|The Impact of Uncompassionate Conservatism!|
Politics of Divisiveness and Bigotry are Sure Ways to Political Suicide
Unraveling the Conservative Power Base and the Rise of New Political Power!
Years ago during President Reagan's era, it was fashionable to insult minorities, withdraw government assistance and give them to big businesses as corporate welfare, wrap yourself in the American flag, carry a machine gun in one hand and Bible in the other, declare a fictitious love affair with a fetus and you will win almost any election. That time is gone and the faces of minorities have changed. The minority today also includes not only Blacks but also Asians, Hispanics and some Whites, both American and foreign Whites. Consequently attacking the minorities today like Reagan did constitutes a political suicide. Governor Bush just learned this lesson when he visited Bob Jones University, in South Carolina which has anti-Catholic views and policies against inter-racial marriages. His visit resulted in a political outrage by his opponent John McCain. Bush later apologized to the nation saying, "I should have been more clear in disassociating myself from anti-Catholic sentiments and racial prejudice."
Reagan Democrats Have Vanished! One thing should be made clear, there were never any Reagan democrats! Many democrats who voted for President Reagan did so because they were very angry at the minorities because the media painted a very negative picture of American Blacks and Hispanics. Minorities were considered unpatriotic, low class, low moral, welfare abusers, lacking motivation, always looking for hand-outs, criminals, drug users, drug pushers and lazy. These were very unfair characterization of Blacks and Hispanics particularly leading to generalized prejudice against minorities and denial of opportunities. It was considered a conservative thing to do - - - Reagan was therefore embraced.
Since then however, things have changed, America has learned the truth about the fallacy that was perpetuated by the so called Right Wing Extremists. The faces of minorities have changed and gotten larger. "The Welfare to Work" program created by President Clinton deflated the anger of some people against Black women as welfare mothers when in fact more White women were on welfare than Blacks. The perception was misleading, but it worked for political candidates to win votes. It was considered playing the race card and it worked. Just be angry and bash minorities on Radio Talk Shows, you are considered a conservative - - - the main stream of America embraced you! It was the same perception that brought about the Rush Limbaugh type of radio shows and even President George Bush utilized the same racist rhetoric of anti Willie Horton advertisement as a parachute to the White House. At that time racism was accepted by the main stream American political power base of the conservatives. If President Bush's son dared to try the same strategy of using anti-minority sentiment in his campaign, he will parachute himself into a disaster!
It is important to admit that most Americans are not racists. Americans believe in a just society for everybody - - - both for Whites, Blacks and other minorities because such notion was part the fundamentals this country was built upon. Americans believe everybody has the right in the pursuit of happiness through hard work, personal sacrifices and discipline. However when political agitators want votes, they brain wash people and utilize emotional issues to divide and turn one group against the other so they can gain support from the majority. They play not only the race card but the religious card, the fetus card and sometimes the electric chair card. The electric hair card is being tough on crime by killing as many people as possible after conviction - - - it is a conservative thing to do! But, the American society is changing and people are getting smarter and can no longer be easily fooled or deceived by the embellishments of some politicians any more.
Since the time of Reagan, we have seen the recognition of hard working Blacks who have contributed to the amplification of America's economy. Society can no longer lie that Blacks are the unwanted and undesirable elements as parasites on the nation's revenue. Hispanics have grown in number and Asians are getting larger - - - they are all contributing to America's economic amplification. If any political candidate is going to win the election, he must be ready to win in major states where all the minority votes will count. The Reagan type of rhetoric can no longer be embraced and consequently, the power structure of the conservative strong hold has shifted, the so called Reagan democrats have vanished. That was why they could not rescue McCain's quest as a viable presidential candidate. Running on the straight conservative, right wing campaign may no longer guarantee a conservative candidate a passport to the White House.
