Saturday, October 23, 2010

Conservative Conundrum

For as much as conservatives work at being, well, conservative, I'm not sure they understand just how easy it is to be, well, conservative. Let's face it, life is easier when you just deny progress. Its easier when you deny people their rights. Its easier when you allow some entity to create the rules you live by and then swear that its the best type of freedom around. Its easy to deny the facts. Its easy to deny social convention. Its just too easy, so why do they work so hard at it?

I have no answer as to why they work so hard at being conservative but I have a theory. First, like most irrational actions, it takes a lot of effort to keep perpetuating the mythology they have created inside their own minds. Take the Founding Fathers, for example. None of today's current political pundits were around during the founding of the United States, so none of them truly knows what the Founders intended but they sure talk like they do. Even the most vocal of the conservative wing probably has actually read less than ten percent of the writings associated with the beginning of our republic (sorry, but for the most part we don't live in a democracy), the initiation and subsequent fighting of the Revolutionary War, the process of writing our Constitution, or the work that took place for about 50 years after the first presidential election. If someone actually had read and studied all of those writings, then that person would be considered a scholar of late Colonial America and the early American republic. We don't see those people on television advocating a one-dimensional view of our nation because they are smart enough to know that we have never been one dimensional. Hence, even the most conservative scholars of early America generally divide perspectives into one of two ideas.

Those who consider themselves conservatives tend to view our Constitution and its principles as static, whereas the liberals see the Constitution a dynamic. Again, we see where conservatives tend to take the easy way out, somehow believing that our Founding Fathers believed that the world was going to hit its pause button at 1789 and that was that. Except there was no such thing as a pause button. So how were we supposed to stop changing? We were no longer British subjects, but somehow that doesn't seem to conflict with the idea of remaining static? The logic doesn't add up. Same goes for the Second Amendment. If the Constitution and Bill of Rights are static, then why should people be allowed to bare any type of armament not readily available during the Revolutionary War? No semi-automatic handguns. No M-16s for deer hunting. No one would even be allowed to carry weapons with a brass cartridge casing, let alone an Uzi. But that doesn't apply to them because it is not part of their mythology. It is alright for old white guys to carry guns with a permit. They can even have a conservative revolution. But let the Black Panthers walk into the State Assembly in California during the Civil Rights Movement and suddenly gun control makes sense. How many conservatives support Malcolm X's By Any Means Necessary ideology? They should because it is supported by the Second Amendment. How many agree with the Latin Kings's ideology to sell drugs to whites if they give some of the money back to their home community and its schools? They should because it falls in line with laissez faire economics. How many conservatives agree with Tucson Unified's right to teach Raza Studies because it is truth, just not a truth oft spoken? They should. But they don't because they are hypocrites and the truth is too difficult for them to face.

So next time you see some partial truths posted by conservatives, ask them how blissful ignorance really is. Even more important than that, give them a short lesson in reality with the facts to back it. All one needs is a couple of books or an Internet connection to see how complex and dynamic the world really is. You might not win any converts, but that shouldn't be one's purpose, the real purpose is to expose the truth; and truth sure ain't an easy pill to swallow if you only believe in unsubstantiated mythologies. So here's to those of use who dine on the truth because it is good. Keep a healthy mind and keep on thinking.

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