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What Happened To Conservatism?

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    What Happened To Conservatism?

    I was a conservative when it wasn't cool. Back in the 1980's when in high school only my cousin Bob and I called ourselves conservatives. I wasn't able to make it because of my work schedule (I had an important job as a grocery bagger), but we were all set to go see William F. Buckley speak at a nearby university. We read George Will columns and had, er, "colorful" arguments on the state of affairs at the time. Reagan and Thatcher were in office and we watched with glee as the Soviet Union slowly came apart.

    Part of the reason I liked conservativism was it was insightful, informed and trusted the individual to make choices that, looking at history, no government could be trusted with. Conservatives had college degrees and were educated and well spoken. Both my parents were college educated, a rare thing at the time. The Dems, at least around where I live, flew Confederate flags, seemingly couldn't afford mufflers for there beat up pickup trucks, made a lot of noise with guns and had low paying jobs. They also hated non-whites, which around here means "n*****s". And they hated the Yankee party, Republicans. I did not want any part of that.

    I think it started happening when I was in the army. I left Kentucky in 1987 and 6 of our 7 congressional seats were Democratic. I didn't pay much attention to the political landscape around here, thinking I'd never return.

    Skipping over a bunch of time, here I am in Kentucky again and it's 2020. And things have changed...or not. Nearly everyone I come into contact with are people I work with, people a good 20-25 years younger than me. The attitudes haven't changed much. I still hear "n*****" occasionally, education seems like it's almost looked down upon, fundamentalism seems worse than I remember. Must be the Democrats, right? Nope, they call themselves Republicans. What's worse, they say they're conservative. Ah, no you're not. You're stupid, can't think straight, superstitious and racist. But you're no conservative.

    I want to fight for real conservatism, but I think it's a lost cause by now. I'd settle for understanding how all this happened. The last real conservative I know that is still writing stuff is P.J. O'Rourke, and he's a damn comedian. I guess it's just me and him left.
    Last edited by tumbling.dice; 10-18-2020, 04:06 PM.

    #2
    Here's my opinion as an outsider. It started happening long Before Reagan going back to the mid 60's and the "Dixiecrats" who left the Democratic Party and became Republicans over Civil Rights. Remember Strom Thurmond was still a Democrat when he held the longest Filibuster in history over the passage of the Civil Rights Act:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strom_...il_Rights_Act_ of_1957

    Eventually him, Jesse Helms, George Wallace etc became Republicans.

    Add to that the Southern Strategy:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

    In American politics, the Southern strategy was a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.[1][2][3] As the civil rights movementand dismantling of Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s visibly deepened existing racial tensions in much of the Southern United States, Republican politicians such as presidential candidate Richard Nixon and Senator Barry Goldwater developed strategies that successfully contributed to the political realignment of many white, conservative voters in the South who had traditionally supported the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. It also helped to push the Republican Party much more to the right.[4]

    The "Southern Strategy" refers primarily to "top down" narratives of the political realignment of the South which suggest that Republican leaders consciously appealed to many white Southerners' racial grievances in order to gain their support.[5] This top-down narrative of the Southern Strategy is generally believed to be the primary force that transformed Southern politics following the civil rights era.[6][7] This view has been questioned by historians such as Matthew Lassiter, Kevin M. Kruse and Joseph Crespino, who have presented an alternative, "bottom up" narrative, which Lassiter has called the "suburban strategy". This narrative recognizes the centrality of racial backlash to the political realignment of the South,[8] but suggests that this backlash took the form of a defense of de facto segregation in the suburbs rather than overt resistance to racial integration and that the story of this backlash is a national rather than a strictly Southern one.[9][10][11][12]

    When Reagan took office it got uglier as the Republican Party started courting "Evangelical Christians". Irregardless to my views on Christianity I find Evangelicals particularly Un American as it seems to be their goal to make the United States a Theocracy. I joke that the only difference between Evangelical Law and Sharia Law is the book sited. To Paraphrase Barry Goldwater "It's all going to go to hell once the Republican Party get into bed with the Evangelicals." I hate to admit that I agree with him.

    Bush Sr. really upped the ante with this campaign ad:



    Really played up those racial fears.

