THE POLITICAL MEANING OF CONSERVATIVE

We hear many people use the term “conservative” in describing their political persuasion.  You see it on their Facebook pages and in response to the question about what drives their politics.  The self-described conservatives must be split into two main groups, at least that is the traditional and accepted way to distinguish those that consider themselves conservative for fiscal reasons, which even liberals might agree with to some degree, from those that are socially conservative.  Of course there are those that would fall into both camps. 

We start with the question of what fiscal conservatism is and whether it is just a word that is not very practical in application.  George W. considered himself conservative in every respect, as does every Republican and even some Democrats, especially those representing people in the South, but W. spent money like mad and started two wars without putting them on the balance sheet.  Which of our conservative families’ budgets would have high ticket items that we incur debt for and yet don’t list it when we do our books?  None.  W, the fiscal conservative, also gave tax breaks to the wealthy, accepted fact, that was supposed to make them feel so good that they would start new companies or simply expand their hiring at their current businesses.  Sounds pretty risky to us and it was, it didn’t happen this way and the economy tanked.  We see nothing conservative about the way W ran his administration.

We don’t see the conservatism in giving oil companies, who paid nothing in income taxes, checks of any kind from taxpayer money.  So they had good accountants and paid no taxes, even that may be fine since they do employ thousands of people, but to then send them another check from taxpayer monies due to some antiquated law their lobbying efforts influenced in the first place? Not conservative.  Is it conservative to cut off all student loans? Republicans are for this and many other paths to a good life for people that were not born into the means to do if for themselves, especially lately, with their cries to cut this and that, but the axe seems to be falling on those who did not have an advantage in the first place and taking the advantaged to an even better place.  Even in a conservative household, or maybe especially so, children will go to college because that is the best for our future and we will find the funds somewhere to make it happen.

Social conservatives we think are defined by their adamant opposition to immigration from “brown” countries, for laws that make brown people (obviously even those born here because how do you tell beforehand) carry around papers proving that they are here legally (sounds like Nazi Germany), against womens’ right to choose (hard core ones even in cases of rape or incest), against Gay rights (even the ones serving the military) and so on.  We think everyone in the Country is a fiscal conservative, but with differences in how you get there.  Do you cut Social Security and Student Loans as Republicans want to do or put the tax rate on the wealthy back to where it was before W gave them a break that not only didn’t work, but also led us to the second Depression on our Nation has experienced. We think you put the tax rate back and don’t screw with the older and younger among us. We don’t see how anyone could be a social conservative, period.