There is a thread of thought here that asserts that 80 or so years of
"liberal" policies have brought the country to ruin economically. And I
have a bridge in New York to sell to these people. Talk about drinking the
kook-aid.A truly liberal policy would have us on a one payer health
insurance system. We have mixed up system that primarily relies on employer
based free enterprise insurance. We have been in multiple wars (which we
don't pay for as we go) instead of pursuing pacifistic goals. Full civil
rights are not available to all Americans, and we restrict the right to vote to
minorities. We allow too much religion into our policy making. People are
still hungry, and good jobs were exported overseas with the pursuit of corporate
profit. Wall Street, that bastion of conservatism, makes policy for all of our
financial oversight mechanisms rendering them useless. Politicians listen to
corporate America, and not mainstream America (we have the best legislators that
money can buy).At best you would call the last 80 years a moderate
conservative governmenance. But to call it a liberal is an inane interpretation
As a Conservative I'm:Not in favor of Gay Marriage, but I also
believe that the government should stay out of the bedroom. If course all you
libs will brand me as hateful because I don't support
"equality".I'm for smaller government, but also more
responsible government. In other words, the government shouldn't be the be
all end all for everyone.I'm for lower taxes, and yes, that includes
the rich. They made their money, let them keep it.I'm for term
limits. Sorry Orrin.I'm for the right to say and criticize anyone or
anything you want, except for yelling fire in a crowded theater.I'm
for the right to posess firearms. Guns are not the problem. Sometimes it is
the people using them, and the Santa Barbara shootings should verify that.
Signals were missed in that case.I don't support Abortion except
where the heal of the mother is at risk or rape or incest.I'm for
people being responsible for what happens to them. Good or bad.And many
This is certainly a conglomeration of baloney. Red states like Utah and Texas do
well because of conservative principles. How anyone can be horrified at lower
taxes and a simpler tax structure, less red tape, and a balanced budget is
beyond me. Seems like common sense. Free market economy is the best welfare
program believe it.
I live a very conservative life and many people mistake me for a conservative
republican. In a group or in person I have listened to conservatives. When they
speak politically their conversations are full of racial blaming and the
destruction of those who disagree with them. Everyone is at fault except who
they support. The name "Conservative" has become the name of very
hateful and ignorant people who only care to serve themselves. Mary
is right about one thing, it is very sad that we don't have real
Quote "The rich tradition of conservatism is in danger"There
you go, there could not be a more fitting or attractive headline for a group of
people dedicated to the notion that everything is getting worse and they are the
last "good" people left on the face of the Earth to stop it all.
Selling out to tea party and talk radio cements a party in the un-electable
corner. But bloggers can ride it daily.
It's unfortunate that so many view Mary Barker's editorial as an
opportunity to demonize others and promote polarization of society rather than
to talk about real issues in a civil and enlightening manner. If one were to
judge the political left - whether one calls it "Democrat" or liberal,
or whatever - on the basis of comments appearing in the DN on a regular basis,
and particularly following this article, one would be forced to conclude that in
endeavoring to point out the cartoonish behavior of their political opponents
all they have really done is to demonstrate that cartoonishness is no respecter
No Mike Riahards, RedShirt, J Thompson, wrz, L White...2bits is the
@JoeBlowNice but fallacious try.Your definition is more
the extreme left definition of a conservative view of a liberal.Conservative are not extremists. That is a hateful leftist label to attack
and minimize them. Conservatives know quite well who the
NEO-Liberals are and who the progressive big government republicans and
democrats are.And are quite able to and have identified them
This article is more partisan blog rant than an unbiased representation. Mary
Barker doesn’t understand the rich tradition of conservatism. Her
musings display contempt not sympathy for conservatism.She despises
conservatives and belittles/ignores their concerns about a government which
grows and absorbs more power daily. This is the cause of the tea party’s
rise from obscurity. When one half of the government ignores the other half you
are liable to push people to the extremes in both parties. Using extremists like
Todd Akin as her example is a gross exaggeration of the people within the
movement.Conservatives defend equal taxation and equal opportunity for all
despite wealth status. They despise attempts by government to interfere with
equal opportunity hence opposition to Medicaid expansion and Federal Reserve
policy which only helps rich bankers. Lastly, after 80 years of liberal
policies our country has turned into a crony capitalist society. It is not the
fault of conservative tea partiers but of liberals who demanded compromises and
negotiations which led to bailouts and quasi tax breaks. It’s liberals
who hate capitalism why don’t you rant about them?
to John Charity Spring"Let us be clear. The conservative
tradition is being ruined by notions of political correctness."Right!? Because the Tea party, Sarah Palin, AM Talk Radio, & Rupert
Murdock's propaganda channel have done nothing to damage the conservative
re Blue early this morning...["Conservatism... values
intelligence, education and high culture."Well there's the
whopper of the day.]Agreed. Going by the above values, the average
conservative would be Niles or Frasier Crane. That said, I was
flipping the channels last night and stopped to watch All in the Family...
