The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Conservative Myths Give Life To The GOP

The post embed below is special. It have been posted on the TPI with permission and embodies many points we have espoused since TPI inception.

It is not only "point-on" regarding myths regarding American conservatism, it has been published with an underlining reality, you cannot refute. Conservatives have (strategically) short memories and they want your cognitive recall to match their lack of interest in the prologue of their past failures and political malfeasance.

The ideology literally exist and proliferates by successful promulgation of a set of myths. Myths as a foundation for party ideology with fissures in race based "southern strategy" politics, lock-step devotion to uber wealthy financial supporters and an unyielding commitment of US regressivism to times long past.

The web page Conservatives Myths offers 10 top conservative myths.  I have posted the top six myths below with the following link to the full piece.  As is sometimes the case, quick reads are good and they draw more readers. But, there is a place for detailed screeds that provide a far deeper representation and scrutiny of the US conservative and conservative ideology. 

If we do not take time to understand the conservative ideology and manifest propaganda, we are doomed to the very victim-hood the Right desires and commands from millions who religiously vote Right. Often, those votes stand to harm the very hands that cast the vote.
The Top 10 Conservative Myths
Conservative Success is based on two things: You forgetting their sorry history, and swallowing down these whoppers!

    Conservative Reality No. 1 This concept would be laughable, if it wasn't so tragically perverse. Far from being patriots, conservatives are too often reckless and dangerous citizens, consistently veering very close to being actual traitors, and they've actually stampeded across that line several times in American history.

    Consider the American Revolution. Conservatives were against it! Yes, they were the "Party of No" back then, too. Remember that the definition of a conservative is one who wishes to promote, preserve and/or restore traditional "values," hierarchies and institutions. True to form, in 1776 they wanted no part of breaking away from English tradition and their much-beloved British monarchy. They liked being the king's subjects. They were called "Tories", the name still used for the conservative party in England. So conservatives started off on the wrong side of American history, and that's where they've been ever since.

    After the war, many conservatives fled the now heathen America, heading back to Britain, Canada or the Caribbean. Good riddance to them. Yet many southern conservatives skedaddled to Florida, which was then still loyal to the crown. We inherited these traitors back in short order.

    For years after the Revolution had been won, American conservatives predicted the new republic's demise. Steeped in their belief that the common rabble could not govern itself for long without anarchy ensuing, they resisted thinking of themselves as "Americans" at all, and patiently awaited their liberation from such liberality by either Armageddon or the return and revenge of their beloved British overlords.

    The conservative loyalists' shaky hopes for liberation from the Brits were finally dashed during the War of 1812, when, sure enough, the English arrived again on American shores but had no intention of taking back their former colonies. No, this time they went burning and pillaging (including the White House) while inviting slaves to run away and inciting Indians to attack any and all white Americans. This, as you can imagine, did not sit well with the conservatives, who, perhaps for the first time, considered themselves American. Well, better late than never.
    With Patriots like Conservatives, Who Needs Terrorists?
    But it was a tenous loyalty for many conservatives. The conservative traitorous streak returned in its full audacious decadence in 1861 when conservatives in the South said to hell with the United States, and huffed off to form their own more perfect union where "states' rights" rule and a decent white person was really free... to own another person, that is! Over seven hundred and twenty thousand Americans died as a result of conservative ideology run amok during the Civil War.

    You would think the stench of that shameful episode might have prompted some serious and humbling introspection regarding their mindset, but you would be wrong: down South, conservatives still proudly fly their Confederate flag, preferred, in fact, over Old Glory.

    Out in Texas, meanwhile, conservatives consider themselves Texans first, Americans second (if at all). Recently Texas conservatives, including Governor Rick Perry and libertarian fave Ron Paul, have rekindled the periodic Texan whine about seceding from the Union. Meanwhile, up in Alaska, there is the conservative Alaskan Independence Party, which promotes breaking away from the United States. This is the organization that Todd Palin (yes, Sarah's "First Dude") belonged to for seven years. Then we have the conservatives in Wyoming, home of Dick Cheney, who are also pondering a secession plan, complete with their own aircraft carrier that can tool around in Lake Yellowstone and perhaps send sorties out over the increasingly blue state of Colorado.

    Then we were treated to the spectacle when Obama was reelected in 2012, and over one million conservative "Americans" from all 50 states sent their "petitions" in to secede from the union! Ah, the sublime hypocrisy of it all... the "true" and "brave" defenders of democracy whining, blubbering and cutting and running when they are defeated by... democracy! Throughout the old Confederacy, including Texas, and out in Alaska and Wyoming, and with all the petition filers, it's all more childish angst and macho posing and bluster than considered thought, but it certainly stands as proof positive of just how shallow "love of country" for conservatives really is.

    Consider, as well, how conservatives have long tried so hard to actually thwart democracy. They were the original proponents of only allowing white men with property to vote and having senators hand-picked by state office-holders. Conserving the aristocracy you know; that's the way the Tories still have the British House of Lords rigged.

    As more Americans began gaining the right to vote, plus the right to vote for most government positions, including senators, conservatives scrambled to find other ways to thwart democracy. They have variously thrown up poll taxes, means testing, intimidation, inconvenient ID requirements, providing the poor and working class with fewer and/or malfunctioning voting machines, tampering with machine-counted votes, and setting up onerous and punitive restrictions for those registering voters, just to name a few of the malicious tactics to lower voter turnout they have tried... and are still trying. After laying low for a few decades, the red states are back - right out in the open - trying to suppress the vote.

    A few modern conservatives have even called for repeal of the 17th Amendment, the one which gave the people the power to vote for their senators. Now conservatives such as Antonin Scalia, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Zell Miller and others have actually proposed taking this right away from We the People and handing it back to the aristocracy. Those conservatives... loyal to the dominator hierarcy, not American ideals!

    Moreover, in their quixotic quest to wrench power from the liberals since the last time they nearly ruined the country (the 1920s), conservatives have deliberately promoted hatred toward any government that isn't run by them. When they aren't in control, conservatives do everything they can to delegitimize the political and moral authority of those who are. This is a whisker away from high treason. Confucius was just one of the wise men who taught that it would be better for a nation to lose its security and its food than the trust of the people for the government. Many a once-powerful nation throughout history disintegrated once its people lost faith in their government (see The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire for useful information). Once the public loses love for and confidence in their government, civil strife is sure to follow, and so the Constitutional mandate of promoting the general welfare of the people is thwarted.

    This hate and distrust angle for the government (and for other Americans) has won conservatives elections, but has been one of the most nefarious and potentially disastrous strategies for the country itself of any political tactic in American history. It intentionally fosters deep and passionate division within the populace. Conservatives are playing with apocalyptic fire as they fan the flames of not just disagreement but outrighthatred for all things not conservative... moderate though such persons or programs may actually be. Over the past 50 years, conservatives have vomited up venomous bile toward the Kennedys, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and (most particularly) Barack Obama, along with any idea they proffer (even those originally proposed by conservatives... like "RomneyCare").

    This dark, conservative vitriol is orders of magnitude more corrosive to national unity and stability than any such demagoguery from the liberal side.

    Following 9/11, the radical CorpCon George W. Bush had a 90 percent approval rating, which obviously included the bulk of so-called liberals, willing to give him a chance to lead the nation with due respect (even just shortly after his highly dubious Supreme Court route to the presidency). So, too, did Ronald Reagan, even as he ushered in the reckless era of "trickle-down" economics, enjoy widespread legitimacy (though not always agreement) in the view of liberals. Contrast this with the incessant and relentless conservative debasement of the American government throughout the Carter, Clinton and Obama administrations. They don't just vehemently disagree with politicians from the other side, they hate them! Seen from a non-partisan perspective, the degree of vitriol and hatred from the conservatives is utterly astounding, and easily discerned for the clear and present danger it really is.

    (This is why Democratic presidents rarely achieve an approval rating of much more than 50 percent. They struggle against both the automatic, inflexible hatred of the right, plus the frustration of the left that they aren't liberal enough!)

    These examples show how conservatives value clan/party ideology and dogma over American ideals and values, including the all-important value of unity. Guided by clan mentality, which easily overrides both national or religious loyalty, conservatives seek not unity but division and separation of themselves, whom they consider superior, from "the other" whom they regard as inferior and potentially threatening. This pits them against most other Americans (as well as the rest of the world). Today conservatives demonize and blame many of the country's problems on blacks, immigrants, gays, the poor, unions, teachers, firefighters, government workers, liberals, and anybody else who seems a little different. Not a fact in the solar system supports this worldview, but they believe if they spew the lie and their coded prejudicial message often and loud enough, just enough gullible voters will believe it. And they are generally correct in that assessment.

