Sunday, March 1, 2009

What is Wrong with the Right

In America we have witnessed the death of conservative government and the emergence of liberal government. Obama's convincing victory is laying waste to the conservative notion that government does not inspire achievement, innovation, and investment.

Conservatives believe in the individual and private property and resist regulation and taxation or any form of confiscation through bureaucratic intervention. To some, conservatism is a universal set of core principles with values that reflect the truth of the market and the real world. At its best conservatism advocates freedom, trade, and reward through hard work, at its worst conservatism is selfish, authoritarian and intolerant.

Conservatives traditionally oppose the notion of a government stimulus, conservatives also have a long track record of ignoring and/or deriding Green. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held late last week was no exception.

A straw poll conducted at CPAC named Mitt Romney the best 2012 GOP presidential candidate. Besides referencing Hitler as an inspiration for his energy policy, Romney dismisses global warming as another one of those “ideas of the liberal left.” According to the Irregular Times, Romney complained that “some in the Republican Party are embracing the radical environmental ideas of the liberal left,” and protested that “Kyoto-style sweeping mandates, imposed unilaterally in the United States, would kill jobs, depress growth and shift manufacturing to the dirtiest developing nations. Republicans should never abandon pro-growth conservative principles in an effort to embrace the ideas of Al Gore.” Clearly Romney does not understand the issues surrounding America's role in emissions management.

Rush Limbaugh, described by Media Matters as the "number one voice for conservatism" was a keynote speaker at CPAC. His address did not contradict his traditionally dismissive views on Green. As reported in his own site, Limbaugh has said, "this whole notion of green jobs is nothing but a scam. It is nothing but a sham. If the green movement, if the environmentalists got what they want, we would lose jobs...American consumers believe this green garbage...The whole thing is marketing and it's brilliant because it's working, but it's a scam at the same time and it's based on a hoax."

Limbaugh's address to the faithful at CPAC was a strident reiteration of his far right conservative tactics. Limbaugh calls the Obama plan a "bastardization of the Constitution," and an "abject failure." Limbaugh's attacks are not reserved for the President, he calls liberals 'unhinged' and 'deranged' and refers to the Democrat's policies as "collectivism socialism stuff [of] these people on the left."

As stated in his CPAC address, Limbaugh believes, people remain poor "because their lives have been destroyed by the never-ending government hay that’s designed to help them but it destroys ambition." He also believes that the Democrats are responsible for creating 'class envy.'

Limbaugh defends Merrill Lynch's John Thain by saying, "he used his company’s own money, to redecorate a bathroom in a [sic] office for $1.2 million....he had to hire a contractor. They got paid. Had to hire a designer and buy furniture, that’s called stimulus."

During the election Obama's slogan was "Yes We Can" for Limbaugh the conservative version is "Don’t be afraid to tell children that they’re wrong." Limbaugh decries a secret liberal agenda to 'control' yet he supported a President who eroded domestic freedoms and tried to impose a new world order under the auspices of national security.

Conservatives just don't seem to understand the urgency of bipartisanship for the economy and the environment. A perplexed Limbaugh asks, "what is so strange about being honest to say that I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country..." Limbaugh appears to be advocating insurrection with his wild-eyed support of "tea parties that are starting to bubble up out there" describing them to thunderous applause as "great" and "fabulous"

The audience laughed as Limbaugh referred to anchor, Maggie Rodriguez as 'the anchorette.' It is little wonder why conservatives are so often referred to as sexist, racist, bigoted and homophobic.

Limbaugh's idea of a stimulus involves redecorating a corporate bathroom for $1.2 million. Conservatives do not appear to understand stimulus spending, nor do they appear to be cognizant of the dangers of a protracted recession. Conservatives appear equally oblivious to the dangers of unregulated markets, the new energy economy and sustainability.

Plato's often quoted words "Everything flows, nothing stands still" is precisely what Limbaugh and the conservatives cannot manage. Limbaugh told the audience of conservative activists "the Declaration of Independence does not need to be redefined and neither does conservativism. Conservativism is what it is and it is forever. It’s not something you can bend and shape and flake and form. [Applause]" he goes on to say "I want the country to survive as we have known it, as you and I were raised in it."

Change, it would appear, applies to everything except conservatives' vision for America. Conservative fist pumping, cringing and name calling will not return the Reagan era, nor will crowded auditoriums of people chanting 'U-S-A' stop the march of time. America voted for change and Limbagh's divisive black and white renditions are not relevant to a productive discussion.

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