10/16/2013

When Conservatives Were Right

Historically, American conservatives have been on the wrong side—ethically, morally, economically, and intellectually—of every major argument in our history; almost. Currently, Teatards and the rest of the nation’s slow-learners and troubled old white people oppose the Equal Protection Clause as applied to anything that resembles fair and rational treatment for the nation’s substantial and growing population of gays and lesbians. Backwoods states like North Carolina and Texas are pretending that closets are where sex belongs and if you bury your head in the sand the stuff that gets into your ears, eyes, and nose is not cat litter. If there weren’t lives and families being destroyed by all of this stupid shit, it would be a lot funnier.

Not that long ago, conservatives went all out to try and stop Medicare and Medicaid because providing reasonable cost health care for the elderly and the poor was “socialist” and deprived the 1% of precious money that could otherwise be used to bribe Republican politicians. Conservatives opposed the civil rights movement to the level that when the majority of the John Kennedy/Lyndon Johnson-led Democrats in Congress and northern Republicans voted to approve the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the southern Democrats all turned Republican and became the hate-filled, racist, recidivist pack of white-collar criminals we currently suffer from as our nation turns from a democratically elected republic to a superstitious theocratic corporatocracy.

Conservatives hated and hate the Clear Air Act and the EPA, regardless of the brief moment of clean air and water that those federal mandates provided before the Koch Brothers, Halliburton, and BP stuffed the House of Representatives and White House full of environment-hating corporate lackeys who gutted the nation’s environmental protections to provide a clear field for fracking, off-shore drilling, GMO freak-show crops, industrial disasters and a host of other Super Fund sites that will cost us all dearly in the future. Nothing worse than a government getting the way of a rich asshole who wants to crap in our drinking water, is there?

Social Security? “There you go again.” What’s with those liberals always worrying about old people, the handicapped, and people who have been injured on the job? That’s what death is for. Haven’t you read the Wisconsin Death Trip? That’s the way nature and the 1% planned on taking care of excess population, especially population that isn’t contributing to the bank account of the 1%. Republicans and conservatives of all stripes hated the “creeping socialism” represented by a program designed to keep people from starving in the streets. “That was good enough for our toothless stone-boiling Neanderthal grandparents and it’s good enough for you.”

Conservative opposition to humane treatment of animals was right up there with their attempt to block women’s suffrage and workplace protections (the dreaded OSHA!). Clearly the working class, women, and farm animals are all nothing more than objects intended to create more wealth for the ruling classes and any idea that they deserve rights or consideration is “socialist” and anti-capitalist. Child labor laws, a reasonable work day and week, vacation pay, sick leave, and communist ideas like the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 are all ideas that conservatives still rail against and do their damnedest to oppose, undermine, and ignore. In the same vein, conservatives hated the idea of ending slavery. To them, the reason the various gods painted people with colors other than white/pink was to mark them for utility. Why would anyone imagine that a person might end up in slavery unless it were necessary to own slaves? One of the many wonderful things about being both religious and conservative is that you can justify any evil act with a passage or twenty found in the Bible.

Here is where conservatives had their moment in the sun, though. The place where conservatives have been proved right, however, was right at the start. The conservatives of 1776 were called “Tories” and they opposed the American rebellion. They argued that Jolly Old England and King George knew what was best for the “New World” and it turns out they may have been right. The British democracy would not be in the same fix as our stymied and beaten federal (and often state) government. In a situation exactly like the stalemate that has tossed our federal government into complete disarray, Wikipedia explains the British system of resolution, “the defeat of a supply bill (one that concerns the spending of money) automatically requires the resignation of the government or dissolution of Parliament, much like a non-confidence vote, since a government that cannot spend money is hamstrung. This is called ‘loss of supply.’” Further, their system is regularly restarted more to the satisfaction of their democratic public; “Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, Parliament is dissolved automatically 17 days ahead of a general election. Elections ordinarily take place five years after the previous general election, but may be held sooner if the Prime Minister loses a vote of confidence, or if two-thirds of the members of the House of Commons vote in favour of an early election.”

Per Wikipedia’s explanation, Canada’s government can be fairly efficiently dissolved: “The House of Commons, but not the Senate, can be dissolved at any time by the Governor General, conventionally on the advice of the Prime Minister. If the government is refused confidence or supply, the Prime Minister must either resign and permit another member of the House of Commons to form a government, or else advise the Governor General to dissolve Parliament. Also, the House of Commons automatically dissolves after five years, although no House of Commons has yet survived that long.” Likewise, the French government can get a kick start when it becomes useless, “The French National Assembly can be dissolved by the French President at any time after consultation with the Prime Minister and the presidents of the two chambers of parliament. The National Assembly elected following such a dissolution cannot be dissolved within the first year of its term.” In fact, the US appears to be about the only semi-democratic government in the world without a back-up plan when a group of mindless idiots manage to stumble into power.

There was a time, not that long ago, when I considered our Constitution to be a near-holy document and the men who wrote it to be as close to heroic as any who have ever lived. The ease with which the Teabagss have overthrown democracy and tossed the resources of the nation into the hands of the most corrupt elites who have ever lived has destroyed that simpleminded faith. Today, I suspect we’d have all been better off if we’d have just wrestled with fixing the problems in the British government and their representatives in America. This mess we will probably not call “The United States of America” appears to be pretty much a wreaked idea and ideal and if the most moronic minority in human history can wreak it this easily, it can’t have been made from substantial stuff.

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