Archie Bunker is today's typical conservative... Norman Lear was spot on 35
Mary,Going, going...gone.As one DN reader earlier
opined...Mary has clearly hit one out of the park...Boom.Thank you for your accurate portrayal of the caricature
conservatism/republicanism has become in the United States.The only
thing I might add....the Republican brand is so polluted...Republicans decided to call themselves conservatives.Labeling
oneself a conservative is one thing...Simply acquiring a new and
improved self-selected brand...to somehow avoid association with what
Republicanism has become...is quite another.
I thought that I must have been reading the Tribune this morning when I read
this enlightened article! Wow. Even my mother called me and said what a great
article that was. It was intelligent and insightful.Sometimes
I'm shocked that the DN will print an amazing article like this written by
an articulate person with credentials.
Mary is thinking of conservatives like Burke and Hobbes, thoughtful and
intelligent people. They were very, very far from the know-nothing,
anti-scientific, anti-intellectual, anti-education, pro-pillaging, pro-violence
absurdity that masquerades today as "conservatism" and is actually a
very old tendency in America--the "paranoid tradition," as the great
historian Richard Hofstadter called it.
@2 bits"You can be a Democrat and not be Liberal. And you can be a
Republican and not be Conservative. And you can be "Conservative" and
not be either..."Exactly. And right now, "neither" is
what I am. I feel like I am a conservative without a party. Maybe that's
for the best.-----------@Madsen Hall Magic"Democrats have been right for decades"Your irony
completely eludes me. You listed a bunch of presidents that you called
"Democrats." I assume you were being sarcastic (except that Carter
actually WAS). Then you listed what Hillary Clinton would do if elected. Were
you still being sarcastic? Are they all Democrats or aren't they? Are you
implying that the author of the post was saying this?Please clarify.
I completely agree. Democrats have been right for decades. Eizenhower, Carter,
Reagan, Thatcher, Washington, Lincoln...all good Democrats. It should be
obvious from the list of great Democrat leaders who the best party is.If Hillary gets elected we'll all get student loans erased. Fanny Mae
will pay my mortgage, plus put solar panels on my roof. Democratic principles
are free stuff for Americans. Cradle to grave government care. That means the
government will pay funeral costs too.Vote Democrat. Vote Hillary.
Very good piece here. Conservative principles were correctly presented in the
article, and are still the answer to nations, societies, and governments. But
because of selfishness and greed, the worship of false gods, and embrace of
false doctrines (religious, economic and societal) our society has lost its
moorings. Not only do we need a return to true conservative
principles, but we also need a return to God and His teachings and principles,
doctrines and commandments. Society will thrive when we are founded
upon true principles.
"Conservatism may be defined as an orientation to public life that
emphasizes the limitations of human nature; that cautions prudence in public
policy; that promotes responsible behavior; and that values intelligence,
education and high culture."The DN never lets me down.... good
source of giggles.If this is the definition of Conservatism, then is
the author trying to make the point that liberalism is divined by letting go to
the most basic human instincts, reckless abandon in public policy, promotion of
lawlessness, embraces ignorance, and demeans education and finds the arts
wasteful. Did I miss a quantum shift in the universe?I kind of
thought conservatism was based on patriotism, traditional value, small
government and a strong national defense.... but guess I was wrong. Who
knew.... perhaps the next big platform for the Republicans will be funding of
education and the arts... even supporting public broadcasting.... I had this
whole thing backwards!
Ninjutsu,Then you should focus on trying to being a "Conservative"
(not a Republican or Democrat).You don't have to be either of
these... to be a "Conservative".We need to quit pretending
being partisan for either party... makes us either... (Conservative or Liberal).
It doesn't.You can be a Democrat and not be Liberal. And
you can be a Republican and not be Conservative. And you can be
"Conservative" and not be either...
