The more you listen to the current crop of power brokers in the GOP, along with Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, the more you hear them talk of everything in terms of economics. Whether they’re discussing actual economic issues or social issues, the language they use to communicate their ideas is steeped in economics. David Brooks does a good job of dissecting the language of modern Conservatism versus traditional Conservatism which, he says and I agree, has gone into eclipse.
Republicans repeat formulas — government support equals dependency — that make sense according to free-market ideology, but oversimplify the real world. Republicans like Romney often rely on an economic language that seems corporate and alien to people who do not define themselves in economic terms. No wonder Romney has trouble relating.
Some people blame bad campaign managers for Romney’s underperforming campaign, but the problem is deeper. Conservatism has lost the balance between economic and traditional conservatism. The Republican Party has abandoned half of its intellectual ammunition. It appeals to people as potential business owners, but not as parents, neighbors and citizens.
In short, modern conservatism has become an immoral ideology.
Now there are those who will disagree, pointing to the right’s obsession with God (one made in their image), and ask, ‘how can conservatives, particularly Christian conservatives, be immoral’?
Well, it’s simple.
When you remove any trace of morals, ethics, or even values from a system, any system, the default paradigm is always economic. That simply means that everything is viewed through an economic lens.. profit, loss, commoditization, etc.
Social issues such as hunger, health care, education, welfare, have all been reduced, by conservatives, to discussions about money. Any discussion of the humanity behind these issues is dismissed by the right as people who are “lazy” or “jealous” or “unmotivates/uneducated” or even “unAmerican”.
This immoral Conservatism has devolved into an overly simplistic worldview of “us good, them bad”.
Their immorality is on display in their belief that the 47% of Americans with a net zero Federal Income Tax liability are “leeches” who “don’t pay income taxes”. Nevermind that this is demonstrably false, as ~82% of Americans pay income taxes, but of those 47%, over 2/3 are Americans who are elderly or retired or disabled or students or working families making under $20,000/year. These are the “least of those among us” that scripture talks about…those that the wealthy owe and are commanded to give to. Conservatives also fail to mention that the part of the reason that the tax burden is so low on the poorest in society is because of their policies, the enactment of the Earned Income Tax Credit under President Reagan and the Bush Tax Cuts.
Those conservatives who are complaining about the 47% with a net zero income tax burden aren’t trumpeting the success of their policies.
No. They’re reacting out of jealousy that the tax policies they once supported and championed haven’t reduced THEIR taxes to zero.
In short, they’re crying “Not Fair!” They love cutting taxes….but only if it’s THEIR taxes that get cut and NOBODY gets a “better deal” than them.
Modern conservatism have devolved into a “me first” ideology.
They’ve lost their way.