Monday, June 30, 2014
Conservatism, or regressivism?
June 30, 2014, 3:43 AM. Morningbrain time, without a doubt. I've been lying in bed for an hour, now, and my brain has been running over thinking about a number of things that I've done (or half-done) over the last few years. Forty-five minutes ago, I took an antihistamine. A few minutes ago I took a dose of valerian root. Maybe the combination of the two will convince my brain and body there are better things to be doing at this particular time of day--at least that's my hope.
In any case, here I am trying to get my fingers and keyboard to collaborate a bit over one of the ideas that seem to be running through my head. That thought has to do with the political "conservative."
In the true sense of the word, as I understand it, I would have to call myself a conservative. In any case, I am at a point in life where change is not a friendly concept. Keeping up with what is, or has been the case is about my speed these days, and changes only seem to complicate matters. Still, I'm sure many political "conservatives" these days would want to label me as a "liberal" since my inclinations seem to move in directions that mirror those thusly stigmatized. Global warming seems, to me, to be a fact, at least in the lives of the polar bears who are losing habitat in the north, and in the decline of the Antarctic ice cap that seems to be in danger of floating off towards who knows where. Public education seems to need all the help it can get. If the kids aren't getting what they need to be good citizens at home, they sure need to get the training somewhere. The "middle class" seems to be dwindling and along with it our moral values. And, along with that "middle class," American centrism seems to be becoming a thing of the past.
I guess my kind of conservatism would require a redefinition of those who now consider themselves to be political conservatives. These individuals are the ones who have contributed so much to our current "do nothing Congress." Really, the "do nothing-ers" are not living up to that moniker. They are doing quite a lot.
Just let our President present a proposal to the Congress. What happens? At that moment (or milliseconds after the proposal goes public,) the do nothing-ers proceed to trip over one another trying to point out exactly what is wrong with the proposal and why it should be quashed. And are these responsive thoughts particularly well thought-out? To the extent that the Presidential proposal was well thought-out, the do nothing-ers' proposal is also well thought-out, in a 180-degree out sort of way.
Should the proposal be, for example, to dye the national mall reflecting pond green for St. Patrick's day, the do nothing-ers would say "no way. Dye would not be in our national interest." Of course, some might say, "OK, if dye it we must, dye it, but dye it red. Green is too close to blue, you see, and red would be a nice touch, wouldn't you think?" (This would come from those who do not want to be seen as being "do nothing-ers.") In either case, the President would receive his criticism from those whose raison d'etre is criticism, and all would proceed in the town that recently has made the term "snails pace" look like a fast race.
Maybe if the "do nothing-ers" were called "regressionists" those of us who feel like conservatives but then find ourselves in poor company would begin to fit the classification again. "Conservative" really should not imply turning back the hands of time. But turning back the hands of time seems to be what the current batch of political conservatives seem to want to do.
"Regressionists" seems to fit the bill nicely. Perhaps, if this term may be put into play, we can leave it to the new "regressionists" to determine what, if any, difference there might be between the new "regressionists" and the new "true regressionists." This just may give them something constructive (?) to do and give our President a needed break. Who knows--maybe, just maybe, a useful bill might even eke its way through the Congress, while all this redefinition is taking place, and find itself on the President's desk for signature.
Now, if only he is able to remember where he put that pen.