November 30, 2003 – Here is an
excerpt from a recent e-mail we received from a long-time
(a) lifelong Tory approaching 70 yrs (I am) appalled to see
conservative leaders mortgaging social infrastructure trying to
balance annual budgets. Conservatives in (the) past were
patriarchs until corrupted by political correctness."
Many of you may not be familiar with the
"Tory" label. The Conservative Party in great
Britain was a successor to the earlier Tory party. In other
words, this man is so conservative he even sticks with the tradition
of calling conservatives Tories, which dates back centuries.
The term "conservative" is used by
commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to describe
themselves. It is used by Bush supporters to define
themselves. But what really is conservatism, and why are so
many true conservatives disgusted by this new breed of Bush/Limbaugh
The Conservative Party in England is
characterized by moderate progressivism. In other words, look
at the quote from the gentleman above: he is "appalled to see
conservative leaders mortgaging infrastructure to balance annual
budgets." That is not the, "Screw all social programs," that
we get from FOX News-brand "conservatives." Exactly the
opposite, actually. This gentleman, being a lifelong
conservative, is dealing with actual conservatism, not the
bastardized, dishonest form the neo-cons in America preach.
"Patriarchs," the gentleman talks about.
What does he mean by that?
Well, now you get the jumping off point
that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and the rest of them use to
attract actual conservatives as listeners, before trashing the rest
of conservative ideals with their destructive, hate- and lie-spewing
Notice the phrase the gentleman uses in
his e-mail: "political correctness." Rush Limbaugh began
his rise to power attacking "political correctness." His
assaults on "femi-Nazis" and others who stood against the
traditional male-dominated (i.e. patriarchal) structure of society
surely appealed to conservatives such as the gentleman who sent the
e-mail above. The old conservative ideal was that of the wise
father figure who was charged with the power in society and would do
the right thing for his national family. This did not mean
gutting infrastructure and slashing and burning the nation to
disfunctionality. It meant to act as the wise moderator,
balancing the "family's" needs with the means of the nation.
Yes, conservatives were the moderators,
not the extremists. They were not radicals who sought to take
the nation and launch it this way or that. Exactly the
opposite, they sought to "conserve" the traditional institutions and
social structure. Actions should be taken to fix things as
needed, but minimally. Don't create drastic new programs, but
don't drastically trash the existing ones either. Just because
a family's (i.e. nation's) financial situation goes down a bit, you
don't stop feeding the baby and let the roof leak through.
Now the feminist era, the free-love era,
many of these social upheavals did not sit well with these old, wise
father type conservatives. They wanted to maintain the
traditional "family values" (beginning to sound familiar?) and social
Insert Rush Limbaugh and the elder Bush.
They proclaimed the Republicans the party of "family values."
They took on the "femi-Nazis" who threatened the traditional
patriarchal structure. They took on gays, free-lovers, all
non-traditional social types. And in doing so, they appealed
to the many conservatives who were out there feeling voiceless,
frustrated, and unrepresented (much as many liberals and moderates
So, now you have all these
traditional-minded, mainly white male conservatives with someone out there giving
voice to the thoughts that had been labeled unspeakable.
Hearing Rush and Bush, Sr. must have been like being able to exhale
for the first time after decades of being forced to hold their
However, this being the common ground,
the direction Limbaugh, Hannity, Bush, Jr., et. al have attempted to
steer these true conservatives does not sit well with those who
truly are conservatives - especially those old and wise enough to
know what conservatism is (i.e. the patriarchs of the conservative
movement.) Yes, they are spoken for socially, but then there
was a bait and switch, and politically, they are being
misrepresented and their movement hijacked by leaders who are, "appall"ingly,
to true conservatives like the gentleman above, "mortgaging
social infrastructure trying to balance annual budgets."
Until now, the idea of accepting some
coldness towards the family's needs in return for regaining their
voice and power was enough to get these conservatives to play along.
But now, President Bush and his brand of neo-conservative has taken
the coldness or their slash and burn social agenda so far that these
good patriarchs are now having to distance themselves, step away
from the Limabugh's, Hannity's, and Bushes and ask themselves what
sort of good father would let their house and family be so trashed
in the name of "balanc(ing) annual budgets," especially when it is
clear the only reason annual budgets are so unbalanced is because of
overly excessive tax cutting.
