Much is made now that the current GOP is the “Party of No”. But let’s remember that throughout American history conservatives have always been against progress. Whether it was first the Democrats in the 19th century or ultra conservative Republicans in the late 20th and early 21st century conservatives have tried to set the nation backward or maintain the status quo.
The Ronald Reagan Republican Party wanted to set us back to the 1950’s before the civil rights movement, Medicare and Medicaid. However the current anti-science and racist Tea Party Republican Party is not satisfied with moving the nation back to 1950s, instead they would rather go back to the 1850s because they reject all the ideas of the Scientific Revolution and 14th amendment.
I like to publish this list periodically which is compiled from other progressives and things I’ve added. It truly demonstrates how conservatives have only held this country. Feel free to add to the list.
Conservatives wanted to stay loyal to England.
Conservatives wanted to make President a life-long appointment.
Conservatives fought against bringing in slave-free states without slave-holding states.
Conservatives fought for the 5/8 rule that counted slaves.
Conservatives fought for secession from the Union because they wanted to keep slaves.
Conservatives fought against woman’s suffrage movement.
Conservatives fought for prohibition.
Conservatives want to conserve everything but the environment and natural resources.
Conservatives think science should by made by ideological policy not that science should make policy.
Conservatives wanted to keep us out of WWI and WWII and lied us into war in Iraq.
Conservatives created Jim Crow laws.
Conservatives terrorized African Amercans by lynching thousands.
Conservatives fought against integration.
Conservatives put up “whites only” signs.
Conservatives fought against the civil rights act.
Conservatives wanted to stay in Vietnam.
Conservatives don’t believe in the separation of church and state.
Conservatives believe in torture and taking away privacy rights.
Conservatives eliminated state-run asylums and put those with mental health problems out in the street.
Conservatives don’t believe in organized labor and fight to break unions.
Conservatives brought you homelessness and huge deficits.
Conservatives back corporations and big business by giving them all the tax cuts and tax loopholes.
Conservatives eliminated most welfare for people but support corporate welfare.
Conservatives want to keep gay Americans 2nd class citizens by denying them the same rights the rest of us enjoy.
Conservatives deny Global Climate Change and fight ANY environmental legislation.
Conservatives fought against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Conservatives are still fighting against the ACA.
Conservatives gave us the Patriot Act.
Conservatives only represent the interests of rich white men and corporations.
Conservatives want higher standards in schools but don’t want to build new schools or pay teachers what they deserve.
Conservatives want to teach Intelligent Design in schools instead of the scientific theory of evolution.
Conservatives want to do away with the education cabinet post.
Conservatives believe we are a Christian nation want religion imposed into all aspects of your life.
Conservatives advocated the war and occupation in Iraq.
Conservatives advocate going back to the Gold Standard which was responsible for making the Depression worse.
Conservatives want to do away with Medicare for old people and with Medicaid for poor people.
Conservatives are against conserving the environment, wild life and energy.
Conservatives have no solutions so they vote “NO” for any change.
Conservatives put party ahead of country and hope the president fails.
Conservatives fought for deregulation which led to the banking crisis and are fighting new regulations now.
Conservatives want to halt any recovery by slashing the budget while making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
Conservatives want to intervene in the democratization of Egypt by scaring us into radicalizing the Muslim Brotherhood.
Conservatives fought against ending DADT.
Conservatives fought against the START treaty when they use to be for it.
Conservatives defeated the DREAM act.
Conservatives stifled the union movement and since then wage disparity has gone back to pre-Great Depression levels.
Our congresswoman took to the floor the other day to extol the virtues of Red Ink Ron, or Genghis Ron to those of you who thought the invasion of Grenada ranks among our greatest military excursions. Can’t wait to talk to her Monday morning and present some FACTS about his terms in office and if that type of “governing” would find favor with today’s cons. Ought to be interesting.
I would hesitate to call today’s GOP conservative. They are akin to right wing fanatics that go way beyond classic conservatism.
The problem with conservatism is that it doesn’t allow for the natural changes of life itself. Nature, which includes us all, is changing constantly. It is not static. Conservatives cling to old ideas, and this makes them rigid and unbending.
Liberalism, especially progressive liberalism does not cling to old ideas and is open to the constant change inherent in nature and society.
Today’s GOP is nothing but a kleptocracy in theocracy drag.
Conservatives are their unwitting but too-often willing dupes.
For the most part, that is true.
