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What Became of Conservatives?

Politics-American Conservatives Neo-cons

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#41 Zwolf

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 12:16 PM

Since we're on the issue of sweeping generalizations here, I want to point out an example of how to discuss ideologies without making such things personal.   Yama has made a very good post.  I don't agree with all of it, but, it's a good post.

Quote

And please note, I am not calling anyone on this board a communist. For the record, and despite my intense disagreements with many people here, I don't think anyone here is a "dyed in the wool" communist.

********** Thanks for that clarification.   I'm a "liberal-by-default" now because I'm going to be voting Democrat for a while, since it seems to me that the parties are switching ideologies.   The modern Republicans seem to be only truly conservative socially - in essence, wanting to rule by Biblical laws.  In areas such as race and homosexual marriage, I'm fairly liberal.   I think race is not a determining factor for anything - all races are equal and should be treated as such.  And if gays want to marry, why not?   They're as good as anyone else.  Government should have as little to do with regulating people's lives as possible... so, I am opposed to the current conservative stance on issues like gay marriage or abortion  (and I understand that many Bush supporters are, too - it's not all-or-nothing).   I am conservative in areas such as fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, advocating a smaller federal government and stronger states, gun ownership,  death penalty, etc.  I am also very non-socialist and anti-communist, so if Democrats were actually as socialist as the Freepers claim, I wouldn't be one of them.   I wouldn't be voting for Bush, either, because he's completely and utterly incompetent in my eyes, so I'm not sure what I'd do.  Couldn't go Green 'cuz they're way too tree-huggy for me, and I couldn't go Libertarian because they're against labor unions and I can't support anyone who's against the right of the people to organize.  They have too much trust in corporations, and that's not a good idea.  

Also, despite the fact that Communists may support it, I am an athiest.   I've been raised in the Bible belt, and 38 years of observation has proven to me that religion is NOT a good thing overall.   It's well-meaning, and some people do get a lot of good out of it,  but if you look at its overall track record it's a complete failure, and is the biggest plague on mankind.  Morals are great and very-necessary things, and philosophically all religions have a lot of good ideas to offer, but once combined with the godhead (an idea so patently false it amazes me that any grown-ups believe in it), it results in far more damage than it does help.  So, I can't support its furtherance.   Religion has killed far more people than cancer does, and we try to cure cancer.

Anyway, I'm digressing.   The point is, in the past several years, the current crop of Republicans seem to have abandoned their principles such as fiscal conservativism  and smaller federal government,  in favor of religious-right issues such as abortion and no-gay-marriage.  If this election had been held on non-social conservative issues, Bush would have been marched out the door by his ear.   But those things don't seem to matter anymore, at least not as much as they should.   The Republicans need to change their focus back to their original core principles and shake themselves loose from the grip of the religious right before I can really get behind them with any enthusiasm.  

Anyway, I don't agree with all you said, but I thought you stated it well, reasonably, and it was an interesting read.

Another good example of disagreement that Yama posted should also be pointed out and commended:


Quote

I see the debate within "conservatism" about what it stands for -- maybe because I am a "conservative" -- but I don't see any debate among "liberals" about the positions they hold. Even with last year's election defeats, the aftermath among my more liberal Americans seems not to be what positions they hold but how prominent they should display them. For example, I always hear more pro-choice speakers at the Republican convention than I hear pro-life speakers at the Democratic one.

This is a valid criticism of the left.   I'm on another board that's all-Democrat, and we do debate about positions... so, it is happening.   But, among the DNC, there does seem to be far more emphasis on the appearance they're wanting to project, rather than what positions they hold, and they should work on that.   You've made a valid criticism, and even if someone disagrees with it, they should definitely take it into consideration.  

Anyway, since I'm complaining about how some posting here is basically slander, I just wanted to make sure I gave some props where they're deserved, too.

Cheers,

Zwolf
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I'm never talking to you
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Trying to talk to you

I'd put you down where you belong
But I'm never talking to you again
I'd show you everywhere you're wrong
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
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#42 G1223

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 12:20 PM

Ok are we ending the personal attacks?
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#43 Nonny

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 12:26 PM

Zwolf666, on Jan 9 2005, 08:02 AM, said:

