My friends over at Americans Against the Tea Party put it best when they said, “What does it say about a movement whose brightest “stars” are the dimmest bulbs?” It says, laugh at them, pity them, but if you want to live in a modern nation of laws which evolves with the rest of the globe, for Heaven’s sake, DON’T look to them for ideas on how to operate a functioning society, since the only thing conservatives have been successful at is proving that everything they stand for is wrong.
Let’s imagine this scenario: You have an uncle… a loud, opinionated, uncle who’s thinly veiled racism and misogyny is only superseded by his not-so-thinly veiled hatred of gays. He says he’s a Christian, but never misses the opportunity to cheer for war and bloviate proudly about how merciless he is. He fights anything that has a hint of challenging his perceived position in the straight/white/male catbird seat, even if that seat came from the fact that the Liberals he hates fought for the Social Security, Medicare, etc. that allows him to live in dignity. He regales you with factually incorrect tales of American history, despite having never read a book in his life. He disdains “intellectuals,” and perceives science as a “liberal plot.” For as far back as you remember – and as far back as the family tree goes – he has been wrong about everything.
You must tolerate him because, after all, he’s family. But you certainly don’t follow his advice, and you certainly don’t look to him to shape government policy.
But in the United States today, as normal people (non-conservatives) try to undo the damage from conservative destruction and try and create a society that works for all, we are continuously met with the same old stories of the impending doom that awaits if we dare stop following CONS to hell. This opposition at every turn weaves the old, familiar tales of the American landscape being littered with gulags and mass graves from government death panels if we… say… dare offer health care as a right like the rest of the civilized world. We hear Paul Ryan tickle the oversized-amygdala (fear center) in the conservative brain, as he paints a picture of millions of lazy bums swinging in the cushy hammock of our social safety net which isn’t so cushy. We’re warned that rich people will stop trickling all those fabulous jobs on us if they are forced to contribute to the society that gave them so much.
These are nothing but bald-faced lies from bald-faced liars who have ALWAYS been on the wrong side of history.
Here’s a list to remind us that we shouldn’t be pandering to an ideology that is defined by its opposition to progress.
CONSERVATIVES: ALWAYS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY:
1) Conservatives opposed the American Revolution
Conservatives vehemently warned us that it was unnatural to rebel against our Sovereign Lord, King George III, and that doing so would plunge the colonies into disorder. They assured us, as the father of Conservatism, Edmund Burke echoed, that social stability would only come from the small group of wealthy aristocrats ruling over the poor majority. Conservatives reiterated that it was the duty of the poor to obey their “betters.” Their rewards, after all, will come in Heaven.
2) Conservatives opposed freeing the slaves
I know, I know. Here’s where the sophomoric CONS, lacking the ability for complex thought, will whine that Lincoln, a Republican, freed the slaves. But as Southern historian Al Benson, Jr. wrote in his article, “The Republican Party, There are NO conservative roots there,”
“It is interesting to note that, in 1860, the Democrats were the real conservatives, while the Republicans were the left-leaning radicals.”
The Republican Party of the 1860’s, as evidenced by their platform, was a progressive party that rose in opposition to the entrenched power structure. It called for protective tariffs, Besides emancipating the slaves, Lincoln was in favor of progressive taxation. The Revenue Act of 1862 levied a 3% tax on people making between $600 and $10,000 a year, and a 5% for those making over $10,000.
“Lincoln believed that rich Americans should pay more than their less wealthy friends and neighbors.”
But, because they are CONS and want to rig the system in their favor, they only considered slaves “people” for purposes of counting them in order to increase the slave-state representation in Congress.
Conservatives warned that freeing the slaves, believe it or not, was an affront to liberty – as well as an evil government plot to force hardworking business owners to release their property. After all, as the Bible tells us, and as Rush Limbaugh later reminded us, “some people are just born to be slaves.”
3) Conservatives opposed women’s suffrage
Conservatives warned us that women just didn’t have the mind, much less the disposition, for politics. They would, of course, get all hysterical – and if they’re having their periods! Well, look out, men! As Limbaugh cautioned again, uppity women might put testicles in a lock box and upset the “natural” hierarchy.
Even today, in 2012, CONS (such as, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, tea party activist, Fox News contributor, and founder of an organization where Sean Hannity serves as an advisory board member) lament that the worst thing that ever happened to America was that women were given the right to vote.
4) Conservatives opposed minimum wage and child labor laws, the 8-hour work day, weekends, sick leave… etc.
Conservatives warned us that the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established a national minimum wage, guaranteed ‘time-and-a-half’ for overtime in certain jobs and banned child labor, was going to collapse the economy. But President Franklin Roosevelt countered at the time, “Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000 a day, …tell you…that a wage of $11 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry.” What a surprise! He was right and conservatives were wrong.
70 years later, CONS are still trying to undo the minimum wage and get those kids out of the classroom and back into the factories of Republican campaign contributors.
