It just gives them cover!
They are not Republicans!
They’re not Conservatives, either!
If they’re not “Conservative Republicans,” then who are they? The truth is uglier than the common perception that the opposite of a Democrat is a Republican. Describe them by what they do rather than what they say. In that case, today’s “Conservative Republicans” are a serious, amoral army of ignorant, self-centered, social predators driven by greed and power. But that’s too easy.
Everybody knows that already. Who are “Conservative Republicans,”…really…who are they underneath all these nice words? Our first impression of a “Conservative Republican” today is usually a media clip from the campaign of a frenzied, fist-waving, eye-bulging, screamer calling Democrats and Progressives Fascists, Nazis, Socialists, Communists, Foreigners, Heathens, Faggots, Baby Killers, and so on. Do you ever wonder what these rants have to do with being a “Conservative Republican”?
Have you ever heard a “Conservative Republican” with enough conscience to explain why he or she says these things?…or show outrage or even disapproval when another “Conservative Republican” says them? I haven’t either, so my guess is they just do it to attract those clamoring audiences of screened, political cuckoos who pay up for the show and leave money behind for the screamers to count up when everybody goes home. Also, lying about Democrats and Progressives swings the critical spotlight away from their own absurd screeds and puts it on a bogus, imagined enemy. In reality, however, the people we speak of here are not just opportunists with big-time character flaws. We’ve always had those in domestic politics. These operators come from darker and far more sinister political origins.
If a “Conservative Republican” is neither “Conservative” nor “Republican,” then who is he…or she? Historically, today’s “Conservative Republican” existed more than two hundred years ago in pre-revolutionary Colonial America as the British Tory. British Tories had powdered wigs, silk hose, and knee breeches instead of tanning booths and Armani suits, but they and today’s “Conservative Republicans” were cut from the same political bolt of cloth…”Greed” and “Power” being the organizing principles of both.
If the Founding Fathers were alive today to study us they would see that much has changed and much has stayed the same. They would quickly recognize in today’s “Conservative Republicans,” the British Tories of their own day. They would be distressed that we allow so many self-serving anti-Americans, the “Conservative Republicans” of today, to sit in our legislatures. These modern Neo-Tories are the direct political descendents of the very British Tories that Colonial Patriots drove into the sea in our own “Glorious Revolution.” They would wonder mightily why we don’t just toss them out…send’em packing. Colonial Patriots seized the day when they needed to. They fought for equality, laws to enhance the general good, and fair and effective representation in the deliberations of their government. When British Tories denied these rights to Colonists in the name of King George III and British business interests, Patriots drew their line in the sand and created the great experiment in self-government that has now lasted for over two centuries…even if it teeters today. And how would we explain to our Revolutionary Fathers the simpering timidity of our own opposition party in the face of ongoing attempts by today’s anti-American “Conservative Republicans” to reverse or nullify the essential freedoms and rights Colonial Patriots won for our children and ourselves?
How are they anti-American? A Minnesota Congressperson said last year she wished the media would examine members of Congress to discover who among them should be called out for being anti-American. A good idea, but since that hasn’t happened yet, we can look at it here. Who among our legislators is anti-American? An anti-American congressional activity is not “thought” representing dislike of America. Any person, including a legislator, should think anything he or she wants to think. “Thought” by itself may be un-American, but destructive thought by itself only hurts the thinker. A legislator’s “Actions,” however, including both “spoken” and “written” words, can hurt or help enormous numbers of American citizens. Whether actions help or hurt is a matter of choice and a legislator’s individual choice is a serious matter for the rest of us. Does a legislator make that choice with pro- or anti-American intent? Below is a working definition for anti-American activity in Congress. Consider the policy initiatives and voting records of today’s neo-Tory “Conservative Republicans” and the voting records of the opposition party and decide for yourself who are anti-American and who are not..
An anti-American activity is a deliberate action of government (or a legislator’s vote) to deny Justice, disrupt domestic Tranquility, degrade the general Welfare, or mock the “Blessing[…] of Liberty, all of which are constitutionally guaranteed Rights of American citizens.
The Declaration of Independence defines what an American idea is not and The Constitution of The United States of America, as amended, defines what an American idea is. Having lived under the anti-American subjugation of King George III, the Founding Fathers knew that, after the success of their Revolution, they needed to leave for their posterity memorializing documents to establish a government that would exclude tyranny and define liberty forever. In the Declaration of Independence of 1776, Colonial Patriots presented to the world the very first and most important example of “destructive” British Conduct when they charged that,
“…[the King of England] refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary to the public Good.”
