I don't really want to stray into politics, but as the election draws near, please indulge me this once - at least until the next election season. I apologize for the ranty polemic.
Modern Conservatism is an utterly failed, worthless, bankrupt ideology whose policies have led to utter disaster and offers no solutions to any of the problems that confront the modern world. In place of solutions, modern conservatism has degenerated into an incohate mass of anger, rage, racism, nativism, xenophobia and homophobia. Modern Conservatism offers no path forward. None. Name one idea presented by a conservative to address global warming, to fix healthcare, to regulate financial institutions, to fix education, to fix infrastructure, to address income inequality. ... ... ... Instead of solutions, modern Conservatives merely repackage and re-brand policies and ideologies that have already been proven failures - sexed up versions of the same intellectually bankrupt ideas that have already proven so disastrous.
Conservatism has been on the wrong side of history on virtually every single important economic, social, and political question presented over the last three centuries.
Opposition to emancipation.
Opposition to racial equality.
Opposition to suffrage.
Opposition to gender equality.
Opposition to integration.
Opposition to evolution.
Opposition to science.
Opposition to social security.
Opposition to welfare.
Opposition to abortion.
Opposition to the United Nations.
Opposition to gay rights.
Opposition to healthcare.
Opposition to industrial, financial and environmental regulation.
Opposition to the clear science on global warming.
Conservatism has failed again and again and again. Indeed, the question is less why Conservatism continues to advocate for policies and practices and ideas that have clearly failed, but why anyone would possibly advocate Conservatism given its appalling and ongoing legacy of failure. Conservatism is and always has been the opponent of change, the opponent of progress. Why? Because at its heart, conservatism is and always has been a movement by the rich, for the rich. And if you are ridiculously wealthy, why on Earth would you want anything to change? Since the rich constitute only a tiny (albeit extraordinarily powerful) constituency, they utilize racism, nativism, homophobia, xenophobia, militarism, abortion and cultural and religious issues that the wealthy really couldn't care less about, to motivate foot soldiers for their self-aggrandizing cause.
The Bush years constituted one of the most disastrous periods in American history. Lest we forget, Bush and the Republican Party's unswerving and slavish devotion to doctrinal, social and religious conservatism and militant foreign adventurism led to the following:
Ongoing disaster in Afghanistan.
Ongoing disaster in Iraq.
Ongoing denial of global warming.
Ongoing denial of due process for detainees.
Ongoing warrantless surveillance of American Citizens.
Creation of 'Free Speech Zones'.
Clinton's 2000 Surplus of $256,000,000,000 IMMEDIATELY handed over to the rich leading to a $415,000,000,000 Deficit by 2004 and over $500,000,000,000 by 2008.
Deregulation of Financial Industry and attendant financial collapse leading to 8,200,000 lost jobs.
Unprecedented income inequality.
The list goes on and on and on. The failures of Conservatism are so manifest and so glaring that it is virtually inconceivable that <i>anyone</i> could possibly advocate for those same policies, let alone that anyone would listen. Yet that is exactly what is happening. Americans are scared. Terrified that the economy is not recovering fast enough. Horrified at the prospect of losing their homes. And in their fear, they have returned to the very ideology that has so horribly abused them in the past.
Conservatism is ultimately an ideology of fear. Fear on the part of the rich that they won't be able to endlessly aggrandize themselves, fear on the part of their poor foot soldiers that the world is changing, that their precious social and cultural expectations and prejudices might have to be reanalyzed, fear about our place in the world, fear about our place in the cosmos. Conservatism is all about fearing the future and looking backwards to the past.
We cannot afford to go back. We can't. The stakes have grown too high for the human species to look back for inspiration. We must look forward and Conservatism either cannot or will not do so. Conservatism must be stopped.
To be sure, Democrats are right to be demoralized. Our leadership has not delivered on all of the promises they made. They have advocated for many of the same lawless detention programs, surveillance programs, drone strikes and ongoing war as their more conservative predecessors. But the alternative? The Palins, the O'Donnells, the Angles, the Thunes and Boehners and DeMints... These psychotic mouth-breathers are simply too Conservative, too dangerous, too reactionary, too unhinged to allow anywhere near the levers of power. They MUST be stopped. So please, for the love of the God I don't believe in, Vote.