Conservative politics plague Americans and the world |

Conservative politics plague Americans and the world

The Republicans campaigning against each other for various offices cracked me up. Each one was trying to “out conservative” the other one.

One candidate said they were a “fiscal” conservative, another called themselves a “real” conservative, and yet another, “the true” conservative.

Are these people living in the same world I am? Do they get the same news I do? To argue over who is more conservative than whom is like debating which poison pill to take.

The problem is that Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and the other megaphones of the conservative noise machine have convinced conservative voters that the nation’s problems are the fault of Bill Clinton and the liberals, not the failed corporate greed-based policies of a half-century of Republican presidents. This is the propaganda technique called scapegoating, blaming someone else for problems you have created.

In his new book “The Age of Turbulence,” former Federal Reserve chair and archconservative, Alan Greenspan, names Bill Clinton as the most effective Republican president of the modern era. Clinton is really a Republican in sheep’s clothing.

So, if we can’t blame Bill, then who is to blame? How about the conservative policies that have dominated American government since President Nixon took office in 1968? Where have these people taken this country? How many lives have been wasted?

Eighty percent of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. The other 20 percent are either horribly misinformed or greedy and don’t care. Something is wrong.

Next year, American taxpayers will buy 47 percent of the world’s total military outlay, 50 percent more than the next 10 biggest global military powers combined.

Remember President Eisenhower’s famous “beware of the military-industrial complex” speech? The current Republican administration employed sophisticated propaganda techniques using lies and half-truths to convince the American public to invade Iraq.

Greenspan says: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil.” Bush’s war devastates our country while some people cash in big time, including the vice president.

The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group, pegs the cost of the war in Iraq at $720 million a day if you include the cost of lifetime care for injured veterans. That amount of money could provide 35,000 students with a four-year public university education.

It could pay the annual salaries for 12,500 new classroom teachers or provide a school lunch for 1.2 million hungry children. For just one day of war, we could pay for a year of renewable energy for 1.3 million homes.

Then there is the conservative tradition of lax oversight and regulation, which leads to things like the current banking crisis, Enron, a contaminated food supply and prescription drug recalls, just to name a few.

And why do conservatives attack universal health care as socialistic when America’s private system, ranked 17th, is by far the most expensive in the world.

The Cold War ended a few decades ago. Shouldn’t we do what provides the best care for all the people at the lowest price? Apparently hospital and insurance company profits are more important than people’s lives.

Finally, there is climate change. Think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, funded largely by corporations and billionaires, have for decades produced academically questionable research discrediting global warming science.

The oil companies have conducted massive long-term public relations and lobbying campaigns based on this bogus research to create doubt and stall the necessary development of energy conservation and alternative energy measures that would have cut into their record profits.

Many of the problems we now face would be significantly less severe had we dealt with issues back when we first learned of them.

Conservatism, as a social theory, is a cultural remnant of European feudalism and colonialism: the robber baron mentality, the entitlement of money, government by the wealthy, Plutocracy. Conservative politics is all about preserving and expanding that system.

The Earth can’t take it anymore. We are at the crossroads. Greed is taking humanity down the path of death and destruction.

We, the people, have to take control. Conservative politicians have lied to us again and again to expand the wealth and power of their wealthy benefactors at the expense of the American people.

What makes you think they are going to stop lying? When it comes time to vote in November, just remember the con in conservative. Don’t get fooled again.

Joe Keeble lives in Nevada City.

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