“Let us, then, put our prejudices aside…”?
Rick Fischer
72

Mr Fischer is quite mistaken. Umair is talking about far-right extremists, not true conservatives in general. There is a big difference: these far-right demagogues are in fact radical. Their calls for actions such as deporting all immigrants, destroying unions, creating scapegoats of one minority or ethnic group, depriving people of voting rights, weakening public schools, creating or sustaining government-corporate-financial cronyism relationships for financial gain, denying a living wage, supporting an overly large military-industrial complex that drains our society of wealth, etc., are all marks of real, unmitigated Fascism. Their wishes and desires can be found also in Hitler’s writings. When my dad was a nice Jewish boy of 17, he became a soldier in the US Army, fighting against Fascists across the Rhine. So I grew up thinking democracy, anti-fascism, and the idea of a republic was a good thing. But these extremists Umair targets do not believe in democracy or a republic. They want a system where they can sit back and reap rewards for which they have not done an iota of physical labor. They want to write the rules for their own advantage through their corporate influence with government, and the public be damned. In opposition to these viewpoints, true conservatives want balance and want to conserve; they don’t want to exploit other people’s money or lives. They are cautious and prudent. They don’t want resources spent on wild adventures-like the reckless casino actions that banks took that resulted in the financial disasters Umair is talking about. They would have advocated caution rather than the thoughtless waging of a useless war in Iraq that has cost this country its future wealth, not to mention many lives lost or ruined. They would not make up propaganda about Social Security or the post office. The latter is a good example of the radical demagogues’ procedure: Remember that the US Post Office was created for the people- a good thing for a democracy and a republic to have. In 2006, Congress irrationally mandated that the USPS pre-fund 75 years of retiree costs. This means paying now for workers who are not even born yet. No other government agency has to do this. Why do this? A staggering amount to pay, and thus how do you pay for it other than curtailing services? A perfect storm for shrill demagogues, who then called for the dismantling and/or privatizing of the Post Office as it was now seen as not financially secure or competent enough. This was followed up by Congress preventing the USPS from developing certain digital services that would have competed with private companies. These are examples of radical, not conservative, actions in the ‘bait and switch’ category, i.e. creating a crisis that did not have to happen. Who benefits? Friends of congressional demagogues who happen to run private companies that can charge an arm and leg more for the same services? But the reality is that FedEx has never delivered a letter for 47 cents. And, a true conservative acknowledges that the P.O. delivers to areas where private companies will not go. A true conservative would not want to ‘drown government in a bathtub’. And so on.

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