The concept of truly legislating and governing for the “Public Good” was unknown then, even though it was implied in Britain’s own “Bill of Rights” adopted 87 years earlier. The world watched while a subjugated American people, passionate for freedom, equality, and dignity, fought for and actually won a national identity that honored, among other defined principles, “…the public Good.”
Eleven years later, in five incredible months, the Founding Fathers finished the job when they crafted the original version of our Constitution…and, of course, two years later, the “Bill of Rights.” In the 1787 preamble to our current Constitution, they restated the principles and purpose of our extraordinary Revolution in straightforward terms understandable to any citizen:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”
Everything that follows in the Constitution flows from the beautiful and clear simplicity of its preamble. This statement of human decency and liberty has become the organizing model for other governments since we enacted it for ourselves. The challenge any nation faces with a constitution such as this is to develop the will to live up to its own expectations. Should not every action of the United States Congress, and the several states, and of American government in general, now and forever, find undeniable justification in the precepts of this exquisite preamble…and the enabling provisions of the Constitution itself, our national organizing document?
After the Revolution, both of these documents became disgusting and of no interest to Tories, most of whom by then had fled back to England or Canada or attempted to blend into the citizenry of the New America, the very country they had unsuccessfully tried to destroy. British Tories were deeply anti-American and saw the idea of freedom and independence for Colonists as the vulgar groping of an underclass. Imagine!…the dirty boots of a sheep farmer or a fisherman in the same carriage as an emissary of King George III or an officer of the East India Tea Company! This intense classist dislike of egalitarian governance and our founding documents is shared today by neo-Tory Counter-Revolutionary legislators seeking cover from exposure by posing as “Conservative Republicans”…a term that leads unwary, Independents, true Republicans, and even some Democrats, to associate them, sadly, with Lincoln, TR, and Dwight Eisenhower.
The history of Colonial British Tories reflects a mirror image of today’s “Conservative Republicans.” The anti-American political beliefs and actions of a Colonial Tory are virtually indistinguishable from those of today’s “Conservative Republican.” Colonial Tories preferred to be called “Loyalists,” to provide cover for their actual job of unfairly enriching British business interests at the expense of Colonists. British Tories, of course, were paid by the English in money, property, and status for fattening British businesses.
They did this by exempting British businesses from taxation and regulation, denying Colonists their individual freedoms, and taxing Colonial enterprises out of competition with the English. They also dissolved Colonial legislatures that promoted Colonial interests and replaced them with appointees of the Crown. Today’s legislative neo-Tory “Conservative Republican”, serves present-day versions of those same commercial interests, now evolved into predatory corporateers who pay today’s neo-Tory “legislators” quite well for their attempts to deconstruct the Constitution. They unfairly tax the poor to increase the unearned profits of the rich, they kill environmental protections, freeing Corporateers to indiscriminately spread toxins, pollute nature, and afflict people, and “Conservative Republicans” work tirelessly to take the vote away from Americans who dare to choose against them.
Their long range agenda includes denying education to all but the rich by eliminating public schools, making health care unaffordable for children, the elderly, and the poor by transferring it from public programs to profit-maximizing insurance companies, and privatizing government services and the works of our domestic infrastructure. Today’s legislative neo-Tories are the twins of British Tories when they arbitrarily replace local Democratic governments and school boards that displease them with their own sycophants. Is there a perceivable difference between the behaviors of these two anti-American political movements? No. The only way to tell them apart is by their powdered wigs and business suits.
Well, not exactly. John Galt did not exist in 1776…neither did sociopathic corporations, “management” schools, and money manipulators…at least not as many. The ideas and money of these “institutions” are the political AK-47’s of today’s neo-Tory. He uses them to blast away troublesome realities such as elections, civil rights demands, the poor, the young, the old, and the worker. Not that Colonial Tories would have turned down such weaponry. It just wasn’t around.
When choosing between our Founding Documents and self-serving popularized political philosophies, Neo-Tories today much prefer Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, the “Holy Grail of “Conservative Republican” policy-makers. It’s liturgy features the fictional character John Galt who seeks the collapse of the United States Government and similar egalitarian societies. His plan in the novel Atlas Shrugged, is to replace the governments we know today with councils of elitist “industrialists” for whom Individualism without Community Responsibility is the highest goal.
