I interviewed Congresswoman Maxine Waters and asked her about progressive and conservative values. In this section, Maxine mentions that conservatives have tricked people with the failed conservative values of blame, hate and lying. These values are also failing because more people are not following them anymore and in fact, people are starting to turn toward progressives values. She goes on to talk about how the occupation of Iraq is a metaphor for the failure of conservative values.
Edwin: Do you think that conservative values have failed?
Maxine Waters: I think that conservative values have failed. But I’m always stunned and amazed at how the conservative message penetrates our society, and how people are tricked by it. I think poor people are preyed upon, and I think that vulnerable people are preyed upon.
I think that when people are feeling neglected and they are feeling isolated, they hear some of these conservative messages, they buy into them. Because all of a sudden they’ve got somebody to blame, to hate, they’ve got somebody to point a finger at.
But I think they’ve failed, even though we’ve been very worried about conservative radio, and those conservative talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and others, who feed people this stuff on a daily basis. It seems to me that as long they’ve been working at it, if they’d been successful, they’d have more people. But I see things going in the opposite direction.
I see the Democratic Party is becoming more progressive. I hear people using the word more. The Democratic Party is growing more, and that’s really an indication that the conservative messages are indeed failing.
Edwin: If you created a metaphor for the failed conservative values, what would that be?
Maxine Waters: A metaphor for the failed conservative values would be like the telling of the truth and the revelations about the lies that were told about the war in Iraq. How after 911 we were made to believe that there were weapons of mass destruction that were turned on us, that we were in imminent danger, and that Saddam Hussein was this horrible man who had control of them, and that we had to kill them, and we had to have his shock and awe campaign, and we had to basically annihilate Iraq and these people.
And as time has passed, the lies have been revealed. The pictures that Colin Powell showed from the UN of the buildings where the weapons of mass destruction were being manufactured all of a sudden, when none existed – they were empty buildings. The lies about the weapons have unfolded only to find that Saddam Hussein was nothing but a talking head himself. He didn’t have weapons of mass destructions. That he was basically a toothless tiger. And even after he was dead, that he was killed, and no weapons were found.
All of this biological warfare that he was supposed to have been in possession of have been found, and if we had but taken more time to do the inspections, as we were being told we needed to do by the UN, we would have learned that in addition to that, the greatest failure of this war is the veterans – the young men and women who are returning, who are disenchanted, who are just very, very turned off, and who are telling us more and more every day that this is a war that should not have been.
They have been asked to do things that they don’t feel good about. And the growing attempts of suicide by those in the war by those who are very, very upset and disoriented by what they have been asked to do.
Edwin: You are saying the war in Iraq is a metaphor for failed conservative values?
Maxine Waters: Absolutely, I think it is a metaphor. The conservatives would have you believe, as John McCain is attempting to have us believe, that we need but stay there, that somehow we will win this war.
What is win? I don’t quite get what you mean. You mean we’ll kill all the people? We will control all of the oil? What is win?
We are occupying Iraq. We have basically torn up this country. We have destabilized the entire Middle East. We have more people that are angry with us. We are disrespected in the world because of this. And so it is a failure. And it is a metaphor for the failure of the conservative philosophy and agenda, in my estimation.
by Edwin Rutsch
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