1. opposition to change and innovation:
2. the disposition to preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change.
That should be all that is necessary to describe the right-wing’s political philosophy. But it goes a little further. Conservatism.com says: ”Conservatism is rooted in the concepts of personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. The role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.”
If that is their definition of what constitutes conservatism, why is the right-wing trying to deny personal liberties to millions of Americans? Why is everything they are trying to legislate deny people their civil liberties and dignity as people? There has been a rash of stupidity on the right these last few weeks. They just cannot seem to stop themselves.
In Kansas, the state legislature seems to be preparing for their anticipation of the courts striking down the gay marriage ban in their state. So, to fight back, they are working through a piece of legislation that can only be described as a 21st Century Jim Crow Law. According to this law “nobody in Kansas will be vulnerable to civil or criminal penalties for discriminating against gay people with respect to their marriages or other partnerships, if said discrimination is an artifact of religious belief.”
Many members of the Kansas Legislature think that if two gay, married men want to have a romantic dinner or to send their adopted daughter to daycare, you, the restauranteur or daycare provider should be able to refuse them service. So, the Kansas Legislature (Republican Controlled) seems to think it is okay to deny civil rights based on “religious” grounds. Wasn’t that one of the original Jim Crow arguments? “Each shall seek their own kind” was the given explanation for the American version of Apartheid.
Not to be outdone, Senator Ted Cruz has introduced a bill in the Senate, along with his pal Senator Mike Lee, “defending” states’ right to regulate marriage. “I support traditional marriage. Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens,” the statement continues. “The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states. We should respect the states, and the definition of marriage should be left to democratically elected legislatures, not dictated from Washington. This bill will safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for its residents.”
In Tennessee, the workers at the Volkswagen plant are in the midst of a vote to decide whether or not they should join the United Auto Workers. Now, remember, Volkswagen is a German company with extremely strong unions in Germany and other European countries where they build their cars. Volkswagen has decided to stay neutral in the election process, and from their statements, don’t seem to be overwhelmingly concerned about the vote. Nor about whether or not the workers decide to unionize. They are used to dealing with unions.
However, that didn’t stop the junior Senator from Tennessee from speaking out viciously against the vote. “I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga,” Corker said in a statement.
Volkswagen CEO Frank Fischer said, “There is no connection between our Chattanooga employees’ decision about whether to be represented by a union and the decision where to build a new product for the U.S. market.” Of course, that didn’t stop Mr. Corker. He said “VW expansion decisions are not being made by anyone in management at the Chattanooga plant” and that “Fischer is having to use old talking points when he responds to press inquiries.” Corker added that he “would not have made the statement I made yesterday without being confident it was true and factual.”
Then the estimable Tom Perkins had to run his mouth again. His compassion is just overwhelming to anyone who cares to listen. In the interview with Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky, he reportedly had these gems of wisdom to fix the country:
- Perkins defended his infamous progressives-are-Nazis argument, telling Lashinsky, “”I think the parallel holds.”
- When asked to share an idea he felt would save the world, Perkins recommended voting rights be restricted to tax-payers and that the wealthy receive more votes than the rest. “You don’t get to vote unless you pay $1 in taxes,” Perkins said. “If you pay $1 million in taxes, you get a million votes.”
- He continued to insist the 1 percent are underappreciated, saying, ”I don’t think people have any idea what the 1 percent is actually contributing to America.”
- He recommended the U.S. cut food stamps.
- He claimed that the programs introduced during Johnson’s War on Poverty had ”unknowingly creating the destruction of lower-end families in America.”
- He claimed the federal government’s progressive tax code ”is persecution” of the wealthy.
- After saying that government is “a giant beast which has to be fed,” which means taxes go “up and up and up,” Perkins shot down Lashinsky’s counter that government financing helped create the internet (the source of Perkins’ extraordinary wealth) by responding, “Adam, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I’m not going to go there.”
- He said, “[I]f Germany had American gun laws, there would have never been a Hitler.”