    So, innately aligned against the interests of the people, the conservative's only real means to power is to divide and conquer. They know they cannot win by standing on their positions and true aims; they must lie, deceive, frighten, divide and subjugate. The whole idea of a united States is contrary to conservative objectives. They truly want an America separated into a distinct hierarchy of haves/have-nots, oppressed and oppressors. As always, conservatives have a real problem with the concept of We the People! To paraphrase William F. Buckley, conservatives stand athwart democracy yelling, "Stop!"

    Meanwhile, conservative politicians wrap themselves in the flag and wallow in faux-patriotism, but actually do everything they can to thwart democracy and denigrate, degrade and foment distrust for American government. From Harding's cronyism and corruption, to McCarthy's witch-hunts, to Nixon's lying and paranoia, to Reagan's illegal clandestine wars in Central America, to George W. Bush's immoral warmongering, incompetence and intentional running up a titanic deficit designed to "starve the beast," to the unprecedented obstructionism of today's radical Republican congressmen and senators, conservatives aggressively work to stop American progress and shared prosperity.
    Shortly after Obama's election Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell famously declared that the No. 1 priority of conservatives was not to create jobs, not strengthen the economy, not defend the nation, nor serve We the People... but to make Obama a one-term president. And sure enough, the Republicans have tried to block every move of the administration's effort to get the economy moving again. The Republicans are perfectly willing to allow America to fail in order to paint Obama in a negative light. They are willing to forestall economic recovery, or even damage the country itself, to keep Obama from succeeding at anything.

    This tactic reached a climactic nadir when Republicans led by Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy took the full faith and credit of the United States of America, not to mention democracy, hostage by threatening not to raise the Debt Limit and thereby defaulting on loans and debts that previous Congresses had promised. And so, Republican grandstanding and brinkmanship earned the United States its first-ever downgrade in debt rating. (And now... conservatives have the gall to blame Obama for their own backfired stunt.)

    Then in 2013 Republicans held America hostage again, actually shutting down the government, demanding that President Obama defund the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). There is no mechanism in the Constitution for any branch of government (much less a minority party) to shut down the government to prevent full enactment of a law passed by Congress, signed by the President, and verified legal by the Supreme Court.

    Is this behavior by the conservatives in Congress just a smidge short of grand treason... or is it actually over the line? If the roles were reversed, a Republican president and his allies would likely be howling for Congressional impeachments.
    Conservatives have long countered liberal progress with claims that the sky is falling. Public education, workers rights, women's suffrage, Social Security, Medicare all were enjoined with shrieks of anguish from conservatives. Now it is Obamacare that is a "train wreck," or a "disaster." They never have any real facts to back them up... just myths that scream at the top of their lungs.

    Again and again conservatives try to impose a rigid ideology that is based purely on mythology, totally lacking empirical evidence, an ideology that has never proven itself anything other than disastrous to the nation. Multiple times in American history so-called "laissez-faire" economic policies - i.e. let the "free market" run - have torpedoed the economy. Conservatives simply can't or won't learn the lessons, and they continue to place America at risk with their recklessness and wrongness.

    Today they are doubling-down on their discredited ideologies, bellowing for more deregulation of capitalism, just a few years after that very thing - a wildly speculating banking and investment industry - drove the world economy off the rails. Such CorpCons who would bankrupt the country for an extra million in their own pockets, and the SoCons who ignorantly believe and enable them, are truly the greatest danger to our nation.

    As Lincoln said, "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher." And there can be little doubt that not communism or socialism or liberalism will be that author. The true and present danger to America is conservatism!

    Now this, from a conservative political operative high in the ranks of the Virginia Republican Party, proclaiming that if the "socialist" Obama is re-elected in 2012, "We shall not have any coarse (sic) but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November ~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue."

    Right. Obama the moderate Republican, on whose watch the economcy has mostly recovered and the stock market has doubled, is a socialist ideologue! This Virginia Republican is either an utter moron, or a deliberate liar (OK, perhaps both). His frothing-at-the-mouth ilk - and all who would agree with them - are those attempting to thwart the American democratic system, and skating well out on to the thin ice of treason.

    A real American patriot loves America's land, people and ideals. Conservatives have no real respect for any of these. They don't give a damn about protecting the American environment or native species; they despise most other Americans; and they really don't believe in America's founding principles, including democracy itself. They bitch and groan about paying their fair share of taxes, and hate the government. Real patriots? Not a chance. Conservatives are always just a hissy-fit away from being abject traitors!

    Benghazi conservative hypocrisy
    Presently, conservatives, wildly inconsistent in their ethics, want to impreach Obama
    over the lamentable deaths at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Once again,
    we see conservative hatred, prejudice, and greed for power moving their party
    in directions counter to democracy itself.
Read more after break below

     America was born in its day as a radically liberal experiment, and has only become progressively more liberal over the past 230 years.
    Let's always keep our fundamental definitions of the political ideologies of liberal and conservative in mind:

    • Liberal: favorable to progress or reform, open minded, tolerant, creative, promoting ever greater liberty, equality, justice and pursuit of happiness; generally opposing aristocratic and unequal hierarchies.

    • Conservative: fearful of change, inflexible and unimaginative, disposed to conserve traditional hierarchies, institutions and traditions.

    All Americans are actually liberal at heart. They all believe in Freedom for All. That, folks, is a liberal idea. Conservatives of just a few hundred years ago certainly did NOT believe in this idea, and were willing to go to war to fight it. One of those wars was the American Revolution. The conservatives lost that one, and most of the others they have fought to preserve Freedom for A Few. Yet vestiges of this old conservative impulse to deny freedom and equality to some continues to live in the minds of true conservatives. Thankfully, these kinds of folks are getting fewer and fewer in America and around the world.

    It is true that many Americans consider themselves religious, as well as prudent and frugal, and so they may think of themselves as "conservative." So this is how the big myth that "America is a conservative country" seems to have the ring of truth, and remains popular. But these are not exclusively conservative traits by any stretch. One can be extremely liberal and still be religious, prudent and frugal. The majority of Americans are a lot more liberal than they think. And as a whole, keeping those standard definitions in mind, America is way more liberal than conservative.

    Anyone who wishes to expand liberty, equality, justice, pursuit of happiness, and love for one another is a liberal. If you really believe in the equality and capabilities of the common person; if you believe we are all in this together, as in "We the People," and "Love One Another", then you're a liberal. It's as simple as that.

    On the other hand, if you distrust others who don't look like you or believe like you, and you'd really like to impose your will on them or exploit them; if you long to return to some mythical America that existed sometime in the past; if you actually like the old unequal traditions, hierarchies and institutions and wish to conserve them... if you really think white people are superior to brown or black, males are superior to females, and rich are superior to poor, this is the way it has always been and always should be... hello, you are a conservative!
    Conservative social ideology has taken a whipping through American history. Why? Because the vast majority of Americans are simply not very conservative. Oh sure, there are large patches of the nation that are conservative, and pockets of conservatism around every corner. And sometimes they even win elections and manage to turn back progress a notch or two. But sooner or later their ideas end up getting flattened as the wheels of liberal progress get moving again.

    To become a conservative country, America would have to dismantle its liberal ideals. Instead, it is these very ideals that propel America to become more and more liberal. What did the founding fathers think would happen when they voted for a Declaration of Independence that included the phrase "All men are created equal..." and possess the "inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?" What did they have in mind when they established a Constitution for "We the People and set up a government to promote the general welfare?

    How far America has come in its great liberal experiment! Ideals that the founding fathers themselves could only give to America as idea-seeds, successive generations of Americans have brought to fruition. The Louisiana Purchase, emancipation of the slaves, votes for all adult citizens, public education, women's liberation, Native American rights, workers' rights and safety, food and drug safety, banking and commerce regulation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national parks, environmental protection, civil rights, the Interstate Highway System, the space program, medical discoveries, disease control, weather science and so much more... constant pursuit of a "more perfect union." These are the great liberal achievements of this great country... and each and every one of them was opposed by conservatives of their day!

    Conversely, from witch-burning to the Tories to the stealing of Indian lands and breaking of treaties to secession and Civil War to Jim Crow lynchings to serial banking panics and busts to industrial abuses to Prohibition to the Depression to McCarthyism and Communist fear-mongering to today's crony corporatocracy and out-of-control militarism, conservative ideas have generally evoked the very worst episodes of our national story.

