Conservatives Help Us Beat Bush?
By Rush Roberts
may seem like a ridiculous notion, a grossly redundant abuse
of my right to free speech. But before you begin browbeating
me about the head and shoulders, hear me out. George W. Bush
is beyond conservatism.
Oh, he (and from now on when I say ‘he’ I mean Karl Rove,
the actual president) is perfectly content to call himself
one in order to reap the Conservative Vote in America. But
this administration has stuck about as closely to the traditionally
core conservative values as Jerry Falwell follows the teachings
This is not pure conservatism, but some bizarre amalgamation
blending unquenchable greed and disturbing Christian fundamentalism.
They seem to want to combine the Bill of Rights and the Ten
Commandments into their own simplified, “codified” version,
a simple list of rules that everyone would have to follow
or else face lifelong imprisonment with no chance for parole.
The list might go something like this:
- Thou shalt not raise taxes on Fortune 500 Corporations,
nor even keep them at the current level from year to year,
no matter what the deficit is.
- Thou shalt feel obligated to own any gun thou wisheth.
- Thou shalt not be gay.
- Thou shalt not criticize any living president, former
or serving, unless his last name begineth with the letter
And so an and so forth…
Conservatives, in the true sense of the word, have stood
in the past for two major things: fiscal responsibility and
a more hands-off, if not smaller form of government. And yet
strangely in the past three years we have seen just the opposite.
What are these strange doings?
Let’s talk money. Republicans are the party of money, right?
Then how come they keep fouling the economy up every time
they get in office? Oh I’ve heard the Clinton conspiracy theories
on how he deliberately planted a time bomb in the economy
so it would crash soon after he left office and make the Republicans
look bad. Right. Like he was really expecting Gore to lose.
Oh wait, he didn’t.
But that is a different story. Here we have a president
who has taken a substantial surplus and turned it into an
enormous deficit in less than three years. It is estimated
that by the year 2031, if we keep spending at the current
rate, that the deficit will reach $719 quadrillion. (Not an
official estimate; Real number may be higher.) To put things
in perspective, if you were to take 719 quadrillion blank
U.S. Treasury checks and stack them on top of each other,
the pile would reach all the way to Uranus, where Dick Cheney
would be comfortably ensconced in a climate-controlled atmospheric
dome with a Halliburton rubber-stamp.
But at least this government is staying out of people’s
personal lives, right? Well, yes and no. If you consider giant
conglomerate corporations to be the equivalent in terms of
entities as a normal person, then yes, they are very hands-off.
Yessir, in fact you might say that these entities practically
write their own legislation. The idea that large companies
can police themselves is a noble one, but very naïve. It is
about as hopeless a concept as Communism. There are some aspects
of human nature that just don’t co-operate with absolute ideologies,
and therefore we need the government to help us occasionally.
Enter the “PATRIOT Act”, perhaps the single-most intrusive
piece of legislation ever developed. If ever an Act had been
tailor-made to fit the description “invasion of privacy”,
this is it. The government is keeping track of what books
you check out at the library? This does not sound like small,
hands-off government to me. It sounds like 1984. (The book,
not the actual year. Reagan lacked the technology.) One would
think that our resources would be better-spent fighting enemies
abroad than trying to invent them at home, but apparently
the Red Scare of the 1950’s was a lesson lacking in comprehension
to some people. But while they’re at it, can’t they at least
do something about upholding the 3rd Amendment? I don’t know
about everyone else, but I am sick and goddamned tired of
foreign soldiers knocking on my apartment door in the wee
hours of the morning wanting to crash. And please don’t tell
me that this one particular amendment is outdated and obsolete
and needs to be changed. Impossible!
But, to get back on track, it is not surprising that there
are many rumbles amongst the conservative community regarding
this administration. Believe it or not, I know and interact
with many, many REAL conservatives, and I find them to be
very good human beings. And although I don’t necessarily agree
with everything they believe in, we are able to communicate
in a civil and intelligent manner. I can even understand their
point of view on some issues. (Who wouldn’t want to pay fewer
taxes, in a perfect world?) I even have some in the family,
and I suspect that I used to be one briefly in the mid-1990’s,
before I was old enough to vote. But that is neither here
What we are seeing these days on FoxNews, etc., more closely
resembles nationalism than conservatism, and this amateur
historian finds it a disturbing trend indeed. So what do we
The administration believes they have cleverly put themselves
in a position that will render them immune to criticism, and
in a way they are correct: they can only be attacked from
the left, and the left is currently perceived as unpopular.
However, there is a chink in the armor: they can be attacked
from the middle, and the middle can cause a great deal more
damage than the far left. When moderate Republicans begin
attacking the GOP administration, it is a sure sign that they
have gone too far. Hurrah for Senators McCain, Collins, Jeffords,
and all others in Congress and nationwide for voting their
conscience instead of following lockstep with the rest of
the inmates who have somehow managed to take control of the
So what should the Democrats do? If they have any sense
of history they will avoid another Dukakis or McGovern. If
they have any sense of history, or any sense at all, they
will choose a nominee that will be fully capable of beating
Bush and Rove: a Centrist from the South. Take back the South
and attract moderate and yes, even true conservative voters
nationwide. Stop the madness. I realize that only 20% of the
Democratic field fits this description, but that is plenty.
Only 10% will get the nomination. And before the die-hard
liberals attack me I hope they remember that Bill Clinton
was a Southern Centrist given a snowball’s chance in hell
and all he did was beat 12 years of incumbent Republicans.
I am one of those people who will vote Democratic next year
even if the candidate is someone I don’t believe in, because
I truly think we need a change of direction. However, there
are those who won’t. They won’t vote for Bush, but they won’t
vote at all. The party needs to unite, now more than ever.
Vote. I’m just a voter, but right now it’s all I’ve got.