Leaning to the Left

Writing from a liberal persuasion

Posts Tagged ‘conservative’

Hate Speech, or an Articulation of the Conservative Ideals?

Posted by Beau Winiger on May 6, 2009

The social conservative movement is continuing its shuffle into being an obsolete movement.  Consider the case of Joe the Plumber.  Everyone remember him, the guy named Joe, real name Samuel Wurzelbacher, that is a plumber, but not really, that came to fame during the 2008 presidential election?  Well, he is back in the news for an interview he gave with Christianity Today on the subject of gay marriage.  In the interview Joe said that referring to homosexuals as queer isn’t a slander, because it by definition means “strange and unusual”, which in Mr. Wurzelbacher’s mind is a perfect description of homosexuals.  He then goes on to say that his gay friends “know that I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children”.

Normally I would consider Mr. Wurzelbacher as someone who doesn’t really deserve mention.  After all, he is just a man who has tried to extend his 15 minutes of fame into a career, but he doesn’t have any credentials in the world of politics beyond being asked a question.  But Rush Limbaugh, who commands on audience of some 20 million listeners, and has become a sort of leader for the conservative movement as of late, recently called him someone who can “articulate conservatism”.  He referred to Mr. Wurzelbacher as such the day after his comments regarding homosexuals.  In other words, Mr. Limbaugh believes that someone who thinks homosexuals can’t be trusted around children is a perfect spokesman for conservatism.

Such a statement adds explicit support from a powerful conservative figure, and therefore legitimacy (at least amongst those who find Limbaugh legitimate) to Mr. Wurzelbacher’s statement.  And yet there is no outcry from any conservative leaders.  No conservative leader is willing to stand up to Rush and say they disagree.  Now I am not expecting a conservative leader to say that he agrees with homosexuality or gay marriage, but at the very least I would hope that one would object to such hate speech being typical of the conservative stance towards homosexuality.

How long will we as a people stand for this?  Aren’t we past the point where educated people refuse to give national platform to someone who believes that homosexuality is something to be feared, something that we need to protect our children against?  Whether or not the majority of conservatives agree with Mr. Wurzelbacher and Mr. Limbaugh is not the point.  Their silence on the subject, and Mr. Limbaugh’s continued large listenership, is implicit support of a position that is antiquated and hate-filled. 

The year is 2009, and yet it is still necessary to tell conservatives that homosexuals are normal people.  They are the exact same as straight people.  Their sexual orientation is not some looking glass into what type of person they are.  There are good, upstanding homosexuals as well as bad, immoral homosexuals, in the same manner that there are both types of heterosexuals.  They do not desire special treatment, or special recognition, they only desire to be treated the same as every other person in this country. 

The gay struggle for equality in America is the one of the most important human rights campaigns in America right now.  It is still accepted to refer to something or someone that is stupid or lame as gay.  It is accepted to publicly say that you wouldn’t let homosexuals around your children.  It is accepted to believe that homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt because they are unfit to be parents.  Homosexuality is a product of being born.  That is it.  It makes no more sense to discriminate against homosexuals than it does to discriminate against women, minorities, etc, and yet the hate and discrimination continues without a second thought, an ingrained piece of our culture, a person that everyone can join in and discriminate against.  Every single person in this country should be against discrimination, in any form, yet there are many unwilling to join in the fight for equal rights for homosexuals. 

Let me repeat, I do not expect conservatives to support gay marriage, at least not right now.  But I do not believe it is not asking too much for them to turn their backs on those in the conservative movement that feel that blatant discrimination and hate speech against homosexuals is acceptable.  Those that make such statements, and anyone who doesn’t believe those statements are a big deal, are un-American.  That is not a term lightly thrown around, but is there any other name for someone who doesn’t believe the Founding Fathers were correct in proclaiming that they wished America to be a place where all people were created with “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”?

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Out With the Old: A New Conservative Party

Posted by Beau Winiger on April 26, 2009

The Republican Party is in a state of shambles right now.  This is not just the opinion of some left wing nut.  A look at the elections in 2006 and 2008 point to an America that is moving towards a center left point of view.  Republicans have a complete lack of leadership that will unite the country and bring moderate conservatives back into the Republican Party.  The main spokespeople for the Republican Party at this time are Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, etc.  While all of these people are very popular with the base, the majority of Americans view them as extreme right, and you never regain political power in America by appealing to your extremes.  That is why, in the opinion of this author, the Republican Party, in order to for conservatism to survive, needs to split.

The issues where Republicans have lost moderate America are almost purely social.  In talking to young conservatives this author has found that most do not care for the litmus test social issues that are so often stressed by the Republican talking heads.  Young conservatives are fiscal conservatives, period.  They are not worried about the threat of gay marriage or abortion rights.  They believe that either those issues have no bearing on the direction of this country, or that the government does not have the right to intrude into people’s personal life.  America is quickly becoming more and more of a mixed society, and there are few young conservatives out there that do not know someone who is gay and in a relationship or know someone that has had an abortion.  They see these people as normal people, no different from them.  This does not mean that they necessarily agree with the “choices” of their gay friend, but they also do not believe the government has any business designating them as people with less rights.

Yet when it comes to fiscal issues many young conservatives side with traditional conservatism.  They see the government’s role as very limited, and wish to see government spending brought under control.  The political issues they view as important are issues such as the growing deficit, welfare, taxation, etc.  But when they look to Republican leaders they only see politicians who were silent while George W. Bush grew the deficit to its largest size in history, and only now pay political lip service to fiscal issues, choosing instead to focus on social wedge issues.  They feel that there is not a major Republican leader out there that truly stands for the issues they believe in.  If you need any further proof one need only look at the enormous popularity of Ron Paul amongst young people in the latest election.

That is why, for the good of the country and for the good of conservatism, young conservatives need to leave the Republican Party and form a party that represents the future of conservatism.  For the good of the country because ours is a political system that needs a minimum of two major parties to function.  For the good of conservatism because conservatism will become known more and more by the platforms advanced by a increasingly out of touch Republican Party.  A new conservative party should focus almost exclusively on fiscal issues, adopting a more libertarian stance towards social issues.  That is the only chance conservatives will have to increase the size of their party amongst different demographics then solely aging white America. 

The future of the conservative movement in America is in their mid-20s now, and if the Republican Party continues to ignore them and chooses to stick to their wedge issues they will drive those young conservatives further and further out of the party.  But without a viable alternative conservative movement young conservatives will either vote Democrat out of a lack of choice or become increasingly apathetic.  It is quickly becoming a matter of political life or death for conservatives to create a new vibrant political party that more closely mirrors the issues that they hold dear.

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Posted in politics | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »