My fellow blogger, Jack Jodell, posted a wonderful quote on his blog which reminded me of what conservatism (at least the modern version of it) is all about. It reads like this:
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest excuses in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
--John Kenneth Galbraith
Galbraith nailed it. This rapaciousness is at the heart of everything a right-winger holds sacred. Just listen to Republican mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh ranting about how Obama's stimulus package is ruining intitiative and punishing producers. He sees America as a place where it's every man for himself. We are not our brother's keepers (even though the Bible says we are and fundamentalist preachers pound the Bible at their congregations every week). And if businesses fail, workers get fired, families are foreclosed, people go bankrupt, and the nation falls into financial ruin...so what. It doesn't affect Rush and the other landed wealthy. They have theirs; let others fend for themselves.
Who are these people Limbaugh calls "producers"? They're not the rank-and-file workers because he hates blue collar laborers, especially unionists. They're not the middle class which nearly got legislated into oblivion by Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. They're not the richest of the rich...most have inherited their dough...or they have simply bought and sold enterprises and workers as if they were cattle; they have produced nothing.
"Producers" is just an empty phrase used by the wealthy trying to protect their own wealth. In fact, that is the central motivation of all conservative wealth--protect what I have. That's why we went to Vietnam...wealthy conservatives worried that yellow hordes were going to come and take what they had. That's why we went to Iraq...wealthy oil conservatives were afraid that Muslims were going to control all the oil. (There's an added bonus in making war...conservative defense contractors get richer.) That's why conservative wealth wants those who do not have their wealth to remain uninformed, divided, without representation, diverted by gadgetry, and sedated by religion. If there is no God, then the people will revolt for social justice, for then social justice is the only form of heaven one can attain. Therefore, conservatives must force God down our throats.
Yet in their heart of hearts, conservatives are evolutionists. They know it's a jungle out there and only the wealthy survive. It's always been dog-eat-dog and every man for himself in American conservative dogma. That's its ultimate hypocrisy. The conservatives who claim God is at the center of the American dream (and, by the way, the American dream for a conservative is merely to accumulate as much wealth as possible) are the same conservatives who practice Darwinism in their daily lives.