Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Cancer of Conservatism

When the Republican Party handed itself heart and soul to Big Business in the 1890s, it was the start of an epic battle to defend power and privilege in the United States at all costs. Briefly, under Theodore Roosevelt, the Republican Party was captured by the progressive wing, and TR had little sympathy for the "malefactors of great wealth" as he called them. But by the 1920s the fanatically pro-business, anti-worker orientation of the Republican Party was set. I have wracked my brain and I cannot think of ANY time the Republicans EVER acted in the interests of ordinary working men and women. They and their allies fought savagely against unions, never hesitating to use violence and state power to destroy them. (There is a myth that violence in labor disputes is only union-generated; check out Henry Ford's war against the unions to see a powerful refutation of this, or the war of the coal mine owners against the unions in West Virginia and Kentucky.) 

This pro-business, anti-worker faction of the Republican Party hated FDR as if he were Satan incarnate. It is this faction of the Republican Party that fought against child labor laws, the right of workers to organize, minimum wage laws, worker safety protections, and every other proposal that was designed to grant working men and women the rights and dignity they deserved. The modern descendants of these violently anti-worker conservatives control part of the Republican Party today. They are the ones who voted against financial aid to the Big Three automakers so they could kill off the United Auto Workers, their sworn enemies since the 1930s. We should not be surprised.

The other branches of the modern Republican Party  have an interesting genealogy as well. The southern Republicans are the descendants of the racist fanatics that spent the century between the end of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 violently suppressing African-American rights. They had been conservative Democrats up to the early 60s, but Lyndon Johnson's courageous stand for human rights drove them into a dark alliance with the Anti-Worker Republicans. The Social Conservative Republicans are an offshoot of the Southern Republicans in many ways, and they have allied with ultra-fundamentalists in other parts of the country. These people are determined to achieve "Dominion" over America, seizing power for themselves, and relegating anyone who dares to disagree with their "Holy" mission to second class status. The Social Conservative Republicans are committed to interfering with the private lives of every single person in America. They want to outlaw not only abortion under all circumstances, even rape and incest, but birth control, homosexual behavior, any "non-reproductive marital sex" (check out former Senator Rick Santorum's views if you don't believe me), any sex outside of marriage, and the right of families to let go of their dying loved ones. (Remember Terri Schiavo?) They want to dictate the most intimate details of everyone's life and destroy any notion that religion and public policy should be separate. They also want to see women in a "submissive" role. (Check out Kansas Senator Sam Brownback for a full dose of this repulsive nonsense.) The Social Conservatives are also bitter enemies of science, and they have spread dangerous falsehoods into all public discussion of science-related issues, even going so far as to blame the Holocaust on Charles Darwin!

In short, the modern conservative movement's leaders consist of those who despise working people, those who proudly defend America's horrible racist legacy, the worst of the religious fanatics, and all those who wish to preserve America as an all-white, fundamentalist Christian patriarchy. On top of that is a group I can only call the New Imperialists, (the Neo-Conservatives) dedicated to imposing our "will" on every other nation on earth. And their methods of acquiring and keeping power have been so vicious and ugly as to shame any decent person.

They screamed "Communist!" and "Socialist!" at Franklin Roosevelt, a man whose actions helped preserve American capitalism in its darkest hour. They tried to undermine FDR's attempts to deal with the rising threat of the Axis powers. Their friends in the newspaper business poured out non-stop anti-New Deal hatred in print. After the war, the conservatives latched on to Anti-Communism, not as a genuinely felt conviction, but merely as a means to attain power. Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon became the ugliest practitioners of the dark art of smearing opponents as "Reds". The Goldwater supporters in 1964 eagerly capitalized on white racism in the South and shouted that LBJ was also a traitor, along with all liberals. Because of Johnson's tragic prosecution of a war we should never have been in, Vietnam, and his failure to strongly suppress urban rioting in the 60s, the Right Wing was able to get off the floor. Nixon in 1968 blatantly used a strategy designed to appease white racists while appearing to be "moderate". Nixon deliberately tore the country in two in name of political gain, his worst legacy in my view. (He kept the Vietnam War going as well, even when he knew it was lost, to help gain reelection in 1972. I'll explain in another post why I believe this.)