    It seems like when Obama got elected something really broke in this country and it seems like the next logical step in this series of arguments:

    "If we free the slaves it will be the end of society they will have an uprising and they will kill all the white people." Which didn't happen.

    "If we integrate institutions it will be the end of society, the blacks will have an uprising and kill all the white people." Which didn't happen.

    "If we let Blacks vote it will be the end of society, they will have an uprising and kill all the white people." Which didn't happen.

    "If we let Blacks hold office it will be the the end of society, there will be an uprising and they will kill all the white people." Which didn't happen.

    "If we elect a Black Man president it will be the end of society, there will be an uprising and they will kill all the white people." Which didn't happen.

    I think the next logical step in this ever maddening series of arguments is:

    "If we give into Black Lives Matter it will be the end of Society, there will be an uprising and they will kill all the white people." Given the history of this argument I'm willing to bet that's a load of bullshit.

    To be blunt and controversial (no not me!). When Trump got elected the Republican Party drifted closer to fascism in the respect that it became more about the party and the leader than about the country.

    If you look the party as it stands now the final nail is when John McCain died. Even though I'm generally not a fan of his as a politician I do respect his integrity and the fact that he stood up against the current administration.

    I think he's the only Republican who would write a positive obituary for the last member of the Lincoln Brigade (An integrated American Unit in the Spanish Civil War) to die in spite of the fact that he was a Communist:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/o...communist.html

    C/S,
    Rev J

    Comment


      #3
      I can only wonder how such a conversation can make any progress when racism is the primary lens. But it might be interesting. To actually discuss the issues as opposed to shutting the discussion down as if racism is the only reason people did things back then.

      What's odd to me though is how the republicans are presented as being the sole racists in the land. Completely ignoring all the racist shit democrats accomplished. And not just in "the south". Weird how so many also accept the idea that slavery was also a factor in northern states. How do they rate a pass? Is there a "good" kind of racism after all?

      Maybe the 1619 project will rewrite it into something that makes more sense. Or is easier to read. Lots of snappy slogans and shit that rhymes maybe.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by tumbling.dice View Post
        I was a conservative when it wasn't cool. Back in the 1980's when in high school only my cousin Bob and I called ourselves conservatives. I wasn't able to make it because of my work schedule (I had an important job as a grocery bagger), but we were all set to go see William F. Buckley speak at a nearby university. We read George Will columns and had, er, "colorful" arguments on the state of affairs at the time. Reagan and Thatcher were in office and we watched with glee as the Soviet Union slowly came apart.

        Part of the reason I liked conservativism was it was insightful, informed and trusted the individual to make choices that, looking at history, no government could be trusted with. Conservatives had college degrees and were educated and well spoken. Both my parents were college educated, a rare thing at the time. The Dems, at least around where I live, flew Confederate flags, seemingly couldn't afford mufflers for there beat up pickup trucks, made a lot of noise with guns and had low paying jobs. They also hated non-whites, which around here means "n*****s". And they hated the Yankee party, Republicans. I did not want any part of that.

        I think it started happening when I was in the army. I left Kentucky in 1987 and 6 of our 7 congressional seats were Democratic. I didn't pay much attention to the political landscape around here, thinking I'd never return.

        Skipping over a bunch of time, here I am in Kentucky again and it's 2020. And things have changed...or not. Nearly everyone I come into contact with are people I work with, people a good 20-25 years younger than me. The attitudes haven't changed much. I still hear "n*****" occasionally, education seems like it's almost looked down upon, fundamentalism seems worse than I remember. Must be the Democrats, right? Nope, they call themselves Republicans. What's worse, they say they're conservative. Ah, no you're not. You're stupid, can't think straight, superstitious and racist. But you're no conservative.

        I want to fight for real conservatism, but I think it's a lost cause by now. I'd settle for understanding how all this happened. The last real conservative I know that is still writing stuff is P.J. O'Rourke, and he's a damn comedian. I guess it's just me and him left.
        you can't have conservatism with a debt based monetary system. How was Reagan a conservative??? He out spent Carter! Thankfully Vulcar raised interest rates high enough to drop inflation and give the average person a chance if he or she saved money and got interest on it.