A paternalist wouldn't care more about
corporate profit than his child getting asthma or wife getting
emphysema. A paternalist wouldn't agree to a war for oil.
A paternalist wouldn't thrash the school system for tax cuts for the
When this new breed of Limbaugh
conservative came on the scene, as we said, the conservatives were
ecstatic to finally have a voice. So in droves they helped
create "The Republican Revolution" that propelled Gingrich and
company to power in 1994.
It didn't take long though for true
conservatives to see that this new breed of fake conservative was
just a wolf in conservative clothing. Gingrich's name became
anathema to good American conservatives and the Republicans not only
stopped gaining, but lost seats in each of the next two elections.
Betrayed, the true conservatives were
then left with a choice between a heartless, greed-driven Republican
Party and a Democratic Party that fully embraced the American brand
of table-turning feminism, that had been emasculated by the "femi-Nazis."
The question for good conservatives became what would happen first,
would the Republicans get a heart or would the Democrats get balls.
Well, the Democrats weren't about to
have any candidate who stood up and said, "Let men be men and women
be women," or, "American 'feminism' is very anti-feminine; why can't
men be men and women be women while we all have equal rights and
protections?" It wasn't about to happen, and, in fact, didn't.
On the other side of things, the
new-Limbaugh breed of Republicans found their solution. Having
found their following the first time by lying upon lying upon lying,
pretending to be good conservatives when they were truly just
hateful greed-mongers playing on conservative disaffection with the
social upheaval of the 60's and 70's, the Limbaugh conservatives
once again found their lie line. The conservatives were upset
with them because they had no heart? Ok, let's say we have a
And so, deciding to simply pay dishonest
lip service to their base's true concerns, they started calling
themselves "compassionate conservatives." And it worked well
enough to get the base to trust them once again. The
Bush/Limbaugh Republicans rejoiced, thinking they had found their
solution. Simply tell the people you are kind, and it calms
their concerns, tell the people you are compassionate, that you are
doing the right thing, and it allows them to feel better.
Once in office, President Bush continued
in this vein. The question wasn't what would the best policy
be, it was (and is,) "What do the people want to hear?" He won't change
his forest bill that opens things up to industry, he will simply
give it a name that will calm the good conservatives of his base who
demand their government has a heart. He will call it the
"Healthy Forests" bill. He will call his air quality rollback
the "Clear Skies" act.
Only one problem. Conservatives
are not stupid - in fact, they are very vigilant in keeping an eye
on their government, which they have a predisposition not to trust.
And so, the conservatives are falling
off in droves and droves, recognizing that President Bush is in no
way a true conservative, in no way is he a compassionate paternalist
like real conservatives are. They see this new breed of
conservative as greedy, destructive wolves once again in
conservative clothing. The are "appalled" to see them "mortgaging
social infrastructure trying to balance annual budgets."
Which leaves poor, decent, true
conservatives without a home again. Until the Democrats get
their balls and find a place for good, white, heterosexual males who
believe in traditional roles for men and women, conservatives can't
feel at home in their party. And until the Republicans really
get a heart - in policies, not just in words - they can not be a
part of their party.
Like other good Americans who care only
about two things, truth and what is best for America, these good,
true conservatives of the nation feel unspoken for. Where can
they go to commiserate about how they have been duped and taken
advantage of, yet again, by President Bush and the fiscally
irresponsible to the point of being utterly destructive Republican
neo-cons, without ending up turning to a group that bashes them for
wanting to be manly men who are the dominant ones in their families?
Where can conservatives turn to hear a voice that bashes the
Republicans for breaking their social contract with their American
family, but still be respected and find other people who prefer old
school family setups and values, who understand about going to
church? Where can good white conservative males turn where
they can have both respect and a heart?
No, not to the Democrats. And no,
obviously not to the current Bush/Limbaugh-dominated Republican
Party. But there is a place where all party-less orphans do
come, where they are always welcome and treated with respect, and
where the basic tenets of our contract with our country are that we
care only about two thing: the truth, and what is best for
Welcome to The Moderate Independent,
serving good conservatives, liberals, and everyone in between, who
are intent on keeping the faith with the rest of their American