    As you sit there reading this, conservatives are busily trying their hardest to deny liberty, equality, justice and pursuit of happiness for union members, gay, lesbian, transgender, Muslim and Hispanic citizens. They have no intention of actually loving any of these "others," as Jesus commanded them to. Instead, incoherently, they direct their "love" toward the hierarchy of the richest of the rich, and the most powerful of the powerful... the very ones who Jesus said have as much chance of getting into heaven as a camel through the eye of a needle! They have even distorted patriotism to where it now requires loyalty to corporations... yes, the very same corporations that have stolen us blind, polluted our planet, shipped jobs overseas and relocated their headquarters to a post office box in Bermuda to avoid paying American taxes have conservatives swooning in slavish devotion!

    Conservatism! Always a messy sight.

    But most Americans do not share this craziness. They don't swear blind allegiance to the rich or corporations or even a "free market;" they want a fair market. They want good public schools, safe working conditions, safe food, safe drugs, a clean environment. They support Social Security and Medicare and the idea of a social contract whereby we all help each other. They support the government supporting the arts and sciences in addition to the armed forces. The believe in the U.S. government helping out in natural disasters at home and abroad. They support the idea of the United Nations. They think for themselves and do not fear change or want to perpetuate hoary old hierarchies that lock in white, male, rich advantage over all others. They elected Woodrow Wilson (twice), Franklin Roosevelt (thrice), Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy (a Catholic), Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (twice), and even stunned and inspired the world by voting in unprecedented numbers to elect a black man named Barack Hussein Obama president (TWICE)! In other words, they are substantially more liberal than they are conservative.

    Indeed, after Obama's reelection, Fox News main anchor, Brit Hume, finally admitted, "This tells us something about moderates: A lot of people who call themselves that are actually liberal, more liberal than many of us thought."

    And this is rather the rub for conservatives. They know they are losing the "cultural war," and that's why they are so angry and afraid. What most of them don't realize is that this "cultural war" is not new. They've been losing this "war" for hundreds of years. More than any other group of people, social conservatives are oblivious to their own ideological history. Instead they imbibe a rosy mythology of some ideal America that existed a short time back, and needs to be reclaimed by bringing back "traditional values." If they could only impose these values on everybody else, America could be great again. They can't go into too much detail about when this ideal timeframe was, or what such a renewed America would actually look like, just that it wouldn't be so liberal.

    It's the fervent conservative fantasy: return to an era that never really existed. So even in their dreams the conservatives themselves pay homage to how liberal America really is, and will remain as long as the founding ideals light the way.

     America has never been a "Christian nation," and never will be. If it ever becomes officially a Christian nation, that's the end of America!

    There is no exclusively or specifically Biblical or Christian legal construct or ideology encoded in America's foundational ideals, Declaration of Independence, original Constitution, subsequent Amendments, laws or system of government. If anything whatsoever, the American system is a radical and emphatic rejection of the "divine right of kings" and religion-government entanglement which comprise the core of Abrahamic (Jewish-Christian-Islamic) governmental tradition.

    Diametrically opposite of this tradition (thankfully), the United States of America is based upon English common law, as established principally by the Magna Carta (1215), Constitution of 1657, Habeas Corpus Act (1679), and Bill of Rights (1689). These in turn draw not from Biblical governmental philosophy, but frompagan Greek democracy and Roman law. Other important inspirations for the novel U.S. system were obtained from Enlightenment and utilitarian philosophers, principal among these the English philosopher John Locke, as well as French champions of the common man's rights and qualities: Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu. Also, there is some evidence that Benjamin Franklin brought ideas from the Iroquois Confederacy's form of democracy into the original discussions of American government, particularly the aspect of each state/tribe being an autonomous unit yet bound to a larger federal whole: a league of united tribes/states.

    If the founding fathers had intended to create a Christian country they most certainly would have included the five letters J-E-S-U-S or the six letters C-H-R-I-S-T or the nine letters C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N somewhere - anywhere - in the nation's bylaws. But nope. Did they just forget Jesus? Well yes, they did. They intentionally forgot Jesus, and left out Christianity for some very, very, very good reasons.
    America is NOT a Christian Nation

    First off, more than a few of the founding fathers were simply not Christian. Right along with the vanguard of Western civilization as it embraced the philosophies of the Enlightenment, the leading lights of the American Revolution, including Thomas Paine, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, were reevaluating religious doctrine and dogma and "tradition," and finding much of it quite lacking and contrary to their rational sense of justice, morality and spirituality. Recent scientific discoveries, including Newton's laws, had served to undercut Biblical explanations of how the world works. Jefferson went so far as to cut out all the parts of the Bible he disagreed with, ending up with a very compact little treatise.

    Many of the most sophisticated members of the American founding fathers claimed to be "deists," not Christians or even "theists." These men still believed in God, but not in a god who would break His own laws of nature to interfere in human affairs.

    As well, the American patriots were keenly aware of the disastrous intersection of religion and government as it had played out in their ancestral England and throughout Europe, as well in the American colonies where at a time in history a person could be put to death for being of a particular religious stripe and caught in the wrong colony. They had absolutely no intention of adhering to the "traditional value" of brutal and bloody Christian vs. Christian warfare that had ravaged Britain, Ireland and the continent for centuries, much less sanction something as barbaric as a new government-sponsored religious crusade against some purported "infidel" (like, say, the Cherokee).

    So the founding fathers extremely wisely chose to create a wholly secular government and society, where the religions would be allowed to freely, and hopefully peaceably, coexist. In the new America you had the right to be an Anglican or a Quaker or a Catholic or a Muslim or a Hindu or a deist or an atheist. This concept is called "freedom of religion." Or it could likewise be defined as "freedom from religion," if you so choose. Either way you want to parse it, it is a fundamental aspect of the concept of freedom itself.

    Is America a Christian Nation?

    The very idea that America used to be more religious is also false. Church membership as a percent of the population peaked in the 1980s, and we are still a more religious nation than were those early Americans. During the Revolutionary War period only about a fifth of the population were church members. That had grown to about a third by the time of the Civil War. Today about two-thirds of the population are church members. That figure is dwindling. The "non-churched" (or "nones") - that is people who do not go to church - is the fastest growing segment of the population, now standing at about 20 percent of the population. If we keep going at this rate soon we'll be right back to the level of religiosity of those beloved patriots!

    So a Christian America was never created, nor remotely intended, by the founding fathers... and the idea that the original Americans were more religious is another myth.

    But let's do as Christians suggest - take a "leap of faith" - disregard all evidence (or lack thereof), suspend all common sense and fantasize that America really was intended to be a "Christian nation." Now we must ask ourselves, what would that even mean?

    What is a "Christian nation?" What are the sterling models of such a government? Solomon's Israel? (Oops, that wasn't even Christian). Constantine's Byzantium? Michelangelo's Italy? Joan's France? Henry's England? Luther's Germany? Hamlet's Denmark? Whose version of Christianity is it based upon? There are hundreds of different sects of Christianity, some viciously opposed to the others. Would it be based upon the love, forgiveness and passivity of the actual Jesus, or the "Christian soldier" mentality that came along much later? Would it be a Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, Evangelical Christian, Holy Roller, Amish or Mormon nation? Who would decide? Would we vote on the Christian sect every four years concurrent with the presidential election, or every two years as with each congressional cycle? Might we swing from an ideology of "love thy neighbor as thyself," "feed the poor," "give away your clothes," and "turn the other cheek," to xenophobic zealotry, "an eye for an eye," and "all heathens shall roast in hell for eternity," as we lean away from Christian-Democrats and toward Christian-Republicans? Would we be a nation that turns the other cheek, or would we become Crusaders for Christ (with drones and nukes)? It's all rather fuzzy, rather like Christians' descriptions of heaven... not nearly as well defined as their sweeping details of hell.

    As long as we are dreaming of the Christian America, we might also pause to ponder when America has ever acted according to the major precepts of Jesus the Christ... EVER!

    Oh, of course, America (half inspired by a semblance of conscience and the other half by the desire to feel good about itself and influence world opinion) sends a pittance of a percentage of its titanic wealth in aid and comfort to this or that country suffering from poverty, disease or disaster. Conservatives would like to cut out even that morsel of true Christian charity that America extends to the world community. But by far the primary impulse from America's "real Christians" (i.e. white, Anglo-Saxons) has been toward utterly selfish, exploitative and destructive tendencies... for longer than America has even existed.

    James Madison on America's Christianity
    Founding Father James Madison pretty much sums up how un-Christian are most "Christians."