Ms. Barker,Almost thou pursuadest me to be a Republican.Truly,
if the Republican party valued "conservatism" as this author defines it,
I would unhesitatingly align myself with it.
2 bits,Lets look further at your post: "If
there's a flaw with liberal thinking today... it's expecting everybody
to fit your stereotypes for them. Especially political rhetoric inspired
stereotypes.Quit seeing people as the GROUP/Cast you have place them
in... and then expect them to always behave according to your stereotype.Quit seeing people as their GROUP. As your stereotype for them... IF you
must judge, judge them as individuals... and you will come closer to
reality".Aren't you saying that all liberals think the same
way? Aren't you stereotyping with the first statement the very same way
you criticize liberals in your next several sentences? If you believe that both
party extremes have this problem why did you only mention the "flaw" of
the liberals?You might be surprised at how many things you and I
agree on, but for many on this board I am a liberal because I wont vote straight
republican, because I believe that Mike Lee is Jason Chaffetz are not good for
Utah or America. I agree with everything you say above except you limiting
stereotyping exclusively to liberals.
Liberal Definition in the 21st Century = Anyone who is, at a minimum, a smidgen
to the left of the far right.For those who disagree, define a
moderate. (as well as a RINO)I actually consider myself fiscal
conservative and social moderate. But, per the definition above, I am labeled a
This is the sort of conservatism that defines people like Hatch, Bennett,
McCain, and others. People in Congress or the Senate that I disagree with on
many things, but respect nonetheless.
Odd that my two favorite "conservative" commenters have absolutely
nothing to say about this fine editorial.
Again, Deseret News, do not, I repeat, do not let Mary Barker get away from you.
She is spot on in her analysis. Every Republican candidate for office should be
required by his or her constituents to sit down and read this editorial every
day during the upcoming campaign. And every voter ought to read this too,
repeatedly. And if the "conservative" candidates aren't really
conservative, they should, figuratively speaking, be taken out behind the
woodshed and given a few splinters where it hurts to sit.
@Fred44,I didn't call ANYBODY a "Liberal". I think
it's up to everybody to self-identify if they want that label (and many
have). Some posters have already proudly boasted about being
"Liberal"... so it's not me calling them a "Liberal".
I'm just taking their word for it.It was probably bad to assume
the letter writer was a "Liberal". I'll leave that up to her to
decide if she thinks she's a liberal. But the statement (about
stereotyping) was based on posts from people who very frequently boast about
their being "Liberal" (not an assumption, or me calling them a liberal,
they BRAG constantly about being a liberal).====But like
I said... generalizations and stereotypes don't always fit (I realise
that... it was the point I was trying to make). That's why
I'll never assume or pretend all Democrats are "Liberal" (I know
they aren't). I won't even assume they use the literal definition or
the political definition of "Liberal" when they boast about being
liberal. We all know the political definition of "Liberal" is
different than the classical definition of "Liberal" (Same for
@pragmatistferlife – “This article is the perfect example of why so
many of us have said many times that we use to be Republicans
until…”Exactly!What’s ironic though,
and perhaps this is simply a function of our two party system which merges
diverse political movements – in this case Libertarians and Social
Conservatives, is that they will quickly throw personal liberty under the bus if
they think doing so advances a moral project they believe in (e.g., banning gay
marriage or all abortions).When liberals do this (healthcare,
minimum wage, etc…) it is a gross violation of personal liberty, yet
conservatives are blind to their own inconsistency in upholding the same limited
government values.But as the saying goes, a partisan is someone with
the crystal clear vision of a one eyed man.
Conservatism today isn't good ideas and good leadership. It's a blend,
ideology, religion, and unabashed redneckism, if one can coin a phrase. Is the
republican party conservative? Somewhat, but hopefully it can cure itself.
Excellent essay. This should be mandatory reading for conservatives and liberals
An exceptional piece!
This is a great article and pretty much sums up why I no longer identify as a
Republican. It's been a long while since there has been anyone I've
been excited to vote for. Romney would have been one, if he hadn't pandered
to the extreme right in an attempt to win.
2 bits,You said: "If there's a flaw with liberal thinking
today... it's expecting everybody to fit your stereotypes for them.
Especially political rhetoric inspired stereotypes". So are you calling the
author and the majority of posters Liberals? If so isn't that the same
stereotyping that you decry when it comes to republicans and conservatives?
