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The End of Conservatism: my LTTE

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mconvente Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-13-06 11:43 PM
Original message
The End of Conservatism: my LTTE
Edited on Mon Nov-13-06 11:45 PM by mconvente
This is my LTTE to the Daily Targum (Rutger's college newspaper) in response to a right-wing nutjob's bi-weekly column. He claims that the Democrats who won on election night are actually conservative, and that the results were "hardly a repudiation on conservatism". He then claims that Democrats only capitalized on President Bush's unpopularity - which is true, but he leaves out any substance to why that is the case (which I mention).

*Edit* - I've had several responses to various columns published, plus I've been quoted a lot being a member in the student government, so I'm fairly certain this will actually get published. If you search my last name (Convente) on the website you can see the articles I've written and the articles I've had quotes in as well. Enjoy!

Here's a link to his article - you may need to register to read it, but that's not always the case:

And here's my response:

The End of Conservatism

Last Tuesdays elections were a bellwether of the changing face of American politics. Hardcore conservatives, like Mr. Maxham, may try and spin the outcome as not being a repudiation of conservative ideals, yet that is in fact what the 2006 elections truly were. There is little truth to the claim that conservative Democrats were the overall winners in 2006. Senator-Elect Jon Tester of Montana is pro-choice, against the Patriot Act, and in favor of stem cell research, hardly the portrayal of a conservative Democrat. Senator- Elect Sherrod Brown has a 84.2 liberal rating from Capitol-Hill based National Journal. Heath Shuler is surely conservative on cultural issues, but just last week he participated in a press conference with Brown on how to make opposition to NAFTA a winning campaign issue. Thats hardly conservative, or even moderate for that matter thats true liberal populism, the same kind Tester supports. Not to mention that every one of these Democratic candidates was criticized by their Republican opponents as being too liberal. And lets not forget Bernie Sanders, Senator-Elect from Vermont, a self-defined socialist.

Now it is true that Harold Ford, Jr. lost in Tennessee, but if the uncompromising liberal Brown can win in Ohio by 12 points, I must attribute Fords loss to his prominent conservative values, which were similar to his opponent Bob Corker (though Im sure that racist Playboy advertisement did its job as well).

Yes, Democrats capitalized on President Bushs unpopularity, but there is more substance to that reasoning than Mr. Maxham puts forth. President Bush isnt unpopular just out of the blue. When your plan in Iraq is there is no plan, when working class and middle class families cannot afford to send their children to college while the top one-percent of Americans get a tax break, and when your only veto is rejecting a bi-partisan stem cell research bill, there is no doubt that the American voters would find you and your party unpopular. That and countless number of Republican scandals, such as ill-fated lobbyist Jack Abramoffs connection to former Congressman Bob Ney and former Senator Conrad Burns, Tom Delays tax payer funded golf trips, and Mark Foleys sexually explicit messages with a minor.

Americans rejected conservatism last Tuesday because it is incompatible with the progressing world. Global warming does actually exist, stay the course in Iraq isnt working, and stem cell research shows true promise. When conservatives pride themselves by proposing legislation to ban flag burning, ban abortion (which, by the way, was defeated 55-45 in South Dakota, a stronghold of conservatives), and make English the official language, of course voters will embrace progressive politicians. When voters want accountability on Iraq, help with paying for college and prescription drugs, and increased wages for the working class, they dont care who marries whom. Thats why voters sent new Democrats to Congress in states where conservative ballot measures passed, despite the fact that the Republican candidates agreed with the ideals of those ballot measures. Ballot measures only affect an individual state; those whom voters elect to Congress affect the entire nation, and voters wanted a change.

In case President Bush forgot, We the People are the deciders, not him. And we decided that conservatism just doesnt fit in America. Let it be known the conservatism era is dead.

Hope you like it!
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codjh9 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-13-06 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. I only skimmed it, but it's good, and I hope you're correct. It took a second to
figure out what 'LTTE' was, though. (Don't take this personally, but I get so tired of acronyms and how we're all just magically supposed to know what they all mean. I was in big biz for a long time, and they are absolutely INSANE about acronyms).
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mconvente Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-13-06 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. thank you
Yeah, I didn't know what an LTTE was before I took initiative to find out as well. Glad you liked it!
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-13-06 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. Excellent LTTE. K&R
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mconvente Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-14-06 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
4. shameless kick nt =D
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mconvente Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-14-06 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. k&r
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madmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-14-06 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. Well done, but the shift is far more fundemental than that...
You are correct about the popular conservative v. liberal issues of the day, I think, but the Right's propaganda machine strives for control no matter the issue. Issues come and go, their machine drags on. At its root, their machine wants to run down any New Deal success because they made Democrats so popular and powerful. They don't care if any of those New Deal programs were good for Americans, no, they want to dismantle them anyway. Social Security is the most obvious example. They don't have the support to eliminate it outright, so they try to Rightize it and then claim it as a conservative value.

This war is most obvious in the fight against crime. Liberal New Deal policies, and JFK and Johnson reaching out to help the poor and minorities, were immensely popular. The Right's propaganda machine had to demonize those polices, and they did so very well. We recognize and even believe their party slogans: "coddling criminals," "crack babies," "welfare queens" and the list goes on. Following their Straussian foundations, they fought to eliminate any "liberal professor's" studies showing that "bleeding heart" programs did any good, so they managed to demonize science as well. This discredited the studies no matter their merit, and removed them from the public debate. From then on, anything liberal actually CAUSED crime and the only solution was tougher laws and more prisons. Therefore, ALL liberal polices were bad.

Anything liberal came under attack, meaning any thread of the social net. Science and thought is coming back into vogue, and with it, so is liberalism. The very ground conservatism walks on is shaking. Conservatives are keeping a close eye on the Richter Scale. If Clinton's "Stop and think" becomes the party slogan, conservatives will fall like boweling pins.
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