Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Times Are These (Politics Is Inevitable IV)

We live in a time in history that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago--well, except to the guys that gave Dick Tracy a wristwatch with a video camera in it. But that's not what I mean.

No, I'm talking about the way norms and logical positions have been turned upside down since the November elections in the US.

  • A sitting American President is about to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, one of the most prestigious awards on the planet ... and a large portion of Americans are so pissed off about it they can't even form a coherent sentence.
  • Overwhelming scientific consensus about the urgency of global climate change spurs total inaction in Copenhagen because of a handful of misunderstood, stolen emails. Conservative politicians who usually claim that stealing stuff is wrong seem to think it's fine this time.
  • For the last forty years, Republicans have tried to kill the Medicare program. Now that they see a way to use it to prevent changes which would decrease medical costs (and insurance company profits), they love it. Well, maybe not love it, but try to convince older people who might vote for them to think they love it.
  • The same party that turned a blind eye to the case of some guys arrested at a Bush rally on account of the pacifist bumper sticker on their car hold rallies at the Capitol painting the elected leader of the country as a Hitler-like fascist.
  • Though Al Qaeda in Iraq did not exist ("So what") until his administration masterminded blundered into the US invasion of Iraq, ex-VP Dick Cheney says with a straight face that putting KSM on trial in the US will create vast numbers of new converts to Islamic jihadism. It is clear from this that the former VP believes that the jihadist philosophy is far superior to anything the American way of life has to offer.
  • Capitalism, vis-a-vis "cap-and-trade", is an unworkable strategy for Republicans in Congress, who believe used to believe that the free market is the answer to everything.
  • When George Bush holds hands with the brutal leader of Saudi Arabia and doesn't speak out against his vile leadership, it's okay, but when Obama shakes hands with vile elected leader Hugo Chavez and tries to get him to mend his ways, it's not.

Any one of these items could be explained away as a change on a party platform, an expedient choice, or something like that. But looked at in toto, what we have is the right wing of American politics selling out its ideals simply in order to prevent the other party from being successful.

I mean, I can kind of see their problem. The right has been on the wrong side of virtually every social issue since Reconstruction--women's suffrage, anti-trust action, civil rights for blacks and minorities, gay marriage, etc. The neo-cons believed that belligerent foreign policy would bring peace. Instead, North Korea has a half-dozen nuclear bombs and Iran is halfway there.

And now, after twenty-eight years of right-wing control of fiscal policy, after not a damn thing trickled down, it turns out they nearly led the entire world onto the shit-heap! Wrong on the one thing they claimed total majesterial rights to. Pretty embarrassing!

I'd try to reverse myself too--without, y'know, admitting I was wrong ...

Oh, what times indeed are these, if you are a conservative in America. Bad times. Time to change your views, perhaps. Time to re-remember the Good Old Days. Donna Reed Show, Leave It To Beaver, Happy Days. Remember...?

The Good Old Days when Ike was President, and everything was right with the world:

Ah, yes, the drop out rate in high schools across America was 60%

Ah, yes, the top marginal tax rate during that Republican administration was a low, low 95% (high-tax Dem JFK raised the rate to a much lower 35%)

Ah, yes, black folks lived in "Niggertown", where schools were underfunded and jobs were hard to find.

Ah, yes, the Korean War period, which the 5-star general took to its victorious conclusion as promised. Thus explaining why we have a residual force in Korea nearly sixty years later!

So, yeah. No matter what the times are, no matter how you slice history, being a conservative is being on the wrong side of things. By definition, conservatives want things to stay the same. But no period in life or in history is as good as it could be without change or improvement. Is change necessarily improvement? No. But unequivocally, neither is conservatism.

What times are these? Times for change. As ever.

4 comments:

조안나 said...

And yet, you can't tell the conservatives this.. they'll just call you some idiot liberal who wants abortions for all and legal gay marriage which destroys the moral fiber of our country...

I give up on this country... it seems to be going to the dogs.. now to find a better one... -_-

RealityZone said...

Well I am one of those that can not see straight any longer. My wife is Korean, and I am thinking about moving to Korea and spending the rest of my days on this planet in Korea. The name of my blogspot is A New Era. So I guess my New Era will be some where else. I talk to a lot of people, and I can tell you they are fed up. Lot of people my age [58] are making plans on leaving. Me and my wife spent the month of 10/08 in Korea. I was very impressed and think I could adapt very easily.

RealityZone said...

If any one has any advice for me about my move, it would be appreciated.

Tuttle said...

RZ: You can see from my blog that I am quite fine living in Korea. As I've said, I wish I had done this ten years ago. Of course, it's not perfect.

Jo-Anna: can't teach an old dog new tricks!