    The first Christian Europeans to arrive had barely dried out from their sea voyages before they were stealing from and murdering the original inhabitants of the new "promised land," which, come to think of it, is pretty similar to the way the invading Israelites treated the rightful owners of the land of Canaan. So this behavior may be described as "biblical," but it certainly was not Christian.

    These Anglo, so-called Christians, quickly expanded their exploitation, subjugation, superstition and cruelty to burning "witches" (also all the rage among European Christians of the day) and establishing a lively trade with Africa for that all-important commodity for their burgeoning capitalism: slaves.

    Surely we cannot expect to locate a "Christian nation" within the moral morass of perennial abuse of the Indians, or the institutional debacle that was slavery, or the rampant sinfulness of the segregation era right up through the 1960s.

    As well, when they weren't tormenting natives, burning witches or whipping slaves, these enterprising "people of the Book" turned their voracious righteousness toward chopping down the primal forests and blasting away at any animal that moved, all aspects of the "nature" they so wished to have dominion over, as urged by the Bible. Again we can see glimmers of Old Testament ruthlessness in these hardy ancestors, but hardly a glint of the agape love of Jesus or St. Francis.

    Yet even before the Civil War, the Rise of Corporations had begun, where the very folk that Jesus routed from the temple and warned had as much chance to get into heaven as a camel through the eye of a needle had taken control of the ship of state and were steering like wild pirates toward their own idea of a promised realm: the Land of Greed and Gluttony. This America, ascendant still today, with its celebrated filthy rich celebrities, athletes and corporate titans (not to mention the bulging waistlines of an obesity epidemic) also seems quite bereft of any tangible Christ connection.

    The corporatization of America also ushered the clarion call for all of its citizens to put away their thoughts of philosophy, virtue, love and piety and turn back to "childish things." Consume! Consume! Consume! Jesus said, "If you have two coats, give one away." The corporations demand, "If you only have two coats, you are seriously out of style. Get yourself straight to the mall!" Nothing is too childish, nothing too silly, nothing too meaningless to be obsessed over until you purchase it, at which point you will turn to craving something else entirely. And, of course, while you are selfishly wanting and buying and obssessing, your mind is as far away from Jesus and God as it is possible to be. Such is the real religion of America!

    So too is America exporting some of the most un-virtuous and potentially dangerous products in world history, including high-sugar, high-calorie, non-nutritious fast foods and beverages, cigarettes, drugs made of rat poison, predatory business, banking and industrial practices, as well as pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals so dangerous they are not allowed for use in America, but perfectly fine to export to other unfortunate countries. It is all too clear that America's rampant consumerism and immoral capitalism - the dominant systems of today's America - lead not toward but dramatically away from Christian precepts. And yet we never hear a peep of protest from would-be Christians against this type of corporate missionary zeal as their "Christian Nation" traffics in Satan's stock and trade.

    Meanwhile, the mighty American "military-industrial complex" arose that has never seen a lethal weapon it didn't want to put into action, and then, typically, sell to the world. In most textbooks American history actually comes across as a continuous fabric of prelude-to-war, war, and then build-up to the next prelude-to. In its entire 230-something year history, America the Christian Nation has been unable to avoid armed conflict for more than a decade or so. In just the past 75 years America has carpet-bombed Europe, dropped not one, but two, atomic bombs on an exhausted and helpless Japan, rained bombs, napalm and Agent Orange all over the tiny nations of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos that never threatened us, invaded the tiny countries of Grenada and Panama that never threatened us, and belched "shock and awe" at Iraq and Afghanistan, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, though these nations had never threatened us, either. "Destroying the village to save it," and "peace" through warmongering, conquering and exploiting is the precise opposite of what Jesus had urged.

    Today we can clearly see by the real passions of our nation - consumption, mindless entertainment, and perpetual militarism - that America is far from being a Christian Nation. How many millions of "Christians" spread out across America are fixated not to the words and ways of Jesus, but can't wait to get out of church and back to their favorite reality-TV shows, starring strange people with names like Snookie and P-Fuddy... or the Big Game! Indeed, speaking of sports, if you want final proof of the mind and heart of America, consider the simple fact that not a single major sports team (pro or college) calls itself the "Christians." We have Lions and Tigers and Bears and Indians and Patriots and Pirates and Rockets and all manner of other weird monikers (the Hoyas!), but not even one team of Christians. Even that vaunted Catholic university, Notre Dame, calls itself not the Christians but the "Irish," famous for being the hard-fighting, hard-drinking, very last pagans of Europe to adopt Christianity. Even down South, the Bible Belt, it's football that dominates communal attention and consciousness, not the Lord. Yes it's true that on Christmas Day some 60 million pious Christians go to church. That sounds impressive, until we remember that 100 million Americans watch the Super Bowl each year! How pathetic all of these facts for those who believe they live in a Christian nation.

    Actually, in its entire history about the only time America has wandered into actual Jesus ideological territory is when it has attempted to care for and expand the rights and dignity of those disenfranchised and abused: the poor, women, children, people of color, Native Americans, immigrants, gay and lesbian and transgender, the sick, the elderly, the physically handicapped, the mentally impaired: in other words those outsiders that Jesus called the "meek" who would "inherit the world." America has a group name for them: "We the People."

    But wait! That can't be right! These are the very people that the "Christians" who scream loudest about America being a "Christian nation" can't stand! These "Christians" never seem to take issue with the continuing exploitation, subjugation and prejudice directed at the people who made up Jesus' original flock. Nor do they ever condemn the greed, the gluttony, the rampant consumerism, the vacuousness, the jingoism, the machismo, the obsession with guns, the militarism, the violence, the injustice, the stupidity, the immorality of so much of Americanism. They seem to have Jesus' essential message precisely back asswards! The truth is, of course: these people are not Christians, in the sense of behavior that Jesus emphasized. They are more like the Pharisees, and the rabble that at Jesus' trial would have been screaming "Release Barabbas!" and "Long Live Caesar!"

    And while we are on the subject of faux-Christians, it seems that the screech of America being a "Christian nation" comes shrillest from the American South. Wouldn't you know it? The "Bible Belt." What a myth that is! The "Devil's Den" the whole place should be called. The least educated states in the country, and the original home of the Confederate traitors, think they know better than anyone else what America is all about! What a laugh! Hey South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi... have you ever even read your own state histories? It's a toss-up as to which of you ignorant, bigoted, blood-drenched, drowning-in-sin states is actually the least American and the least Christian, in the truest sense of these ideals!

    So now we come to yet another sublime irony. If there ever could be an actual "Christian America" these fake "Christians" and brain-dead "Americans" would run amok trying to destroy it. Because such a "Christian Nation" would be the most liberal country in world history! Such an entity would represent a clear and present danger to the narrow, shallow and selfish mindset of conservatism. Conservatives no more understand the most basic precepts of Jesus Christ than they have the foggiest notion of what America truly stands for. If a truly "Christ-like" America appeared tomorrow, all conservatives would want to kill it. Just like a certain rabble did to a certain man 2000 years ago.

    Click Here for a thoughtful evangelical Christian's take on modern conservatism and the Grand Old Party. And Click Here for an article about how Jesus would be received at a Tea Party rally.

     There are two essential problems with conservative economic management: they are greedy and they are liars. Putting them in charge of the economy is like hiring a bunch of pirates. If you're one of the pirates, you might do great. If you're not one of the pirates, you are likely to get shanked.

    Now remember that when we speak of conservatives managing the economy, we're not talking about social conservatives, or SoCons. They have little or no control over the economy. Here we are talking about professional conservatives... corporate conservatives. CorpCons represent the wealth and power on the conservative side. SoCons just stupidly go along for the ride. That ride is usually extremely bumpy... and end up negatively affecting SoCons themselves, but they just ask for more.

    The most important thing to consider about CorpCons managing the economy is simply this: they want all governmental policy aimed at aiding and abetting the richest of the rich and the biggest of corporations. Whereas liberal economic policy is aimed at aiding and abetting the averge Joe, the middle class. That's it in a nutshell.

    The conservative economic ideology of coddling the rich and giant corporations is called "supply-side" economics, AKA "trickle-down" or "Voodoo economics." The mantra for this approach is low, low taxes (at least for the rich and corporations) and deregulation of commerce and markets. Historically, supply-side economics provokes cycles of boom and bust. It gave us the Gilded Age and "panics" of the late 1800s. It brought us the "Roaring Twenties" and then the Great Depression. More recently it spawned the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush serial bubbles, the Savings & Loan bailout, the 2008 Bush Bank bailout, and then, of course, the Great Recession that we are still mired in. "Trickle-down" works great for the rich and corporations... not well at all for the middle class and poor. The famous "trickle-down" flood that is supposed to create jobs and "float all boats," never quite seems to come in... even as the rich get richer and corporations reap record profits.