I should clarify: National GOP.
There are still a few good local ones. But they are a rapidly dying breed.
The TPers are the biggest dupes. They haven’t a clue.
I think many of them do. I don’t think many of them care.
Fascists alway need useful idiots to help them with their diabolical agendas.
I would say that many groups don’t care. They see the GOP as a useful tool that makes their aims easy to achieve. Something to be tossed to the side once their done.
It’s a downright shame that people are so easy to manipulate, that the science of perception management works so well.
Our state senator and rep are good examples of that. Both really good men who would be considered Democrats in Oklahoma or Texas. Both voted to raise our state sales tax one cent against their party bosses. Their reason…the state needed it done (which it did).
Good evening Mr. Trout!
Hey LG, formerly known as GL!
Now I know where the cool kids are.
teamplayer aka termgirl
Hey teamplayer! Welcome!
Thanks, Chemynkaya. I’m happy to be here.
Glad to see you made it, teamplayer.
That was painful to read, because sometimes the truth does hurt, and as I watch their ramped up war on women I’m, well, I’ll admit it, I’m a little scared.
Anybody registering to vote for the first time (or ever) should be required to read a little essay titled “A Day In The Life Of Joe Republican”. If they still vote con after that they are on easy street to begin with. 98 per cent of the country is not.
Excellent read. 🙂 Here is a link to the essay.
GL, is that you?
Yeah, that’s him!
LOL He thought he was sooooo camo’ed up! Not!
Good to see you here, KT!
What’s up PW?
Conservatives opposed rural electrification; that’s another thing.
I like to point that one out to conservatives who live in the country. Every time they plug something into an electrical outlet on the wall, they should thank a liberal.
The Conceptual Guerilla has a similar list that you might want to check out. It has some different things that you may want to add to the list.
Yes, Buddy, and they now oppose rural areas getting high speed internet!
Some things never change….
“Git your big government hands off my not having electricity!”
Since it’s my article I get to define what I mean when I say conservative and it’s not a right and left definition that much at all. Conservatives fight for the status quo on these current issues and most of these issues throughout time that mean progress. Conservatives can originate from any political party. I think progressive is a better term to describe people who fight and fought against the status quo on these issues.
Whilst fearing the creeping sharia of halal of course!
Oh indeed, Khirad. I know how scary pure food is to these people. Humane slaughter, standards of excellence – absolutely un-American.
The best part of this post? Seeing KQ BACK WITH US AGAIN!!!! We have missed you terribly and are delighted to see you here!
Hey C’Lady, I’d just come across this and it was on my mind again.
Can you honestly tell me this would be a problem had it been kosher?
Might it not come off as anti-Semitic?
Although it’s fair to be informed, does this not make kosher part of the creeping sharia plot that sites linking to this story hysterically proclaim?
Do they ever think?
I have a problem with the following:
“Conservatives fought for prohibition.”
Yes and no.
The Temperance movement was tied to the Suffrage movement, was it not?
Those who opposed Suffrage were the people that had defended the Confederacy, and those that supported it were from the ranks of the Abolitionists though, this is true.
Maybe I watched too much Boardwalk Empire, but I’d thought there was a real historical connection here.
Or, that while prohibition by most standards is conservatively reactionary (though they spoke of it as “progress”), that the Suffrage movement was at the very least a coalition?
I’ll admit my ignorance here to this period of history. Someone help me out.
However, the Suffrage Movement was very conservative and very much based in conservative religious beliefs. It was a coalescing of the Prohibition and Suffrage movements that pushed both forward together.
Hey! Don’t tell that to my grandmother, suffragist and Iron Jawed Angel!!! She was no prohibitionist and risked a LOT to get women the vote. She was a tough old bird – I admire those women a LOT. Some were religious, most were just peeved. My grandmother went to college, graduating in 1911 when women just did NOT do that, and then went on to get an MA and was a social worker during the Depression. She voted Republican as a legacy of abolition but switched to FDR when she saw the plight of so many Americans. Prohibition came out of several religious groups, indeed, and we have a LOT to be apologetic about because of it, but I never have seen the link firmly established between Prohibition and the Suffrage movement even though that argument is sometimes made. It was a small part of the Suffragists, not the mainstream, who argued for both.
My apologies, would never cast aspersions on any relative of the wonderful CL!
Just did a bit more research, it seems there was a schism in the Suffrage movement, some Progressive women and some Conservative who also strongly supported and campaigned for prohibition.