@GaryO,Modern "Liberalism" is a cruel caricature of true
Liberalism. It's a grotesque rendering that greatly accentuates the most
peculiar, unfortunate, and unkind characteristics inherent to Liberalism, while
it minimizes the decent, sensible, and attractive qualities.Modern
"Liberalism" is a malformed, deformed, distorted, twisted, gnarled,
mangled, misshapen, hideous representation of true Liberalism.And
tellingly, its adherents can't tell the difference.========What I'm trying to point out is... that the exact same things COULD
be said about Liberalism (and Democrats).Your same arguments (while
true) could be said about modern political "Liberalism" as well. Modern
"Liberalism", and Political "Liberalism", and Democrat
"Liberalism"... It's not the same as the dictionary definition of
being "Liberal". It's a caricature of what being truly
"Liberal" means.She could have written the exact same
article about "Liberalism" and "Democrats".So don't
be too smug...
John Charity Spring said: "The current administration in Washington has put
enormous pressure on universities to silence all speech and writing that does
not meet the administration's view of what is politically correct. This
includes any speech or writing which supports traditional moral values."Do you just make stuff up now? How have they done this and what
evidence do you have?Is there a letter on White House letterhead that say
to stop any Moral Speeches?To be taken seriously, you should
probably not bare false witness against the POTUS continually while talking of
high morals.Deja vu
This article is the perfect example of why so many of us have said many times
that we use to be Republicans until... Saying that does not in any way say that
I or any one else thinks the Democrats have it right. It does say that
conservatives and ergo the Republicans have completely lost their way. Personally (and maybe it's just me) I think conservatism has lost
it's way through an obsession with personal liberty. Personal liberty is
an easy sell when you're trying to promote a personal agenda. Anything
from lower taxes, gun rights, bans on abortion, fossil fuel energy, religious
agendas, etc. etc. all fit very nicely in the envelope of you're taking my
liberty.As the author points out conservatives have always been the
champions of liberty but within the context of society. Not any more.
It's just me, me.
Mary makes the common mistake of assuming Republicans are the keepers of
Conservatism.Republicans are NOT necessarily
"Conservatives"! So you don't define "Conservatism" by
looking at Republicans.SOME Republicans are "Conservatives"
(just as SOME Democrats are Liberals). But not ALL Republicans are examples of
"Conservatism", and not ALL Democrats are examples of being
"Liberal".====We need to quit looking to the
various political parties that are SUPPOSED to fit our stereotypes... and not
only expect them to behave correctly (for our stereotype)... but also expect
them to portray purity in that stereotypes that we attribute to them (Liberal or
Conservative).If there's a flaw with liberal thinking today...
it's expecting everybody to fit your stereotypes for them. Especially
political rhetoric inspired stereotypes.Quit seeing people as the
GROUP/Cast you have place them in... and then expect them to always behave
according to your stereotype.Quit seeing people as their GROUP. As
your stereotype for them... IF you must judge, judge them as individuals... and
you will come closer to reality.Conservatism is what it has always
been (same for "Liberalism"). It just isn't canonized neatly into
political parties like you expect...
This is an amazing piece of dissection of the problems with conservative
thinking today. I could easily respect any conservative viewpoint which came
from the traditional conservative. I can not say that today, since our
conservative political party (and most conservative thinkers) resort to the kind
of debate and opinion formation that is described here.It is
interesting that the one comment so far to dispute any of this, and defend
today's conservative thinking resorts to an argument that has nothing to do
with the patterns of thinking and argumentation of today's conservative.
Political "correctness" is a silly argument advanced by conservatives to
claim the mantle of victimhood. It is not an argument against rationalism.
Ms. Barker knocked this one out of the park. In conjunction with the judicial
opinions coming out of the SSM debate, this gives me hope that America does
still house the kind of thinking that is grounded in "concrete reality; what
is happening right in front of our eyes." This doesn't preclude
anyone's speculations about or need for something beyond the concrete. It
just puts things in their proper order.And, yes, let's
absolutely develop policies with an eye to what we know about "the
limitations of human nature." This nonsense about deregulation willfully
ignores what we as a species have proven to be true time and time again: that we
will do things we would not ordinarily do if we don't think anyone is
watching. So why, why would we think that deregulating the financial system is
a good idea?Can we please, PLEASE get real again?