... So when Ogami comes in with claims that "the left loves when our soldiers die" or "the left is overjoyed that Abu Grahib made our country look bad" or "the left hates America" or "the left is anti-Semitic" or whatever else... well, sorry, but anybody who thinks I'm gonna sit there and take that doesn't know me very well.   I am a proud, patriotic American.   We're not a perfect country, but we're still the best one this planet has going, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.  The reason I oppose Bush is because I think he's doing great harm to the country I love.  If people want to disagree with my assessment of Bush, that's fine, they're free to do so and I'll listen to what they have to say, and if I've been wrong on a point, I'll admit it.  Disagreement is fine.  I wouldn't come to these forums if I didn't like disagreement.    But I am not, I repeat, not going to let anyone say that my side of the aisle is glad when our troops die, or am happy about Abu Grahib, or am an anti-Semite, or any of that other smack.   I don't deserve that, and I'm not going to let that label stick just to avoid a confrontation.   This is not me overreacting and needing to step back from the computer - it's me standing up for myself, as well as others who share my opinion, because that label doesn't fit them, either....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What Zwolf said!  

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#44 Zwolf

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 12:45 PM

Quote

Ok are we ending the personal attacks?

I don't think I've made any, except at Ogami, who has gone out of his way to deserve them.   I acknowledge that I've gotten personal there, and as long as he continues to use his hate-mongering smear tactics, I'll keep on doing what I'm doing - I cannot, in good conscience, do otherwise.  It's not safe for individuals or good for the country to let such sickening, filthy, dangerous, and very untrue charges go unanswered - Mein Kampf taught me that much (and, yes, you got that right, I'm comparing Ogami's demonizing-the-opposition tactics to those used by Hitler, because they are the same tactics.   He's not a Nazi and he's not a racist, but he is using the same kind of extreme rhetoric to  try to depict those who disagree with him as untermenschen enemies of the state, and he should be called on it. Others may tolerate those remarks, but I will NOT.   They are undeserved and unwarranted, and they weaken the level of discourse on this board for both sides of the aisle).  So, no promises in that regard.  If he wants to spread that crap unopposed, he can pack it up and take it to so-called "Free" Republic.

If I've done anything that looks like a personal attack on anyone else, however, please let me know, since an apology may be in order...

Cheers,

Zwolf
"I've moved on and I'm feeling fine
And I'll feel even better
When your life has nothing to do with mine."
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"There are things that I'd like to say
But I'm never talking to you again
There's things I'd like to phrase some way
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'd put you down where you belong
But I'm never talking to you again
I'd show you everywhere you're wrong
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you."
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#45 waterpanther

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 02:38 PM

Quote

Maybe becasue those bigots represent a larger percentage of people. who if they can become comfortable with an idea they might just stop attacking the people. Remember the rules of a mob. they are as smart as dumbest person. Therefore working so that they can become a smaller group is always for the best.

The courts when they play social engineers usally make a mess that after decades finally resolves in the two groups still being seperate and still not equal. Or did you think inner city schools gave just as good an education as schools in the suburbs?


You know, your response reminds me of something that happened the first week of my freshman philosophy class.  A very polite (white, blond, crew-cut) young man stood up and asked the professor whether he didn't think the fact that Christianity was the majority religion proved that it was the right religion.  The professor, a Southern Baptist, stood silent for a moment, then asked very quietly, "Majority where, son?" Then he proceeded--very quietly and politely--to eat the student alive.  

The fact is that African-Americans have been legally equal under the Constitution since the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.  That's considerably over a century, and the KKK and lynchings are still with us.  The good news is that there are fewer lynchings precisely because the courts did a bit of social engineering and served notice that such acts would be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  There are fewer wackos running around in bed linens because that behavior is no longer socially rewarded in most quarters.  The prospect of going to jail can induce at least the outward forms of tolerance; fake it till you make it, and like that.  

As for the schools--let's see.  You seem to be saying that efforts to establish equal educational opportunity were misconceived or  should be abandoned because their results are not yet perfect.   You would be comfortable with things the way they were before court-ordered integration?  Blacks at the back of the bus?  Separate rest rooms and drinking fountains?  Separate and even further from equal schools?  African-Americans had to wait a century and a half for the still-imperfect improvements we have today.  How much longer would you want to give the white majority to achieve enlightenment?  Another fifty years?  A century?  Two?

And you still haven't said how long gays should have to wait.  But then, silence can be eloquent, too.
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#46 waterpanther

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 03:40 PM

Quote

But to call this particular viewpoint "sane" implies that anything outside this opinion is "insane". There have been opinions posted from both sides of the fence that see this as an extreme position. So I'm asking you, one poster to another, to please reconsider including the word sane in your subtitle.