Both causes were seen as pro-woman because there was rampant domestic violence against women back then, blamed on the alcoholism and the preponderance of men-only bars. So these two causes were entwined in the same feminist mindset by some women.
But as you’ve described, there were also brave and committed woman fighting a chauvinist society, where they were seen as second class citizens who weren’t smart enough to vote.
It was a remarkable accomplishment, both were actually, though Prohibition messed up this country and the problems are still around today.
Boardwalk Empire really did do an amazing job in hitting some of those nuances.
Margaret, for example, is the progressive who sort of uses the Temperance Movement for her goals of Suffrage.
I think there was a lot of gray and dovetailing.
The linkage with domestic violence does make sense, too.
I just read an excellent book on Prohibition – Last Call-the rise and fall of prohibition By Daniel Okrent. Highly recommend it!
Hey adlib, I’ve read a lot of stuff that the suffragette movement was closely aligned with prohibition as well. Booze abuse was really widespread during the period before Prohibition — much worse than today I think. And as you said, women were not the drinkers but were the ones who usually “paid” for the binges in one way or another. This was particularly true out here in the west. Colorado enacted prohibition Jan 1 1916, well before the rest of the nation. Public drunkenness had gotten way out of control.
Choicelady, what a wonderful grandmother you had. And you have followed in her footsteps.
Allot of the inconsistency had to do with the popularity of the temperance and suffrage movement being tied to the the female demographic as well. So yes that major demographic fought for both and deemed both movements as progress.
But I can add one to the list and say.
“Conservatives started the War on Drugs”.
Yes, it started with Nixon, and Reagan really escalated the war on drugs. And it has turned out to be a huge and tremendously expensive failure.
Conservatives brought us “Fox News”
Frank Luntz and a focus group
How did they fit so much hateful stupidity in one room?
The guy in blue says liberalism is intolerant – lady next to him goes on about the Moooooslims. *facepalm*
Oh no, not Muslim sympathetic!
Egypt’s 90% Muslim you dumbfucks. What the hell are you trying to say?! They deserve tyranny because of their faith? Their skin color? What?
This made it to Loonwatch:
I didn’t see on face of color in there did you?
“What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?”
Old and tried being the operative words there. New and adaptive is what we need now.
PlutoCrats really suck… Soo glad you made it here…
Hiya! :] Say, how do I put a picture up in my avatar? Just got here ya know?
We use Gravatar so go to http://en.gravatar.com/site/signup/ and register your email address and upload your graphic there, it will show here and everywhere that Gravatar is used.
The sad part is the only one true thing that we really should be conservative about is the environment but so called conservatives are very liberal about using up all of Gaia’s resources.
Religion is at the heart of GOP attitude on the environment.
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Rule doesn’t necessarily mean “abuse”.
Warped Dominionist religion teaches lack of respect for the earth, but there are loads of mainstream Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim groups who are environmentally responsible. That “rulers of the earth” stuff is more a GOP-Fundie merger of profit-driven “theology.”
Christianity is a religion of exhile. Man and woman were kicked out of the garden. (Nature)The Christian belief has led mankind to believe we are above nature and God is infalable. The sheer ignorance in those ideas never ceases to amaze me.
This is what leads to Christian fundamentalists preaching against human nature. This is what leads them to villify homosexuality, and sex outside of marriage. And other issues that arise from the natural, human condition. This is also why so many of them are in the closet, or have secret affairs outside their marriages. They try to live up to an impossible ideal, and when they fail, they blame it either on the devil, or liberalism.
That’s an interesting take on it.
BTW, it’s good to see you here, Mr. Trout.
Glad to see you made it, Buddy.
“What is conservatism?”
I think William F. Buckley Jr. put it well when he described the proper role of the conservative as one who “stands athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!'”
Since history never stops, this description also illustrates the futility of the conservative movement as well.
😆 Love that description, Buddy. How interesting that it comes from Wm F. Buckley! My republican brother has expressed feelings like that…that it’s best for the government to just do nothing.
In answer to your question:
“What have Conservatives EVER done that benefited America?”
The answer is quite simple:
They’ve made it easier for those of us who are NOT Conservative to identify psychopathy.
Now if only we could get them to seek help and take their meds.
😆 AC, you crack me up! Nice to see ya!
There are some cool tests to see if you are a conservative or a liberal here–just scroll to the bottom:
OK, so I googled “conservatives are…” and found this FAUX news link that tells:
Why Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals
“Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities.
