ARE WE TOO FAR DOWN THE CONSERVATIVE EXPRESSWAY TO TURN AROUND?

THIRTY YEARS, IT SEEMS, HAVE CORRODED THE MINDS OF MORE AMERICANS THAN I IMAGINED POSSIBLE

This post tells if a recent Politico exchange between me and a conservative warrior with the screen name PatrickHenry13.   This patriot’s first reply was in response to my post where I pointed out that Ronald Reagan and his “government isn’t the solution, government is the problem;” “the private sector can do it better;” and “government regulation kills jobs” began the thirty year conservative economic and social “revolution” and the fact that America’s working and middle classes incomes have been flat over that period.  What follows are the follow-ups, his and mine, to that. 

patrickhenry13  scott  a day ago                                    
the only real question is why do you freaks stay in this country, you don't believe in the constitution, you don't like free enterprise, and you want the government to steal from others and give to you.. you make no sense,there are plenty of countrys that think just like you, they arn't righ but they will feed and house you..


You know, invariably when conservatives are faced with inconvenient facts, the reply is forever that those of us who inconveniently rely on facts to form our opinions, are told to go live somewhere else. Why is this? Is it that anyone who doesn't share your views and philosophy is a traitor? Is un-America and un-patriotic? Really? During the 1960's and 1970's when those of us of an age were getting our butts kicked by cops and the National Guard fighting for Civil Rights, Women's Rights, Voting Rights, etc. it never occurred to us to suggest that those who disagreed with us – and there were armies - should leave the country. No, in fact, what we believed was that every American citizen, regardless of race, creed, religion, national original, sex, ethnicity was afforded the rights of American citizenship as stated in the Constitution of the United States. We still do and I am greatly saddened that you and so many of your conservative brothers and sisters do not. As far as I'm concerned, the Constitution still means what it says.


Now the “why do you freaks stay in this country” “you don’t believe in the [C]onstitution” “you don’t like Free Enterprise” are all fairly standard replies; I’ve been the recipient of such responses somewhere just south of a million times.  As for my reply to this nonsense, it’s not one I normally write since it sounds a bit too schmaltzy; tending toward the pedantic, let’s say.  But somehow I think that this time I was a bit off my guard when I wrote it and forayed into a heartfelt space I don’t normally occupy when I’m corresponding with folks on Politico. 

Patrick Henry13 responded with the following:



what rights.. most of what was done during the 60's and seventys has been overturned.. time has shown it to be wrong..voting rights have been explioted so bad that we now need picture i.d.'s to keep people from voting 2 or 3 times..the age of drinking is back up to 18,busing killed white schools and black schools.welfare has cost trillions and done nothing but create more welfare rats..you started a fire then destroyed the country in every way you could.. what good did come out of that whole period, most of it has been overturned as wrong for the country..much like whats going on now,, it does no good,serves no purpose and demands that people lose their freedoms that were given to us by the constitution..so again,,,this country will not turn into some socialist cesspool for you people. go wreck some other country,this one demands to stay free..


While a liberal online warrior myself, I think this is the first time that I’ve received such an overtly hostile reply that basically overturns the entirety of what the Constitution stands for.  At least overturning what I thought – and what I thought most Americans – believed in.  Sure, I am regularly called a libertard, moron, low life, commie, pervert – “freak” is a fairly mild epithet - by my fellow online American conservative types, but for some reason it’s profoundly shocking to me that any American, whatever one’s age, whatever ones’ political persuasion, could so blithely dismiss the deaths of literally hundreds if not thousands of people who were killed during those decades to say nothing of all those on both sides who died the Civil War, fighting for all the rights that Patrick Henry 13 simply dismisses as “wrong,” and thereby dismissing the very basic tenets of the Constitution so blithely and arrogantly. 

This attitude is simply beyond the pale for me.  It is profoundly, at least in my view, not only un-American but anti-American as well.  Our Constitution has been hailed as a revolutionary document and used as a model for other governments around the world.  Yet Patrick Henry13’s reply makes me wonder if his view is the view of many more Americans?  Maybe so, not that I’ve seen or read anything quite so utterly dismissive of the rights that, as Americans, we allegedly hold so dear.  

I have no idea how many American’s share Patrick Henry’s philosophy.  I do know that a great many folks that I do mock battle with online, do believe that the Constitution and it’s rights and privileges apply only to certain “groups” of Americans and not to others.  Apparently “other” groups, like the Occupy Wall Street folks or the Ferguson protesters or environmental activists, give up their Constitutional rights by publicly and openly voicing displeasure with some facet of American society.  This view, from my experience, is a broadly held view among conservatives.  This being the case, and perhaps Patrick Henry13’s view is an extreme one (but then again, if pressed, maybe not) I keep wondering how in hell, how in God’s name, do we reverse this perverted view of American and American society? 





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