Saturday, August 07, 2004

Dirty Words 

Here's a little secret about conservatism: as a philosophy, conservatism is subordinate to liberalism.

Liberalism is a major philosophy because it represents a genuine breakthrough in the philosophy of government. In contrast, and despite the starry-eyed aspirations that its adherents have for it, conservatism will always depend on other philosophies for its existence. At worst, it is a second-rate, parasitic, and reactionary ideology; a mishmash of principles that are merely a front for motives that defy principle. At best, conservatism can serve as a useful counterbalance to its host philosophy.

In the U.S., conservatives are supposed to be conservative liberals, and many of them still are -- basically liberal. But the conservatism of George W. Bush with its rabid -- and precisely targeted -- anti-liberalism is indeed anti-American, and anti-Western. The simple truth is that America and the "Western World" are defined primarily by a history of commitment to liberal principles.

President Bush is correct when he asserts that Muslim religious extremists hate us because of our freedom -- in other words, our commitment to liberal principles. What he fails to mention is that Christian religious extremists like him hate America for the same reason. He was telling the truth the other day when he said: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

If the Republican Party were magically able to take the "liberal" out of Western culture, not many of us would be pleased with the result. I suspect we would end up condemning them for robbing from us the very things about our culture that are good and just -- the very things that cost us the most. And we would condemn ourselves for letting them turn our world upside-down.

I'm sure that one of the first items on their agenda would be to change the term "liberal arts" to "conservative arts." Then, they would commission thousands of monuments for town squares all over America -- dedicated to conservative heroes like Charlie McCarthy and that other dummy... what was his name? That's right -- Dan Quayle. That's just what my town needs: a giant bronze statue of Dan Quayle signing the "No Potatoe Left Uneaten Act."

Joking aside, many liberals still don't realize that they have the home court advantage. Conservatives have done such a masterful job of redefining reality that most people just assume that we live in a conservative world. Not a chance Dorothy, you were having an elaborate nightmare complete with flying chimps, wicked dipshits, and senile wizards.

Here's another little secret before I disappear again: we're not living through the "End of Times," just the end of conservative times. The silly pricks always go too far. That's how humanity evolves, by the way: silly pricks go too far, and the rest of us take notes. One would guess that the silly pricks would eventually learn to beat the system. But if there's only one thing that can be said about silly pricks, it's that there's no stopping them -- once they've committed themselves to their nuts.

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