Being a conservative is more challenging since mass hysteria, aka, the Tea Party, entered the picture in the wake of the election of America’s first African-American president. If limited government whose purpose is not to foster social agendas was ever really what conservatism was about, it isn’t now.
Take a new law, currently on the governor’s desk to be signed (or hopefully, vetoed) in Florida. Demonstrating what happens when you get too many Republican men in a room together, the so-called conservative bill requires that women considering abortions must first schedule an ultrasound test in which the doctor describes to her the contents of her uterus, whether she wants to know about that yolk sac or not. Touting ultrasounds as non-invasive and therefore harmless led the National Institutes of Health to release this statement: “Ultrasound examination in pregnancy should be performed for a specific medical indication.”
Election after election, the “hard-working white people”* vote for the guy or gal spouting the most extreme platitudes, and then wonder why nothing gets done in Washington, why our elected officials don’t work together better
If the faux-conservative legislature gets its way, not only must the woman wait, with the clock ticking, for an appointment for a test she doesn’t want, she must also foot the bill for all this herself. Is it possible for government to be more intrusive in people’s private lives than this?
Marco Rubio, the so-called tea bagger candidate in the Florida Senate race, demonstrated a further failure of rhetoric with the recent announcement of his “policy committee.” Rubio, running on the outsider platform but squarely on the Republican ticket, is tapping entrenched Washington insiders Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as honorary committee chairs. No doubt they will bring fresh ideas on how to take our country back from…themselves. What’s wrong with this picture?
People who are against progressive initiatives like choice and a positive role for government are being played, again. Candidates pandering to tea bagger fears know what to say and do to appear to offer the answers, which are always both simple and vague. And election after election, the “hard-working white people”* vote for the guy or gal spouting the most extreme platitudes, and then wonder why nothing gets done in Washington, why our elected officials don’t work together better.
We as progressives have to figure out how to wake up our neighbors in this country that we all share, and get them to question the slogans and lies directed at them. If anyone out there knows a good way to do that, I’d love to hear it.
* Hillary Clinton, campaigning for president in 2008 in Pennsylvania