This Is Conservatism
“We don’t understand it. You’re trying to make sure everybody has health care and they’re putting a Hitler mustache on you — I don’t — that doesn’t make sense to me. Explain that to me.”
Conservatives are doing things which would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Some things which we even take for granted now. Think about the following facts in the context of what would have passed muster a few generations ago—or even more alarmingly, in the context of sound reason.
Conservatives run a propaganda channel on TV which they shamelessly pretend is a “news network.”
Conservatives openly mock facts, deny science, and fervently stand behind statements which are easily proven false.
Conservatives are openly suppressing liberal voters under the laughable pretense of openly discredited “voter fraud.”
Conservatives work almost exclusively now via obstructionism, essentially stopping all meaningful legislation.
Conservatives oppose any and all legislation favored by the opposition regardless of what it is, even if it was what conservatives themselves were promoting until very recently.
Conservatives have utterly rejected the core principle of American politics—compromise—and now genuinely threaten to destroy the American economy if they do not get their extremist agenda passed. For conservatives, “negotiation” means nothing more than “give us everything we want and you get nothing.”
Conservatives are opposed to virtually any policy that would help their supposed constituents, the people: health care, retirement benefits, a living wage, solid public education, college education, union protection, infrastructure, corporate and government regulation, clean air, clean water, clean and/or cheap energy, environmental protection, reproductive choice, progressive taxes, network neutrality, unemployment insurance, food stamps, responsible gun control, the ability to sue if wronged… the list goes on and on and on. Anything that would help the people of the country, anything that would help the economy at large, conservatives oppose.
What do conservatives fight for? Lower taxes, mostly for wealthy people. Oil and coal. Military spending. Land wars in the Middle East. Privatization.
And yet, tens of millions of Americans who are most hurt by what Republicans are doing vote them back into office time and again.
Could the lack of a well-informed electorate somehow be involved?
Together, of course, with the excruciating inability of Democrats to effectively counter all of that or to even provide a marginally attractive alternative choice. As I put it in 2010, if Republicans had to advertise truthfully, their campaign slogan would be this:
We’re Crazy and Destructive, but the Other Guys Are Ineffective at Stopping Us!