Regardless of marital status, income or church attendance, right-wing individuals reported greater life satisfaction and well-being than left-wingers, the new study found.
Conservatives also scored highest on measures of rationalization, which gauge a person’s tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities.
The rationalization measure included statements such as: “It is not really that big a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others,” and “This country would be better off if we worried less about how equal people are.”
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,354424,00.html#ixzz1DWm4HgLF
( forgive me haven’t figured out how to do quotes here yet)
They can’t even see the irony of what this says about them, they wear their badge of rationalizing( self and selfish delusion)with honor and abandonment.
They say “look at us libs we’re happy because we don’t care about anyone below our current class,we’re always looking towards the stars ( read: more money) you’d do well to join us, after all the well being of the serfs could never be our lot ( even when they themselves are…) and would never affect our proper place in the current caste we inhabit, soon to move up…it’s the “American Dream” after all now isn’t it, excuse me whilst I drape a flag over my shoulders.”
Plato — I call that a lack of imagination. They can’t imagine what others are going through and see no reason to try.
Agreed, the real problem is that many of them are suffering for whatever reason and fail to see that ‘their’ party is only interested in making things worse, not to mention the hypocrisy of “Keep you goddamn government hands off my medicaid…social security…library… whatever”
But by god, I want to dictate to your uterus and sexual actions
You know what else a pathological lack of empathy is called?
Narcissistic personality disorder?
That or psychopathy.
Khirad, I posted this video from FORA.tv last night. Do we all have this malady? Psychopathy or everyone’s own irrational behavior?
Best watched on The You Tube site and he has other presentations there so I’ll not embed it.
We’re All Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely
Oh yeah, I started that. Maybe that’s where I channeled that from. I’ll finish it.
Finished it. Irrationality sure seems hardwired.
So what you’re saying is, “you might think you’re happy but you’re not really happy and to be happy you should join with us who are not happy”.
I’m sure you will correct me.
I think that what is being said is not that conservatives only think they’re happy (when they really aren’t). It’s that they really are paradoxically happy in the face of the great suffering of others.
Some Conservatives, to be sure. Many Liberals are much the same.
Apathy for the suffering of others is not restricted to the members of any one Party.
I think it is pretty much restricted to the Republican party historically…after Lincoln, that is.
Of course it’s mainly a generalization, afterall walk into a room of any ten people from any walk of life and/or political leaning and there’s bound to be at least one complete asshole there, just more than likely to find two or more if they lean right, :).
Exactly, but also that in the face of obvious economic realities, they are delusional.
Conservativism in one way attempts to reach back into time…a “better” time, when everything was just peachy in their view, it’s really quite fantasy based.
“Happy” is a relative term, the article does not go into great deal about defining it, but I would think that the opposite of a conservative would be a realist…and well, sometimes reality isn’t such a ‘happy’ place on the face of it, especially when you’re constantly striving for progress, as it is.
We all know “reality has a well-known liberal bias”.
Yes, PST, so many of the conservatives I know are in a really “Disney head.” Quaint small towns circa 1890, white picket fences entwined with roses, no minorities, the town band playing on the village green, no poverty, no abuse, no illness, pretty Miss Clara in the one room schoolhouse, preacher Jones in the only (and, of course, Protestant) house of worship in town…that’s the land of their dreams.
It never did exist. So there’s no “going back” to it.
The “good ol’ days.”
I guess that’s why Thomas Kinkade has been such a popular painter among the conservative crowd.
His paintings illustrate what you describe perfectly.
You’re right, Buddy.
Those paintings make me gag.
(And — hey, they teach people how to do correct perspective in drawing at the local community college, Mr. Kinkade…) 😉
If I could figure it out, yes.
Who says we are not happy? Happiness can’t be measured as a group. Happiness is individual. And happiness varies from one individual to the next.
I once read a poll of Republican vs. Democratic women. Republican women prefer TV to sex. Democratic women are the other way around. So where are all the philandering GOP finding compliant partners? God forbid they date Dem women! Overall the Dem women sounded MUCH more fun! About EVERYTHING.
What about porn?
Where does that fit in?
In MN airport bathrooms?
😆 …or along the Appalachian Trail.
“I enjoy being a Demmm!” (to the tune of “I Enjoy Being a Girl”)
Must admit though, c’lady: there is one thing that really does get Republican blood coursing through their veins, brightens their eyes, colors their cheeks, quickens their pulses.