Actually, Bouree, it's not so much Mr. Roberts' viewpoint I'm calling "sane" as it is Mr. Roberts.  The same applies, for instance, to my reading of Col. Hackworth.  There are things I disagree with him about, such as the position of women in the armed forces--and the same can be said of Mr. Roberts--but both men state their positions fairly and honestly and back them up.  It's possible to disagree with these gentlemen while acknowledging that we perceive the same reality.  We just have different opinions on the best way to deal with it.  They're honest representatives of their conservative philosophy, and Col. Hackworth hasmy added respect for having  been dead-on-target right about the Iraq war every time.  

I think Mr. Roberts is equally dead-on-target right about certain conservative factions in his article I've posted here.   Take the Christian Reconstructionist/Dominionist movement.  These folks not only want to practice their faith freely, as every American should be able to do, but they want to impose it as a nationally established religion.  Scrap the Constitution and replace it with their notion of Biblical law.  Reinstitute debt slavery.  Stone adulterers (or at least adulteresses) to death.  Make homosexuality a capital crime.  

And that's just the appetizer.  Because the ultimate focus of this movement is to create the conditions for the Second Coming of Christ.  That means fomenting a world war in the Middle East so the so called Battle of Armageddon can be fought between the forces of "Righteousness" and those of the Anti-Christ.   We're talking nuclear holocaust here, not just some little regional dust-up.  So these people have no care for the environment because it's all going up in smoke anyway.  No care for alleviating human misery because the miserable (the brown and black and non-Christian miserable, at least) are all going to hell anyway.  No care for maintaining peace in the world because that just puts off The Big One that will elevate them to Christ's right hand as judges and rulers of the world.

Now--you tell me that doesn't need a nice big dose of Thorazine.  It is not sane.  It's nowhere freaking near sane.  

And it's worse only in degree, not in kind, from the sort of stuff that is spewed out every day on Rushbo's radio broadcast or Freak Republic or on Tweety Matthews' Gumball by the likes of Ann Coulter.  You remember Ann--she's the one who wants the US to invade all Arab nations, kill all the men and convert the remaining women and children to Christianity at the point of a gun.  

I'm frankly relieved to see someone like Mr. Roberts speaking out against the nutjob right.  It means, I hope, that sane conservatives are making an effort to get control of the Republican Party again.  Because if they don't, we're looking fascism straight in the face.
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#47 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 04:29 PM

Zwolf666, on Jan 9 2005, 08:02 AM, said:

... but those are very different things than saying, "The left likes it when our troops die" or "the left is un-American."  Asking me to put up with that is asking far too much, and it ain't gonna happen.

Cheers,

Zwolf

Well said.  I will not be lumped in with a group of people that someone is characterizing as unpatriotic or the like simply because I happen to disagree with the war in Iraq.  

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#48 Yama

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 04:30 PM

waterpanther, on Jan 9 2005, 07:38 PM, said:

Quote

Maybe becasue those bigots represent a larger percentage of people. who if they can become comfortable with an idea they might just stop attacking the people. Remember the rules of a mob. they are as smart as dumbest person. Therefore working so that they can become a smaller group is always for the best.

The courts when they play social engineers usally make a mess that after decades finally resolves in the two groups still being seperate and still not equal. Or did you think inner city schools gave just as good an education as schools in the suburbs?


You know, your response reminds me of something that happened the first week of my freshman philosophy class.  A very polite (white, blond, crew-cut) young man stood up and asked the professor whether he didn't think the fact that Christianity was the majority religion proved that it was the right religion.  The professor, a Southern Baptist, stood silent for a moment, then asked very quietly, "Majority where, son?" Then he proceeded--very quietly and politely--to eat the student alive.  

The fact is that African-Americans have been legally equal under the Constitution since the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.  That's considerably over a century, and the KKK and lynchings are still with us.  The good news is that there are fewer lynchings precisely because the courts did a bit of social engineering and served notice that such acts would be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  There are fewer wackos running around in bed linens because that behavior is no longer socially rewarded in most quarters.  The prospect of going to jail can induce at least the outward forms of tolerance; fake it till you make it, and like that.  

As for the schools--let's see.  You seem to be saying that efforts to establish equal educational opportunity were misconceived or  should be abandoned because their results are not yet perfect.   You would be comfortable with things the way they were before court-ordered integration?  Blacks at the back of the bus?  Separate rest rooms and drinking fountains?  Separate and even further from equal schools?  African-Americans had to wait a century and a half for the still-imperfect improvements we have today.  How much longer would you want to give the white majority to achieve enlightenment?  Another fifty years?  A century?  Two?