When the Reaganites gained control of the GOP, they whipped up the Religious Right to support their goals, and an all-out assault on personal privacy and scientific rationality was launched. Creationist insanity was pushed tirelessly, as well as violently anti-gay rhetoric. It was a degrading but effective tactic. And all the while, anyone who objected was tarred as a "persecutor" of Christians and anti-God(!).  

Throughout all of these ugly maneuvers a right-wing dominated media machine was growing. Right wing hate radio was used to paint all Democrats as traitors and anti-American. Radical Right newspapers, such as those supported by Right Wing financial godfathers Rupert Murdoch, Richard Mellon Scaife, and Sun Myung-Moon also spread conservative propaganda far and wide. Fox News jumped on the bandwagon in the 90s, giving platforms to the worst of the Radical Rights's pathological liars--Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter, Gibson, Cavuto, Kristol, and all the rest. The right-wing propagandists spear-headed the lunatic drive to destroy the Clintons, regardless of any price the country itself might pay. (The so-called "Liberal Media" is an absurd myth--conservative voices dominate our traditional media.) The Republicans have used this propaganda machine to try to destroy or undermine every progressive politician and policy in America. It is the Right Wing Noise Machine that has been the principal spreader of the fantastic lies and preposterous ideas of the Republican Party and its henchmen.

Today, look what the Republican Party stands for: opposition to American working men and women, the channeling of trillions of dollars to the richest Americans, hatred of gays, hatred of immigrants, continued smoldering racism, opposition to desperately needed health care reforms, opposition to all environmental protections, spitting hatred for science, hatred for public schools, hatred of all those who are not fundamentalist Christians, support for torture, support for rendition, and support for the fantastically corrupt Bush-Cheney regime. The conservative cancer is the perpetuation of all the worst features of American life--intolerance, fear, prejudice, and tribalism. It is this cancer that screams out that Barack Obama is "the AntiChrist", a "Muslim radical", "corrupt", "ally of Satan", and all the other filth we have seen hurled at our next president. The Radical Right is now going to try to destroy Obama and block every reform he tries to institute. We, the Progressive Netroots, must and will fight these dangerous radicals every step of the way.

It is time for the conservative cancer to be  cut out of our body politic. All of our nation's most shameful acts and policies have their roots in it. The humane, progressive, and sensible American majority must, once and for all, put the right-wing minority in its place--and save our country from the death toward which the conservatives have so blindly pushed it.


Anonymous said...

Excellent summary of the nefarious conservatives!!
Your article is a must read for all who want to save this country from the malignant cancer. Don't vote for them! Kick the sickness out.


Carol said...

Call it "GOP", "Republican" or whatever. It's certainly NOT conservatism. What Bush and the Fed have done in the "bailout" is socialization of debt, in effect dumping their failed "pie-in-the-sky" inflation of the economic sector on the public. So it's not even keeping the status quo; it's an escalation of legalized theft.

Anonymous said...

The Republican Party platform post Civil War sounded pretty much like today's Dems, adjust for time. Very progressive.

I can't remember exactly what year, but by the new century rolled around, the parties effectively swapped ideologies.

Anonymous said...

WOW! This piece is exactly correct. Hotrod

liberalmind said...

You are absolutely correct in your analysis. I voted for Nixon and then Ford, but Reagan helped me see the light. Unfortunately, I live in the reddest state in the nation that actually has more registered democrats than republicans.

Ignorance, poor education and hatred are the roots of republicanism. They particularly hate people who think--the intellectual "elites."

ExploreLifeBlog said...

Thanks for stating this so clearly. Myself and so many others are tired of the egoic desire for power of those on the Christian right. The act neither Christian nor are they right.

Checkout my blog today about questioning religion and finding our own truth.


Anonymous said...

