I need to start attending these Conservative Political Action Conference gatherings. It’s a veritable buffet of right wing idiocy just waiting to be chewed up. I’m still learning about what went on at the CPAC during the last week of February.
I was aware of the featured speakers like Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh, but it was just today I read about Jonathan Krohn.
Jonathan is the bright young wunderkind of the conservative movement.
He was not yet 14 when he asked the CPAC organizers for an opportunity to speak at their conference. He has already written a book “Define Conservatism” outlining his conservative “core values”. Isn’t that precious? Or is it precocious? Maybe it’s both.
You may wonder what his parents were like, for him to embrace the right wing at such a young age.
It seems Mom is conservative, but says, “Politics bore me”. Dad is a talk radio listener. So, it’s not entirely young Jon’s fault he’s been sucked into the Dark Side. It’s kind of sad seeing a smart kid raised by uninformed parents.
Heck, I don’t blame the kid. I was once a budding little right winger. I rebelled against my jazz musician father. I liked to hunt and fish and had no time to listen to jazz. When I was Jonathan’s age I loved reading WWI and WWII history and wanted to be pilot in the Marines. I was ready for glory.
Then I got sick with rheumatic fever and learned my vision was not good enough to be a military pilot.
Something else dissuaded my military ambitions. My older brother was sent to Vietnam in 1966. I saw the worry in my mother’s face every day he was over there.
I began to ask myself some serious questions. For what cause or reason could my brother possibly be killed in that little country so far away? The more I learned, the less I liked about that war.
Soon my interests developed elsewhere. Since I was not going to be a soldier, philosophy, music and literature began to occupy my time. I picked up a guitar and listened to the Beatles and the other anti-authoritarian voices of that era’s music. And I learned to love jazz.
But I digress. I just wanted to point out there’s hope for this intelligent young lad. Maybe he doesn’t have anyone close enough to talk to him about the other side. Perhaps he needs a kindly old Uncle Dave to sit with him for a while to help clear a few things up.
The first thing I’d do is praise little Jon for his speech at CPAC. I’d tell him of my speech to the American Legion. They kindly sponsored my trip to Boy’s State to learn about government. We could talk about how good it feels to be applauded by a bunch of conservative folks.
After that bit of bonding I would discuss the contents of his speech and his book.
He told the crowd he defined conservatism on “four categories of principle”.
They are respect for the Constitution, respect for life, less government, and personal responsibility.
He explained, “In the conservative viewpoint we believe that it’s principle based. It is the people first, the people’s rights based upon principled views. It is an ideology of protecting the people and the people’s rights.”
I would say to him, “Good for you. I like to see a principled young man who is concerned with protecting people and their rights. That’s what we liberals love about our Bill of Rights.”
Liberals also love democracy. Did you know conservatives don’t care so much about that? Here’s what American conservative movement leader Paul Weyrich said. "I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
Then I would tell him about how the leaders of American conservatism were the most destructive force ever unleashed upon our Constitution. I would tell him about Habeas Corpus being one of America’s greatest legal principles, and how conservatism worked to eliminate it.
I would entertain him with stories about how conservative laws called The Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act, and the FISA amendment represent the complete opposite of respect for the Constitution.
I would inform him of the Warner Defense Authorization Act and recent Bush Department of Justice memos giving the president dictatorial military powers over American citizens.
I would ask him how the conservatives’ embrace of the death penalty and wars without provocation is respect for life. Would opposition to health care access for 50 million Americans also be considered respect for life? It would seem conservative respect for life is focused primarily on the fetus. Where’s the respect for life after birth?
I would explain to him that for conservatives, less government means less regulation for Big Business, but more intrusion on personal life decisions.
I would ask him if he could show me any examples of personal responsibility from the Bush Administration’s lies, war, torture, politicizing of the Justice Department, and violations of the Fourth Amendment.
Then I’d ask him if he knew that liberals actually believe those principles, rather than using them to merely screen their true motives of greed and power over the majority of the American people.
I would ask Jon if he can see the politicians who espouse conservatism are the ones who are most enmeshed with corporatism. I’d point out to him that conservatism ALWAYS supports the interests of big money over the public’s needs. Every conservative initiative is directed at promoting corporate agendas to the detriment of people’s rights.