        You have to increase the money supply in order for it to work. It will come to an end just like every other previous fiate currency before.

        I live my life across the 48 states. Only time i ever heard anything racist or the n word was in Maine. Although kentucky is not a state im in much.

        College does not equal intelligence. Many successful entrepreneurs boldly say that is a waste of ones time and money. Especially today when information is everywhere. I can speak for my family. My father was a software engineer without a degree. Did very well. Lived off royaltys for a period of time selling one of his accounting software programs to Peachtree. Later had a partnership in a telecommunications company. My grandfather had a tenth grade education and worked at Northrop where he re-engineered the landing mechanism for the flying wing. Engineers had it wrong. Apparently that model sat on Mr. Northrops desk for a long time. Later built and designed boats that broke at least 6 world records. I started a business in my later 20's. Did the research to make it work and with my first ad wound up booked 6 weeks. $200 dollar job average doing two to three a day if you include slow times. 60-70% profit typically. Not bad for a highschool grad at 27 imo. Did that about ten years. Got into meditation and focused on my spiritual practice. Truck driving does much the same as meditation. So got into that. Its not about the piece of paper people put on a wall.
        Last edited by running; 10-21-2020, 04:55 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          In order to have small government the monetary system has to change.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by WritersPanic View Post
            I can only wonder how such a conversation can make any progress when racism is the primary lens. But it might be interesting. To actually discuss the issues as opposed to shutting the discussion down as if racism is the only reason people did things back then.

            What's odd to me though is how the republicans are presented as being the sole racists in the land. Completely ignoring all the racist shit democrats accomplished. And not just in "the south". Weird how so many also accept the idea that slavery was also a factor in northern states. How do they rate a pass? Is there a "good" kind of racism after all?

            Maybe the 1619 project will rewrite it into something that makes more sense. Or is easier to read. Lots of snappy slogans and shit that rhymes maybe.
            I only brought it up because the OP brought it up.

            running I grew up in Maine. It is the 3rd whitest state in the nation and was a major Klan stronghold in the 1920s.

            I grew up next to BNAS and Bowdoin College so those were the only 2 things that brought diversity to the area until there was a surge of Somali Immigrants and Trumps idea of sending potential refugees to Sanctuary Cities.

            Granted I left in about 2001 or 2002. The last time I was there the area I grew up in was a ghost town. Granted it was the middle of February but since the Naval Air Station shut down it really took the local economy with it.

            C/S,
            Rev J

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by running View Post
              In order to have small government the monetary system has to change.
              In order to have small government there need to be not too much things to be governed. So especially in densely populated areas with a lot of conflicted interests and less space small government is really hard to accomplish at this point. The less people and the more space, the more chances on limiting big government and lots of bureaucracy

              Comment


                #8
                Couldn't someone ask the same question about liberalism? When did it go from equal rights to socialism?

                Comment


                  #9
                  What the right calls "socialism" is just a slur for equal rights.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by neonspectraltoast View Post
                    What the right calls "socialism" is just a slur for equal rights.
                    socialism is central planning. If central planning to the left means equal rights. We are officially doomed.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by everything bagel View Post
                      Couldn't someone ask the same question about liberalism? When did it go from equal rights to socialism?
                      there has for a long time been some socialism. For example social security. Fire dept. Police dept. Military. Public schools.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Central planning to the right and left means corporate socialism.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Is it conservative when the US helps instigate a coup in Bolivia so the duly elected socialists don't take power? Pretty sure shit like that was being done back in the 70s too.
                          ​​​​​

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by running View Post

                            there has for a long time been some socialism. For example social security. Fire dept. Police dept. Military. Public schools.
                            Right. But add medical care and education to that list and we're suddenly an evil leftist commy dictatorship. Apparently
                            Last edited by everything bagel; 10-22-2020, 04:23 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by The Batman View Post
                              Is it conservative when the US helps instigate a coup in Bolivia so the duly elected socialists don't take power? Pretty sure shit like that was being done back in the 70s too.
                              ​​​​​
                              Don't forget Pinochet. Then in the 80's arming and funding the Contras.

                              C/S,
                              Rev J

                              Comment

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