And you still haven't said how long gays should have to wait.  But then, silence can be eloquent, too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


waterpanther, at the risk of getting off topic I must say that a very good percentage of the African-American population would say that your characterization of the "benefits" of the social engineering engendered by the Courts in behalf of Blacks and other Minorities is wrong.  They -- admittedly, "We" -- would argue that much of it has been counterproductive and in many cases positiely harmful to the Minorities it was supposed to help.  And most of those who would disagree with you probably would not even call themselves "conservative" like myself.  And this is aside from the fact that, to be honest, I don't see how your comments are germaine to the topic of discussion.

However, if you wish to continue them, perhaps you can revive one of the following threads, for example:

http://www.exisle.ne...topic=22910&hl=
http://www.exisle.ne...wtopic=7866&hl=
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#49 waterpanther

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 05:11 PM

Yama--

My comments are in response to G1223's; sorry if the thread has been led off topic.

Yes, I'm aware that there are conservative and other members of minority groups who believe that "social engineering" has done little or no good.  I've encountered a few, and I respect their opinions.

But I've encountered many more who would disagree.  I'm a Native American/Hispanic mix myself, and I've seen the positive difference that "social engineering" has made in the lives of many, many people along the Texas-Mexican border.  Not that there isn't a long way to go--but the improvements are far-reaching and significant in education, in health care, in access to employment and in housing.
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#50 Yama

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 05:51 PM

waterpanther, on Jan 9 2005, 10:11 PM, said:

Yama--

My comments are in response to G1223's; sorry if the thread has been led off topic.

Yes, I'm aware that there are conservative and other members of minority groups who believe that "social engineering" has done little or no good.  I've encountered a few, and I respect their opinions.

But I've encountered many more who would disagree.  I'm a Native American/Hispanic mix myself, and I've seen the positive difference that "social engineering" has made in the lives of many, many people along the Texas-Mexican border.  Not that there isn't a long way to go--but the improvements are far-reaching and significant in education, in health care, in access to employment and in housing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


waterpanther, we can agree to disagree on the specifics -- and for the record, we DO disagree -- but I still respect your position.  I even recognize that your posts are in reply to G1223's comments: even as I still say that they are getting off topic.  My thing is that it seems that often the "liberal" retort to "conservatives" always seems to come down to something like, "Liberalism is great because if it weren't for liberalism, Blacks [especially but also other Minorities] wouldn't have anything because liberalism gave them everything they have."  It is the proverbial "race card."

Perhaps unfair but, being honest, that's how your comments come across to me.  In fact, where in Paul Craig Roberts' original article that you quote above does he even bring the subject of race -- or for that matter, "social engineering" -- up?
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#51 waterpanther

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 07:06 PM

Quote

My thing is that it seems that often the "liberal" retort to "conservatives" always seems to come down to something like, "Liberalism is great because if it weren't for liberalism, Blacks [especially but also other Minorities] wouldn't have anything because liberalism gave them everything they have." It is the proverbial "race card."

Perhaps unfair but, being honest, that's how your comments come across to me.

Where I'd say your reading is off target is in the word "gave."  "Everything we have" was fought for over decades and frequently paid in blood.  But our companions in that fight have been liberals of both major parties, Democratic and Republican. (Or they used to be; "liberal Republican" has been a meaningless phrase for twenty years, now.)  There weren't a whole lot of conservatives standing up with Martin Luther King, or with Cesar Chavez, or with Dennis Banks and AIM.  It's only fair to acknowledge allies--and to note absences when they are so very conspicuous.   Call it the "race card" if you will.  I call it the unfortunate truth.

And you're correct that Roberts doesn't bring up either the subject of race, or the subject of court-ordered "social engineering."  G1223 does so in repeating the standard conservative talking point against "activist judges" and  the civil rights issue of gay marriage.  Am I missing some obscure point of board ettiquette here?  Is it not allowed to bring up or to reply to matters not strictly following from the original post?
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#52 Nick

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 07:12 PM

Quote

I don't think I've made any, except at Ogami, who has gone out of his way to deserve them.   I acknowledge that I've gotten personal there, and as long as he continues to use his hate-mongering smear tactics, I'll keep on doing what I'm doing

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Personal attacks are not welcome here no matter how much you feel someone deserves them.  If this is going to be a problem for you, I suggest you utilize the ignore feature or refrain from venturing into political threads alltogether.

Thankyou

-Nick

Edited by Nick, 09 January 2005 - 10:47 PM.