5) Conservatives opposed humane treatment of animals
Since Conservatives are too stupid to know how to make a buck unless they can leave filth, pain and destruction in their wake, they consistently oppose any regulation that not only keeps our food supply free of the filth they love to spread, but treats the creatures giving their lives for human sustenance with a level of dignity and humanity.
As a matter of fact, CONS are such insipid fascists that, rather than address and rectify the abuses at factory farms, they are currently working to make it illegal for a whistleblowers to film the abuse. They have been successful in Iowa at this endeavor. After all, if a pig’s infected pustules are viciously sliced off sans painkillers, and no one is there to document the pig’s screams, did it ever really happen?
And, as for the filthy conditions in the farms feeding the good old U-S-A – U-S-A – U-S-A that the conservatives pretend to love, who cares if a few dozen Serfs eat chicken feces and die of E. coli when a Republican campaign contributor needs more profit?!
We all remember when John Boehner’s district in Ohio was experiencing an E. coli outbreak at the same time he was trying to gut more food industry regulations. The bottom line is, Republicans don’t care if their constituents get sick and die from the filth that Republican (and DINO) campaign contributors are feeding them. To Republicans, that means there’s one less person they have to disenfranchise out of voting.
But if the survivors try to seek justice or recourse and TRY and sue the corporation who killed their child, their pappy, or spouse… they won’t get too far since the John Robert’s Supreme Court had something to say about it.
6) Conservatives opposed the Social Security Act
The Social Security Act established a system that provided old-age pensions for workers, survivors benefits for victims of work-related accidents, aid for orphans and widows, benefits for the blind and physically disabled, and unemployment insurance. Conservatives were apoplectic about this. They warned freedom-lovers everywhere that America’s next stop would be a government concentration camp.
Never mind that “a necessitous man is not a free man,” as FDR famously quoted. Conservatives were inciting their ignorant followers to, once again, oppose their own best interests for the sake of enabling the rich to keep treating them like hosts from which to suck profit.
As author Nancy J. Altman wrote in the LA Times,
“opponents claimed that Social Security would result in massive government control. A Republican congressman from New York, for example, charged: “The lash of the dictator will be felt, and 25 million free American citizens will for the first time submit themselves to a fingerprint test.”Another New York congressman put it this way: “The bill opens the door and invites the entrance into the political field of a power so vast, so powerful as to threaten the integrity of our institutions and to pull the pillars of the temple down upon the heads of our descendants.” A Republican senator from Delaware claimed that Social Security would “end the progress of a great country and bring its people to the level of the average European.”
As we expected, the concentration camps have yet to come to fruition, and conservatives, ironically, scramble to position themselves as defenders of Social Security – still with a mind to destroy it.
These same arguments were retread decades later to oppose the Affordable Care Act. Being generally devoid of ideas, conservatives just keep replaying the same old, tired, tunes… confident their fear-based followers will continue to dance on cue.
7) Conservatives oppose clean air and water
Once upon a time, conservatives, although still fear-based, greed-centered, and inherently racist, weren’t completely bat-shit, off-the-rails, crazy. There were some who even believed that the land and environment we shared should be protected, and shouldn’t be a utilized as a toilet for psychopathic corporations to evacuate their waste.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen… it was Nixon who proposed theEnvironmental Protection Agency, which was ratified by Congress and began operation in December 1970.
But since then, a chain of events unfolded where powerful interests were able to reclaim the ground they were forced to concede to the greater good.
In a nutshell… After the defeat of Barry Goldwater, conservatives began to follow Lewis Powell’s memo to the Chamber of Commerce – a plan that laid out step-by-step how CONS, and thus, corporations, would take over America.
Reagan was elected and began his assault on the New Deal. The American working class was transformed into the working poor.
You see, one ironic tragedy of FDR’s New Deal was that it created economically stable middle classes who, with the aid of these incessant Right Wing misinformation machines, were convinced their interests and the interests of billionaires were one in the same.
One aspect of the Reich Wing takeover of America laid out in the Powell Memo was the suggestion that the judiciary be stacked with extreme Reich Wing ideologues. Slowly, but surely, these judges loosened regulations and undid campaign finance laws and removed what little barriers existed meant to deter the rich from using their money to corrupt government. With their cushy jobs on the line, politicians began to dance solely to the tunes of their wealthy benefactors who wanted “big government” off their backs so their corporations could, among other offences, pollute the land they pretended to love. So here we are – at a point in history where Republicans (and some phony DINOS) don’t get out of bed in the morning unless they can attack the EPA, and any organization that We the People bring into being that dare try to regulate businesses from ravaging America like a third world nation.
