Sunday, June 01, 2008

On Conservatism

Well! Pretty Lady notes that the vast majority of her dear, dear friends--half Liberal, half Conservative, and 2.6% Shrubite (really truly? Or was someone Joking Around?) seem to have Nothing To Say about the information that our allegedly 'conservative' Administration is lavishly funding private healthcare for Chilean war criminals, while righteously withholding it from American veterans. Or didn't you read it? It's right there, two posts down.

Nothing like those conversation-stoppers.

Really, it seems to Pretty Lady that so many of our modern controversies would be obviated if more American citizens were culturally, historically and socially literate. Raised in the degenerate Public Schools, most of us, we lack the most basic understanding of English vocabulary. We hurl around words like 'liberal' and 'conservative' and 'appeasement' the way Enron accountants coped with the laws of mathematics--scraping off the more appealing Fringe Benefits and leaving the Central Facts under the rug.

This is certainly what the Bush administration did with the term 'conservative,' at any rate.

transitive verb
Inflected Form(s):
con·served; con·serv·ing
Middle English, from Middle French conserver, from Latin conservare, from com- + servare to keep, guard, observe; akin to Avestan haurvaiti he guards
14th century
1: to keep in a safe or sound state conserved his inheritance>; especially : to avoid wasteful or destructive use of conserve natural resources>


transitive verb
15th century
1 a: to manage prudently and economically b: to use sparingly : conserve

As we have seen from the events of the last eight years, conserving and husbanding the country which he was entrusted to govern was Shrub's lowest priority, falling somewhere far behind golf. Enron-like, he took 'conservative' to mean, generally, 'government isn't responsible for anything,' and used this as a license to behave with gross irresponsibility. From appointing an incompetent crony to manage federal disaster relief, to decimating the landscape, to invading another country under false pretences, Shrub has proved himself to be an anti-conservative of the most monstrous order.

Much has been made, in the circles of punditry to which Pretty Lady is privy, of the manner in which Conservatism may make a Comeback. Her private opinion is that first, one may wish to take a look at the definition of the terms one is trying to resurrect, before barrelling ahead with Political Agendas. It may be that stewarding, husbanding, caring for, and educating the citizenry are not incompatible with the concept, and that eradicating these aspects of 'conservatism' is what destroyed it in the first place, before the 'liberals' ever did a thing.


Anonymous said...

I have not avoided continuing the discussion... I had the duel/triple distraction of some personal business to attend to, the need to finish my Thucydides reading as well as being uncertain if I would continue to be welcome in this forum. I am enough of a gentlemen to have asked if I could post here and enough of one to leave if I cause more discomfort than enjoyable interaction.

I would appreciate some consideration on the following issues: I am not a flame throwing poster... I do not say things simply to be offensive... just because I read VD does not mean I am like the majority of them in my style... I do not avoid responding to questions or points... if you specifically want me to engage let me know and I will... sometimes I just can't get to it right away... Lastly, I have no clue what the makeup of the population here is. Lately it seems like I am the most frequent poster... knowing nobody rather implies that I can't be seeking to attack the group... I mostly am only writing to PL unless otherwise indicated... I'm attempting to be cordial unless I otherwise indicate... regards.

If you will allow me some time I will pick back up with the health care topic... though I do so not from any expectation that there will be any change of views. It is simply to discuss the issue.

Desert Cat said...

PL, you are using a dictionary in an attempt to define a political movement?

You ought to know better.

Pretty Lady said...

jSin....CALM.....DOWN. We all still love you. You are welcome to blather on as long as you like.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think the 'war criminal' thing is bandied about a bit too often... I have to concur a bit with Pat Buchanan on the idea that we deal with people who further national objectives... Very few leaders or governments of any stripe are themselves or made up of 'good' people. There is a certain mindset that seems drawn to power... usually ruthless.

Anonymous said...

Having said that... nothing in this surprises me... is the idea that the government makes a stupid decision? wastes money? will happily throw money at a problem that it views in its interests to solve but not another group? I am more taken by the fact that it costs nearly $1B to insure 100k people... quick math says that if that held to the population at large then we would take on a commitment of 3 trillion dollars... for some reason that seems a completely reasonable number for a government program. Reasonable and completely impossible given the already bankrupt country...

Anonymous said...

It also does not seem that HSA's are going to save the day... according to the kiplinger letter...

a) enrollment amounts to only 2% of privately insured Americans

b) Cost reductions are moderate, with firms seeing hikes of 5.5% instead of the average 7%... WellPoint, will boost premiums on some HSAs by 30% in 2009

c) most who get HSAs are just switching from other plans.

Anonymous said...

I would dispute that Bush's philosophy is that 'government is not responsible for anything'. In fact I believe he fully has bought into the Wilsonian democracy worship... it is the governments job to go around the world optimizing it... He certainly signed onto a grossly expensive 'prescription drug benefit'... there is nothing conservative about the man... He believes the government is responsible for searching my luggage... of course it isn't responsible for border security... there you have a strong point.

Anonymous said...

Conservative... liberal... what does the data show? What area of government does the nation hold much esteem for? What program truly works? Was the Apollo mission not pretty much the last thing done that was ahead of schedule and on budget?

Often with good intentions we only make the problems worse... we steal from the future and still do not achieve the results we wanted today.

"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm—but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."

T. S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party