Very good point.
I’ve always felt that one of the defining characteristics of the Right is exactly what you describe: the propensity to go around believing whatever one wants to believe.
Does that make one happier? Maybe, but I don’t think it’s worth it.
It has been said, that ignorance is bliss.
Good to see you made it over here, Plato Sun Tsu. I have always enjoyed you writing and look forward to your future comments.
Hey brother,right back at you and great to see you here as well!!!
If I may add to your good post:
Right Wing fears (not Republican leadership, they are just disingenuous)
1. What terrorists might do them
2. The gay agenda
3. The liberal agenda
4. What Obama’s plans might do the debt
5. What healthcare reform might do to them
1. Actual wars started for no reason that are bankrupting us
2. Actual debt piled up primarily by Republican presidents for the last 30 years
3. Actual wire-tapping
4. Actual suspension of habues corpas (sp?)
5. Actual people dying every day from lack of health care and / or going bankrupt
Right-wingers are nervous and afraid of things that are either imaginary or might happen.
Liberals are afraid of things that are actually happening.
For me “conservative” is an awkward label. I know a lot of conservatives that really don’t resemble the list you have compiled.
I prefer “right-winger” or “Republican” (no matter if they lable themselves a conservative) because the right-wing deliberately embraces your list and Republicans manipulate conservatives to advocate for that same list.
Conservatives are fine. It’s the shitty clubs they join that make them go bad.
Thanks for a great post.
“For me “conservative” is an awkward label. I know a lot of conservatives that really don’t resemble the list you have compiled.”
That’s because conservative, what it used to mean, is not the same as a neoconservative or as you say, right-wing. Historical conservatives were slow to war and fiscally responsible. Neocons are quick to war, empire builders who won’t let money get in the way of their folly.
So, no. I don’t think a true conservative would resemble anything like the neocons that we are all so familiar. I think a conservative is more along the lines of a Libertarian (fiscal responsibility and hands off people’s lives).
They (neocons) have corrupted the Grand Old Party and taken them far, far right.
I like that description because I think a lot of real conservatives are appalled at the direction the “conservative movement” has gone. It seems that’s it become so radicalized or turned into a religious movement that no one can really recognize it these days. I suppose the same could be said of liberals. What we seem to have are two variants of the terms. What if most of us turned out to be in the middle? Would that be a shock? I don’t know. Brain’s tired tonight but I think I’m feeling the need for some kindness tonight. So I’m handing it out where I can. Except to the farthest extremes of the fringe.
Most people wanted to stay loyal to England.
Most people wanted to make George Washington another king.
Most people were against women’s suffrage.
The Civil War was so much more complex than “we wanna keep slaves” It’s not like “liberals” were rushing to end slavery.
Most people agreed with Jim Crow laws.
And most of the political points, like the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, received full approval from Democrats as well.
Liberalism and conservatism are generic tags derived from the old French Parliament. Neither idea is represented by the 2 major Parties.
AND this is why I like you A…you don’t play the “PC”game…
You are right, our history is not as pure as many think it is…and the struggles of the past are not necessarily solved. THERE is still much division among the same lines.
OUR history has an effect on our present and our future (if we allow it to be) THE history is NOT as clean as many like to think it to be.
Well, then most people were Conservatives. And if you think there is no difference between liberalism and conservatism– I just have no response to that, as it is so patently false. And terribly reductionist.
However, if you are claiming that there has been a troubling convergence between the two parties over time, I can’t argue that.
I’m not saying there isn’t a difference. There clearly is.
I’m just saying that neither ideology is truly represented by either Party.
Fair enough, Adonai. I see what you are saying. And it’s true that neither party is ideologically pure.
One more than the other, I’d still argue – but even the GOP has its factions – they just don’t include many social liberal/moderate members anymore.
Didn’t know about origins of the words. Thank you for giving me something to go learn about 🙂
Yup, it’s also where we get ‘left wing’ and ‘right wing’.
Most people can be against something and it’s still a group of people being too conservative. I made no mention whether these conservatives were in the majority or not at the time for a reason. In fact often time liberals and progressives are in the minority.
Abolitionist were progressive thinkers and not conservatives by any means.
I’m not restricting conservatives to party labels you are making that distinction. Democrats use to be the vast majority of the conservatives.
So you seem to be disagreeing to something I did not say.