    Tax cuts create jobs idea proven false.

    The liberal economic ideology oriented toward supporting the middle class is called "demand-side" economics, or "Keynesian" after economist John Maynard Keynes. This philosophy, put into place during the Depression by Franklin D. Roosevelt, created relative calm in the American economy for nearly five decades, and the largest expansion of a middle class in world history. Remember that time not so long ago when a middle class family, with only the father working, could afford a decent house, a new car every few years, braces and piano lessons for the kids, adequate insurance and health care, and count on a decent pension? That was the day of "demand-side" economics... when many companies cared enough to take care of their employees and pay them well enough so they could afford to buy products. That was also back when unions were strong, taxes on the rich and corporations were far higher than today, and regulation, especially on financial institutions, was far tighter than today.

    The moral of this story is that the corporate conservative emphasis on the rich and large corporations is completely backwards. It doesn't matter how much "supply" there is; if there is little or no "demand" for that product, it ain't going to sell, and the economy is going to falter. It takes demand to fuel an economy. It takes a strong middle class to make a strong economy. When the middle class does well, all classes do well.

    Think about it. If you are poor but the middle class is doing quite well, then there's probably a decent chance for you to wiggle your way into the middle class, and for middle class workers to wiggle higher, maybe into a healthy sub-upper class, and maybe from there even into the upper class. In such a scenario, like we had after World War II, the economy is humming and well-greased, so there's lots of what's called "social mobility." But when the middle class is getting hammered, like what has been happening since the 1980s, then there is only downward movement: middle class people getting laid off, and poor people absolutely stuck. No matter what, rich people prosper. They even prosper when all other classes are faltering. But when it's only the rich getting richer and corporations piling up profits, neither willing to share, that's a recipe for disaster.... thus the booms, the panics, the crashes, the Great Depression, the bail-outs and our recent Great Recession.

    Now ponder for yourself. Which ideology do you think works best overall? Which ideology works best for you and your family. If you are in the 1%, then obviously, "trickle-down" works much better for you. But if you are in the vast middle class and you are voting for those who want to continue "trickle-down," you are insane!
    But there's more... It turns out professional conservatives are lying about more than just "trickle-down."

    Concerning the lying liars: Professional conservatives rail against government spending when seeking your vote, but never actually get around to doing anything about it when they are in power. Time after time they promise to cut spending, but do the exact opposite. They were lying to you. To win your trust. To get elected. They never really intend to cut spending or shrink the government. They love spending and a big government. The bigger the better to manipulate things all around the world.

    Indeed, the facts prove that conservatives are the worst money managers and most profligate spenders of all. It's not even close.

    Conservatives blame liberals of being "tax and spenders." Well, conservatives are "charge and spenders," which is much, much worse. They just put everything on the nation's credit card without any clue as to how it's going to be paid for. "Tax and spend" is a caricature of liberals, another way conservatives try to distort the truth, but it does suggest at least some forethought as to how things are going to be paid for. If conservatives were managing your family's budget, you would rush to jerk the checkbook and credit cards away from them.

    Professional conservatives are perpetually promoting this mythical thing called "small government" (as if in the modern world there could ever really be such a thing). It's all a web of lies. Who were the two biggestexpanders of the federal government in U.S. history? Look at this! Lo and behold, it's none other than our good Republican buddies Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Liars... they say one thing, and do the exact opposite.

    Concerning the greedy greedsters: Even worse is what conservatives spend all that money on. It's not anything that actually helps people or the country, like infrastructure or health care or education or environmental cleanup, it's simply giveaways to the rich and corporations, and crazy military escapades. We the People get NOTHING out of conservative largess.

    Conservative spending and growth

    Tax cuts for the richest of the rich and for the biggest of the big corporations, and crazy military spending are the primary causes of the astronomical deficit we now find ourselves in. Reagan went hog-wild on military spending (including the infamous failed "Star Wars" missile defense system) so as to out-spend the Soviet Union, which was dying on its own anyway. But that was just a warm-up to Bush the Dumber's squandering of up to $3 Trillion (estimated eventual cost) on misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the largest heist of taxpayer dollars in world history. That included $9 Billion simply lost in Iraq by Bush appointee Paul Bremer. Oops! Lost! Sorry! He-he! (Can you imagine the squealing the conservatives would do if Obama's administration had done the same?) And those lost Billions don't even include the tens of Billions that we know where they went. Doesn't it feel great to know your hard-earned tax dollars have been going to fill the coffers of wartime predators like Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater, build foreign schools and hospitals (that often were subsequently blown up by the enemy), bribe warlords and terrorists, oh, and don't forget sometimes just lost! That's conservative economic management for you.

    But hey, a few tens of Billions. That's chickenfeed to professional conservatives. They've squandered TRILLIONS!!!!! Let's look at the actual way the past six presidents have actually managed your tax dollars:

    U.S. DEFICIT AS OF 2012
    accumulating debt, reagan, bush, bush, clinton, obama

    Forever in Error & They Don't Care: Lying and Greed come together in the conservative economic philosophy of "trickle-down." This has been tried throughout history, going back centuries. It works like a charm for the rich. It never works for the common person, or for the nation as a whole. As a way to enrich the rich, it is genius. As a way to run a nation's economy, it is bunk. Worse than bunk; it's theft.

    Most professional conservatives know it's theft and trickery, but they like getting rich, so they stick to the propaganda about cutting spending, lowering taxes, shrinking the government, and protecting the "job creators." These people are actually doing nothing illegal (usually). They don't need to. They've rigged the system just for themselves. It may not be illegal, but it is immoral. Like the pirates they are, they don't care about that either.

    Each time an election season comes around, the conservatives get back to their old tricks. The Republican Lie Machine is now trying to pin most of the deficit on Obama. Not a word about their own heroes' malfeasance. The Republicans promise to cut government spending and usher in "small government." We've heard this same baloney time and again, the same thing from Reagan, the same thing from Poppy Bush, the same thing from Bush the Terrible, the same thing from John McCain, the same thing from Mitt Romney. Every Republican running for office will read from the old playbook. "Get government out of the way!" Don't you believe a word of it! Once in power, they won't do it, and if they ever were to attempt to do it, the crushing weight would be borne by the middle class and poor, while the ultra-rich and corporations - who actually helped cause and greatly benefitted from these deficits - would continue running to the banks with hysterical laughter.

    Job creation: Conservatives are always selling their "trickle-down" snakeoil, and crowing about how they are the real party of business and know how to create jobs, while the liberals are completely out to lunch socialists who wouldn't know a job if it bumped into them at the hippie commune. It's all baloney. Conservatives are great at producing wealth for the one percent, but they are TERRIBLE at creating jobs. Let's just put aside the verbal sparring and look at the real record, shall we?

    Slice and dice it anyway you want, since after World I the LIBERALS have kicked ass when it comes to job creation, and the CONSERVATIVES have sucked the big one. The big, bad corporate titans sure know how to feather their own nests, but it's LIBERAL economic policy that spreads the wealth and cranks up the job engines.

    Why is this? Simple. Liberal economic policy favors the little guy, the workers, consumers, small businesses and entrepreneurs. Conservative economic policy favors the rich and big corporations. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that way more people get a fair shake under liberal policy than conservatives. Check out the scoreboard below:

    Conservatives vs. Liberals job creation, Republicans vs. Democrats job creation

    Economic Terrorism: And let us also ponder the sheer irresponsibility, spite and hatefulness of the recent Republican-sponsored government shut-downs. Conservatives have absolutely no problem throwing millions of people out of work, cutting off Social Security payments, shuttering government services, jolting financial markets, even risking national default on the debt... as they engage in extortion to get their way. In so doing, they are thumbing their nose at democracy. Such hostage-taking is really nothing short of economic terrorism. Never once have liberals have never done this to the nation! Yet conservatives seem to be embracing such jarring disruption and perilous brinksmanship into their routine political strategy. When you don't win and election, or if a law was passed that you don't like, just thrown a temper tantrum... and threaten to blow up the country's economy. Al Qaeda couldn't dream of a better ally than conservatives in Congress.

    The conservative Song-and-Dance is all hype, all the time. As the charts above and below clearly show, Democrats are FAR better at managing the American economy than conservatives are. And these charts don't even include the conservatives' biggest debacle: a little thing called the Great Depression.
    And now a word about capitalism!

