now.

*sigh*
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tricia3818
User: tricia3818
Date: 2009-10-15 13:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Right on!
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Serge_LJ: Adams
User: serge_lj
Date: 2009-10-15 14:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Adams
Sarah Palin (who could not be a more bizarre political figure if she'd been scripted by Mel Brooks)

Palin as a better-looking William J Lepétomane?
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Bob
User: yourbob
Date: 2009-10-15 14:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keith did it well last night. When the Republicans start eating their own....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/33319594#33319594
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2009-10-15 15:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I remember 1980 and Lee Atwater, too, and how the GOP hitched their star to narrow-minded zealots and used fear, hate and racism so they could win elections.

Now the bill is coming due and they don't want to pay it, or worse, admit they're being served what they ordered.

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Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2009-10-15 16:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"your party's spokesman seems to be Sarah Palin"

I would say rather that the Republicans' current spokesmen are Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

For all the coverage she gets, Palin has done relatively little spokesing in the last few months. Whereas Limbaugh and Beck have defined the message and the strategy.

Another distinction: Prominent Republicans have been able to publicly differ with Sarah Palin and survive, without being forced to apologize.
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Magnetic Crow: waterbear
User: teriathanin
Date: 2009-10-15 16:59 (UTC)
Subject: Yes!
Keyword:waterbear
"Whhhaat? You're saying that the teabaggers, the people who killed Dr. Tiller and the census worker, and the people perpetrating hate crimes against gay people, trans people, women, and people of color are somehow OUR fault? Just because we've been working our asses off to incite violence against anyone who we disagree with? Nonono! We don't ACTUALLY have anything to do with THEM! We're a DIFFERENT kind of conservative!"

Excellent post!
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2009-10-15 19:50 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Yes!
OT butL I LOVE your avatar! That's a Tardigrade, right? Coolest little critters...
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Magnetic Crow
User: teriathanin
Date: 2009-10-15 22:05 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Yes!
It is, and they are! :D
#1 nominee for first nude astronauts, they are!
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2009-10-15 17:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dood:

Word.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2009-10-15 20:36 (UTC)
Subject: what you said
I have no need to say more
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farmgirl1146
User: farmgirl1146
Date: 2009-10-15 20:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You are so right!
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User: mmegaera
Date: 2009-10-15 23:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:writing
You know, you've got to quit writing all these political posts that I agree with. It's getting scary how well you're able to know what I'm thinking [wry g].
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Grant Kruger
User: thirdworld
Date: 2009-10-17 20:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
To be fair, the problem is the system itself. One party rule. No proportional representation. Every third party inevitably disappears. So what if it was different? Would a new party with fiscal conservatism and social progressivism draw a chunk of people from both parties? I believe it would. In the meantime, they are forced to pick one, and pre-Bush I found that most Americans believed that it made little difference which party was in power, and to a large degree, they seemed to be right. Bush made them very wrong though.
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