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Untrustable Conservatives

Lance Simmens: The politics of fear, anger, frustration, cynicism, and simpleminded denial of complex, long-term thinking have fostered a parasite class of political opportunists who have no more concern for the well-being of either the country or the planet than the proverbial man in the moon.

We are currently witnessing in this country the culmination of over three decades of a systematic and concerted effort on behalf of conservatives of both political parties to capitalize on the demonization of government and public service for sheer political gain. The imminent rise of California Congressman Kevin McCarthy to the Speakership, second in line of succession to the Oval Office, is a travesty beyond words. And of course his recent foray onto the national stage shows that words are certainly not his strong point. He is simply, in his own words, “untrustable” (his word not mine). Even my computer is going bonkers telling me it simply is not in the English language.

Untrustable Conservatives

Untrustable Conservatives—Lance Simmens

That the Speaker cannot speak is ironic enough. That his credentials for the rapid ascension to the Speakership rest with his boastful embrace of the overt politicization of an international tragedy that cost American lives should be reason enough for impeachment not coronation, but such is the current state of cynicism and political dysfunction that such unpatriotic behavior is rewarded not penalized.

Bill O’Reilly, of all people, has finally shown the media how to stump Trump: merely ask him a question of substance and it turns out his answers are neither great nor huge, but puny, uninformed, and simply laughable.

Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly, of all people, has finally shown the media how to stump Trump: merely ask him a question of substance and it turns out his answers are neither great nor huge, but puny, uninformed, and simply laughable. And on the foreign policy front he is seemingly now enthralled with the brain fart that Putin is our savior to the ISIS crisis and to hell with the Statue of Liberty and its beckoning to inclusion rather we will build the biggest wall to keep people out and send them back if they get in.

Ben Carson candidly admits he has absolutely no idea what he would do in preparation for the first hurricane of the season—honest but frightening. How about watching clips about Katrina and doing everything differently? And Carly Fiorina has skated through life for so long she has absolutely no conception of how to distinguish fact from fiction, truth from fabrication, regardless of when she is confronted with facts and footage that prove she is being untruthful.

How did we get to this point? Well, in 1980 the electorate in its infinite wisdom decided to gamble on a B rate movie actor who promised to get government off the people’s backs and charismatically intoned that government was the problem, not the solution, to all our ills. He then proceeded to populate the ranks of civil service with anti-government types who set about destroying the very institutions they took an oath to defend.

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Over the ensuing three decades we have systematically starved the beast of government with respect to domestic policy issues, rendering it incapable of responding effectively to growing problems like income inequality by reducing revenues (read taxes) and cutting spending while the promised trickle-down economic growth never materialized. We have engaged in military adventures with a zeal unmatched by a commitment to actually pay for them and our missionary obsession to create laboratories of democracy in the Middle East has rendered an already unstable region a tinderbox.

No, government is not the problem, politics is. And the politics of fear, anger, frustration, cynicism, and simpleminded denial of complex, long-term thinking have fostered a parasite class of political opportunists who have no more concern for the well-being of either the country or the planet than the proverbial man in the moon.

Unless and until we collectively decide to reward public service and long-term planning, whether it is done on the critical climate change front, replenishment of a rapidly deteriorating infrastructure, recommitment to the restoration of the middle class and reduction of income inequality, or through serious international cooperation on foreign policy we will be saddled with the ham-handed and unserious set of leaders and institutions that now hold us hostage to perpetual paralysis.

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And we really have no one to blame but ourselves as our selfish propensity towards immediate gratification and quick fixes has given us a second-rate nation struggling to play catch up.

[dc]I[/dc]t is never too late to initiate self-correction but it will require a deep introspection by the electorate as to how we want to be perceived and where we want to be when our children are forced to deal the mess we are handing them. Pandering to emotional tantrums is a cowardly and irresponsible reaction more befitting adolescents, what is needed is a truly experienced adult to grab hold of the reins and guide us with vision and wisdom onto a trajectory of sustainability. We must put an end to this era of crass political exploitation, stupidity and simplemindedness.

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Lance Simmens