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CONSERVATIVE TOTALITARINISM


This topic is out of the usual realm which my writings address. However, being rather fed up with the preoccupation of some conservatives in wanting their personal philosophies to set the standard of American life; and tiring of the consistent mantra of many conservative writers that anyone not subscribing to some version of the Judeo-Christian belief system is less of a person, and certainly not ‘all American’, I have decided to publicly suggest that some temperance is long over due in the ‘conservative quarter’ of American thought.

Not all conservatives believe in the Judeo-Christian belief system. Many embrace faiths far a field. Others do not believe in any god. This seems almost incomprehensible to many conservatives. It is in fact quite true. These ‘outside of the box’ conservative thinkers make significant contributions to the overall quality of American life on many different levels.

These folks care about honesty, personal responsibility, citizenship, children and all other American things both great and small. One does not have to be religious to be a conservative. Nor does one have to be religious to be very spiritual and very caring.

Individuals such as the strident Judge Moore, are popping up more and more within the conservative public ranks. Many folks agree with them and such is their right. Many other folks, however, do not agree with them and that is their right. Respect for that later right is mighty hard to come by.

The Judge Moore’s of the world probably don’t realize how very much like Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein they sound. The world according too…………..or else!

Conservatives seem to have an innate insecurity for philosophies or approaches which deviate from their personal comfort zones. It seems that any deviation from the norm makes someone a ‘liberal’ and all which that entails. Such simply is not the case. Life is full of latitudes and degrees.

When certain topics come up, labels begin to fly, and denigrating comments are made to characterize folks who do not ‘sign the register’ of acceptable conservative thoughts and positions. This is unfortunate and inappropriate.

Many quiet conservatives just put up with the constant push about ‘religious’ belief systems, the almighty correctness of the ‘pro-life’ position, the litmus test of support for vouchers, the push for evidence at every turn that belief in a god is foundational to our country etc. etc.. Many quiet conservatives simply do not hold these views.

These conservative folks think the limits of government in fact are defined by NOT subscribing to these positions. They want public schools to be held accountable for the quality of their product. They don’t see school vouchers as a matter of choice. They see school vouchers as avoidance of the problem and nothing more than a band-aid to make conservative folks feel superior to the public school problem.

Many pro-choice conservatives see the abortion issue as a fundamental privacy issue with moral responsibility squarely on the individual’s shoulders and not the government’s shoulders.

There are many other examples.

The point, however, is not just to list the ways in which conservatives can and do differ. The point is to suggest that right wing conservatives have become far more intolerant than they realize. They are alienating many fine fellow Americans who in no way have fallen off the edge into a black hold of liberalism where anything goes.

Moderate conservatives are moral, intellectually strong and proud Americans. They do not deserve to be marginalized by vitriolic rhetoric that demands compliance by the insecure among us. Moderate conservatives fully recognize the need for standards, the need for limits within various realms, the need for accountabilities etc., etc. They just don’t need to agree with every other conservative on every issue.

I would submit that a more respectful and emotionally mature approach to these issues might, in fact, move the conservative agenda much further down the public policy track than one might expect. Totalitarianism masquerading as conservative thought is destructive and polarizing.

Totalitarian regimes fail, history has proven that. Conservative totalitarianism will also. There is a partnership of patriotism which needs to be forged among all conservatives to ensure freedom and strengthen our nation.

~ America's Voices - September, 2003

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