"Anti-Americanism used to be largely confined to the far left. ... Today's America is the society conservatives once hoped to prevent. ... What God-fearing patriot doesn't feel shame at his country's dishonor, even as he takes pride in its cherished traditions?"Joseph Sobran, April 2003
The following commentary about conservatives was written on 5/15/2004 by a user with IP number 126.96.36.199:
If Conservatives Had Their Way
It seems to me, after years of listening to the rhetoric of the radical conservative right, that what they really want, their secret plan if you will and ultimate dream come true would be the dissolution of the United States government (remember all those government shutdowns?) and the creation, in its stead, of a country of isolationist baronial fiefdoms. These little kingdoms ("local control") would be ruled by the ultrarich 2% of society with the rest of the people that live within their boundaries as, more or less, servants to the landlords (this disslutionist/isolationist view, however, wholly conflicts with the current American World Domination view of the neo-conservatives. Any blending of the two is just too mind-boggling to consider here). One need only listen to staunch conservatives to hear what they're saying. So what would life really be like if they had their way?
The results of the elimination of taxes, government rules and regulations, those programs and agencies that so irk them and the promotion of absolute private property rights:
· The end of environmental protections. The elimination of the endangered species act. Clean water/air acts gutted. Any conservation of land or wildlife is solely at the discretion of the individual landowners. Wholesale deforestation of woodlands, unbridled strip mining, dumping of toxic wastes becomes common. A rise in air pollution as slip-shod industries are erected willy-nilly and auto emissions laws are removed. Unrestricted development and use of pesticides and herbicides. End of federal labeling laws on food ingredients. All restrictions on genetic experimentation swept aside. An immediate halt on the development of alternative energies (only oil, gas, nuclear and coal are allowed). Abandonment of local growth control ordinances. The National Park system is abolished as all parks and Wilderness areas are auctioned off to the highest bidders. EPA, FDA, and Interior departments gone.
· Labor laws erased (including those for protecting children). Worker's wages plummet (the minimum wage vanquished) at the same time that hours required to work a day doubles. Labor unions dissolved. Beatings of problem employees becomes prevalent. OSHA is dismantled.
· Services like mail, fire protection, street maintenance and lighting, utilities, public schools and libraries, social security, state and federal consumer protection agencies, etc. are haphazard at best or disposed of entirely. Food stamps & school lunches for needy families are terminated. With taxes "cancelled", the great bulk of the monies previously allocated for these now go directly to the wealthy. Any returns to the lower classes are immediately confiscated by many landowners in the form of higher rents as rent control laws are obliterated. Those services that remain open can do so only at the sponsorship of business (or a few philanthropic individuals) and thus become their puppets.
· The basic right to privacy as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights evaporates under a relentless assault by rightwing busybodies in government. Court orders are no longer required to tap telephones, read email or snail mail, or even to break into homes and search for evidence of anti-conservative thinking. Violators are prosecuted.
· No longer are landlords obliged to repair the decaying houses of their tenants. As a result homes and communities degenerate, too expensive to fix. Equal rights housing laws are repealed.
· Nepotism, not the democratic vote (which has been done away with) becomes the method of placement for local officials. The two party system ceases. Corruption, without laws to oversee and enforce an equal distribution of justice, is rampant. Complaints fall on deaf ears with no recourse for appeal. Fair trials for accused are replaced by vigilantism and kangaroo courts. The death penalty is imposed for minor offenses. The President, Congress and Supreme Court are replaced with a "king".
· The lack of uniform safety regulations for airplanes, trains and other means of transport, hospitals, public and private buildings, nuclear power plants, household appliances, etc. etc. lead to many disasters. Government attorneys, which now protect the public's interest from corporate fraud, go the way of the Dodo. In a David vs Goliath scenario, the onus for proof of safety is now on the shoulders of the individual which may or (more than likely) may not have the wherewithal to combat large corporations. Safety becomes an after-the-fact proposition (after needless suffering and death), dependant on winning lawsuits, since front-end regulations disappear.
· Prices for food and merchandise skyrocket without competition. Quality of food and other goods decrease. Lawsuits for dangerous products are disallowed. Suits against big tobacco are thrown out.
· Those schools that do remain open teach not factually responsible and universally accepted scholasticism, but each their own pet beliefs mixed with a powerful emphasis on duty to business/industry, the church and the landlord. A generous dose of corporal punishment keeps any deviants in line.
