Sunday, November 1, 2009

Question Of The Day

It has recently been puzzling me how conservatives, particularly the teabagger, wingnut wing of the republican party can complain about a government takeover of all our liberties. Yesterday I read an interesting article that kind of asks the same thing. It is by David Michael Green and published on It is titled "Big Bad Government Is Coming To Get You".

He is asking how people who want
  • government to regulate women's reproductive systems
  • government to prevent people living in agony with terminal diseases from choosing to end their own lives
  • government to decide which substances people can imbibe
  • government to prevent doctors from prescribing medical marijuana to help retching chemotherapy patients stay alive
  • the government gutting the Fourth Amendment protection against searches and seizures without a warrant
  • laws controlling who consenting adults are allowed to sleep with
  • laws controlling who they're allowed to marry
  • laws controlling if they can use birth control
  • a Republican Congress passing legislation intervening in Terri Schiavo's family medical tragedy
can believe that "conservatism is the ideology of freedom from government repression".

They talk about less taxation, less spending, less regulation, and less government ownership of industries. "When Republicans like Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush come to power, they actually spend more than Democrats (who aren't terribly liberal, but leave that aside), by far. Reagan tripled the national debt in eight years, and Bush doubled it again, from $5.5 trillion to $11 trillion. The only real difference these days is that so-called conservatives use big spending for purposes of funneling money to cronies like Halliburton or Exxon-Mobil, while so-called liberals do a bit less of the same, and maybe also throw a bone or two to the middle class every once in a while.

"On the social side, however, the conservative trope about theirs being the ideology of freedom is a total joke and an ugly lie. These are the people who want the government in your underpants, who want the government reading your mail without a warrant, who want to control who you sleep with and who you marry, and who even want to force you to live in agony when you just want to crawl off and die. These are the people who stood in the doorways blocking the movements for racial and sexual equality.

I will take the liberal view of America over the conservative view any day of the week.


  1. Jerry it's such hypocricy!!! The truth about their savior Reagan should be blasted all over blogland, but what good would it do? Great post my friend!!

  2. I knew I spelled hypocrisy wrong... they are hypocrits too!!

  3. Even orange man Boehner cited Reagan today on John King's State of the Union. This moron presents himself everytime he opens his trap - as WE (the GOP) know whats best for ALL people. Give me a f'in break. I won't even get started on Lieberman. Everything you have stated is SO true - but when confronted, these followers only stammer!

  4. Excellent points. The right as it exists today is basically a coalition of two elements: a small but powerful collection of wealthy interests, and a broad "base" which is not wealthy but is mostly motivated by religious fundamentalism. Notice that most of the specific examples of rightist control-freakery you list are about enforcing religious taboos. This is what's important to the increasingly-dominant fundamentalist element, which is not interested in "freedom from government repression" at all, only in making everyone else live in accordance with their own theocratic vision. In an Orwellian inversion, freedom from theocratic oppression is transformed into oppression of theocrats -- if they can't force Christian prayers on everyone in public shool or are expected to tolerate homosexuals doing their own thing, this somehow becomes a taking away of their rights.

    When rightists talk about "freedom from government repression", what they actually mean is just economic freedom, and even there, when you get down to the details, what they really mean is reducing the regulatory role of the state, which limits the ability of those powerful wealthy interests to exploit the rest of us. In practice, reducing the role of the state does not mean increased freedom (even economic freedom) for most people, but they've succeeded in convincing many people that the two concepts are the same.

    It's a word game, and a very shoddy one. It will fall apart if enough people point out the contradictions and twisting of language in it, as you've done here.

  5. Thank you, Infidel, for your clear explanation. You are right.

  6. I've alluded to this before, but I really think the Republican party is in a three-way internal fight. The "country club" wing was running things under Bush, while giving lip service to the Religious Right and Libertarian wings.

    The illusion is over, and these groups see (finally!) that they'd been played. The Tea Party wing (Libertarians) are the most noisy at the moment, because the realization that they've been played is fresh to them.