#53 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 07:28 PM

Quote

Zwolf: I acknowledge that I've gotten personal there, and as long as he continues to use his hate-mongering smear tactics, I'll keep on doing what I'm doing - I cannot, in good conscience, do otherwise. It's not safe for individuals or good for the country to let such sickening, filthy, dangerous, and very untrue charges go unanswered - Mein Kampf taught me that much (and, yes, you got that right, I'm comparing Ogami's demonizing-the-opposition tactics to those used by Hitler, because they are the same tactics. He's not a Nazi and he's not a racist, but he is using the same kind of extreme rhetoric to try to depict those who disagree with him as untermenschen enemies of the state, and he should be called on it. Others may tolerate those remarks, but I will NOT. They are undeserved and unwarranted, and they weaken the level of discourse on this board for both sides of the aisle).

Well said.
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#54 DWF

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 07:38 PM

Thank you Nick! :cool:
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#55 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 07:42 PM

Quote

Personal attacks are not welcome here no matter how much you feel someone deserves them. If this is going to be a problem for you, I suggest you utiilize the ignore feature or refrain from venturing into political threads alltogether.

And false, derogatory generalizations? Are they just as unwelcome here? Should people who cannot refrain from making them stay out of political threads?
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#56 Yama

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 07:59 PM

waterpanther, on Jan 10 2005, 12:06 AM, said:

Quote

My thing is that it seems that often the "liberal" retort to "conservatives" always seems to come down to something like, "Liberalism is great because if it weren't for liberalism, Blacks [especially but also other Minorities] wouldn't have anything because liberalism gave them everything they have." It is the proverbial "race card."

Perhaps unfair but, being honest, that's how your comments come across to me.

Where I'd say your reading is off target is in the word "gave."  "Everything we have" was fought for over decades and frequently paid in blood.  But our companions in that fight have been liberals of both major parties, Democratic and Republican. (Or they used to be; "liberal Republican" has been a meaningless phrase for twenty years, now.)  There weren't a whole lot of conservatives standing up with Martin Luther King, or with Cesar Chavez, or with Dennis Banks and AIM.  It's only fair to acknowledge allies--and to note absences when they are so very conspicuous.   Call it the "race card" if you will.  I call it the unfortunate truth.

And you're correct that Roberts doesn't bring up either the subject of race, or the subject of court-ordered "social engineering."  G1223 does so in repeating the standard conservative talking point against "activist judges" and  the civil rights issue of gay marriage.  Am I missing some obscure point of board ettiquette here?  Is it not allowed to bring up or to reply to matters not strictly following from the original post?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


To get to your last point first, no, you're not missing some board etiquette here.  But we have gone off topic here.

Second, you are correct to say that it was both Republicans and Democrats who fought for civil rights.  But where you make your mistake is in assuming that it was "liberal" Republicans who were the Republicans who fought for it.  There were a fair amount of conservatives (save perhaps of the "traditionalist" variety) that supported civil rights.  As you probably know, both a greater number and higher percentage of Republicans supported civil rights than Democrats.

Indeed, Barry Goldwater, who did oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964, opposed it for what turned out to be legitimate reasons: that it would lead to a sort of racial spoils system and would unlawfully (or at least, unwisely) extend the power of the Federal governemnt.  While I disagree with the inevitability of Goldwater's position I am forced to admit to the prescience of his position.  Although I have my issues with the NAACP, I will also acknowledge that Goldwater was a founding member of the Arizona branch and proudly signed the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts.

As a relevant sidenote, as quiet as it is kept by both sides, it was actually the Republican Richard Nixon (who is my personal pick for the worst President in the Twentieth Century) who gave us explicit racial quotas with his Philadelphia Plan of 1969.

Again, there were conservatives of the time who were supporting civil rights and the like.  And I say that as (perhaps as an admittedly junior) participant and activist in the movement.  Indeed, I say this as a former activist Liberal.  My biggest (but definitely not my only) "enemies" in those days were very often the "liberal" (and I will put that in quotes for you) Democrats who supported labor unions, minimum wage, etc.

And please make no mistake.  I am by no means excusing the many conservatives who opposed the civil rights movement for obviously racist reasons.  (Neither do I excuse the many liberals who "supported" civil rights for equally racist reasons and who continue to support positions that have proven detrimental to my community and my country.)  But I also have to admit that the true history of the civil rights movement was more than an overly simplified: "Liberals were/are good; conservatives were/are bad" type of argument.

And I will even give you that perhaps I am reading too much into what you write.  As a former White liberal colleague said to me and another African-American friend of mine when he found out that we were now conservatives, "How dare you become conservative after all we've done for you."

