GOP Underestimates Conservative America

 

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-04-10 18:28:19 -0500. -- GH

 

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

 

GOP Underestimates Conservative America

While President Obama is going about his valiant and statesman-like attempt to rescue America and restore our image at home and abroad, the GOP politics as usual, diehard operatives are acting like spoiled brats determined to undermine the president–and America's–effort. But in their blind attempt to regain power they seem to have forgotten one important fact–the vast majority of true conservatives are fiercely loyal Americans, and don't share their view of power at any cost.

While "true conservatives" have a vastly different view from "true liberals" regarding the policies that make America great, the two groups have one very important thing in common–both groups understand that even as we indulge in our sibling rivalry, we are all Americans--family–which means the viability of our nation and proud American traditions must come first.

 

But many of the wingnuts--on both the right and the left--have long since lost sight of that very fundamental principle. They've allowed what was a healthy sibling rivalry to escalate into a hatred within the American family that supercedes the viability of America itself. That is unacceptable, and it is exactly that mindset that has led directly to the crises that the nation faces today.

In their wisdom, however, the American people decided to put an end to it. That's why we have radicals on the left, calling President Obama a sellout, and reactionaries on the right, calling him a socialist. But the fact is, President Obama is a true mainstream American that the American people have sent to Washington to put an end to this childish bickering.

President Obama is neither liberal nor is he a conservative, he's a progressive--and while the terms liberal and progressive are often used interchangeably, there's a big difference. Both liberals and conservatives are people who have, by definition, surrendered their independent thought to the exigencies of political ideology. While a progressive is an independent thinker who recognizes that truth and wisdom, more often not, is neither black nor white–it generally resides in the grey.

A clear example of that is the liberal tendency to promote the idea that a "progressive tax" is a system where people who make less money should pay a lesser percentage of their income in taxes than people who make more. That's complete nonsense, unjust, and therefore not progressive thinking. To be a true progressive entails putting what is fair to all first, and recognizing that just is blind, and therefore caters to neither race, greed, sex, nor social or economic status. 

A true progressive understands that it is just as unjust to discriminate against the privileged as it is the poor. Egalitarianism dictates that everyone pays the exact same percentage of their income in taxes. But many say, that won't work because it won't bring in enough revenue. That's a meaningless argument, however, because what is convenient has nothing to do with what is just.

On the other hand, fiscal conservatives argue that the doctrine of freedom of speech dictates that corporations should be allowed to send lobbyist to Washington with pockets full of money to lobby and influence congressional legislation. That's also ridiculous. Corporations are not citizens, so a citizen's right to petition government is not an inalienable right required to be extended to corporations. When citizens incorporate a business they are relieved of much of their personal liabilities, therefore, when acting as a corporate entity, they must sacrifice many of the rights that they enjoy as private citizens.

Thus, if the nation adhered to common sense in addressing the nation's issues rather than allowing public policy to be dictated by radical wingnuts and special interests, the gains that we would acquire as a direct result would allow everyone to pay the exact same percentage in taxes, and prevent public policy from being corrupted by corporate interests. For example, if the tax payers didn't have to pay the bill every time some corporate big wig took his girlfriend to a power lunch or bought a Mercedes and wrote it off as a business expense, we'd have enough revenue to treat the American taxpayer fairly. It would also take a wedge issue off the table that political demagogues use to divide us–after all, many fiscally conservative Republicans are socially progressive, so an evenhanded taxation policy would make them much less apt to align themselves with social bigots.

The election of President Obama makes it clear that many registered Republicans understood that in spite of party and personal interest, President Obama was uniquely qualified to lead this nation at this moment in our history. They didn't see his Black skin as a deficit. On the contrary, they saw his Barack Obama's diverse background as an asset, so they put personal interest aside, put America first. They should be honored for that, instead of dragged through the mud with GOP demagogues.

They understood that Obama's Black skin allowed him to understand what it meant to be Black and poor in America. They also understood that being the product of an immigrant father, he fully understood the challenges and hardships of millions of immigrants across this land. It was also clear to many conservatives that after having lived all over the world and having a family of differing cultures, that Barack Obama had a unique understanding of the mindset and views held towards America by other people and cultures throughout the world. They also took into account that he was raised and loved by White Americans in the very heartland of this nation, so he also understood the needs, fears, and aspirations of middle American. And finally, they recognized that he's an intellectual and constitutional scholar, whose knowledge of America and American traditions would dwarf nearly any president in the history of this nation.

