Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ideological rigidity and the death of conservatism

Sam Seder: Tellin' it like it is
I was listening to Sam Seder the other day (he was guest-hosting the Randi Rhodes show) when, as happens so often, he said something that really got me to thinking. He pointed out that the conservative movement is dead. It is devoid of ideas; it is static; it is gripped by some kind of intellectual rigor mortis.

Well, an examination of the criteria that so-called conservatives use to determine the worthiness of a candidate reveals much, doesn't it? To be a "real conservative," one must:
  • unequivocally oppose taxation as a means of raising revenue
  • reject a woman's right to determine whether or not she will carry a pregnancy to term
  • support "aggressive" interrogation techniques for "illegal enemy combatants"
  • advocate a militarization of the US border with Mexico and criminal prosecution of "illegal" aliens
  • insist that military operations in Iraq continue until US forces "achieve victory"
  • express admiration for Supreme Court Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito
  • maintain a (mostly false) public piety and reverence for Christianity
  • speak of Ronald Reagan in reverent terms
This is certainly not a complete list. But to stray from even one of these positions or any of the myriad others is to risk being labeled a "liberal," as laughable as that seems. Let's not forget the bowing and scraping that crazy John McCain felt compelled to perform in order to convince "movement conservatives" that he was worthy of their support (which is still uncertain, 'cause, you know, he just doesn't seem to hate the Mexicans enough and he didn't vote for Junior's tax cuts).

With this kind of hard-and-fast template laid out like a concrete foundation, how is it possible for a movement, any movement to grow and remain vibrant? Especially when the current leader of the conservative movement (ostensibly, Junior) is being so thoroughly stripped of his facade of gravitas?

Oh, brother!
It's pathetic and laughable to see these people, these fools, try to maintain that they are a legitimate political or intellectual school.

Frankly, I think it is past time for people who adhere to the "conservative" template to face the ridicule and humiliation that they have so richly earned. And, hey, I'm trying to do my part with this blog. Heh.

1 comment:

Dan Binmore said...

I believe that by definition conservatism is against change. I wouldn't say that the position of not wanting things to change is dead, but it certainly has no movement in its positions. The question is whether things should change or not, and that begs the question of how it should change.