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Old 02-19-2006, 01:19 PM   #1
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'Real conservatism's hard to come by these days'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-esk...o_b_15207.html


"All those Democratic politicians who talk of "centrism" confuse moderation (and therefore conservatism) with a negotiated surrender to radical greed.

Why shouldn't Democrats dedicate themselves to a truly conservative set of goals? I've come up with a list of thirteen, in honor of the original colonies and the stars on our first flag. My suggested "progressive/conservative" goals:

1. To conserve our traditional moral values by standing up for for our longstanding national mission -- to protect the weak, house the homeless, and defend the powerless.

2. To conserve our Constitution by protecting us from unreasonable searches and seizures, much of it performed in ways our forebears couldn't have imagined.

3. To conserve free enterprise by defending smaller businesses from the depredations of supercorporations that suppress supply and demand -- with the collaboration of the politicians they've bought and paid for.

4. To conserve our democracy by attacking corruption and all forms of vote fraud, electronic and otherwise.

5. To conserve our rights as free Americans to live as we please, love whom we please, and liberate ourselves from the "mind-forged manacles" of preconception and bigotry.

6. To conserve our liberties by standing up for freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. That means conserving the separation of church and state, too. It was good enough for the founders and it's good enough for us.

7. To conserve our environment by protecting it for the many against the greedy few.

8. To conserve our national assets by spending no more than we collect, and by making sure the wealthiest among us contribute their fair share to the country that made them wealthy.

9. To conserve America's military might by using it only when needed, and only where other avenues have failed.

10. To conserve the bipartisanship and dialog that's been the lifeblood of our political system, by dismantling the debate-crushing machine that's hijacked Congress for the last five years.

11. To conserve the values of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, which are under attack from all three branches of government.

12. To conserve a freedom we've never had to name and defend before -- "Freedom of Science" -- from the commisars of the right who tell scientists what they can research and how they're allowed to discuss their work in public.

13. And lastly, to conserve the future itself by ensuring we feed, care for, and educate all of our children."
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Old 02-19-2006, 01:23 PM   #2
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-esk...n_b_15942.html

"Wrecking the country's finances. Trashing civil discourse. Law breaking. Ruining the earth itself for our grandchildren. That's some sick s**t. Now, we have the sight of Mr. Whittington -- by all accounts a good and decent man -- being forced to crawl on broken glass to stay in the club. Hey, too bad about Harry -- but business is business.

That's where the psychopathology comes in. "Antisocial personality disorder" -- what they used to call "being a sociopath" -- is described in the DSM psychiatric manual as follows:

1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
2. deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others
6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honor financial obligations
7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

Bingo. Get loaded, shoot a guy in the face, tell the world it's his fault, then make him crawl. And Hugh Hewitt will defend you to the death. Sick, sick, sick.

The creepiest sociopaths of all are the Christian conservatives who trash everything they allegedly believe in -- law, decency, sobriety, chastity -- to support these guys, just because they get a place at the table. (Bear in mind that the pathologies I'm describing refer to the leadership of the conservative movement. There are many truly conservative voters who are being sold a bill of goods by their leaders.)

It's a damn shame, because, although I'm not a conservative, I've found much to admire and learn from in true conservative thought. The conservative intellectual vocabulary helped me during my work in Eastern European countries making the transition to capitalism. The invisible economy was visible everywhere under Communism, and centralized state control of many sectors was a clear failure.
...........
The late Barry Goldwater was the first leader of the conservative resurgence. His autobiography was called "Conscience of a Conservative." Conscience: That's the one thing they clearly lack. Goldwater was a true conservative, and he would have fought these guys tooth and nail.

But Goldwater is gone. The lunatics have taken over the asylum."
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Old 02-19-2006, 02:07 PM   #3
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Frankly, Eskow is on to something. The future of the Democratic Party is in embodying a milder form of libertarianism, and I've said this for a while now. Bill Clinton obviously made the original overtures in that direction, but in most ways, they were baby steps.

If the Democratic Party wants a return to power, it will have to be the party that exemplifies intelligence--fiscal intelligence, secular intelligence, scientific intelligence, military intelligence, etc. The GOP abdicated all of this the minute it became the party of the Religious Right, and, right now, it's a vacuum waiting to be filled.

"Liberals" in our Anglophone world have already done this, for the most part. In Canada, Paul Martin's reputation was built on fiscal responsibility, and had it not been for Chrétien's corruption baggage and national fatigue over having the same party in power for so long, he'd still be in power. In the UK, Gordon Brown, Blair's likely successor, has hired Alan Greenspan as a consultant and says nothing but positive things about him. Even good old "Red Ken" in London says nothing but gushing things about former NYC mayor, Rudolph Giuliani.

