Under Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party ended slavery, saved the nation from division and reaffirmed the goal of the founding fathers, which was that each person be free to pursuit life, liberty and happiness.
Conservatism – the classical small government with little to no interference in people’s lives – fulfilled it’s promise – and the tyranny of the majority was set aside for the benefit and freedom of a minority group.
But this is actually classical liberalism – government ensuring that all citizens – no matter the number, no matter how small or tall, or gender or wealth or beliefs or characteristics innate or chosen – to be free to have choice, personal sovereignty regardless or even – perhaps especially – despite the majority’s preference or interest in curtailing and limiting that choice and freedoms.
After all, the reason that we organize ourselves with rules about how to interact with each other – how to balance my needs and and interests with or against your needs and interests – is because it’s difficult to be fair to others when we are in a conflict of interest with our needs vs their needs. So we default to rules that apply equally to everyone to settle the scores before they become feuds and grudge matches.
So, it is interesting to me that modern day conservatives claim to be for small government and no government interference in our lives – because social conservatives very much seek government interference in our lives – well, in the lives of the groups of people they don’t like – women seeking abortions, gays seeking to marry, and people seeking to end their lives because they are suffering death by slow degrees of illness.
It is as if the social conservatives, who are religious, have accepted that it’s up to god if they or their baby live – yet, they demand that government enforce what they claim that their god wants through if not secular law directly, then by forcing more religious law into secular law and if that’s not possible, then through terrorism of bombing abortion clinics, shooting doctors, using gross emotionalism and rhetoric and threatening political pressure of voting blocs – anything they can to force their preferences on the population by any means neccessary.
Rick Mercer, a Canadian comedic performer and political commentator once summed up the Canadian Liberals as willing to sell out grandma in order to hang onto power and the Canadian Conservatives as preferring self destruction to compromise.
Considering that the Canadian Conservatives are left of the American conservatives, we can extrapolate this further to that American Conservatives are willing to kill or allow to die rather than compromise.
This is the mentality of people who use violence to impost their worldview on the world – Norway, 9/11, Oklahoma, Spain – this is the mentality of terrorists.
The American Christians often complain that they couldn’t get away with the riots and protests that eastern Islamics “get away” with when they protest against editorial cartoons and other freedom of expression expressions that they find offensive to their religion.
But this is because American Christians themselves are unwilling to put their personal freedoms and lives on the line for their beliefs – they chose to not riot and risk arrest – injury or even death, or jail time. They prefer that other people are sacrificed for their beliefs – other people’s freedoms especially – which is why they fight so hard now to oppose gay marriage, since they lost the battle of women voting ad black slavery – a serious set back given the victory over the aboriginal people of North America – which, when you think about it, is a little like elder abuse of grandparents.
No, Christians in the west have more effective tools than merely a violent showing of anger and frustration – they can instead, threaten to punish everyone else for not obeying.
This is the entire basis of the recent American debt ceiling – the American religious right holding the entire world’s economy hostage and threatening to destabilize everyone if their small and petty concerns – small and petty compared to the impact and destructiveness they were willing to release in the world.
It is as if the religious refuse to accept that many people do not accept the limitations they have have accepted as divine, so if we are not compelled by their god’s threat of hell or bribe of heaven to behave in particular ways, then they will hold the secular government – the authority of the secular world – hostage to their insatiable demands for blind worship of the authority they would have for themselves.
Which, you have to wonder, with all the terrorists who leave behind manifestos that ramble incoherently about the way the world should be back by a threat if the manifesto’s world view isn’t upheld – how is that any different than the bible or other so called sacred texts?
Is the only difference between a one man terror cell’s manifesto and a sacred text, the number of believers in it who are willing to carry out the stated threat?