Conservatism, in effect, will always step on the little guy to make it easier for the big shots. Remember “promote the general Welfare” is the part of the Constitution’s preamble that conservatism disdains.
Finally I’d tell him about the conversation I had with my nephew last August. He’s an ambitious young businessman and he told me “all regulation is bad”.
The next month the financial world collapsed because the conservatives had stripped away all regulation.
I haven’t heard any more such talk from my nephew since.
Monday, March 9, 2009
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I listened to the kids speech and heard it many times since including his book signings. The kid is a lost cause.
Listening to him was as bad as listening to Limbaugh. Little Limbaugh! Just a naive kid with a mouth and those people are hungry to see they are right.
I listened to his little spiel about people not understanding conservatism and realized it was obvious he did not!
Good points and well written post. We share quite a bit in common it seems. I also had rheumatic fever as a teenager, and it was the Vietnam War and Watergate - that whole lying wrong war era of madness and deceit in politics that turned me away from the Republican persuasion of my father that I had been brought up in.
Nice rant, Dave, but I'm afraid that even at such a young age, the kid is a lost cause. He's been indoctrinated and brain-washed. He is the next generation of the clueless. What a shame! Maybe the kid could take up music and find true peace in his soul. :)
This brat sounds like a future combination of a Hitler-Bush clone.
This is my first visit here, and if this post is ANY indication of what is typical...it won't be my last. What an outstanding post! I'm speechless before such a wonderful blend of personal sharing and political content.
I was also as conservative as they come as a young'en. I think one's personal experience makes all the difference.
It was sickening hearing someone so young speak so enthusiastically about something so destructive!
Just goes to show, you're never too young to be a know-it-all Kool-ade drinker.
Although it's not easy and very likely to be futile, we extend our hand to the lost cause souls.
The little twerp could make the perfect anti-christ. I always try diplomacy first, though.
Hi, Border Explorer,
Aw, you warm my heart!
I love your blog. You have some gutsy and well-informed posts.I will put you up on my blogroll.
Hi there.I found you through Brother Tim's.... Blog of Revelation
Love your statement here, re. "life after birth".
God Bless You, man, and Peace to you!
Thanks for stopping by.
Yes, dealing with life after birth seems to the Right's problem area.
Tax cuts for the rich are not the answer, but it's the only one they have.
I didn't see "the kid" so your post was doubly informative for me. He really does need an Uncle Dave! Too bad he probably only has Uncle Newt, Uncle Rush, Aunt Sarah ... a young mind is terrible thing to waste.
I don't agree with a lot of folks here who write this kid off as a lost cause.
Although, I'd love to sit down and talk sense to him, I have to admit I'd have to work hard to keep my gag reflex in check.
Even so, though, I remember when _I_ was 14. I was a devout Southern Baptist who went to church three times on Sundays, sang in 2 choirs, attended church again on Wednesdays, went to church camp, ad infinitum.
If I had a chance to sit down with the kid I was then, I imagine my gag reflex would get the better of me then, too.
This kid has a lot of growing up to do -- and maybe he'll get some education along the way. I hope he and all the kids who share his views do.
Interestingly, a boyfriend of mine about 40 years ago said, "I wonder what our kids will be like? They'll have nothing to rebel against."
I laughed and said, "Are you kidding? They'll become far-right-conservatives!"
Oh, Lordy, how I wish I had been wrong--
Still, I still hold some hope:
Maybe the Sarah Palins of today are bringing up a bunch of liberals and don't know it?????
"dealing with life after birth seems to the Right's problem area."
A friend and I were discussing Jerry Falwell, et al, many years ago. She said, "Protect em while they're in the womb, draft em once they're out."
I think that about sums up the right wingnuts.
Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.
'The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad.
The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.
Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.
Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most imprudent of lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in the art of lying in this world know only too well, and therefore they stop at nothing to achieve this end.
~ Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf
Thanks for the quotes, Dan.
The fascists and Nazis have given us one thing that is at least useful. They have articulated the Reich Wing mentality for all to see.
Too bad more people don't pay attention. We should learn from their example. Instead we have politicians who FOLLOWED their example.
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