Somebody call the brethren, a SL Trib piece was accidentally published in the
DN. Common sense and restraint? That's not the conservatism that we know in
Utah. We know under-the-table dealings, deference toward the wealthy, blaming
the poor for their circumstances, and high minded self-righteousness. Why is
this lady trying to rock the boat?
Let us be clear. The conservative tradition is being ruined by notions of
political correctness.Political correctness is an outright ban on
any speech, writing, thought, or even idea that might be the least bit
offensive. This has led to the even more false I notion that, because someone
has the right to be free from any offense, no one has the right to express ideas
that any possible person could possibly take offense at.The current
administration in Washington has put enormous pressure on universities to
silence all speech and writing that does not meet the administration's view
of what is politically correct. This includes any speech or writing which
supports traditional moral values.How ironic that the dogma of
political correctness has been used as a sword to attack all dissenting
viewpoints. Indeed, only one view is given freedom of expression. Too many
conservatives have allowed themselves to be silent in the face of this attack.
Great op-ed. Thank you for providing the political theory backdrop. The GOP has
strayed far from his philosophical and historical roots.
When I think of conservatives, Teddy Rosevlet comes to mind. Which is why it
has become more and more difficult to support today's GOP. Any party that
hands it microphone over to radicals like Mike Lee, Ted Cruz or intellectually
chanllenged politicans like Sarah Palin or Michelee Bachman has lost my support.
The GOP won't win back the WH until they win back their party.
Mary Barker's article is a MasterPiece!This is beautiful - and
it hit the nail right square on the head!FYI -- The Republicans --
commandeered by the radical Tea-Party - comes across more like the villagers in
Monty Python and the Holy Grail with it's "witch" trial, than
pragmatic, problem solving, sitdown with both sides to issues, share opposing
views, and plan an intelligent solution, Statesmen.Jon Huntsman Jr.
is the closest "conservative" the GOP has, and look how they treat him.
Are Republicans Conservative? Well . . . yes and no, but mostly no.Republicans are "Conservative."And Modern
"Conservatism" is a distorted representation of true Conservatism.It's like a misproportioned cartoon compared to a portrait.Modern "Conservatism" is a cruel caricature of true
Conservatism. It's a grotesque rendering that greatly accentuates the most
peculiar, unfortunate, and unkind characteristics inherent to Conservatism,
while it minimizes the decent, sensible, and attractive qualities.Modern "Conservatism" is a malformed, deformed, distorted, twisted,
gnarled, mangled, misshapen, hideous representation of true Conservatism.And tellingly, its adherents can't tell the difference.
Outstanding. Thank you for stating the truth in such eloquent and pragmatic
terms. Another essay in this morning's paper discusses Senator
Hatch's long record of reaching across the aisle to work together for the
good of the people. Dare I say that was the mindset of most members of Congress
- Democrats and Republicans; liberals and conservatives - until the beginning of
this century. Honorable men and women waged honorable battles in the halls of
Congress to promote their particular ideology but in the end, it was the
American people's interests that they tried to represent. And yes, I will
admit, that is an optimistic analysis of days gone by. But I believe the
comparison between those those and our current state of affairs relating to our
elected officials will show a stark contrast in attitudes and accomplishments.
An honest examination of who and what we are, such as this essay offers, will go
a long way to resolving some of the ills that currently stop our country from
progressing in to the future.
"Conservatism... values intelligence, education and high culture."Well there's the whopper of the day.Try to get a
contemporary conservative leader or candidate for high office to talk about the
age of our planet or biological evolution and watch them run for the nearest
exit.They'll fall all over themselves endorsing STEM education,
but ask them about global warming and they start spouting gobbledygook.High culture? Ask today's GOP leaders how they feel about the NEA and
the NEH.Face it, today's GOP is fully in the thrall of the Tea
Party, a retrograde, fundamentally anti-intellectual movement within which
intelligence, education and culture are held in deep contempt.
Wow. Just WOW. - this hits every major issue with today's GOP
and nails them all PERFECTLY - How did she get this in the DN? (I applaud
the DN for posting. THey gonna get some pushback)"It promotes
politicians whose comments constantly offend the educated observer"She left out the pettiness that seems to play so well with the base. Palin
perfected it and others are now right there. Hold up a gun and the
crown goes wildQuestion Obamas birth certificate and its a winnerThreaten nuclear war and get an ovationThey are easy applause
lines and work every time.Its like "potty humor" to elementary
school kids. How about this GOP. Grow up.