Friday, March 10, 2006

The Trouble With Conservatives

Conservatives love to lay claim to the issue of values, as though their political philosophy allows for the moral high ground, absent with other ideologies. Social conservatives are particularly pius and tend to put themselves on a ethical pedestal. Liberalism is attacked as an "anything goes" philosophy that has lead to social decay.

This situation is particularly striking in American politics, wherein Republicans use the liberal tag to belittle Democrats and paint themselves as the party of ethics. During the Clinton era, Republicans seized on his "problems" as evidence of an amoral man, part of an amoral movement. Republicans swept to power, on all levels, under the banner of restoring values. Instead of recognizing the flawed humanism is all of us, conservatives like to portray themselves with a sense of moral elitism. However, for every liberal who fails, we can readily find an equally flawed conservative. Bill Bennett, the moral tzar of America is a gambling addict. Rush Limbaugh, the mouth of conservatism is a drug addict. Tom Delay, the Republicans posterboy is awash in ethical scandals. These indiscretions seem all the more egregious because all these men claimed to be above it all, pontificating to the lowly heathens with the broken souls.

Enter Stephen Harper and his current problems regarding Emerson. The reason why there was such an uproar over the Emerson appointment wasn't a function of a liberal media gone wild, but more accurately necessitated by Harper's own moral parameters. Restore integrity and honor to parliament was the Conservatives election mantra. The dirty Liberals can't be trusted, only we can ethically govern the nation. Parliament must be accountable and operate in a transparent way that upholds our values. Within this context, the Conservatives set themselves up for the inevitable fall from the pedestal. Ironic, because the one thing liberals accept is that we are all flawed, everyone has issues, nobody is perfect. The trouble with Conservatives is they are destined for hypocrisy, through their own unrealistic claims of superior values. Harper set the bar too high, and now he is dealing with the consequences of his own arrogance. Newsflash, conservatives are human too, with all the requisite flaws. Conservatives are not better social citizens, in fact their inherent hypocrisy might make them worse.


Anonymous said...

Beautifully said. Conservativism is about being a hypocrite. Here is a little known fact about Rush Limbaugh - he was on welfare in 1969 until 1972. Imagine that, the king of conservatives was helped at his moment of need by a dirty "liberal" idea meant to vicitimize society... I guess at the end of the day what truly makes him a conservative is his hypocrisy.

Steve V said...


Wow, I didn't know that about Limbaugh.