Evil Has a Name
By: shep

by shep

Its name is ”conservatism”. As the Queen of All Evil states succinctly: “Conservatism is an ideology, Republicanism is the political vehicle of conservatism.”

Conservatism is an ideology – “visionary theorizing,” or “a systematic body of concepts,” i.e., a set of unproven (or disproved) beliefs.

This, as apposed to political liberalism, which is a philosophy or methodology that emphasizes “the autonomy of the individual…the protection of political and civil liberties,” and human “progress.”

So what are core American “conservative” beliefs?

1) That government is more the problem than the solution to social progress.

2) That taxes and regulation of business are generally bad for society.

3) That (mostly) unregulated private markets will solve social problems more effectively that government (no word about the social problems private markets create).

4) That corporations and other business entities should enjoy all of the liberty rights guaranteed by the US Constitution to individual persons.

5) That those guaranteed liberty rights may be held secondary to the government’s interest in providing national security, or preventing citizens from possessing government-proscribed drugs, or protecting unborn children.

6) That the Executive branch of government ought to be able to operate in secret and without oversight or accountability to the people’s representatives in Congress.

7) That international relations should emphasize military strength and that negotiating with adversaries connotes weakness.

8) That the United States should not be bound by international laws and treaties when they are not in the perceived interests of conservative ideology and/or goals.

9) That common scientific consensus should be ignored in public policy matters when it conflicts with conservative ideology and/or goals.

10) That liberalism itself is inimical to American democratic society.

(Disclosure: I’m a liberal Democrat so, conservatives, feel free to correct any fundamental misconceptions in the list above.)

So my question is why Americans should want to choose government leaders based upon their adherence to such a belief system. Belief #1, by itself should pretty much disqualify someone for such a job, as has been shown by the performance of the all-Republican government of 2000-2006.

Like hiring a Jehova's Witness to find a cure for cancer, governing effectively is hard it shouldn’t be entrusted to people who believe it can’t be effective because they will undoubtedly prove themselves right by failing to govern effectively.

Let’s get conservatism (and I include Blue-Dog Democrats and any other Democrats beholden the above ideology) out of government where it can only do harm. If conservatives really believe that private markets are the solution to all our ills, let them put their ideology where their mouths are or vice versa.

[Cross-posted at E Pluribus Unum]