They deserve recognition for that, because unlike the Limbaugh wingnuts, and liberals of every stripe, it was the ideological sacrifice of many conservatives that led directly to led to the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

So as progressives, let us not make the mistake of gloating in the face of these people. Because while liberals and progressives turned out in larger numbers, no group in America has made a greater sacrifice to ensure that barack Obama is sitting in the White House today.

So progressives should not confuse conservatives with GOP wingnuts. Listen to the words of Charles, a true conservative, at the link below, and begin to understand that it is not conservatism that is the enemy. Limbaugh told this conservative caller that he was not a Republican, he was one of the stupid people that allowed President Obama to be elected. Limbaugh was right in one respect, the man is not a Republican as Limbaugh defines Republicanism, but neither is he stupid--he's a loyal, conservative American.

I take great pride in coming to the defense of this man. He said that he was a former Marine, and so am I, so it comes naturally. Limbaugh told him that he didn't know diddley squat, but unlike Limbaugh and his kind, Charles does know what it means to come to the defense of America. As a former Marine, I've known such men. He's of the very same breed that left their families and marched off to die, to defeat slavery.

 

Eric L. Wattree
wattree.blogspot.com
A moderate is one who embraces truth over ideology, and reason over conflict.

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It's important that we get past this notion that somehow progressives have a unique insight into what should be done and those on the right are lacking sufficient cognitive function to recognize those verities.  The United States is the most thoroughly controlled society in terms of the availability of information pertinent to decisions.  In addition, the constant reinforcement of the conventional story, the one based on censored news, is an exquisite form of propaganda that serves as the running history based on lies.  A quick example: it took the Defense Department30 or so years to admit that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the one that justified Viet Nam, was a lie.
 
It's also important to recognize that the vast majority of those labeled conservative are as interested in the welfare of the United States as those on the other end of the spectrum.  Both sides need to accept this.
 
If we acknowledge that misinformation and disinformation are the basis for failed policies, then we can understand why so many support those policies when we factor in that information control.  If we start assuming that we're all patriotic, it's easier to argue over issues because we start at a point of debating the facts, not the implementation of policies.  That's a profound shift from current thinking on both sides creating a dialog that starts with impugning the integrity and intelligence of the other. (I said something like that here = The Money Party (5): "Us" versus "Them" )
 
Here's where I respectfully and vigorously disagree:  "many registered Republicans understood that in spite of party and personal interest, President Obama was uniquely qualified to lead this nation at this moment in our history."  This election was a referendum on Bush and the extreme right, their rule and results since Newt took over the House.  It was , most immediately, a referendum on Bush and his bellicose policies, his failures and manipulations.  Citizens in huge numbers rejected that.  To their credit, race, party  label, etc. didn't get in the way of it.
 
However, just on the face of it, there was nothing that uniquely qualified Obama to be president other than vanquishing the Clinton political faction, a considerable accomplishment.  He lacked experience and had a vague set of policies.  His political affiliations were suspect, campaigning for Lieberman against a true Democrat, Ned Lamont, in 2006.
He's hired two of the architects of the financial crisis, Summers and Geithner, who are giving away the Treasury in trillion dollar increments to the worst financial managers and institutions imaginable.  The people's needs are the last on the agenda and have received a pittance compared to the Wall Street welfare doled out.
 
I didn't vote for Obama, I voted against Bush and fascism.  It was an easy choice.  My impress of Obama, to this point, is that he simply doesn't understand priorities - people over failed financial interests.  He's certainly better than Bush, at this point, but he is not now nor was he ever uniquely qualified to be president.
 

 

 

 

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton

On your last point, challenging my assertion that Obama is uniquely qualified to be president at this point in history--I think he's looking pretty good, and according to the polls, most of America agrees with me.  In fact, he's looking too good for the wingnuts--that why they're out there making fools of themselves.  He's the consummate statesman, cool under fire, understands every issue facing the country, at the very least, as well as the various experts in his administration, and the people of the world love respect him.  What more could we ask for in a president? 