And by the way, that is literally a verbatim quote.

So yes, perhaps I am overly sensitive when I see the arguments that start talking about how liberalism has been so good Blacks and other Minorities.  That itself is a legitimately debatable position.  Especially as it seems to be used a justification for every "liberal" position under the Sun.
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#57 waterpanther

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 07:59 PM

Especially when those false, derogatory generalizations are in fact thinly-veiled personal attacks?
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#58 waterpanther

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:39 PM

Quote

But where you make your mistake is in assuming that it was "liberal" Republicans who were the Republicans who fought for it. There were a fair amount of conservatives (save perhaps of the "traditionalist" variety) that supported civil rights. As you probably know, both a greater number and higher percentage of Republicans supported civil rights than Democrats.

They might have been called "traditionalist" conservatives at the time, and certainly that would have been accurate if a "traditionalist" conservative is one who takes the Constitution seriously.  And bearing in mind that "liberal" and "conservative" are inevitably relative terms, they were no doubt "liberal" in comparison to the "conservative" Democrats who stood against civil rights.   In fact, the white South has always been conservative; it merely changed its party affiliation when Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.  Indeed, many of today's more conservative Republican luminaries, such as Trent Lott, got their political start as racist Democrats.  

At the risk of shocking you, I have to admit to admiring Barry Goldwater.  As some of his earlier detractors came to say, he eventually seemed less psychotic than psychic on a number of issues.  It's also worth noting that the current crop of radical conservatives in the Republican party repudiates Goldwater as a liberal for his stance for gay rights on the one hand and his stance against the takeover of the party by religious fundamentalists on the other.

Quote

As a former White liberal colleague said to me and another African-American friend of mine when he found out that we were now conservatives, "How dare you become conservative after all we've done for you."

And by the way, that is literally a verbatim quote.

Oh Lord.  Another village missing its idiot.  I have met some stupid, offensive and thoroughly patronizing fellow liberals in my time, but yours takes the prize.

I've been an activist in various causes since I was eighteen.  I have to say, with respect, that my experience does not mirror yours in terms of conservative support.  While there have been times I have found my fellow liberals obtuse, I have not found them obstructionist, sometimes to the point of violence, as conservatives have been.
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#59 Spectacles

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 09:00 PM

Hi Yama,

I just wanted to say that, like Zwolf, I've appreciated your contributions to this thread. I may not agree with all you've said, but I appreciate the pains you take not to generalize. It's true that the most extreme liberals are kissin' cousins of communists, and the most extreme conservatives are dangerously close to being fascists. We all need to be aware of those extremes. In a heavily polarized environment , like our current one, it's frighteningly easy to lose one's balance and perspective.

One quick point: it's important, I think, to distinguish between Democrats and the Southern Democrats, who, increasingly disenchanted with the Democrats' social liberals through the late 60's and the 70's, became Republicans. Reagan really sold them on the party with his references to "state's rights" (to a white Southerner back then, this meant freedom to discriminate as your community saw fit) and his ridiculing of "Welfare Queens." So those Democrats who opposed Civil Rights legislation and refused to reform to the new social liberalism of the Democratic party jumped ship and became Republicans. (Yes, I know about Byrd. I think he's tried to redeem himself--as did Strom Thurmond in later years.)

I saw that sea-change up close since I'm a white Southerner who grew up in those days. At the end of his life, my father, who held the kind of racist views that make people's hair stand on end, was an ardent Republican, and so were his friends. They had been Democrats, but they had had it with "giving everything to the n**gers" and admired Reagan for putting a stop to it. That sounds harsh and repugnant, and I hate to have to attribute that quote to my own father, but that's the truth--as I experienced it.

I do understand what you mean about the patronizing attitude of some white liberals, though. I get in trouble from time to time myself because I tend to confront it whenever I see it. It's a kind of egoistic, veiled racism that sometimes irks me even more than the in-your-face variety. And it's just as destructive, especially in education where the phrase "the soft bigotry of low expectations" actually does apply all too often.

In case anyone is interested, a good, comprehensive look at the history of civil rights through various administrations is here:

http://www.africanam...ghtsHistory.htm
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#60 G1223

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 09:08 PM

Zwolf am I am not pointing at you. I am pointing at comments like Nonny and Chipper who are posting just to make personal attacks.

Nick it's nice to finally see a mod. I hope you and the other mods will finally stick around to start actually policing rather than pop in and issue a warning and then disappear from the thread.
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