- He claimed the Koch brothers were suffering from “persecution.”
- He denounced child labor laws.
- He said Silicon Valley was “a meritocracy” and that race had “absolutely nothing to do with it.”
- He recommended breaking teachers’ unions.
- He asserted that America needs ”another Margaret Thatcher,” who was a “charming lady.”
- And he called free market capitalism “the only way to proceed.”
Republican State Senator James Bernie Herpin speaking on behalf of overturning a Colorado law banning high-capacity magazines had this to exchange about the Aurora shooting tragedy:
“My understanding is that James Holmes bought his 100-round capacity magazine legally,” said Sen. Irene Aguilar. “So, in fact, this law would have stopped James Holmes from purchasing a 100-round magazine. I was wondering if you agree with me.”
“Perhaps James Holmes would not have been able to purchase a 100-round magazine,” Herpin responded. “As it turned out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine, because it jammed. If he had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up.”
Finally, Bud Konheim, the co-founder and CEO of the luxury clothing company Nicole Miller, had this to say on CNBC Wednesday:
“We’ve got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99 percent of the world. We’re talking about, ‘Woe is me, woe is us, woe is this,’” he continued while rolling his eyes.
“Our 99 percent are the 1 percent in the rest of the world!” added one of the CNBC anchors.
“So here we are,” Konheim continued, “incredibly wealthy; nobody really has to starve —”
“Because of capitalism!” the same anchor interrupted.
“Exactly,” Konheim agreed. “And here it is, money is all over the place, and the guy who’s making – ‘Oh my god, he’s making $35,000 a year’ – why don’t you try that out in India or some countries we can’t even name, or China – any place – the guy is wealthy!”
This doesn’t take into consideration the war on women or voting rights. But let’s see how these “conservatives” stack up to conservativism.com definition of personal liberty.
In Kansas, you will be allowed to exercise “personal liberty” as long as you can claim religious belief against another persons religious belief. The Canadian Senator Ted Cruz wants to ban Federal Protection of Liberties and leave it up to the states to act according to their own beliefs, regardless of what the Constitution says.
The Senator from Tennessee is publicly threatening workers at a plant in his state because he is against their “legal” right to unionize by vote. Even the company who employs these workers is staying out of the vote. But, Mr. Corker doesn’t believe the workers have any right to unionize and is saying so.
Tom Perkins seems to think that the right to vote should be tied directly to how much taxes you pay. Remember, if you pay a million dollars per year, he thinks you should get a million votes. That is sure one way to ensure your side wins.
Bernie Herpin thinks it was a good thing that a mass murderer was able to purchase a 100 round magazine of ammunition before showing up at a movie theater and killing several people for apparently no reason. According to Mr. Herpin, it was his “right” to buy that magazine. But, how can explain it was the “right” of those victims not to be killed. What about their right to life?
We discovered from Bud Konheim that we 99 per centers are actually rich and should just shut up. Of course one thing he didn’t mention was that if you make $35,000 a year and live in China, where are you would be rich, you still wouldn’t be able to purchase anything from him. His prices in China are the same as here.
According to conservatism.com we are supposed to be personally responsible and enjoy personal liberty. So why do the Republicans, and especially conservatives, want to stop abortion rights, birth control, equal rights for gay couples, equal pay for equal work, restrict voting rights, oppose union rights, allow workers a chance to make more money by denying the minimum wage hike, and deny people their right to live simply to protect the right to buy a 100 round magazine for their gun?
From what we have seen, conservatism is a smoke screen. They claim to be against big government, but they are all for government interfering in the lives of people who may think, believe, or act differently from them. That is not conservatism, that is pure fascism. When a Federal Government stops protecting the rights of those who are different, it stops democracy in its tracks.
Of course, if you like the idea of living with 19th Century laws and worker protections, and them defining what your “rights” really are, then by all means be a conservative. If they win, you will have to live by those rules anyway.