The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Conservatives or Liberals: Which are Worse ?

These days that seems to be a vital question : Which are worse, the conservatives or the liberals ? In terms of bringing our nation to the state of decline and fall, I think they both have a lot on their plate. My conclusion is that the conservatives constitute a much more immediate and perilous threat ; but that we have to be on guard in terms of both. I’ll try to explain my position in the note which follows:

The major threat we face at present is from the conservatives, more particularly George Bush’s Neo- Con and far-right regime, whose primary objective is the creation of an authoritarian government oriented toward the consolidation of wealth in the hands of the wealthiest merchant classes and the divestment of the rest of the population in terms of opportunities for advancement, financial independence, pension , health and retirement benefits and basic rights, including free speech, legal and constitutional rights and legal recourse against abusive corporate and governmental factions. In my opinion it is the most serious political and social situation that has ever faced the people of this nation, a situation which places us on the road to a species of fascism which is totally destructive of the basic fabric of our society and a direct and perilous threat to our survival as a democratic republic. Morally, the far- right is fundamentally without social conscience. The only thing they truly value is maximum possible profit for the ruling (merchant ) class. The profit motive is their only governing principle; and the public good, social justice and human rights are expendable, particularly if they interfere with or threaten maximum financial profit for the ruling class.

What I have outlined in the previous section can be seen in practically everything that Mr. Bush and his confreres do. Bush initiated the Iraq war, which was clearly unprovoked, for three essential reasons: Iraq has the second largest quantity of oil reserves in the world; Iraq was needed as a power base to replace Iran, which was lost to the US by way of the Islamic revolution under Khomeini; and U.S. corporate interests would benefit in terms of supplying the armed forces and reconstructing the country. And of course the long- term financial benefits to U.S. corporations are obvious. Oh, and of course let me add a fourth essential reason : Bush’s deranged ego. Then there is the domestic scene: Everything that Bush does is carefully calculated to vastly increase the financial resources of the wealthy and to concurrently reduce the resources of the general population. Examples are countless: Permanent tax reductions for the wealthy; repeal of estate taxes to create an expanded hereditary aristocracy of wealth; radical reduction of environmental protections to greatly increase the profits of corporations; allowance of unlimited illegal immigration to provide cheap labor for corporate constituents; secret conferences with oil and energy companies to fix prices at highest possible levels ( at the expense of the public ); radical reduction of availability of college- loan funding ( to keep the poor and lower middle- class from moving
up ); cancellation of pensions ( to keep the population working until death ); obstruction of universal health-care insurance ( to keep health-care costs at the highest ); and so forth and so forth. What Bush and his associates are doing is creating a feudal state- actually a form of economic slavery for the vast majority of the population. And he has succeeded remarkably- and accompanied by the cheers and votes of the slaves. It is one of the very saddest moments in history; and it’s happening now.

Then we have the liberals. God help us. Theoretically they have more of a social conscience than the conservatives. But the sad fact is that they are almost unbelievably confused. They manage to screw almost everything up - basically because they get so involved in vague, half-understood intellectual concepts that they get “ lost in the woods.” Take “political correctness” as an example. This is one of their favorite current obsessions. The concept was invented by a few of their pseudo- intellectual college professors- I think at Harvard. What “political correctness” means basically is that no one is permitted to risk saying anything that could in any way be “offensive” to any conceivable “interest group.” What that means, of course, is that you really can’t say anything at all- except meaningless, vague, roundabout drivel that no one could possibly understand or relate to. Anything can offend someone; so don’t say anything. You don’t want to say “good- bye” because that’s a shortened form of God- be- with - you and it might offend atheists. I ’m exaggerating a little; but not that much, I assure you. What the “political-correctness” fanatics have done has been to virtually block out intelligent communication in this society. Nothing is debated intelligently; nothing is understood in depth; and therefore nothing is acted upon effectively. The results are obvious.

Then there’s the issue of the liberals’ continuous tendency to turn off large segments of the population. This factor has given an enormous advantage to people like George Bush and his big- money constituents when it comes to elections. I think it is arguable that the liberals have been responsible for giving over the country to Bush and the far-right on a silver platter. The issue of abortion is a prime- if not the prime- example of this. There have been over 42 million abortions in this country since Roe vs. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court. Millions of Americans- and not only Christians but people of many other religious and ethical traditions- are terribly disturbed by this. But the liberals turn a deaf ear to them and just talk about the right to privacy when addressing the issue of abortion. Or they invent ridiculous “new- speak” terms like “reproductive health” to refer to abortion- which only insults the intelligence of already angry people. Except to say that my personal position is that abortion should be the rare exception rather than the rule, I am not going to get into the philosophical, theological or social issues relevant to abortion at this point. But is it smart for liberals to convey to the public that for them abortion is an acceptable form of birth control or that 42 million abortions are just fine and dandy? Yes, if they want a sufficient number of voters to facilitate the creation of Bush’s Fascist- Feudal State. And that’s what the liberals have done. It is the worst mistake they have ever made and it may well cost us our democratic republic as we have known it.

Liberalism has in the past brought about a much better life for more and more Americans. The accomplishments are vital: Unions and employees’ rights; women’s rights; civil rights for African- Americans and other minorities; the defense of constitutional rights for all; social security and other important entitlements, including of course health benefits for the elderly. The list goes on. Americans owe very much to the best of liberal thinking. What I would say to present- day liberals is: “ Un-confuse yourselves fast. Get back to your historical roots. And knock off the double-talk and malarky. ” I would also say: “ Start talking directly and convincingly to the American people. Stand up for what you stand for. Stop being so damned intimidated by the right- wing. And get the hell out of the woods once and for all. You have lost much of the population permanently. Maybe you can gather sufficient replacements. The consequences may be quite significant. Do you get it yet ?” I wouldn’t bank on it, folks.