    Liberals are not against capitalism. Liberals invented capitalism! Capitalism began in earnest in the Middle Ages when a merchant class began to emerge that flaunted the "traditional value" of all commerce being strictly controlled by the church and/or state, kings and the richest of lords. The conservatives were furious about this development. Remember, liberals liberate, conservatives conserve. These early merchants were liberating themselves from the constraints of the traditional hierarchy. Thus the original "free market." Yet they were despised and persecuted by the kings and lords and popes and bishops who sought to conserve the traditional way of all commerce funneling through them. But soon enough, the merchants proved their worth by bringing goods and wealth into the country. That's when the conservatives decided they liked capitalism. Ever since then, conservatives have abused it. Just like clockwork, liberals periodically have to step in and save capitalism from the conservatives... as they did in the Progressive Era, during the Depression, through the great Middle Class expansion, and now, again, through this Great Recession.

    Stock Market under Democrats vs. Republicans
    Take a look at how the stock market has done under all those Commie liberals
    as compared to the "Free Market" conservatives!

    So let's just get this straight. Liberals are the experts in making capitalism work for the average person and an overall economy. Conservatives - as always - strive to bend capitalism to benefit mainly the richest of the rich... just as they always have!

    The Conservative vs. Liberal Economy
     Many people who consider themselves conservative volunteer to serve in the military. We thank you for that! And we know you support the troops. It's the professional conservatives who are seriously and chronically amiss in this regard... both in terms of their own service and how they treat service personnel when they are in charge of things. But how can that be? Conservatives are forever wearing little shiny flag pins on their lapels and having their photos taken with the troops, and never ever fail to mention the troops in their stump speeches. Unfortunately, it's a sham. They are posers. Patriotism is an emotion professional conservatives have long exploited to camoflage their real intentions. In fact, while social conservatives are willing to die for their country, professional conservatives are the worst patriots of all (see Myth No. 1 above). Most social conservatives haven't quite caught on to this subterfuge, and the disservice, disrespect and disdain professional conservatives actually render to active duty personnel and veterans.

    It can certainly be said that professional conservatives support using and abusing the troops. They support sending the troops to die for various dubious causes that only vaguely have anything to do with defending America, or in some cases, like Iraq, is just plain old bullying (an American tradition, to be sure) and trying to steal natural resources. Professional conservatives have a pathetic record of supporting active duty military personnel, as well as veterans. Since the days of Valley Forge, liberals have traditionally been far more supportive of U.S. military personnel and veterans. Particularly in the 20th and 21st Century, Democrats and liberals have been far and away more supportive and protective of active troops and veterans. The common theme is that conservatives are full of macho bluster. No cool and patient diplomacy for them. No Special Ops approach to belligerents... it's full-on "shock and awe."

    Well what would you expect? It's professional conservatives who are starry-eyed over military weapons and systems, and appropriate Billions for them (often even when the military brass itself doesn't need or want them). There is no end to how much of the taxpayers' money they are willing to spend on military toys and adventures. (And, of course, there is no end to their generosity to millionaires and billionaires). Naturally, they want to see these toys in action. That means conjuring up a conflict somewhere.

    So they are ever eager to send "assets" into harm's way. But when it comes to assisting veterans, including wounded warriors, they suddenly become tighter than a sharp snare drum.

    Liberals are the precise opposite. They are inherently leery of unchecked military spending. They take seriously Ike Eisenhower's warnings about the ever-looming danger of the "military-industrial complex" taking over our national foreign policy. Liberals place heavy emphasis on diplomacy and negotations to avoid armed conflict if at all possible. They are extremely reluctant to send our precious service men and women into harm's way. Liberals don't consider them "assets," but rather someone's sons and daughters, a reality readily dismissed by professional conservatives. For liberals armed conflict is a last option, not the first option, as so often seems the case with conservatives. When armed conflict finally seems unavoidable, liberals prefer intelligent and clear strategies, unlike the foggy notions of conservatives (examples; Iraq and Afghanistan). Rather than "shock and awe," the preferred tactics of liberals will always be surgical strikes. Do everything to keep our people safe, and to minimize trauma to the innocent local populace and culture. Clinton's approach to the Kosovo War was an example. General Wesley Clark (a Democrat) oversaw NATO's strategic bombing to help end that conflict with zero American casualties. So, too, the Obama administration's careful intelligence gathering and surgical use of Seal Team Six finally found and killed Osama bin Laden after eight years of Bush's bludgeoning and blundering in the Middle East. And when conflicts have ended, liberals move to assist returning service personnel and veterans, while professional conservatives suddenly change their mind about the value of these "assets."

    For you veterans and families of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, note that the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association (IAVA) ranked members of Congress in terms of their support of veterans. Ninety-two percent of the D's and F's went to Republicans.

    If you are in military , or have a son, daughter, dad or mom in the service, you should absolutely shudder when a conservative becomes Commander-in-Chief. Let's examine the contrast between how things worked out for the troops and veterans when conservatives vs. liberals were in control:

