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Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Is Conservatism and the Republican Party Dying?
The following is his editorial and below, my response. Feel free to add yours!
Pitts: ‘Are you liberal or are you conservative?’
By Leonard Pitts Jr.
“Are you liberal or are you conservative?”
I said, “Yes.”
I wasn’t trying to be a wiseguy. OK, maybe a little. But I was also trying to convey my impatience with our bipolar political discourse, with the idea that I was required to pick a team. I was trying to preserve for myself the right to think a thing through and come to my own conclusion regardless of ideological branding.
But at the same time, I knew what I was being asked. When they said, “Are you liberal or are you conservative?” those words had concrete meaning, embodied real political concepts.
But that is no longer the case — at least where the latter term is concerned.
Once upon a time, when a person identified as conservative, you knew the ideas he or she meant to convey – low taxes, small government, resistance to social change. But a word that once encoded a definite set of values and beliefs now seems utterly bereft of internal cohesion, less a name for an ideology than for a mood: surly, nasty and put-upon.
They don’t like the rest of us. Nor do they seem to like each other all that much, feuding with a bitterness and constancy that would make even the Hatfields and McCoys tell them to tone it down. Yes, ideology still gets lip service, but its importance has become secondary, if that.
How else to explain that people who once considered Christian faith their foundation stone have coalesced behind a candidate who can’t name a Bible verse? Or that people who once valued a grown-up, clear-eyed approach to foreign policy support candidates who want to “carpet bomb” the Middle East and pull out of NATO? Or that people who once decried “a culture of victimization” now whine all day about how they are victims of biased media, bullying gays and political correctness?
How to explain that people who once vowed to safeguard American moral decency from the nefarious irreverence of liberals – think President Bush chastising “The Simpsons” in the era of “family values” — now put forth candidates who tell penis jokes?
A few days ago New York Times, columnist David Brooks professed to be excited by this act of self-immolation — “This is a wonderful moment to be a conservative,” he gushed — because after this debacle, conservatives will be able to reinvent themselves, unencumbered by “existing mental categories and presuppositions.” Like when a comic book or movie franchise gets re-booted, I suppose. One had the sense of a man desperately painting lipstick on a pig.
The right is rotting from within, putrefying on its own grievance and rage. It seems bereft of core values and beliefs unless you count its determination to always oppose anything the left supports, up to and including motherhood and sunshine. That’s as close to principle as conservatives come these days.
Given the way they have spurned their party’s 2012 election “autopsy” report, which called for greater inclusion and a gentler tone, one wonders if these folks are capable of, or even interested in, the reinvention Brooks predicts. Conservatives do not need to be “liberal-lite” — no ideology has a monopoly on good ideas. On the other hand, when your base is the Ku Klux Klan, Ted Nugent and people sucker-punching strangers at rallies, it’s a sign that a little self-reflection is overdue.
“Are you liberal or are you conservative?”
I had a smart aleck answer 20 years ago. But it occurs to me that if they asked that now, I’d have to request clarification. My worldview hasn’t changed.
But I no longer have any idea what “conservative” means.
Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/opinion/national-opinions/article69557392.html#storylink=cpy
From me: Ann Ubelis
It is obvious from Mr. Pitts's rants that he is a highly biased Progressive Democrat. No wonder he fails to
understand what a true Conservative is comprised of in values and beliefs.
Query to the @BeaufortGazette @IslandPackett , why do you continue to print his racist tripe?
Mr. Pitts is wrong when he stated that Conservatives are resistant to "social change" when it was Conservatives/Republicans that fought for Abolition of Slavery, Civil Rights legislation in 1865, which a Democratic Congress repealed in 1895. We fought again for Civil Rights in the 1940's, 1950's & 1960's forcing a former Senator (who filibustered against it), now President to accept and pass. Gee, wasn't that a Democrat by the name of Lyndon Johnson?
Mr. Pitts's claim that Conservatives are "surly, nasty and put-upon" hold very little water, when it is Bernie Sander supporters who crash the Republican Candidates events shouting slurs, committing violence and being generally disruptive. I have not seen any instances reported in the media of the reverse being true. I am sure had such an instance occurred it would be front page news worldwide!
The "right" is not rotting from within, rather growing in scope and breadth. While Donald Trump claims to be a Conservative, I would argue he is not, as he lays out his ideals. Republican, yes, but most assuredly, not a Conservative. This is a good thing, since he has helped to attract independents and libertarians into the Republican fold. Is this race highly contentious? Yes, but it is not the first time there was such a vigorious battle between candidates within the Republican Party. Jefferson/Adams or Douglas/Lincoln are two races that come to mind.
In fact, Republican voters in primary far out number Democratic Voters, in some areas as high as 4 to 1.
As to LBGT issues, I challenge Mr. Pitts to throw his accusations into the faces of the Log Cabin Republicans. Far better than I can they respond to his aspersions!
Finally, the allegation that Republicans embrace Ku Klux Klan values is despicable! Need I remind Mr. Pitts that the party he embraces an espouses gave birth to the KKK? The racist neo-Nazi values of the KKK is more closely aligned to Socialism, which the Democratic Party has become. It was the Democratic Party that created the Red Shirts in the 1870's for voter intimidation, which included lynching and other acts of terrorism.
Mr. Pitts, you were a smart aleck 20 years ago, and you haven't changed one bit! You never knew what a Conservative is, and you have yet to learn.