Friday, June 14, 2013

Shooting Ourselves..............Why we're losing the ideological war.

Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanaticism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way-this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from a willingness to learn --not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before. Ideologues fit the world to their minds; conservatives fit their minds to the world. Ideologues believe politics is only a part of life. Ideologues believe they possess an abstract, absolute truth that can compel an imperfect humanity to attain a terrestrial paradise; conservatives believe in self-- evident truths and traditional rights and duties.                                                                                                      - Rep. Thad Cotter

Conservatism's greatest enemy at this time is lodged firmly within our ranks. Today's conservatism has degenerated to a guerrilla campaign, increasingly dominated by ideological hard-liners who responds to any attack from the left by shooting a handful of our own guys first before firing back in any meaningful way.  The person next to you is always easier to hit and these guys seem to be more about shooting someone than winning the war, no matter if it's someone on their own side that they shoot.  If these guys detect any hint of ideological impurity, they're going to open fire on you.  No one is safe; not Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or even Ronald Reagan. The holier-than-thou right is, as far as I'm concerned, like having Al-Qaeda in our ranks. I rather wish they would form a third party. It might save the country yet.

We want to remember in our zeal for defending our liberties, that we NOT lose sight of who our enemies are. It's always much easier to shoot your own side first. Our friends and fellow travelers are focused on the obvious enemy to our rights and liberties.  We always are surprised by the bullet that comes from behind.  These self-proclaimed pure conservatives have a lamentable tendency to aim at the closest target when seeking blame for why they are losing the war. That's why liberals are steadily overwhelming us. They defend their own. The holier-than-thou conservative attacks his own - FIRST!. 

Which kind of army would YOU rather be in if it came to war? The conservative side has collected an element with every bit as rock hard an ideology as radical leftists. They even share many beliefs with the leftist militants like drug legalization and political isolationism. They're ready to create a modern day "Trail of Tears" in order to meet the letter of the law on immigration - marching 15 million illegal immigrants, men, women and children back across the border into poverty, drug wars and bloodshed. Many Americans would have a hard time with that on humanitarian grounds.  If we set aside our humanity, our willingness to listen to a different side of the story other than the one we think we hear at our first knee-jerk reaction, then we set aside the best principles of conservatism that Thad Cotter is talking about. I'm here to tell you that it isn't always as black and white as we suppose.  The principles of Reagan conservatism - the kind that the American people embrace - call for us to look at how things are and not how we think they ought to be.  

We've been treated to a century of progressive socialists, in the name of ideological purity, trying experiment after experiment in Marxism and failing miserably time after time. We do not need the spectacle of the radical right trying to force it's square peg ideology into a world that doesn't work that way either.

I watch us carry on bloody debates among ourselves and I can see exactly why we are losing elections despite the fact that our cause is just. We claim to hate the Islamist culture where strong men bully their way to lead a divided and bullied rabble that is constantly divided and fighting among themselves for preeminence, but when it comes right down to it, too many who wear the conservative mantle spend most of their time trying to bully their way to the top among our conservative brethren.

It's little wonder we get compared to Facism. It's not a fair comparison in general, but the special brand of heartless, iron-willed, nobody's-opinion-but-mine conservatism does bear a striking resemblance to Nazi and Islamic ideology as it turns out to be in actual practice. It's hard tor Golden Rule conservatives to get behind that sort of thing.

I recently suggested caution after a story came out about the school district in Texas that pulled the plug on a student who deviated from his graduation speech.  All I did was suggest that we might not want to tear into the Joshua School district based on hysterical stories in a conservative blog. I know that school district and they are not intolerant of religious speech.  Quite the contrary.  But by piling on them, we may make it impossible for them to allow any leeway at all in the future.  School districts have a tough enough time allowing freedom of religious expression without someone making a huge issue of it and attracting lawyers.  I'm pretty sure the only thing that will come out of this young man's "attempt to exercise his right of free speech" is that lawyers will force the district to ban all public expressions of religion including prayer at ball games and saying "under God" when pledging allegiance to the flag. 

Sometimes I think we are our own worst enemies
.  We certainly know how to demoralize our own supporters.  I think the same one who is behind the progressive socialist movement is also supporting the radical right's remorseless and demoralizing attacks upon its own side.

This has been described as the "devil did it" theory of human history. I don't find that at all funny, nor will I be bullied into believing it's not true. 

You know, I really dislike bullies!

Tom King (c) 2013 

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