I am a very conservative guy in many ways. No, really! Here are just three of my conservative declarations:
Declaration I: Be Fiscally Responsible
Fiscally I am very conservative. Ultra-conservative. More conservative than the republicans ever thought of being apparently. (With sentence structure I can be liberal.) You see, unlike the republicans, I think that we should not spend more than we make personally or as a nation. The last four republican administrations, with the help of the republican House and Senate, have more than quadrupled the national debt. Hello, I’m not just making that up. Check the facts from any source. I believe that saddling our children with enormous national debt is irresponsible and just simply wrong.
The republicans talk about fiscal responsibility, but talking about it is not, in my little humble opinion, a substitute for actually being fiscally responsible. If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk. Isn’t this too a rather conservative notion? So are the republicans really conservative on fiscal matters? As I recall, the Clinton administration gave the nation three substantial consecutive budget surpluses in a plan that would have balanced the nation’s budget in 7 years. I recall the republican party wanting to spend that money then. I recall a budget showdown that led to the shut down of the federal government over this very issue.
I recall the republican party has blamed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 for the nation’s economic crisis. I recall they blame the terrorist attacks on 9/11 for everything, including bombing and killing innocent people in Iraq. In my mind this is nothing short of political opportunism for economic policies that do not work. They use this politically opportunistic excuse to blind people from the truth and to prod our country into giving away fundamental rights and living in fear—to accept what we fundamentally believe to be unacceptable.
Declaration II: Treat People with Respect
I believe we should treat people with dignity and respect. Fundamental Judeo/Christian faith practice requires a moral responsibility to be kind to people. I believe that part of that responsibility means we take care of those who are in need. I find all of these statements to be rather conservative notions and to be at odds with the republican party who seem more interested in promoting more wealth for the wealthy, supposedly believing that it will eventually trickle down to those who have basic and fundamental needs like health care, affordable housing, education.
I am horrified that the business community literally brags and boasts of stealing from the elderly and the poor (Enron), can be completely self-consumed with profits and graft, appear to be more motivated by profit margins and what the market will bear than providing service to people who are in need. I am saddened that our nation’s people will tolerate this criminal behavior, will dismiss it with a wink and a nod. I see a republican party eager to bomb and kill innocent people at extraordinary financial burden to this country—125 billion dollars as of this writing, money which lines the pockets of the close personal friends of those in the highest positions of power.
Declaration III: Be Honest
And one final thing I feel a need to declare. I grew up in the extremist conservative right wing religious and political movement. I saw and heard first hand well-meaning people who were eager to substitute doing what was the right thing with talking about what was the right thing. I see this more now than I did as a child. I have this conservative notion that we need to actually do what is right, not just talk about what is right.
I find that these conservative values, my conservative values, have been assailed by the republican party and are inconsistent with what the republican party does or tolerates and supports. Now, if our nation is redefining conservatism, so that these values are now considered liberal, pleaseconsider me a very, very liberal man.
The republican party has hijacked the concepts of patriotism, conservatism, integrity, and morality. They talk the talk; yet, they fail to walk the walk. They have, in a time of unparalleled empathy with the United States, alienated the entire world. Their extremist and unbalanced right wing views are out of step with the majority of the American people who value bringing people together in kindness and understanding, not fracturing our nation with fear, hatred, and greed. I am concerned that continuing this behavior in our political, economic, and social systems will come to no good end. So, am I conservative or am I liberal?
My mantra: Just be nice!