Nobody can say the neocon's way wasn't given a fair try. Now that the ghastly results of unfettered capitalism are there for all to see, I think it's time for a more egalitarian way of thinking and doing things. This MUST include the prosecution of the bush crime family for their multiple assualts on our people the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, our enviornment, and the dignity and well-being of so many people worldwide. To NOT prosecute these obscene parasites would leave us wide open for a repetition of their horror, and would be a crime in itself.

Anonymous said...

The word "conservative" is such a misleading term. According to Republicans, it means whatever they want it to.

The important thing to remember is that the Republican Party is a criminal organization. Controlled by the Zionists. They do whatever suits their purpose...which is to run the world and make slaves out of the rest of us.

jamesinsf said...

Have you read Sontag's "Illness as Metaphor"? The edition that was released where Sontag's introduction was written after the onset of the AIDS epidemic is apropros. I think your analogy of cancer and conservatism is a sound one, especially given its spread and pervasiveness (metastases). We will have to use social and political "chemotherapies" of activism and political pressure to remove the evils of American rightist ideology from secular society and government. This is unfortunate, given that we have poverty, hunger, homelessness, poor health care, global climate change, AIDS, an infrastructure in need of repair, and the need to repair our relations with our global neighbors as more pressing problems that ought to be our sole focus. Instead, we are left fighting the good fight to restore the USA to its vision of an inclusive secular society with strong separation of religion and state and equality for all.


Jimboland Jots >>>
The world from a freethinker, gay, green, radical, and American progressive worldview

Anonymous said...


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Get as many people to make these phone calls.

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Joann L Hamilton, Ga said...

And the list goes on, like when Bush suspended the Bacon-Davis Act in N.O. after Katrina so contractors would not have to pay the prevailing wage to workers during the cleanup and rebuilding of the city. What a bunch of dirty dealing Bast*%s!

Michael Payne said...

This article is so blinded by unwavering ideology its somewhat hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Nice overview of what Republican ideology is all about. And a point that most Americans are missing because of the misdirection (read "hoodwinking") the conservative right has leveled against the country. It is time that America see's the truth behind what the Republican party is doing. For whatever reasons for their actions, it bodes ill for the future of our country.

More detail would be appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Take a chill pill, pal.

What an ignorant, intolerant, hate-filled little diatribe.

But of course you are so "humane".

Jim said...

You only prove that liberals are fascists. Anyone who would stand in the way of you using the focre of government to destroy what free individuals have created... kill them, suppress them.

Liberals are no better than the conservative swine you rant about. Both are the tag team from hell.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget "conservatism," please. It has been Godless and thus irrelevant. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

"[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor,
Recovering Republican

ABowers said...

This is very true of today's Republicans. Also rather sad as some of us remember the Eisenhower, Rockefeller Republicans who favored busines but otherwise were moderate. There are a few, very few left in the North East such as the Maine senators and Arlan Specter. But as Christine Todd Whitman complained in "Its my party too" the southern/Texan crazies drove almost every sensible Republican out. Hopefully the current Republican party will die from its own poison. Maybe we could then have a two party system that was represented by two good parties.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. The republican imperialists will continue to deny this. But the results of the last 8years have revealed the truth.

ElleninBigD said...

You've said it all. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

Now...aren't the democrats the majority in congress? Dang those republicans. Dang them for breathing.

WDRussell said...

Thank you for an article that got right to the point.
It is past time to take the gloves off. The Dems are fighting under the Marquess of Queensberry rules and the GOP is fighting under the Marquis de Sade rules.
What you are seeing is the Grover Norquist plan to destroy our republic and create a feudal society of nobels and peasants.

David said...

Perhaps you should change your name to Ramranti! Wow, what a rant. I agree with some of what you say, but to paint the Republican party conflated with Radical right wingers, Christian fundamentalists, etc. etc. is just a little too broad a brush.

Anonymous said...

Well written and I concur in your research/observations.

Dave in Georgia, USA

Opinionomics said...

It really scares me to think how bad things will have to get in this country before Americans will see conservatism for the disease that it really is, but I guess that is how we do it in this country. We have to try everything before we do the right thing.