I have to vent. Unless something monumental happens in my life, I will never be a conservative, at least not like those who use that moniker today. I've never seen a more spiteful, mean spirited, condescending, heartless, sanctimonious, selfish group of people in my life. Now, I have certainly found some elements of intellectual conservatism interesting. But I've always been one who appreciated genuine ideas presented thoughtfully. I've heard nothing close to that from any of these people who tout their conservatism.
During the years of the Bush administration, I felt like a person in exile. I didn't hate the old POTUS, but there was never a sense of pride for him from me. The lies, the obfuscation, and all of the other maledictions that came like waves crashing on a shore at the approach of high tide, were utterly depressing. Meanwhile, so called conservatives, who now claim that Bush was no conservative, said virtually nothing. Bush was praised for all sorts of things that deserved nothing of the kind. And it was incredible to see.
Now that the POTUS is Obama, it seems that these same conservatives are edging toward the precipice of madness. The term "Socialist" is bandied about to scare the populace. People still suggest that Obama is not an American citizen. People still suggest that Obama is a secret Jihadist lying in wait to destroy this nation.
The saddest element is the proliferation of racially charged comments, gaffes and pronouncements that have been coming from the right. I've always been bemused by the cry of political correctness that comes from the right, because people call them out on being rude. I certainly believe in freedom of speech, but there remain responsibilities with that freedom. Why not just say that you want to say "nigger," "faggot," "spic," et. al.? Own up to it. Naturally, this does not apply to conservatives as a whole. That would be ridiculous. Yet, I think there are too many conservatives who are too cowardly (thank you A.G. Holder) to tell that truth.
Earlier, I read a post on Andrew Sullivan's blog, and it drove me to distraction. I could not believe that he actually felt that liberals seek "to punish" those who are successful. I wish I was in a position to complain about that type of punishment, because that would mean that I was clearing at least $250K annually. Please tell me when that became middle class. Please tell me when that type of salary engenders suffering. I call it selfishness, plain and simple. Sullivan is not alone in his sentiments. But I would be glad to pay my share to help others, because I would be so blessed to have enough to give back.
Too many conservatives seem comfortable with the notion of failure. Too many conservatives are comfortable with the idea that people deserve to fall through the cracks, and naturally it was the peoples' fault for having done so. Too many conservatives are comfortable with the idea of people dying on their own, without health care. In my opinion, too many conservatives simply do not care for people, particularly middling to poor people. I don't see how many conservatives can afford to be conservative. I can understand these types of positions from someone making a quarter of a million dollars annually, but how does that work when you make $30K? Why do they not understand, or see, that true conservatives (of the ideological stripe out front and center now) do not have your interests at heart in the least.
A broke conservative would benefit from universal health care. A broke conservative is about to miss out on needed unemployment funds, if he lives in Louisiana, South Carolina or Mississippi, three of the poorest states in the Union. A broke conservative cannot simply pray his way out of his troubles. Can I get a witness? Peace be still.
Pulling oneself up by the boot straps requires boots. I believe that it is perfectly fine for the government to provide boots to those who need them. If I understand current conservatism, then I suppose that those who needed those boots don't deserve such a handout; it will denigrate them. Now, I am the first one to say that government, particularly in minority and poor communities, has done some horrible things with even worse results. Yet, there were millions who have been helped over the years, and too many conservatives dismiss that reality.
I've really tried, and I will continue to try to maintain as open a mind as possible to learning the tenets of conservatism. Again, I like well presented ideas. But the folks who call themselves conservatives now will never be in a position to broaden the appeal of their ideology. Never. If I am wrong about that, let me know. State your case.