This gives heart to today’s “Conservative Republican” money changers who control what was once known as the “Grand Old Party” and would like to have it just as John Galt envisions it. Remember the preamble to the Constitution?…Justice, domestic Tranquility, general Welfare, and the Blessings of Liberty? This is boring stuff to Objectivist neo-Tory “Conservative Republican” legislators. It explains why they are so often stumped when asked questions about our history and founding documents. They don’t read those things. Good answers to questions addressed to “Conservative Republicans” about The Declaration and The Constitution would require analytical thought and good judgment regarding how to fashion the public policy needed to to develop and maintain a strong nation, fairly treating all its citizens.
This would to be intelligent hard work, not a “Conservative Republican’s” strong suite. To be competent, a legislator needs to understand the importance of the well-being of individual fellow citizens, moral imperatives regarding his or her own behavior, future planning to maximize national commercial strength, and rational thought to evaluate what benefits the common good. Also, a thoughtful legislator would need to understand the wisdom of paying for what we need through affordable taxation rather than indiscriminate borrowing from foreign countries for, say, gratuitous wars with unthreatening nations that end up only creating permanent enemies and gluttonous profits for Arms Profiteers. And so on. Boring stuff for a “Conservative Republican.”.
Ayn Rand, however, is much more interesting reading than those old Founding Documents. They just make life complicated when it should be simple. Ayn Rand has a clear understanding of what a man’s position in the world should be. Her “philosophy” simplifies the answers to all questions:
“Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.”
How can a “Conservative Republican” argue with that? Well, maybe it could be updated a little for their Corporateer Bosses. Most Corporate Lobbyists would probably tweak that part about “not “sacrificing others to himself” and make it optional. After all, it’s easy to imagine how “not sacrificing others” could really screw up a bottom line. How can a Corporation “maximize profits” if it’s expected to protect the people with whom it does business? If there is a conflict, then the other guy needs to learn how to take care of himself…like a Corporateer does. One can see why “neo-Tory “Republican Conservatives would embrace “Randian Objectivism” as a pretty good take on things. “Everything should be about the Corporation,” America’s new “Person.”
And they lie. They lie publicly, often, unblinkingly, and with a smile. Where are their parents, spouses, friends, neighbors, political consultants, religious advisors, their own children? Is public, unrelenting, unrepentant lying the new norm for ”Conservative Republicans?” We know that political consultants write the lies that politicians speak to influence uninformed constituents, but, in the end, how does the individual “Conservative Republican Liar,” himself. deal with it? What does he do when self-loathing hits him in the gut and wakes him up at three in the morning? Maybe he thinks about the money, power, and celebrity that lying and greed get for him and maybe that thinking acts as a kind of political “Balm of Gilead”…a convenient self-delusional cure for what a normal person would recognize as a terminal moral collapse. Or maybe he never has that three a.m. experience. Maybe he thinks about John Galt and smiles and rolls over and goes back to sleep and dreams that he can fly.
Whenever neo-Tory “Conservative Republican” congressional “leaders” gather in that little group in the Capitol standing in front of a cluster of American flags holding a press conference to suck up to their Corporateer Bosses, fairness cries out for a super-hero to cover the eyes and ears of children at home, jump through the TV screen, and rush the platform to save the flags. After all, they have their own flags and icons. They could use the flag of “Objectivism” or the Colonial Tory Flag, or the icons of John Galt and Mammon instead of trashing Old Glory:
Finally, what motivates people like this? We all know who they are. We can see their behaviors. But what makes them different from honest, ordinary Americans? Why are they so committed to selfishness and so indifferent to the idea of community?
James Madison knew about them two hundred years ago. He and the other Constitutionalists may have been operating in new territory when they fashioned an original concept of government, but they knew as much or more than we do about the ancient verities of human nature…the good, the bad, and the destructively evil. On June 6, 1787, in Philadelphia, Madison, foreseeing the challenge of flawed legislative character to the future strength of the Union, wrote,
“A prudent regard to the maxim that honesty is the best policy is found by experience to be as little regarded by bodies of men as by individuals. Respect for character is always diminished in proportion to the number among whom the praise is to be divided. Conscience, the only remaining tie [to restrain bad motives], is known to be inadequate in individuals; In large numbers, little is to be expected from it. Besides, Religion itself may become a motive to persecution and oppression.—These observations are verified by the Histories of every Country antient & modern.”
