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writing for godot

Democracy Depends on the True Conservative

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Written by George Monroe   
Thursday, 29 June 2017 06:16

True conservatives are first and foremost choice-makers. They try to see both sides of important issues and evaluate the facts.  What is working well in regard to those issues, they decide to accept and support.  At the same time, they choose to entertain new ideas about those issues that might offer new ways to do some thing better.  If the facts look promising, they are willing and able to try a new approach and carefully study the effects while at the same time holding on to what has already proven to be worthwhile.

Throughout the history of the American democracy there have been true conservatives from both U.S. political parties including: Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Everett Dirksen, Adlai Stevenson, Jacob Javits, and Dwight Eisenhower.  Others may fit this definition quite well; the aim of any of them was to conserve what was currently working well while researching the potential of new ideas to improve the lives of all Americans.

True conservatives firmly believe in what they are doing, but they realize and accept that they are not perfect. They are willing and able to learn from their experience as choice makers.  At the same time they are grounded by thoughtfully chosen moral imperatives. They have examined the consequences of life as opposed to death and chosen life.  Having chosen life, they have looked ahead to examine the consequences of living in creative and productive ways as opposed to non-productive or destructive ways and decided that creative productivity seems more promising than trying to sit still or destroy things.  Gratefully acknowledging the unique and fortunate benefits of revolutionary America, they pledge to protect its constitutional framework while helping to find ways to improve its ability to evolve as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Some notable contemporary Americans, e.g. Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Charles Koch, Carl Icahn, Elaine Chao, Betsy DeVos, Rex Tillerson, Wilbur Ross, Eric Prince, Mitch McConnell, Jared Kushner, and Mike Pence have misappropriated and vulgarized the term conservative.  They are not true conservatives by at least three measures:(1) they have chosen to live their lives in negative and destructive ways primarily designed for acquisition of personal wealth, (2) they have decided to ignore the maxims for living good lives offered by the world’s major religions, and (3) they have chosen to reject and even subvert the defining features of the democratic government creatively produced in the crucible of our American Revolution.  For a candid look at how this rejection and subversion has been operating behind the scenes, see the powerful documentary video entitled, Get Me Roger Stone (now available on Netflix).

Their obsession for amassing wealth casts them as narrow-minded and self-centered acquisitors, rather than conservatives. They focus on gathering and protecting their possessions. They see democratic government as a nuisance to be stamped out and replaced with a small fascist type government managed by an elite few.  They see other people around the world as commoners to be exploited or shut out and deprived. Their loyalty is only to money, not to any particular society or a home country. With parasitic acumen, they attach to any place or group that is seen as a source of exclusive riches. While claiming to value individual freedom and democratic participation under the constitution, they actually conspire with others in elite secret societies and organizations like the John Birch Society, the National Rifle Association, and the Ku Klux Klan to contain, reduce, or exclude citizen involvement in the government.  Fake news, fake threats, and fake conflicts about incendiary issues are employed to keep the public stirred up and preoccupied so they won’t notice that fundamental rights and legal protections are being systematically cancelled.

The most diligent scholar of conservatism in developing democracies around the world, Pete Viereck, wrote in his 1978 book, Conservatism Revisited, that a democratic society functioned best when the conservative liberals and liberal conservatives worked together across the aisle. The give and take involved was the crucible for forward progress and improvement of the system for all citizens. This is certainly the thinking of Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope presented in their new book, Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens can Save the Planet.

By contrast, the design of Charles Koch and his followers who have infiltrated and castrated the Republican Party contains the mandate that no compromise is allowed.  Mike Pence has been a secret leader in this movement for a long time.  He is financed in his actions by Charles Koch as are such prominent others as the Governors of Illinois (Bruce Rauner) and Wisconsin (Scott Walker).  So are a number of senators such as Mitch McConnell.  They are willingly engaged in a paid mission grounded in the self-centered writings of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and right-wing economics professor James Buchanan to subvert and eliminate the democratic form of government to which they pledged allegiance when sworn into their elected offices.

Treason is defined in Webster's New World College Dictionary as violation of the allegiance owed to one's sovereign or state; betrayal of one's country; specifically in the U.S. (as declared in the Constitution). It seems clear that many of the current state and national officeholders that call themselves republicans are engaged in activities that fit this definition.  The good news is that the true conservatives in our midst outnumber the misguided charlatans who have besieged America. However, there is imminent need for the true conservatives in both parties to come together now and move quickly while there is still time to help the republic recover from the body blows it has been dealt.

Under the current political circumstances, swift action is critically needed on three fronts to: (1) make the public aware of what is happening and who is involved,  (2) engage in thoughtful discourse to help find the new moral imperatives that are needed for guiding our choices for operating and improving our seminal democracy, and (3) stop the stealthy theft of the United States government, remove the treasonous thieves from power, and begin the execution of justice to correct the damage already done. A good place to start would be to read and share the content of the new book by award winning Professor of History and Public Policy Nancy McLean entitled, Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

 

 

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