Wattree   

Eric L. Wattree
wattree.blogspot.com

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everybody who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

 This last election was not about Ideology as much as it was about Piracy. The wholesale looting of the country, abandoning the Constitution, abandoning the Geneva Conventions, much less other treaties , even abandoning Habeas Corpus that was a hallmark of law for 800 years. And when the naked fraud was revealed to have shown Libertarian, "I'm only for me, and anyone else is a loser" mentality as the ideological desert it has always been, Obama got the vote of viturally everyone with a gag reflex.

Ever since there has been a massively financed atempt to portray the sea change as something other than what it was. As the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs rush to get to the Right of the Micheal Savage & Stormfront folk, we have many who were on the far right before that went off the table to try instead to portray themselves as the new "Center"even as that is far to the right of such Republicans as Eisenhower and Goldwater, much less Teddy Roosevelt.

What the Internet has made obvious is that the old spectrum from Infa-red To Ultra-Violent has broken down. All the extremists are Reds now, and while you still might find the odd "Government should own everything" Communist, or the "Left-Libertarian" anarchist that has not thought their "thinking" through, they usually find themsselves allied with the "Bombs in the Towers" authoritarians and Pat Buchanan "conservatives" more in the wilderness than Limbaugh.

The new spectrum is much more Unipolar. Those who seek to have privilage and power without any transparancy or accountability, social Darwinism, Libertarian Feralism. and those who believe that the Socialism they are so fearful of is not the Orwellian "Government owns everything" definition but the Adult, takes responsibility, concern  for others, pragmatic best for all, reality based, science based, Socialized Child kind of Socialism. In that spectrum the "centrist" is hardly the honorable position.

Egalitarianism dictates that everyone pays  the exact same percentage of their income in taxes

Since a wealthy person uses a great deal more of government services, and profits hugely from them compared to a mid or low income person, paying the same percentage of tax amounts to having poor folk subsidize the rich. But there is a beter reason. 

Because Money grants power the more money aquired the more you can tilt the playing field in your direction. It has been well documented that two equal businesses will have one eventually have a bit of luch to aquire an advantage that over time will become insurmountable and leave just one business. The concentration of ever larger Corporations and ever increasing divergence of wealth is the proof of this (as has been done in detail)

By balancing the increased power with increased taxes, actual egalitarianism takes place, and the net worth of everyone increases. Without it those without power cannot bring new ideas and those with power want no part of of them. And the society stagnates as can be seen in most "Third world" countries.

When citizens incorporate a business they are relieved of much of their personal liabilities, therefore, when acting as a corporate entity, they must sacrifice many of the rights that they enjoy as private citizens

A partial step of a major problem. Businesses never were supposed to have such lack of accountability. If a person tosses poison into the water supply killing hundreds, they are terrorists and get and deserve the death penalty. If a business does it they are heavily fined if anything happens at all, and passes it off as a cost of business.

In the (now far) past any person making a decision that caused that would be in prison, at the least and the company dissolved to pay the damages. The original point of a Limited Liability Company was that the investors would not be liable beyond the value of their investment. How times have chganged and turned that entire idea on its head. Egalitarian progressiveism would insist on that but I would not expect to see it in my lifetime.

{Many Conservatives gagged at the Bush Administration and supported Obama} They should be honored for that, instead of dragged through the mud with GOP demagogues.

And indeed most on the left do, folk like Scott Ritter, Jim Webb, John Dean, and the millions of others unknown and lesser known who once felt themselves ardent conservatives and Republicans, but are now Independents, Democrats or still fighting as Republicans to restore actual honor and accountability to every level of business and government. They oppose criminal behavioras much as anyone and I would never describe them as belonging to the Gang Of Pirates who have captured tyhe Republican party (though I would include a few nominal Democrats and former Democrats in that crowd).

Both liberals and conservatives are people who have, by definition, surrendered their independent thought to the exigencies of political ideology.

Talk about dragging through the mud!

The Authoritarisn personality which is the profile of those who have surrendered thought to their leader is also well documented, and almost exclusively found on the political Right. The primary weakness of the left is that they are like hearding cats, and surrendering any freedom of thought is the last thing they would do. They can at best be persuaded by reality and understanding which is why the web has given them so much power.