Aristotle observed that because of the accumulation of unnecessary wealth,
“The greatest crimes are due to excess rather than want.”
John Kenneth Galbraith knew from observing our contemporary society that,
“People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.”
STOP CALLING THEM: “CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS”
THEY ARE: “NEO-TORY COUNTERREVOLUTIONARIES”
Corporate Sycophants in Charge of the Gratuitous Redistribution of the Personal Earned Wealth of Individual Working Americans to the Unearned Profits of Global Corporations
Personal Note. After finishing this tract, I ran it by my dog, a real Democratic dog, for a first edit. I thought the tenor of the piece might be a little harsh and he’s a level-headed dog and he doesn’t pull any punches so I read it to him.
“Look,” he said, (we understand each other) “if you’re going to bark, then bark. If you can’t bark like a dog then bark like a man. You think you’re a good barker? I don’t”
He does this a lot…putting it back on me. “Not this time, I told him. I’m asking you this time. How would you have written it?”
“I don’t write, Dummy, I bark. And I don’t bark at generalities. That’s like barking at the wind. You know me. When I see a bad dog, I go right up to him and bark in his face. Then he has to show me what he’s got. I don’t bark at the moon or at speeding cars. So who were you barking at? There’s not a living person’s name in what you wrote and read to me.?”
“Well,” I said, “I was trying to make a point, I guess. You know, how there have always been bad people and sometimes they have power over the rest of us and there are a lot of them around now.”
“Then why didn’t you mention the names of some those idiots. Paul Ryan, for instance, and that Path to Corporate Prosperity and Individual Despair thing. Now that’s harsh! Real people are going to die if Ryan gets his way. The ones who don’t die are going to be so poor they won’t even be able to take care of their dogs. Like me. I’ve got a good health plan, good grub, a warm place to sleep and a good owner, even if you don’t “get it” most of the time. What’s going to happen to dogs when everybody is poor? Yeah, Paul Ryan, you gotta bark right in his face. Let him know what you’ve got, you and all those other Democrats, and then see how “courageous” he is.
“And those other guys, Snyder in Michigan dissolving fairly elected town and school governments, mostly Democrats, Bozo Walker in Wisconsin, the guy with the cleanest fingernails in the State, taking away the rights and jobs of real workers, LePage in Maine, killing child labor laws to take kids out of school and put them to work below minimum wage because low-wage employers can’t get enough immigrants to come that far up north to dig holes, slop floors, and pick apples, Brownback in Kansas changing it from “one man one vote” to “one particular man one vote,” or “Passport Please” at the polling place, and all the rest, Boehner the scarecrow in Washington looking for a brain, Cantor peeking out from behind a tree, Mitch McConnell in the Senate, looking like Mitch Miller doing Muzak in a Wax Museum. You gotta start telling it like it is. You and the rest of your Democratic friends. You gotta bark right in their faces.”
“Okay, Okay, I get it,” I said, “but people aren’t dogs. We’re more used to trying to ease up to a subject than ‘telling it like it is.’ I agree with you, but it’s hard to get an audience when you bark at people. But I love hearing you do it.”
“Right, so here’s my last word. If you can’t bark and you’ve just gotta be “restrained” then maybe you should go literary. Remember when we sat on the couch and watched Marlowe’s Faustus together? That was a hoot! There’s more good stuff in that play than any feeble thing you can say. It’s the ultimate trifecta of killer addictions: unearned money, gratuitous power, and no responsibility. You people types seem to go for that kind of stuff…especially those Tory Republicans you’re always talking about. So your Mephistophilian class are Washington lobbiests, your amoral victims are Republican Ideologues and the Devil himself is the Sociopathic Corporation. Aristotle and Galbreath had it right in your tract.
“So, bark like a man, tell it like it is, and stare ‘em down when, you’re doing it. You also need to figure out why most of your elected Democrats get shrinking Cajones syndrome five minutes after they take office, especially in Washington. A real Democratic Dog isn’t afraid of a congressman or a lobbyist, or a vote…why should you be?
Don’t let them castrate you. If they try, that’s when you stop barking and start biting. Use the teeth you were born with. Sometimes you just have to bite…and bite hard. Politics is a dogfight, man, not a Tea Party. When you guys castrate dogs we just sleep for sixteen hours a day and then follow you around waiting for food. You don’t want castrated dogs representing you in government.
“Now, get me a bone.”
Robert E. Vetter-Barber and MischaClick here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 LA Progressive