Faced with the prospect of having to actually operate their businesses like members of a community rather than sociopathic children, conservatives whine that environmental regulations are “job killers.” As usual, this simply isn’t true. In fact, environmental regulations actually create jobs. ThinkProgress reported,
“According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, however, the “job-killing” part of the phrase “job-killing regulation” is built largely on myth. Last year, EPI released a report that found that several of the EPA’s proposed environmental regulations would actually create jobs. Now that the EPA has finalized a rule regulating toxic waste, EPI has used that rule to analyze whether such regulations are, indeed, job-killers. Once again, it found the opposite to be true, and said the new rule will actually create more jobs than it previously estimated…”
8 ) Conservatives opposed the Civil Right’s Act
Here, again, conservatives use conflation and count on the stupidity of their followers not to understand that “Democrat” didn’t (and doesn’t) always mean “liberal” and “Republican” doesn’t always mean, “conservative.”
You see, much like the Republicans of the 1860’s were the progressives, the Southern Democrats of Johnson’s era were the CONSERVATIVES who opposed the Civil Right’s Act.
Matthew Yglesias wrote for ThinkProgress,
“Bruce Bartlett has become so damn reasonable that he clearly needs to bolster his conservative bona fides somehow, and his favored path seems to be things like this post drawn from his book Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past. Bartlett’s point in the post is that most of the opponents of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were Democrats.This is very true. But it simply highlights the fact that politics in 1964 were not ideologically aligned. The main block of support for white supremacy was a group of Southern Democrats, most of whom were very conservative on all issues, and all of whom were very conservative on the issue of race. They were joined in their support for white supremacy by a smaller block of non-southern conservative Republicans. Conservative movement organs like The National Review supported white supremacy, as did Barry Goldwater who was the leading conservative politician of the time. It’s a very interesting historical fact about the United States of America that for most of the twentieth century conservative southerners generally belonged to the Democratic Party. But it’s also true that if you think of American politics in terms of the history of ideological struggle, civil rights is clearly an issue on which the liberals were right and over time conservatives came around to that view.”
But, as Rand Paul’s recent criticism of the Civil Right’s Actreminds us… not ALL conservatives have “come around.”
We all remember the famous story where Johnson warned his press secretary that by signing the Civil Right’s Act, the Democratic Party of the SOUTH – the CONSERVATIVE RACISTS who voted Democratic because Lincoln freed the slaves – would be lost a generation. Johnson was being optimistic. The white racists were actively courted by the Republican Party in what was known as the Southern Strategy where they still reside with the rest of the GOP racists for over half a century.
After all… racist Democrat or racist Republican? What’s in a name? To paraphrase Shakespeare, a stinking conservative racist rose by any other name still stinks.
9) Conservatives opposed Medicare
Unless it is bombing unarmed civilians for 10,000 feet, putting someone to death or invading a women’s private medical decisions, conservatives have always hated anything to do with government. They tell their easily-led followers that this has to do with “freedom,” and “big government” interference with the “rugged individual” conservatives fantasize they are. It’s the nice story the “average Joe” CON likes to tell himself on the way to cash his Social Security check, but it isn’t true. The real reason the conservative leadership opposes government is because government is the only organization large enough to tell the rich to pay their fair share, or regulate an oligarch’s corporations into “playing nice with the plebs.” Hence, the conservative hatred of anything that government does to promote the General Welfare.
Conservatives opposed Medicare for the same reason they opposed Social Security. It cuts into the potential profit of the 1%. It also affords the average citizen the ability to live in dignity. To the “Master’s of the Universe,” an economically-secure serf is an uppity serf. They like – and need – the people nice and economically desperate and easily exploitable. But they told their ignorant followers, “First you get Social Security – but next stop, it’s the gulag!”
Their soon-to-be-patron-saint, and reason the American middle class is currently on life-support, Ronald Reagan actually cut an LP called “Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine,” in which he warned the perpetually dumb that American “freedom” was in danger. He said, “pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school, where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him.”
But again, the REAL reason the CON leadership opposed Medicare was because they feared it would take America one step closer to offering health care as a right of citizenship – like the rest of the civilized world – and the gravy train would end for those conservative donors who got rich denying people health care.
10) Conservatives oppose Equal Protection Under the Law
There’s only one thing conservatives hate more than a brown person with the right to vote – and that’s an openly gay person.
You see, conservatives are scientifically-verified, fear-based cowards… and true Republican homophobes loathe the lgbt community for the simple fact that they possess what CONS can only envy… namely, the COURAGE to live an authentic life.
Just this week, conservatives in North Carolina voted to prevent two people of the same sex from forming a legal marriage contract. This is because living in a free society takes a level of maturity conservatives simply don’t possess. They lack the intelligence to live up to the responsibilities of freedom – which includes ensuring that each citizen is afforded equal protection under the law – even if you don’t like them.
Yes. It is exhausting to live among whiny children sporting “Made in China” American flag lapel pins, working incessantly to devolve this nation into the antithesis of a free society – simply because they can’t handle the “freedom” they pretend to love.
So, as the President himself joins the rest of the civilized worldand “evolves” to the notion that all people deserve the freedom to build a life and contract with the partner of their choosing, the conservatives dig their heals in deeper, once again on the wrong side of history.
We all must continue to evolve – without them.