    • 1777-78 - Conservatives in Congress stiff General George Washington. While camped at Valley Forge during a bitterly cold winter, Washington pleads with the Continental Congress to provide food, clothing and equipment for his army. Conservative politicians in Congress (mainly Southern, of course), propounding "states' rights," bicker, balk, cripe and delay. Over 2,500 American soldiers died of starvation, exposure, and disease.
    • 1922 - Republican President Warren G. Harding vetoed the Veterans Bonus Bill, reneging on a promised cash benefit to World War I soldiers.
    • 1924 - Republican President Calvin Coolidge again tried to veto the Veterans Bonus Bill, but the Democratic Congress overrode the veto, providing the veterans their promised benefit.
    • 1932 - In one of the most shameful episodes in American history Republican President Herbert Hoover ordered the U.S. Army to attack a camp of World War I veterans protesting near the Capitol to receive early disbursement of their bonus. The Army (led by Generals Douglas MacArthur and George S. Patton) went into the camp with tanks and fixed bayonets! The veterans at the camp thought the oncoming tanks, horse cavalry and marching soldiers was a display in their honor, and were shocked to discover they were actually being attacked by their fellows. The attackers even used poison gas on the veterans camp. Hundreds of veterans and family members were injured. Two veterans were killed. A civilian bystander was shot in the shoulder. A veteran's ear was severed by a cavalryman's sword. Another was bayonetted in the side. More than one thousand people were gassed, including policemen, reporters, ambulance drivers and residents of the city. Two infants in the camp died from the gas. This sorry episode is part of their horrible record that conservatives hope no one will remember, and it is illustrative of how conservative political leaders cynically manipulate military related patriotism while actually disdainfully abusing the troops.
    • 1933 - Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt puts thousands of unemployed and desperate veterans back to work with his Civilian Conservation Corps. When the veterans again marched on Washington, rather than sending tanks and bayonets to meet them, Roosevelt sent his wife Eleanor out with a pot of coffee.
    • 1936 - The Democratic Congress overrode President Roosevelt's veto to at last give the World War I veterans their early bonus.
    • 1944 - Democratic President Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill of Rights, the first such legislation of its kind, which provided World War II veterans with college or vocational education, unemployment compensation, and low interest, zero-down payment, home loans. The bill meant that a returning World War II veteran could get a full-ride to Harvard if he qualified academically.
    • 1952 - Democratic President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Veterans Adjustment Actoffering for Korean War veterans.
      Conservatives abuse the troops
    • 1959 - Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower rejected a proposed extension of the G.I. Bill for veterans, believing that military service "should be an obligation of the citizenship, not a basis for government benefits." Liberals disagree, believing that military service is the most dangerous and precious risk that a citizen can accept for his/her country, and that such "above and beyond" commitment should be rewarded with benefits above and beyond those citizens who have not so risked their all. This is a fundamental difference between how conservatives and liberals view service personnel and veterans.
    • 1966 - Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act, which further improved benefits accorded to veterans.
    • 1968-1974 - In one of the most traitorous episodes in American history Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon lied to the American people by running on a platform of ending the Vietnam War, and secretly passed word to the Communist leaders of North Vietnam to avoid signing any agreements with the United States to end the war before the election, implying he would offer them a better deal afterwards. Nixon campaigned again in 1972 on a "secret plan" to end the war, another lie. Long before Watergate, he was a lying bastard. He had no plan for America or the Viet Cong. The Vietnam War would grind on for another five years and cost over 30,000 additional American lives.
    • 1975 - Republican President Gerald Ford rashly and unnecessarily sent 41 American servicemen to their deaths in Cambodia. The Mayaguez affair occurred shortly after the fall of South Vietnam when an American merchant ship was captured by Cambodia, which suspected the ship was a CIA cover, and held its crew of 39 captive for a few days. Still seething from the embarrassment of Vietnam, Ford and his conservative advisors jumped on this opportunity to display America's "resolution" to continue to meddle in Southeast Asia. Ford ordered the bombing of Cambodian ships, and the invasion of tiny Tang Island. This invasion commenced approximately one hour after the merchant sailors had been released to the American fleet, and reported they had been treated quite courteously by the Cambodians. Meanwhile, the invasion was a disaster. One third of the American force was killed or wounded, and five helicopters were destroyed, while another chopper coming over from Thailand to assist crashed, killing 23. All for precisely nothing! The Mayaguez incident is barely remembered today, but it stands as yet another stark depiction of the utter incompetence of the short-fused, testosterone-fueled conservative mindset, which service personnel and their families would do well to hold in great suspicion.
    • 1983 - Republican President Ronald Reagan cut and ran following a suicide bomber attack in Beirut Lebanon which killed 241 U.S. servicemen, including 200 Marines. It was the deadliest attack on the Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. Reagan bears the responsibility for placing our forces in harm's way (the Lebanese Civil War) in the first place, with slack security, and for instigating hate toward the U.S. by firing on rebel forces. After the explosion, Reagan promised that the U.S. would stay in Lebanon. It was another Reagan lie. Shortly thereafter the Americans skedaddled, leaving the honor of the American dead in the rubble of Beirut.
    • 1983 - Republican President Ronald Reagan illegally ordered an invasion of the tiny island country of Grenada ostensibly to rescue American students after a military coup had toppled the government. In defiance of the War Powers Act that required approval from Congress before any American involvement, Reagan sent a force of nearly 8000 to counter the coup. Nineteen U.S. servicemen would die in the operation (17 from "friendly-fire"), along with 116 wounded. The military action was entirely trumped up. The students said they never felt they were in any danger, and the operation was condemned by our firm allies, Canada and Great Britain, as well as by the U.N. General Assembly. Today Grenada is a CorpCon haven, a great place to launder cash and avoid taxes. And so, again, a conservative Commander-in-Chief was perfectly pleased to shed American blood to further the interests, not of democracy, but capitalism.
    • 2002-2008 - In perhaps the most complete and utter dereliction of duty as Commander-in-Chief in American history, Republican President George W. Bush sent American troops into not one, but two dubious wars. In both operations, the professional conservatives ignored the advice of the consensus military opinion, and sent the U.S. military into dual combat theaters with no clear overall objective or exit strategy, highly dubious expectations, and shockingly ignorant and unprepared of what they would face. By all rights, George W. Bush and his puppet-master, Dick Cheney, should be regarded as international war criminals and high traitors of America. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks (which according to Al Qaeda were primarily retribution for American military bases in the Muslim Holy Land of Saudi Arabia), the Republican braintrust of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and a flock of neocon think-tank chicken-hawks overreacted about as badly as was humanly possible. The neocons steered America, like an enraged troll, into a pattern of reaction that Al Qaeda and other America-haters could only dream of. The neocons would squander the outpouring of goodwill and support for America from around the world following the terrorist attacks, quickly alienating billions of people with a series of clumsy and violent reprisals. It would not be terrorists, but the neocons, who would wear out America's military, waste trillions of dollars, wreck American families, and sully America's honor as they ran roughshod over both the Constitution and international agreements prohibiting torture. Completely unprepared for the reality of what they would encounter, they rushed to send troops into Afghanistan, then promptly lost interest in bombing it into the Stone Age, allowing Osama Bin Laden to disappear into the mountains, while they were preoccupied with myth-manipulating America and a "Coalition of the Willing" into war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al, floated a series of pure myths: "weapons of mass destruction," "the war will be over quickly," "America will be greeted as liberators," "Iraqi oil will pay for the war," "Iraq is a terrorist hideout." Whether they ever really believed these myths themselves or not is debatable. Depending on how you decide that question will inform your opinion on whether these professinal conservatives were simply ridiculously inept, or whether they were abject traitors and true war criminals. The important realization is that they were 180-degrees wrong on every major point of discussion. The rush to oust Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 and everything do with second largest reserve of oil in the world, which had loomed as a neocon prize since George H.W. Bush left the job undone (in their minds) in the first Gulf War. Predictably, based upon their faulty assumptions, neither Afghanistan or Iraq worked out well for America. Just like the first Gulf War, the result was devastating for American military personnel. As merely a feign to set up a comprehensive "war on terror" cover for all manner of neocon shenanigans, Afghanistan festered into a full-blown quagmire, while the flowers and kisses the neocons assured would be forthcoming from Iraqis for their American liberators never materialized, nor did the Iraqi oil money that the neocons promised would pay for the war. Bush sent political hacks to oversee the reconstruction of Iraq and showered no-bid contracts on Republican corporate cronies, while thousands of U.S. soldiers were killed and maimed by roadside bombs. A virtual pipeline was set up to funnel billions upon billions of dollars in American taxes directly into the pockets of war profiteers, and other billions simply went missing in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the war and subsequent insurgency were going on, in order to oversee their newly-gained oil fields, the neocons were building the largest U.S. embassy in the world in Baghdad, another billion dollars! Meanwhile, overstretched troops were subjected to defending a surly and increasingly resentful populace in two occupied countries. American equipment, including trucks, humvees and armored vests proved inadequate to protect the troops. Families had to send higher-grade flack jackets to their relatives in combat. KBR, one of Cheney's hand-picked war profiteers, electrocuted at least 18 service personnel before they could figure out how to build showers correctly. Bush never raised taxes to pay for this double war, nor did he ever ask for even the minutest sacrifice from the general populace, which quickly lost interest in both wars; indeed, they were encouraged to do just that by Bush, who instead of rallying the public's support and sacrifice told everyone to "go shopping." The entire brunt of the two neocon wars was borne by military families. Family-destroying deployment after deployment, including involuntary "stop loss" retention, wreaked havoc upon the troops. Suicides and divorces among service members skyrocketed. An extraordinary percentage of soldiers were coming home with injuries, concussions and PTSD. Following a much ballyhooed "surge", the violence in Iraq diminished, but not before possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed or displaced. Bush left office with over 100,000 troops still in Iraq, which remained violence prone and its future stability highly questionable. After all that, the neocons weren't even able to steal the Iraqi oil fields, which the Iraqis turned out to be not cowed enough to allow to be stolen. So much for shock-and-awe! Meanwhile Afghanistan has become the longest-running American war ever. Bush's ineptness and flat wrongness left our own military in shambles, is expected to end up costing over three trillion dollars, and never caught Osama Bin Laden. It all adds up to perhaps the greatest misuse of the American military in U.S. history. Liberals still seethe about the Bush years, and how the troops were so thoroughly abused. Indeed, anyone who is not outraged by this criminal break of sacred trust between the commander-in-chief and the United States military personnel is simply brainwashed by conservative propaganda.
Here are some of the prominent neo-conservatives associated or influential with the George Bush administration who desperately wanted to invade Iraq long before Bush even took office. The 9/11 terrorist attacks gave them a pseudo-rationale for going after Saddam Hussein and his oilfields, even though Saddam and Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. So the neocon chicken-hawks had to first start a war in Afghanistan, ostensibly to go after Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden for actually devising the attack, and punish the Afghan Taliban for allowing Al Qaeda to train in their country.

  • George W. Bush + - President

  • Dick Cheney * - Vice-President

  • Donald Rumsfeld - Defense Secretary

  • John Ashcroft * - Attorney General

  • Paul Wolfowitz * - Assistant Defense Secretary

  • Richard Perle * - Department of Defense Official

  • Karl Rove * - Special Advisor to the President

  • Scooter Libby * - Special Advisor to the Vice-President

  • Douglas Feith * - Department of Defense Official

  • Condoleeza Rice * - National Security Advisor

  • Tom Delay * - House Majority Leader

  • Bill Frist * - Senate Majority Leader

  • Dennis Hastert * - Speaker of the House

  • Roy Blunt * - House Whip

  • John Bolton * - United Nations Ambassador (recess appointment)

  • Saxby Chambliss * - Senator, Georgia

  • Paul Ryan * - House Representative, Wisconsin

  • Phil Gramm * - House Representative, Texas

  • Trent Lott * - Senator, Tennessee

  • Rudy Giuliani * - Mayor, New York

  • Rick Santorum * - Senator, Pennsylvania

  • Jon Kyl * - Senator, Arizona

  • Jeb Bush * - Governor, FloridaThese politicos were egged on by media types: Bill Kristol*, David Brooks*, Pat Buchanan*, Ann Coulter*, Lou Dobbs*, Sean Hannity*, Rush Limbaugh*, Brit Hume*, Bill O'Reilly*, Michael Savage*, George Will*, Bill Bennett*, along with just about all other on-air personalities at Fox News and Clear Channel Radio.
    And don't forget that these chicken-hawks and their minions took delight in savaging actual combat veterans (who happened to be Democrats) such as John Kerry, Jack Murtha, Max Cleland, Jim Webb, Joe Sestak, Bob Kerrey, Gray Davis, Wesley Clark, and any others who dared to object to the run-up to double war.
    If you or your family member had a wonderful time in either Afghanistan or Iraq, you can thank this clique of conservative chicken-hawks.
    Click Here to read the last letter of an Iraq War veteran to Bush and Cheney!