Questioning the Political Conservative Agenda: Many people are Traditional Conservatives. They want peace and a decent place for hard working people to acquire the American dream and raise their families in a non-prejudice society without fear. But the Political Conservatives have created a brain washing agenda that is contradictory to basic democratic principles. People are realizing that many of the so called political conservative ideas by mode of operation have been very devastating to the society and counter productive to basic democratic principles. Political conservatives promise a lot but do little for the working class and to them, the poor people are non-existent!
Guns issues that are so much embraced by the political conservatives is killing more innocent people and children in the country than in any other civilized country in the world. The political conservatives generated this idea that the "government is about to take your guns away" at any time the gun control issue is on the table. Emotional people who are not able to see straight tend to believe them and consequently our children continue to die everyday. Many Americans believe guns should be controlled to take them out of the hands of criminals and children. But the so called chronic political conservatives are ready to fight any attempts to control guns because of their extremism. As a result, America has the largest number of gun shot deaths of any industrialized nation. I used to think they believed in the right to life. They probably do not give a darn about the right of those fetuses as much as they use the slogan as a political ploy to deceive people and win the Religious Rights' votes. Reports have indicated that most conservative states pushing the right to life spend the least amount of money to help the children. Perhaps, the Columbine shooting and similar shootings by the children are the collective outcries of children as ventilation of their anger to the system that has neglected their rights for so long.
Capitalism idea of the conservatives is to enslave the majority as the poor people remain at the mercy of the rich and powerful. It is conservative for the rich man to make the poor people suffer, live off the back of the poor people without regards to their rights and be proud to be American. It was the emergence of a very chaotic society because the time of President Reagan was a very difficult time for the poor people in this country. He deflated the power of the union to negotiate contract with workers and put the working class at the mercy of the big corporations. Businesses were downsizing and people were losing their jobs, many college educated professionals became jobless, they started washing dishes at home. The jobs that were available were the minimum wage jobs and some college graduates started delivering pizzas to make ends meet. The trickled down economics by President Bush not only did not work, it strengthened the power of the rich against the working class - - - Americans entered a time of great despair. One of the reasons why trickled down economics did not work was that no body can control what the rich people do with their money. So, when businesses received corporate welfare from the tax payers to create jobs, they not only took the money and ran, they also utilized the opportunity to downsize and lay workers off.
At this time, the angry White-male image emerged with the false notion that Blacks and the minorities were taking jobs from the Whites. Affirmative action and quota system programs instituted by the government to reserve a little slice of the pie for minorities were attacked! Later it became obvious that most jobs that displaced White males were taken by White females. But the National Organization for Women was very powerful fighting for women's right. So, the campaign of the angry-White male died once the truth was out in the open - - - that the people who benefited mostly from affirmative programs were mostly the White females.
While wives were going to work some husbands stayed at home, took care of the babies and did the house work. It was hard for some husbands who used to give out orders and a list of what should be done to their wives to take orders from them. Some women declared their social independence and the birth of the second women's movement started - - - it was for social freedom. Many marriages ended as some wives declared their social independence and it was hard for non-working husbands to deal with the humiliation of being jobless. Some of the husbands who lost their jobs went into depression, others committed suicide. Some took a better alternative and left their families. When the husband left, some wives' hearts were broken. It ignited the women's sexual revolution of the 90s, some wives took boyfriends and others found solace in the hands of other women and the American families entered another period of disintegration - - - divorce rate went up to 50 percent. It became accepted for women to remain single as they socialized with family members and friends -- - some declared they did not need a man to make them happy! At this time the institution of marriage was threatened!
It was the time the rich were getting richer, and the poor were entering a period of economic disaster. The working class started to suffer and the rate of bankruptcy went up! We entered a period of predatory capitalism and it was a conservative thing to do! Even some political conservatives saw the suffering of the working class and consequently created the fictitious notion of the Compassionate Conservative. The political conservatives created some miniature programs and tried to appease the majority as they hammered the poor and minorities in the head.
