Conservatives hit rock bottom

by YES! Weekly staff

Edmund Burke

It was Dublin-born Edmund Burke who is generally credited as being the father of conservatism for his staunch opposition to the radical change brought to Europe by the French Revolution.

The philosophy of resisting overwhelming societal change in favor of prudent policy has some merit on the stage of ideas. Conservatism did its job over the decades by tempering irrational liberal passion in favor of incremental improvements to society in general.

That’s not enough for some, we understand, but the give and take of legislation over the centuries has proven to be a fundamental aspect of Western Democracy.

The path conservatism in America has taken since the Republican Revolution of 1994 and the ascendancy of irrational evangelical passion in post-9/11 America is one of the great tragedies of our young century.

If Burke were to spend a day with Fox News, right-wing radio and a meeting of the local Republican Party, he too might be ready to erect barricades in the streets while shouting “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.”

Just a cursory glance at various media streams in one afternoon reveals Donald Trump leading all GOP candidates for president by double digits while spouting hate and ignorance to the masses. Then there’s Billy Graham’s own son demanding that we round up those who have different religious beliefs in the name of national security. Closer to home, we have a seemingly never ending list of mendacious legislation coming from Greensboro’s very own state Sen. Trudy Wade.

With conservatives like these dominating the airwaves it is no wonder that the philosophy itself seems to have come unhinged from reality. Which is ironic in itself since conservatism came to prominence in opposition to irrationality.

But they say politics makes strange bedfellows.

Perhaps the rational among us, who care for good government and wellcrafted policy, can form a “coalition of the willing to listen to the other side’s argument with an open mind” and move America into the future. !

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