· The shelves of libraries and bookstores are drastically reduced as banned books are replaced with only a limited amount of "authorized reading". Freedom of the press is curtailed since all literature must now pass through a strictly conservative "Values Committee" before publication. News reports, whether paper, television or radio, that are viewed as anti-business or anti-church are forbidden. Only "wholesome", non-controversial programming is allowed.
· All are required to attend the only approved religious services every Sunday, that being a strict fundamentalist Christian church. If you miss you can expect a visit from the Council of Investigations.
· Scientific study that might contradict The Church's doctrines is prohibited and punishable by fines and imprisonment (or worse) for those who persist. Fear, superstition and witch-hunts are the order of the day.
· Women are made to learn their proper roles as the servants of men. Equal opportunity laws are invalidated.
· Any and all firearms/explosives regulations are shot down. High-powered guns etc. proliferate eventually endangering the oppressive wealthy which must then create ad/hoc rules removing them from the hands of the poor.
· Wars for the sake of wars, to keep restless young men occupied are arranged. Both civil wars and wars with Canada and Mexico (which fall prey to frequent pillaging raids). As a whole the "nation" without a central organized military, is considerably weakened and susceptible to hostile outside forces. The control of nuclear weapons becomes unstable. The new police, street thugs, desperate for money, are hired by the barons to harass and eliminate any that might protest or foment an uprising.
· Groups and individuals that don't properly fit the W.A.S.P. model are "reconditioned". Virulent bigotry now becomes an openly accepted "traditional value". Martin Luther King Day and other non-white holidays are cancelled. Any and all remaining treaties with Native Americans are invalidated. The confederate flag is officially raised in many southern kingdoms.
· The mass of new rules within kingdoms creates a conflicting chaos of standards between kingdoms, a new source of friction. Toll fees and "papers" are required to pass from kingdom to kingdom.
· The ranks of the beggar class swell enormously; at the same time the rich expand their stores, enjoy their parties and operas and become boredly depraved.
Sound familiar? To students of history, yes. This is much the way governments and societies were shaped in the middle ages (and in lots of present day corrupt, oppressive, fascist-style systems). A time of horrific abuses of the many by the spoiled, greedy, privileged few. This method of lawless "local control" has already been tried and it was a ruinous failure. It's the wolf guarding the henhouse. Yet it seems that the Republicans still dreamily look back to the good ol' days. Worse still, they've also, sadly, been successful in flimflamming many Americans into voting against their own best interests with a lot of hysterical nonsense about "big government". Witness, for example, the fate of President Clinton's health care bill (let alone even discussing universal health care in an open, public forum). How many of those rank and file who screamed about it could afford to spend even one day in the hospital let alone a week or a month if they had to? Ironically while they agonize over a new tax dollar here or there, they defend the right of the health care industry to charge as much as they want (which they do), driving many into poverty. And lest some think I exaggerate, let me remind them that each of the points listed has, at one time or other, been advocated, some even vociferously championed by the right, and in fact before laws were made to curb these practices, each was commonplace.
This is NOT to say that all conservatives hold the attitudes described above. However, given the long history of meanness on the part of the Republican Party, I'd be highly suspicious of their claims of new found compassion in this election year.
Am I just a "Iibrul guvment hugger"? Far from it. On most issues I consider myself a middle-of-the-roader. There are things I definitely don't like about feds and the ultraleft. Improvements can and should be made. But a return to the dark ages is definitely not the answer.
If we were a country numbering only in the thousands or a few million evenly spread out (as the Native Americans were) there would probably be no need for laws and regulations as we would rarely, if ever, infringe on the lives of others and our collective impact on the environment would be minimal. But in a nation approaching 300 million, each with his/her own ideas and degrees of character, not to have rules would be foolhardy. Thus the call for their end is naive, juvenile, suspect. And besides, when this country was first created we decided then that we wanted to be united. Have we now decided that divided is to be preferred?
Until human nature and intelligence suddenly evolve for the better, laws, taxes and government will, unfortunately, continue to be necessary.
Conservatives like to find conspiracies; I submit that they need to take a closer look at the shadowy figures behind their own movement.
Sounds good, where do I sign up? Except for one thing: whatever shall we do without Martin Luther King Day? - 188.8.131.52 03:52, 17 May 2004 (EDT)
My apologies to the above poster for previously deleting these comments. I just realized that being a Talk: page perhaps these comments are supposed to appear on the same page as the article (that would explain my difficulty in finding a separate comments page). :-/ Newbies, what are ya goin ta do with us?