"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I must be a conservative! A Manifesto

     The scars on the mountains cut deep into their flanks, encircling them like dirty clothes lines.
Only a few scattered pines and firs remain with ground open and eroding to the rain and snow. It could be in eastern Oklahoma, or Montana, California or any other western state.
On the wall in a local restaurant hangs a sign: “Timber pays our bills. Clear cut the environmentalists.”
Yet they’re cutting down my forest, your forest. Land owned by the taxpayers—the citizens of the U.S.-- is being looted for private profit by  the timber and mining and oil companies, thanks to the BLM—the Bureau of Looting and Mining.
That’s why I must be a conservative. I believe in conserving resources and life—the forests, the wilderness areas, the wildlife, the environment, and ultimately, us. If we don’t we’ll become extinct, because global warming is real in spite of what the so-called conservatives owned by the oil companies say with their money full of diesel dirty money.
I must be a conservative, because liberal friends who are supposed to be open-minded get angry at my articles against abortion, about Billy Graham, or Mel Gibson and Easter. I must be a conservative.
I must be a conservative, because I favor government controlled by the Constitution, insuring my individual rights—not rights sold out by an oligarchy—a government of the rich few—politicians bought by big money corporations intent on milking citizens of every right and dollar. I was a Goldwater Republican.
I must be a conservative, because I believe in a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility, not giving it away in pork barrel projects, tax cuts for the rich and huge deficit spending. I’m obviously much more conservative than the current President.
I must be a conservative because I believe in the principles of Barry Goldwater—a conservative with a conscience.
I must be a conservative because I believe in a strong defense for our country so no other country can meddle with our rights or invade us. I believe in the rule of law—including the Geneva Convention—which means we respect the rights of other countries and don’t meddle with or invade them.
I must be a conservative because I believe in the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, for all people in this country. I’m obviously more conservative than the “Patriot Act” which subverts our liberties.
I must be a conservative because I own a rifle and a handgun, but I’m not stupid enough to think the Constitution means we could own automatic weapons. If you’re very conservative, the Constitution links gun ownership with belonging to the militia—the national guard.
I must be a conservative because I believe in conserving public education for all American children. Even the great Ohio conservative Bob Taft knew it was our greatest hope to fulfill that now conservative, but 1775-liberal Tom Jefferson’s dream of a free America.  Of course so-called conservatives in Texas want to keep Jefferson out the the history books. That’s not conservative…that’s changing things and must be “liberal.” Besides being stupid and narrow minded.
I must be a conservative, and that means I believe in the Constitution’s Preamble about the general welfare—the government caring for the elderly and poor and sick.
Reading all this, some of you think, “This guy’s a liberal.”
What do you mean? The words “conservative” and “liberal” are so overused and abused, especially politics these day, especially in Oklahoma, that they’re only labels—propaganda devices. Politicians who use them are much more interested in politics and profit than principles. A recent Mary Falling press release bragged that she voted “against the liberals.”
 Labels are nothing but words use to keep you and me from thinking and most politicians--like her-- who use them don’t even think about their meanings.
My bet is that their use of “conservative” and liberal” is just labeling designed to get a knee jerk reaction from you, showing their contempt for your intelligence.
Conservative, according to that most conservative dictionary, the Oxford English definition, means “Characterized by a tendency to preserve or keep intact…,” so I must be a conservative.
Just don’t pigeonhole me with the label.


1 comment:

  1. Great post I love it. We know where you stand on a lot of issues right now.
    Politics is no longer about issues, principles, and beliefs it's about focus groups, polling, positioning,marketing, and money.
    I'm a Forest Service kid so I have a little different take on timber cutting. I'm in the energy biz and I have a little different take on that, but I'm a strong believer in very strong regulation of both on public lands and erroring on the side of conservation.
    I'm with you on global warming. I think it's real. I think it is a threat.
    I think the gutting of our public school system finances is a travesty. I think making our public universities so expensive is a crime.
    I choose not to own a gun but I don't fear the friends I know that do have one, or two, or...

    Again, great post.


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