I believe this is the future for the Democratic Party, and it may come across as "flip-flopping," but, frankly, this is the life cycle of political parties. If Bill Clinton was guilty of stealing the best of ideas from Ronald Reagan (as Reagan, himself, angrily accused early in his term), Reagan and his GOP presidental successors have been guilty of stealing the "best" of ideas from the liberals of the 1960s--placating the general public through massive amounts of government spending (Reagan left behind a several trillion dollar national debt to prove it) and co-opting from the Democrats the same civil rights movement that they derided as late as the early 1970s.

It's now time for the Democratic Party to wake up and realize where it belongs in the 21st century. In 20-30 years, I'm sure the "flip-flopping" of ideas will happen again.

Melon
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:22 PM   #4
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There is absolutlely no way that any major libertarian party can exist within the confines of a civil society.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:55 PM   #5
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
There is absolutlely no way that any major libertarian party can exist within the confines of a civil society.
It seems that a Libertarian Party runs contrary to the true underlying goals of mainstream parties - that of money and power.
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:06 PM   #6
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That's because self-professed "libertarian" parties are mainly about tax cuts to the point of anarchy.

That's also why I want to underline the idea of "mild form of libertarianism," since I can't think of any other name for the concept I'm thinking of.

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Old 02-19-2006, 08:07 PM   #7
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Classical Liberalism perhaps?

Libertarianism can only exist on the frontiers, I think that by it's very nature having a government with responsibilities to people (who vote for their own interests) will tend towards a degree of welfare statism and curbs on liberties.
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:29 PM   #8
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Re: 'Real conservatism's hard to come by these days'

Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-esk...o_b_15207.html


"All those Democratic politicians who talk of "centrism" confuse moderation (and therefore conservatism) with a negotiated surrender to radical greed.

Why shouldn't Democrats dedicate themselves to a truly conservative set of goals? I've come up with a list of thirteen, in honor of the original colonies and the stars on our first flag. My suggested "progressive/conservative" goals:

1. To conserve our traditional moral values by standing up for for our longstanding national mission -- to protect the weak, house the homeless, and defend the powerless.

2. To conserve our Constitution by protecting us from unreasonable searches and seizures, much of it performed in ways our forebears couldn't have imagined.

3. To conserve free enterprise by defending smaller businesses from the depredations of supercorporations that suppress supply and demand -- with the collaboration of the politicians they've bought and paid for.

4. To conserve our democracy by attacking corruption and all forms of vote fraud, electronic and otherwise.

5. To conserve our rights as free Americans to live as we please, love whom we please, and liberate ourselves from the "mind-forged manacles" of preconception and bigotry.

6. To conserve our liberties by standing up for freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. That means conserving the separation of church and state, too. It was good enough for the founders and it's good enough for us.

7. To conserve our environment by protecting it for the many against the greedy few.

8. To conserve our national assets by spending no more than we collect, and by making sure the wealthiest among us contribute their fair share to the country that made them wealthy.

9. To conserve America's military might by using it only when needed, and only where other avenues have failed.

10. To conserve the bipartisanship and dialog that's been the lifeblood of our political system, by dismantling the debate-crushing machine that's hijacked Congress for the last five years.

11. To conserve the values of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, which are under attack from all three branches of government.

12. To conserve a freedom we've never had to name and defend before -- "Freedom of Science" -- from the commisars of the right who tell scientists what they can research and how they're allowed to discuss their work in public.

13. And lastly, to conserve the future itself by ensuring we feed, care for, and educate all of our children."
interestingly enough, i agree with quite a few of these are far as statist econ-politics go.
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:56 AM   #9
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Re: 'Real conservatism's hard to come by these days'

Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


3. To conserve free enterprise by defending smaller businesses from the depredations of supercorporations that suppress supply and demand -- with the collaboration of the politicians they've bought and paid for.
This is not going to happen.
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:05 AM   #10
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Libertarian economics is a pipe dream. There's no way that stuff would work. Where would you get money for police departments, roads and schools?
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:50 AM   #11
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Originally posted by verte76
Libertarian economics is a pipe dream. There's no way that stuff would work. Where would you get money for police departments, roads and schools?
To the contrary, those elements would be considered core functions of government. Infrastructure, education and defense.
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:28 PM   #12
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


To the contrary, those elements would be considered core functions of government. Infrastructure, education and defense.
OK, I mistunderstood "Libertarian". I used to know some really strict Libertarians who wanted to abolish the state, and have everything private. That's what's so pipe-dreamy. It was amazing, these people really believed this stuff.
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