      • 2008 - Congressional Republicans, including 2012 Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan, unsuccessfully try to block expansion of the G.I. Bill, yet another example of a chicken-hawk Republican promoting war(s) while not having any interest whatsoever in the real lives of the troops and veterans.
      • 2009 - Present - Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama finally ends the Iraq War, removing all American troops in 2011. Also in 2011, a covert special ops mission involving just a few Navy SEALS killed Bin Laden, the type of calculated and measured response that would have been the most responsible and effective strategy following 9/11... not the Shock and Awe blundering of the Bush Administration. Conservatives refused to give the president much credit for the master-terrorist's death, but those much more informed praised Obama for such a gutsy call on the mission. The political risk was tremendous considering all that could go wrong. Admiral William McRaven, a leader of U.S. commandos, said this about Obama as commander-in-chief: "He made some very tough decisions. He was really everything the American public would expect from their national leadership. The President was at all times presidential. I would contend he was the smartest guy in the room. He had leadership skills we'd expect from a guy who had 35 years in the military." No general or admiral ever said anything remotely similar about Bush or Cheney. The contrast between the Bush administration's ham-handed, utterly inept and morally reprehensible handling of the U.S. military machine and Obama's cool efficiency could not be any more stark. Yet, actually, Bush and Cheney are just the latest to absolutely confirm that conservatives are the absolute worst to have at the helm of our national defense.
      • 2011 - Congressional Republicans unsuccessfully try to block V.A. payments to veterans affected by the use in Vietnam of the toxic herbicide Agent Orange, just as they earlier had tried to block government-provide health care for First Responders to the 9/11 attacks in downtown Manhattan.
      • 2012 - Senate Republicans filibuster the Veteran's Jobs Corps Act of 2012, that would have created jobs for veterans as local first responders, as well as conservation, resource management and historic preservation personnel on public lands and projects. All Democrats and Independents, but only five Republicans, voted for the bill, which was not enough to break the filibuster. After the vote one Republican leader said, "Well, the bill wouldn't have passed the (Republican-controlled) House anyway, so it wasn't worth our while." So there you go, soldiers and veterans... from the very mouth of the conservatives... you just aren't worth their while.
      • 2013 - House Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, sought to slash VA healthcare benefits for disabled veterans. The cut would have affected 1.3 million veterans. This proposal did not make it out of committee. Instead the House cut spending for the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, making it more difficult to challenge claim denials. So this is how conservatives have always run, folks: start wars, send soldiers to die and become injured or disabled... then junk them like an old tire.
      • 2014 - Republicans block Veterans' Bill. Only two Republican senators voted to move forward with a bill which would have expanded benefits and services to veterans, including increasing eligibility for Department of Veterans Affairs health care, opening new facilities, restoring full cost-of-living increases to military retiree pensions, expanding education programs and even offering reproductive treatment and adoption assistance for severely wounded veterans. Therefore the bill died. Independent senator from Vermon, Bernie Sanders, said "I have a hard time understanding how anyone could vote for tax breaks for billionaires, for millionaires, for large corporations and then say we don't have the resources to protect our veterans."
      Conservatives have always shafted active duty personnel and veterans
      And just how has John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, supported the troops? Like this:
      • VOTED AGAINST 2001 bill to increase by $650 Million the amount available for medical care for veterans.
      • VOTED AGAINST a 2003 bill to provide more than $1 Billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq.
      • VOTED TO KILL a 2003 bill to provide an additional $322 Million for additional safety equipment for U.S. forces in Iraq.
      • VOTED AGAINST a 2004 bill that would have eliminated a corporate loophole and diverted $1.8 Billion to a reserve fund to allow for an increase in Veteran's medical care.
      • VOTED TO KILL a 2005 amendment that would have increased veterans medical care by $2.8 Billion, instead voting for an alternate Republican bill that added only $410 Million, less than 1/5 the amount of the Democrat plan.
      • VOTED AGAINST a 2006 bill increasing veterans medical services funding by $1.5 Billion.
      • VOTED TO KILL a 2006 bill that would have assured a stream of funding for veterans health care by closing corporate loopholes.
      • VOTED TO KILL a 2006 bill that would have prevented privatizing support services at Walter Reed Hospital. Such outside services were implicated in the horrendous conditions discovered Walter Reed a short time later.
      • Was one of only 13 senators who VOTED AGAINST a 2006 bill to appropriate $430 Million for the Department of Veterans Affairs for outpatient care and treatment of veterans.
      • VOTED AGAINST a 2006 bill that would have provided $20 Million to the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care facilities.
      • VOTED AGAINST a 2007 amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments.
      • VOTED AGAINST the 21st Century G.I. Bill that would have increased educational opportunities for post 9/11 veterans.

      Hey, how about the 2012 Republican presidential nominee: Mitt Romney? How has he supported the military? Glad you asked. Well, Mitt never wanted to serve. You see, there were just too many companies waiting to be gutted and handsomely profited from. He couldn't wait to get to all of those riches, and didn't want to fool around, you know, serving America or anything like that. And he has five strapping sons, all of service age: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig. Wow a lot of testosterone in that family! You would think that someone in there would be willing to step up and serve in the U.S. military. After all, they're filthy rich, they could step right in as officers. No grunt-work for these purebloods! But nope. Mitt and Sons are a continuation of the Grand Old Party's tradition of "Team Chickenhawk!" Ooh-Rah! Right? It's a corporate conservative tradition: talk tough, stir up trouble, let somebody else do the fighting. Exactly as Cheney and Bush slunk away from Vietnam service, Romney dodged the draft as a "minister of religion" and skedaddled for France to be a "missionary" for a cult, while living in a mansion with a chef and servant. No slumming around in foxholes, or even less than four-star accommodations, for Mitty. As for his five sons, Mitt explains, "My sons are showing support for our nation by helping to get me elected." Ha-ha, right Mitt, that's real service. That's easily on par with slogging around Iraq and Afghanistan, no doubt about it. Hey, Mitt, where do the rest of our sons and daughters sign up for that "service" so they can skip out on the PTSD zones? About actual, real military service, Josh, who has no plans of serving, adds, "It's just something none of us has done." Right. They had better things to do with their lives... like keep close to daddy and wallow in his glitz and glamour while you were watching your buddies get blown up (or was that you that got blown up?). And there was Team Chickenhawk in August 2012 at the Republican National Convention where good old Mitt mentioned the War in Afghanistan exactly ZERO times during his biggest speech to date and first great opportunity to tell the nation and world what he really believes in! Ha-ha, not you soldiers, or veterans. There you go: your prospective next Chickenhawk-in-Chief who doesn't give a damn about you. Oh, and look who is hiding behind Mitt's skirts as "foreign policy advisors," many of the same old neocon gang that brought us Afghanistan and Iraq. Wonder where he'll send you to die? Count on it; it will be somewhere hellish, probably smelling of oil. Iran, anybody?

      Mitt Romney and Sons - Team Chickehawk

      So it should be very clear. Military personnel and families, the LAST politicians you want directing military affairs are conservatives! The notion that they support you is one of the cruelest of all Conservative Myths! They'll nickel-and-dime you; they'll use and abuse you; they'll send you off to be killed by a trumped-up enemy (while they are really after corporate profits); they'll sacrifice you to make some stupid, bravado "statement;" or sometimes they'll even turn the U.S. military against itself. Active-duty personnel and veterans... don't fall for it! Conservative politicians are NOT your friends.

    Now join Conservative Myths for the remaining four myths. Long reads can be work, but when we consider the seriousness of our future, work can yield educated voters.

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