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We Have A Misnomer On Our Hands

April 30, 2011
Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...    It seems to me that the words “liberal” and “conservative” have been wrongly defined. Every time that I hear these two words, especially the word “conservative”, it grates on me, and it makes me slightly aggravated. We have the definitions back-asswards, so to speak.

    The only things that conservatives truly care about conserving are their own wealth, power, and privilege. They do not care about conserving any sort of quality of life or standard of living for the rest of us. They could care less if we lived or died. “If they’d rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population,” as Scrooge said. This seems to be the attitude that the “conservative” elites have taken towards the rest of us, the poor, the destitute, the union members, the teachers, the seniors on Social Security and Medicare, and on and on.

    They do not care about conserving the environment at all, let alone the planet we all live on. They do not even care about conserving America and its economy for future generations, it’s all just rape and pillage and plunder and destroy and who cares about anything or anyone else, as long as we maintain our own wealth, power, and privilege.

    To hell with everyone and everything else, while the rest of us all suffer and struggle to survive while barely managing to somehow make it from day-to-day under the crushing economic and societal conditions that we are living in at the present moment in this country. Neither do “Conservatives” care about conserving American lives or money in their detrimental imperialistic conquests overseas to maintain American Empire and American world domination.

    Conservatives are liberal in their use and expenditure of American lives and money, we are nothing more than dumb, ignorant pawns, nothing more than slaves, servants, statistics to them, nothing more than cogs in their war machine, nothing more than cannon fodder to be misled and used for their own purposes and to achieve their own ends. They are liberal and careless in their rape and pillage and extraction of natural resources from the environment.

    On the other hand, so-called liberals are quite liberal with their promises, and extremely conservative when it comes to fulfilling any of them at all (Does a certain Mr. Obama come to mind, anyone???)

    Sounds more like a conservative to me…

    Either way, they’re all out to screw us while enriching themselves, their cronies,  and their campaign donors in the process. Politics is nothing more than a racket, a nifty little game that politicians play to benefit themselves by pulling the wool over our eyes, while simultaneously fleecing us and lining their own pockets with what is rightfully ours, at our own expense.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark P. Kessinger permalink
    May 1, 2011 3:54 pm

    Good essay. My only quibble with it is that by “conservative” you seem to mean wealthy conservatives (who really aren’t conservative so much as they are radically self-interested). As far as those wealthy conservatives go, I think your analysis nails it. But let’s face it, what gives conservatives currency at the polls is the fact that such a large percentage of folks who are not particularly wealthy vote with conservatives for a variety of reasons. The wealthy [not really] conservatives have learned to use these folks quite well as tools to effect the wealthy conservative agenda. These folks consist of at least four groups (although individuals can certainly overlap among them.

    First, there are the religious/cultural conservatives. These are the folks the GOP plays to when it launches into seemingly absurd agendas that have no realistic chance of passing (e.g., defunding Planned Parenthood, or attempting to restrict access to abortion). The wealthy conservatives, for the most part, don’t really give a damn whether these initiatives actually pass or not — they are merely thrown out as bones to a gullible subset of their constituency in order to secure their vote.

    Second, there are the middle and upper-middle class folks who are not wealthy, but certainly aspire to be. These folks, consciously or not, emulate the group they wish to join (i.e., the wealthy), and so adopt the political views of that group (whether or not, in fact, they themselves have any realistic chance of becoming part of it). They see anyone who opposes the agenda of wealthy conservatives as being someone who will potentially stand in the way of their (real or imagined) upward mobility.

    Third, there are the hyper-nationalist, WWII (and some later) era veteran types and their families, who think there are virtually no limits to our military capability nor to our moral rectitude. In their minds, if the U.S. military engages in an action, then that action is by definition morally correct and justified, and any questioning of that mission is seen as evidence of lack of patriotism, at best, or treasonous thinking, at worst. These are the folks for whom politicians cannot do enough flag-waving and flag lapel pin-wearing.

    The fourth group is that large portion of the working/lower-middle class that has figured out they are not likely to become wealthy anytime soon, so while they may also be part of the first and third groups, they would not overlap with the second group. Their knowledge of politics and of macro-economics is limited and unsophisticated. Political debates and discussions tend to leave them flummoxed, and they are not likely to invest the time and energy it would take to gain a better understanding of the issues. All they know is that they are battered about constantly by forces they cannot control and in many cases are even unaware of. These are folks who work hard and struggle to keep their spending within a household budget. So when conservatives say things like, “When money is tight, families know they have to tighten their belts; therefore, government should do the same when its money is tight,” they will latch onto it because it seems to make a certain amount of intuitive sense. Likewise, they will readily buy into the conservative cant that “taxing the wealthy will kill jobs, because it is the wealthy who create new jobs.” Again, on the surface, at least, it seems to make sense on a gut level. These are also people whose resentments can easily be exploited, as for example, when Reagan talked about the (non-existent) “welfare queen driving around in a Cadillac).

    I guess what I’m saying is that the term “conservatives,” as applied to voters at least, is too varied a group to assign a single motive or set of motives. Yet they do wind up supporting a single set of motives (preserving and increasing the wealth of the already wealthy). I think that is simply because wealthy conservatives, and their media enablers, have learned to exploit the concerns of the various subgroups of non-wealthy conservative voters — and they have learned to do it very well. So, while thinking they are voting their own sets of concerns, they are unwittingly (for everyone but the aspirers) voting the agenda of wealthy conservatives — and agenda that is, likely as not, at odds with their own best interests.

    • May 2, 2011 10:53 pm

      Well said Mr. Kessler,
      I think the term conservative has lost it’s true meaning. There has been nothing conservative about Republican policies since Ronald Reagan. And Republicans have managed to turn the term liberal into a dirty word. People love to think of themselves as conservative because they think it means they don’t throw their money around and their not (god forbid) sexually promiscuous. Those are, they have been conditioned over these 30 years to believe, what liberals do. I think your break down of the different types of conservatives was very good though. If you haven’t already, I suggest you read “What’s the Matter with Kansas-How the Conservatives Won the Heart of America” by Thomas Frank. It addresses your last classification, however the one I believe, is the most prevalent type of “Conservative” Please check out my blog if you get a chance.

  2. D.I.D. permalink
    May 5, 2011 5:28 pm


    • D.I.D. permalink
      May 5, 2011 5:31 pm

      Quite the polarizing article… this is the type of “us versus them” attitude that I long associated largely with the “Right”.

      Should I be worried about the United States?

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