Black crowned night heron © Robert Sommers 2023

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dueling Paradigms

I must be getting older. Yesterday was the first day of my life that I attended two memorial services. I drove out to the first one with a dear friend, a Doctor who is a wonderful guy, and quite conservative. I was asked last week if I wanted to read something at the gathering but thought that I would lose it right off the bat and declined the invite. Went all right as these things go. Another one bites the dust and this one no one can replace.

Anyway, enough, not to get morose but as much as I tried to amble away from politics, Doctor friend kept steering the conversation to America's march to communism courtesy of Obama's new czars. My mouth was wide open. Bam. Socialized Medicine. Bam. Van Jones. Bam. Bam. Illegals. Acorn. Hitler. Reverend Wright. Pow. Bill Ayres. A murderers row of right wing bogeymen.

I really didn't want to go there, being a solemn day and all, and largely didn't take the bait. Standard rejoinder about Republican socialists having no problem using our money to fund the big banks conquests of little banks, or to offer our tax dollars as subsidies to big corporate agriculture so that they won't grow food.

We all live in at least two different worlds. The bizarro world called conservatism today holds certain tenets to be unassailable:

1. Big business is suffering from over regulation. If you allow Big Business to police themselves they will do the right thing. No need for many of the governmental departments in the current nanny state. Scrap any governmental role in consumer protection, air quality, food safety, osha, clean water, mountaintop coal removal, pesticides, drug safety and of course, tobacco regulation, since it has been recently framed as a free speech issue.  Overturn corporate campaign contribution limits but restrict the rights of unions to finance their preferred candidates.

2. Racism is a thing of the past, and affirmative action, quotas or any programs that recognize minority status, are intrinsically racist on their face. In fact, minorities are the predominate racist's in today's america.

3. We can safely drill for oil and gas without harming the environment. Sell leases for mineral extraction for dollars an acre. New advances in clean technology make spills an artifact of history. Except for that thing last week. Shoot more wolves. Cut roads through national wilderness so that they can be enjoyed by all and not just elitist hikers. Real Americans realize that we have to live with a certain amount of pollution in order to have a thriving economy. The alarmists will tell you that there is too much smog. Everyone knows that plants thrive on carbon dioxide. We are actually improving the planet, unlike the naysayers who seem to want to complain about everything all the time.

4. We believe in the free market and libertarianism. Except in the case of women's reproductive issues, where we have a higher moral standing than the rest of you. Ditto legalizing marijuana.

5. We believe that the government can torture at will (or use advanced interrogation techniques) if it saves american lives or keeps us safe from the terrorists. Any conventions that we have signed forbidding those practices are moot and only have bearing on the activities of our enemies, since terrorists are largely stateless. The end justifies the means.

6. The rights against unreasonable search and seizure, privacy, and warrant less wiretapping or otherwise reading or monitoring your mail, email, telephone calls or other communications are likewise vestige of another more civilized era and now null and void. If you have nothing to hide, you should consider it an honor to have the government listening in. Just what are you worried about, anyway?

7. If a democrat is president, citizens are encouraged to openly carry automatic weapons in his presence. Of course the converse is never acceptable, you got within five miles of Dick Cheney with a NoNukes sticker on your volvo, you were definitely going to jail, baby.

8. Stack the SEC with deregulating free market types like Chris Cox or Mary Shapiro and look the other way when staff has romantic liaisons with the people they were supposedly regulating, like Bernie Madoff's niece. Allow Clear Channel and Fox to own all of the radio stations. The libs "own" the mainstream media and our people are too busy working to read much anyway.

9. Jib and jab and dodge global warming and climate change for as long as possible, then refuse any remediation attempts on the grounds that they are unfair to american business.

10. Put the ten commandments back in the schools and courthouses. Require simultaneous teachings of evolution and christian creationism, since america is after all a christian nation.
Sucks for you if you are not.

11. Expose the hidden communists in government. Require every american to pledge a loyalty oath and sing a Lee Greenwood song.

12. Unions are a thing of the past. This ain't Upton Sinclair's jungle. Unions are largely comprised of strong arm thugs who have dulled corporate competitiveness and bankrupted the system with their lofty pensions. We are in a new era where employers don't need to be lectured to since they obviously have the best interests of the workers at heart.

13. Ditto Tort Reform and those nasty lawyers. Money grubbers. Don't understand that a doctor might cut off the wrong leg once in a while or forget a measly scalpel in an abdominal cavity. Who the hell is perfect? All part of god's plan.

14. Democratic administrations must not be allowed to indoctrinate our precious children with their visions of a new stalinist world order. Don't ever allow your youngsters to watch the non native muslim president, lest you twist their young and pliant minds in an unnatural shape.

15. We're fiscal conservatives. Unless we happen to be in power, but believe me we have learned our lesson this time. Or that Iraq thing. We are busy doling out huge defense contracts with a wink to our buddies the defense contractors and then shrugging our shoulders when the overruns triple the contracts. Or bailing out our buddies at Goldman Sachs. And sorry about that credit derivative thing. You think anyone but Maurice understood what the hell was going on?

16. Bitch and moan about illegal immigration while we simultaneously go to bat for cheap labor to help corporate farmers and industry. Find a cheap workforce that you can pay peanuts to without benefits.  Ignore those guys working on the lawn and down at the car wash.  Don't ask, don't tell, remember?

17. Locate all polluters in low income and minority based areas of the country and then defend the placement against the environmental wackos as an opportunity for advancement to empower the disadvantaged and downtrodden.

18. Allow power and utility companies to form effective service monopolies and yet still make enormous profits, all the while passing on every cost, even of their malfeasances, to the consumer.

19. Allow gays in the military but only if they promise not to tell. Anybody.

20. Acknowledge that if a Republican is in power, his power shall be undiminished and imperial. He shall have no duty to inform congress of his or her actions and can instruct the CIA to conceal operations from congress unless they pass an arbitrary maginot line of our own choosing. The bill of rights shall be null and void for as long as the president deems we are in an emergency. If a dem is in power all bets are off, the liberty tree needs a little blood nutrition every once in a while. Even our patriotism has its limits.  We'll try to keep you safe from the dems' insidious "death panels".

Well I got to go. Larry Craig has promised to give me some swell tap dance lessons over at the St. Paul Airport. Sometimes it's just so durn hard to decide which side you are on.


Anonymous said...

very well written blog!

Anonymous said...
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Emergefit said...

Conservative is word which has been hijacked and transmogrified over the years since the industrial revolution.

Conservative means, "to use sparingly", as in, use force sparingly. Exploit resources, sparingly. Impose values, sparingly. Enact, sparingly. Establsih boundafries, sparingly.

Conservative is a bigger lie and misnomer than "good wife"

That last good conservative? Confucius.

Great post, as always.

MMWB said...

Old, getting older. Too smart to spill all your frustrations out in the form of half reasoned generalizations mistakenly labeled.

Sanoguy said...

Ditto the great post!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanx for the great blog .you got it so right about the GOP..Renee

Anonymous said...

Thank God that you did not have to go to the second memorial service with the Doctor or else you would have had to post 17 more explanations. Also, when you danced, did Larry step on your toes? (This could have been no. 18)


Blue Heron said...

Dancing with Larry is like dancing with an octopus. Unfortunately, the fellow is all hands.