Corporate greed was about to ignite many social problems! A social revolution was underway against the rich. This is in reminiscence of what happened during the time of Charles Dickens in his historical fiction, A Tale of Two Cities where the poor revolted against the abuse of the rich and started to behead them through the guillotine. The intensity of the working class's suffering was about to enter another phase, then President Clinton came to power. It was the dawn of good hope for a new generation. He promised a lot of things during his campaign, but his achievements far out weighed what he promised to help the poor and the middle class.
President Clinton's primary concern and greatest objective was that an average hard working American should be able to realize the American dream. He realized that it could not happen as long as the abuse and greed of corporations continued. He adopted many strategies to encourage the corporations to help the working class. After many twists and turns and relentless dealings with Congress, he attained the major part of his objective without hurting the corporate profit. President Clinton reversed the reign of terror of the political conservatives and gave back hope to the American working class that was taken away during the Reagan and Bush years. He showed America that the deficit can be removed without causing more hardship to the American working class by balancing the budget and creating a surplus. During the Reagan administration, most of the social programs which helped the poor were canceled and gang warfare in the inner cities exploded as drug dealings became a way to earn money for the poor. Interestingly, President Clinton's economic policies not only helped the poor and the working class, many big businesses did well and America entered the longest period of economic prosperity in history.
One of the greatest achievements of President Clinton was his creation of an economic equalizer for the hard working Americans against the greed of corporate giants through the Internet. Prior to this time, many hard working Americans had to close their stores or businesses because they could not compete with the power of big companies. Many of the Mom and Pop shops closed. The Internet created one of the greatest opportunities for hard working Americans to become millionaires over night and they sure did. It was one of the greatest equalizer against the abuse created by greedy corporations. The American dream which was dying now becomes once more a reality for hard working people. The corporate reign of terror ended, thank God! The corporations are now at the mercy of young computer gurus making themselves into young millionaires. The CEOs with graying and receding hair lines, long ties and obnoxiously long cars and cigars were put to shame through the power of the Internet - - - the great equalizer! Many of these CEOs don't even know how to operate a computer. The late 1990's became the beginning of the best of times for the young computer gurus and the private on-line entrepreneurs! This great economic opportunities for the poor and middle class was not created by the so called conservative president. It was created by a president who not only understands the plight of the working poor, but has a great compassion in his heart for the American people in search of the American dream!
Religious Far Right: Political conservatives professed to be moral by preaching the gospel and twisting it in a way that benefited their own political agenda. Many people left the church because of the hypocrisy of the political conservatives as they professed to embrace Christ and acted contrary to Jesus' doctrine. The issue of "family values" was an empty shell of philosophy since most of the conservative programs are anti-family to favor big corporations. Americans are now beginning to see through this, even some Republican women are concerned about the political conservatives' agenda.
The moral decay experienced in America today is partly due to the false doctrine of fake Christians using religion as a platform to preach hate, intolerance and divisiveness. How can anybody serve and deliver Christ's doctrine on a plate of hatred and injustice? If the so called political conservatives believe in murdering a physician performing his legal duty, persecute the poor and besiege minority with condemnation and damnation, then, they have acted contrary to the principles of Christ's ministry.
"For such are the false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." 2 Corinthians 11, 13.
Human Rights: According to the basic principles of democracy, everybody is supposed to be equal under the law with the same basic rights and opportunities. However, under the so called political conservative agenda, women and minorities have no rights. The preservation of rights is only for those which the political conservatives believe define the face of America's power base - - - predominantly the White males born in the United States. The rest of the people must fight for their rights because to these other people, they have no rights. Consequently, the birth of the Civil Rights movement ignited in the 1960s. In other words, a protected group was defined, their rights protected and they were opened to all opportunities without question. For the rest of the people, it becomes the "survival of the fittest."
