A Not Very Modest Proposal
"But what leftism has that conservatism doesn’t is ignorance and bigotry" - having a tough time with this sentence, is it backwards?
Nice column. I’m more of a Bernie Sanders, AOC liberal, with a number of differences. Why do we have to be one way or another? Does center left mean we can’t have universal health care? Does being an AOC liberal mean we can’t have strong borders? While I don’t disagree with having billionaires, I’m firmly on the side of changing the tax structure so we actually tax money that is earned, whether it be salary or other methods of wealth gathering. We need business in check, monopolies broken. I’m in favor of the American worker. To work full time and not be able to afford to live is a tragedy. I don’t care if you work at Amazon, sweep streets or own a company. Americans need the fruits of their labors to be worth something other than debt and struggle. What the Republicans, and Conservative Democrats have done to this country the last 40 years is criminal. And, in their own way, Clinton and Obama continued it, accepting the unfairness, keeping the tax codes, not fighting for universal health care, continuing “center” values. Better than Republicans - honest and caring - but still not really helping the people that need help. Some of what the center calls unworkable has worked well in many parts of Europe. The center left has some good ideas and does the left. Let’s combine the two.
But that's because what you're calling liberalism would be "center-right" in other places, like Europe. (Of course, it's called communism is Hungary!).
As a disabled autistic female, would be nice to get the eugenics out of the Conservative movement. It really angers me that some think it's totally ok to wish all trans people would just disappear. We don't need less allyship, we need MORE.
As an aside, I lit a Nest candle that a friend gave me for motivation for getting a job. The container is really nice, but the scent is supposed to be something like, "Ocean Mist." It smells like the blue Irish Spring, so I feel like I've been trapped in a giant soap bubble since Monday.
Another good one, Oliver but I prefer reactionary to conservative. At the time Buckley founded National Review, he said that they want to stand athwart history yelling "stop".
Conservative is code for White European Christian Doctrine of Discovery which declared superiority over all non-Roman Catholics and the right to conquer and convert.
It was a Papal Declaration.
The founders did not intend that there should be political parties of any sort. The US has a LOT invested in the idea that the development of organized political parties (as opposed to the generic idea of "the government" and "the opposition" that was still really embryonic in the UK), and particularly a dyadic one where there are only ever two parties of any significance, was actually a boon for stable democracy. Increasingly, I think that's bullshit, or at any rate that we would be better served if the two significant parties were the Left Leaning Party and the Lefter Leaning Party.
Here's an example, since you mention the Klan. The KKK always described itself as a Christian (anti-Catholic) organization. It continued the long tradition of associating white supremacy with the dominant religion and the Bible. Nowadays we see something very similar in the Right's vehement insistence that discrimination against LGBT folks should be allowed because business owners et al. have a right to religious freedom. There is no distance between this argument and justifying that blacks be enslaved because the Bible tells us it's OK. Now, I don't think the Bible says that, but historically it's unquestionably true that people said over and over again that slavery was consistent with Christian values. And in our time, who's advancing such an argument (by way of discrimination against LGBT folks)? Conservatives, and only conservatives. And even if the few moderates don't fight that fight, what are they doing to stand against it?
If the Republicans collapse, it's likely the Dems will move right to court those voters (and donors).
That will leave a space for a new party on the left.
I agree that we don't need conservatism. However, I think the reason some from outside the Republican party bemoan its decline and weakness is not that they value conservatism, but that they value an opposition party. In a two-party system, the lack of a strong second party will lead to corruption, rot and decline. There is no reason that one of the two parties needs to be "conservative", it's just what America has become accustomed to.
However, I don't see a near-term path to a version of this system with the two biggest parties representing, on the one hand, center-left, and on the other hand, left-left. It might be a desirable outcome, but I don't see how we get there.
I think the bigger problem is that the two-party system is flawed, and that it is particularly flawed as currently implemented, with gerrymandering and consolidation meaning that very few national offices are ever in genuine contention, one party having durable control.
This system has brought us to the current situation where neither major party has much incentive to listen to the majority of their constituents.
I would say I'm pretty far left, but the Democratic party policies only faintly resemble my priorities. There is currently no room for real debate or discussion at any level of the established political parties. As long as the current system with its safe Democratic or Republican seats endures, it's not in the interest of either party's leadership to reflect the people's actual wishes.
It goes back much further than the Civil rights act. “Conservatives” have hated all of FDR’s “socialist” policies. They’ve been trying to get rid of social security forever. Every penny the government spends on “the people” (of any color) is anathema to them. Pretending that people of color are all welfare cheats just makes it easier to get the racists to vote for them.
I agree. The Conservative Party has no place in a democracy.
Okay. I've read this sentence 15 times and cannot get past it. I hope it's a typo? "But what leftism has that conservatism doesn't is ignorance and bigotry." Wait. What?
I will read the rest of the article after I finish my coffee.
I don't think I've ever seen it framed quite this way. Excellent!
This! This^100000000000! You've opened my eyes!
Oh my God! Such a great article! Been waiting for someone to say this for, well, forever. Good job.
Oh wow, thanks! I’ve never understood why Democratic centrists dismiss us usually and when we make any noise, come after us viscously while wasting SO much effort dreaming about reactionary compromises 🖤