Sunday, July 16, 2006

Other Voices

I ran across an essay that echoes things I have written about in the past, but it's more coherent and better stated. It starts with a question...

"Ask a conservative what the biggest problem in America is today, and you’ll get answers like overtaxation, a sexualized culture, lack of respect for authority, insufficient church-going or big government running amok. But if you then asked the conservative what the real source of the problem was—the beating heart pumping blood to each and all of these socio-politico-cultural wounds—you’d get the same answer: liberalism.

...The story of American history is that of conservative ideas and prejudices falling away as our society grows more progressive and thus more true to our nation’s founding ideals. Conservatives supported slavery, conservatives opposed women’s suffrage, conservatives supported Jim Crow, conservatives opposed the 40-hour work week and the abolishment of child labor, and conservatives supported McCarthyism. In short, all the major advancements of freedom and justice in our history were pushed by liberals and opposed by conservatives, no matter the party they inhabited at the time.
Conservatism is Bill Bennett lecturing you about self-denial, then rushing off to feed his slot habit at the casino. It’s James Dobson telling you that children need regular beatings to stay in line. It’s a superannuated nun rapping you on the knuckles so you won’t think about your dirty parts. It’s Jerry Falwell watching “Teletubbies” frame by frame to see if Tinky Winky is trying to turn him gay.

Conservatism is everyone you never wanted to grow up to be. .. "

Here is Paul Waldman's excellent essay in its entirety. Read away!

This is another piece that shares a refrain from my own songs:

For perhaps the first time in our history, a significant number of administration officials and supporters, including perhaps the President himself, must keep themselves and their party in power to avoid criminal indictment, conviction, and imprisonment...

Crisis Papers

I haven't visited our Iraqi friend in some time. If there is any deeper indictment of the Bush Administrtion mishandling of American power, it is represented by Riverbend's writing. I invite you to read her early posts as the Iraq war has just begun. Note her concern for American boys in a foreign land. Concern for their parents, wives, and children.

And then read what she writes this past week...

It promises to be a long summer. We're almost at the mid-way point, but it feels like the days are just crawling by. It's a combination of the heat, the flies, the hours upon hours of no electricity and the corpses which keep appearing everywhere...

The pity I once had for foreign troops in Iraq is gone. It's been eradicated by the atrocities in Abu Ghraib, the deaths in Haditha and the latest news of rapes and killings. I look at them in their armored vehicles and to be honest- I can't bring myself to care whether they are 19 or 39. I can't bring myself to care if they make it back home alive. I can't bring myself to care anymore about the wife or parents or children they left behind. I can't bring myself to care because it's difficult to see beyond the horrors...

Why don't the Americans just go home? They've done enough damage and we hear talk of how things will fall apart in Iraq if they 'cut and run', but the fact is that they aren't doing anything right now. How much worse can it get?...




1 comment:

  1. Excellent essay. I always feel like apologizing for not being a "good conservative." My parents taught me that.