For many years in this country, Blacks had no rights either in the courts or within the institutions. The American media has already painted the faces of Blacks as criminals and ALL Blacks were assumed to be criminals regardless to educational or professional status. The courts most always ruled against Blacks in most cases even in places where there are solid pieces of evidence that these Blacks were innocent. As a result, many innocent Blacks were sent to jail and even others were sent to the electric chair when they were actually innocent. Only heaven knows how many innocent Blacks meet their demise unjustly in the electric chair! According to one ridiculous political conservative, "Once we approve of the utilization of death penalty, we assume some innocent people will die." Evidently the lives of those innocent people do not matter to the so called Far Right Extremists except if that innocent person happens to be their relative!
Inside the institutions professional Blacks were targets for victimization and abuse. Despite hard work, Black professionals were never compensated for hard work and in some situations severely punished for errors other non-Blacks made. Prior to President Clinton's era, it was not unusual for Black professionals to be punished or even terminated for errors created by the system and by others. The Black worker received the blame because the institutions are always looking for scapegoats and due to lack of defense, Blacks became convenient targets of institutionalized racism. The back lash of the institutionalized racism and abuse Blacks suffered at work directly and indirectly led to increase gang activities in the inner cities. It sent a direct message to some Black youths and deflated their motivation to want to achieve. Some of the Black youths interviewed indicated that no matter what they do in America, Blacks have no rights and there is just no need trying. As a result many of them gave up going to college and entered a life of crimes.
There is a solid correlation between racism, bigotry and social problems. It is very difficult to make the political conservatives understand the parallel between the institutionalized racism against Black professionals and the juvenile delinquencies of Black youths in the inner cities. Political conservatives wearing blinders will dismiss this argument as mere excuses. The solid fact is, we do society a lot of good when we evaluate and understand the predisposing factors leading to social problems regardless to what ever group is involved. Such understanding will help us to develop effective solutions to resolve or prevent social problems in the future. It is a fallacy to deduce that social problems will solve themselves, we have to take actions to prevent social disaster at the strategic time and point of evolution.
But, all the serious issues of social problems relating to Blacks were ignored by conservative politicians. Instead of addressing Blacks distrust and disenchantment with the system, political conservatives implied to society that Blacks are the victims of their own ignorance, crime and lack of motivation to achieve. This myth became a generalized notion in America.
Consequently, it is not by accident that racism was accepted and even utilized as a campaign weapon up till the last set of elections because it is sadly a conservative thing to do. But, if any of the rights of the protected majority is violated, the political conservatives will not stop until they draw blood to guarantee and preserve such rights. Conservatives have never fought for the rights of minorities except those whom they believe are the true faces of America. It is by no accident that the political conservatives will fight for the rights of David Koresh who was considered a criminal and refused to fight for the rights of an innocent African immigrant --- Amadou Diallo, accidentally killed by the New York police.
It is highly important to state here that many White males are very repugnant to the bigotry in the political conservative ideology as a political weapon of division in a nation that is supposed to champion human rights for all people. So, when South Carolina Republicans in March 2000 blocked Martin Luther King holiday again and remained the only state in the nation refusing to honor the holiday, Blacks shed no tears! South Carolina harbored Fort Sumter in Charleston which was one time the busiest port for importing slaves from Africa and so the Confederate flag continues to fly. Minorities have gotten larger and have acquired both political and economic power and the stage is set in these forthcoming elections.
Drug Problem Was Ignored by Conservatives: Initially, it was painted as a Black problem. The so called conservatives could have cared less. To the conservative, the drug issue was a minority problem and they were uninterested in solving Black problems. By the time America woke up from the denial of the drug problem, it had became an epidemic for both poor Blacks and mostly White middle and poor classes. For some strange reasons, the Black middle professional class was not that much affected by the drug problems. Here we draw a parallel between ignoring social problems and the later negative impact on the entire society. The denial of the so called political conservatives about drug problems is presently doing more damage to America the same way lack of gun control continues to take the lives of innocent people and children!
