Sunday, October 19, 2008

Will anyone just strip the bark off conservatism?

To the left is the cover of Greg Anrig's The Conservatives Have No Clothes: Why Right-Wing Ideas Keep Failing. This is yet one more book I really need to read. I've only posted on Greg once and the link is dead so I'll send you to to his bio at The Century Foundation. That H. Brandt Ayers of The Anniston Star serves on their board was unknown to me yet that doesn't surprise me given his smart Progressivism. In the spirit of bi-partisanship I'll share a link to George Will making The Case for Conservatism.

I've enjoyed watching Senators Obama and Biden campaign and yet I figure they are in prevent defense mode. I'm hardly a strategy guru but rather a grunt in my past campaign work yet can appreciate the focus on winning this election rather than those to follow.

Still, I'm betting Senator Obama could surely run up the score and perhaps mortally wound the beast that is modern conservatism. Grampy Mc$ame and his surrogates keep serving up fat ones over the plate that even lesser humans that His Awesomeness could swat over the fence. In that final debate I so wanted That One to respond to Huggy's claim he wasn't Bu$h with a "But aren't you a Conservative John?" When he said, "Yes, my friends, I am.", I wanted Senator Obama to tear he and his to shreds.

Why go this route? Because this madness of modern conservatism will continue to hold this nation and our world back. Conservatism is hardly without attraction. There's plenty that I can accept from the philosophy. Other can explain it perhaps better that I. For instance, Greg Kamiya is one I've read at times yet in prepping for this post realized the amazing writing he's been sharing at Salon. His Is a new conservatism possible? from nearly a year ago is a good jumping off point.

I posted earlier today on higher education and took some time to read Mc$ame-Palin's positions on education and have my stinger run out. Damn their foolishness! While I can in part blame Bill Clinton, or more accurately that toe-sucking scumbag Dick Morris, for the school uniform foolishness, I found this Alex Johnson MSNBC piece Students, parents bare claws over dress codes familiar. Grampy and his team continue to beat up on professional educators yet, like I asked the Mobile Press-Register, how would you teach these kids? And for the record, I tend to favor rather permissive dress codes.

I could meet Mc$ame, or other conservatives in the middle, or at least give a little I'd think, yet most are so wrapped around their flawed philosophy that I fear it would be a waste of time. Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

But many conservatives aren't pigs. I've long believed well-informed, thoughtful souls will generally reject Conservatism but we need a strategy that will reach the many that continue to vote Republican.

We can continue the same old approach we've tried but an alternative, or at least parallel strategy, is to destroy their ideas. As a good Leftist, I value tolerance and discourse yet I also seek progress and the common good. I fear that Conservatism, at least that practiced by the vast majority of the modern GOP, must be discredited before we'll get past the "Reign of Error" and for that matter these last three decades. What Colin Powell, hardly a flaming partisan, said just today seemed like one more opportunity for smart Progressives to begin this effort.

I've often weeped and gnashed teeth over the failure of Democratic "leaders", especially those here in Alabama, to take on the GOP. The Centrist Weenies (don't get me started on the Corporatist DLC!) so often try Republican Lite when they ought to show voters that the other team's dog won't hunt.

The GOP has an amazing message machine that reliably advances their philosophy even in the face of continual failures. As they've tried to prop up the disasters of Bu$hCo and the floundering campaign of Mc$ame I continue to be impressed by the reliable discipline they show in attacking the left and defending the right. I hardly think our ideas need propping up as their side does with their blend of wingnut welfare, talk radio haters, keyboard commandos, Bible Thumpers, shills, ... yet the way all these parts work together is impressive.

To take down the machine they've built will require at least some hell raising. We can do this relatively politely and with a sense of humor in many cases. Creativity will be rewarded. However, blunt speaking/writing, attacks, courage, hard work, patience ... is also part of the solution. Shifting the direction of this nation and beyond will require sacrifice. I'm ready and I know many others are as well. Let's keep up the good fight but also demand our leaders do this.

Again, I can accept Senator Obama taking the high road and winning. But I want the Democratic Party to finally decide they must strip the bark off conservatism. John Gunn

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