Race Division As a Political Weapon: It is conservative to insult Blacks so the conservative politicians played the race cards to divide people and win votes because of America's orchestrated intolerance against Blacks and minorities. When President Clinton placed the race issue on the national agenda, he successfully appealed to the conscience of America, and people started to listen. America no longer see all Blacks as criminals and bigotry went down and social inter-racial interaction went up. More Blacks were shown in commercials, the faces of successful Blacks, minority professionals and their achievements came out of the closet.
President Clinton is the first president who clearly made the race issue a serious concern and the need for healing. Such agenda is off list for the conservatives since they act as if nobody is equal under the law but them. However, we fail to understand the backlash of racism against Blacks and how it negatively affects Whites. Take the drug and gang problems, they were supposed to be the Black's problems. Later, the epidemic became evident in all races. Only God knows how many Black professionals were precluded from contributing their talents to benefit America's economy if not because of institutionalized racism - - - the list of backlash continues!
Disappointed Conservative Women: Very recently, the political conservatives will use women or sometimes Blacks to deliver a political response either to the State of the Union Address by President Clinton or to some sort of Republican rebuttals. Ironically, the rights of these two group were never protected under the far right political conservatives. When National Public Radio (N.P.R) interviewed a group of Republican women on Friday March 3, 2000, many of them were very disappointed about the image of political conservatives. One of them said she would vote for the Democratic candidate Bill Bradley, another would vote for McCain and yet another one said she would vote in the general election for Al Gore. Most of them echoed similar disappointments in the Conservative agenda that did not address people's problems such as social problems and Medicare problems. One of the women out-rightly indicated that she was appalled by the principles of the conservatives centralized on "me, me, me," issues of nothing but selfishness.
However, what the women did not realize was that the conservatives have never cared about anybody but themselves. If these same conservatives are trying to block the minimum wage increase proposed by President Clinton to help the working poor, how in the world will these same group of people address issues of concern to women? The truth is, the conservatives want women to go back home - - - back to the kitchen and baking cookies instead of competing with men on the job.
Political Power Base Has Shifted: Most of the issues that were used against minorities and women are non-issues today. Society can no longer be angry at welfare mothers because they are conspicuously both Whites and Blacks and other minorities. The definition has also changed to a working welfare mother from a sitting at home welfare mother. There are many jobs out there for anybody who wants to work. The economy is the best it has every been in American history with corporations reaping giant profits and average businesses in Americans are economically doing very well. Minority pool now includes a larger diversity of people from different ethnic groups and some foreign Whites. Many Whites are also very sensitive to minority issues because of either social interaction or family relationship with one minority group or the other. America no longer refers to Blacks and other minorities as unwanted and undesirable elements. The contributions of these minorities becomes more conspicuous. They have also helped to ignite the present economic boom through the power of the Internet and the accentuation of the achievements of hard working middle class minorities.
As a result of all these changes, any presidential candidate who wants to win the 2000 Election must be able to appeal to a larger group of all the minorities, otherwise, such candidate will go down in defeat! People are going to be looking for a candidate who addresses their issues regarding their welfare, not somebody who promises one thing and do something different after being elected to office. This is the first time in America that the collective power of minorities will determine the outcome of many elections. Realizing the power of the minorities and the implications in the forthcoming election, Bob Jones University on Friday March 3, 2000 reversed it's racist policy forbidding inter-racial dating on the campus. The faces of minorities have changed, there are now White minorities added to the pool. The politics of divisiveness and bigotry are sure ways to a political suicide!
The government of the people by the people for the people defines the basic fundamentals of democracy in the creation of a state. It affirms these truths to be self-evident, that ALL people are created equal, (including Whites, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Indians and other minorities) that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty (not happiness) but the pursuit of Happiness.
Long live America's democracy with liberty and justice for ALL!
'Yinka Vidal, Managing Editor OUTCRY Magazine