Want to know what a conservative wants? Look no further than their name: “CONSERVATIVE”. Conservatives want to “conserve“.
Now — ask the next logical question — “WHAT do conservatives want to CONSERVE?”
Do conservatives want to conserve the future? Of course not — you can’t conserve what doesn’t exist. Do conservatives want to conserve the present? That’s a little closer to the mark.
Yes — conservatives want to conserve what “is” — because what “is” still reflects a large measure of what “was” — and “what was” is exactly what conservatives want to conserve: WHAT WAS.
Now — ask the NEXT logical question: “What was it in the past that conservatives want to conserve?”
In America, it’s the quaint notion that America was ever a white person’s country. Yes, white people may have been the country’s political founders — but even as they crafted the country’s foundational documents, the truth about the country they were founding sat in a cultural blind spot. White men saw only their contributions, ignoring the considerable contributions coming from every other part of America’s already diverse and diversifying population.
Remember — aside from America’s native peoples — who were wiped out more by the Europeans pathogens than anything else — the real estate on which America sits belonged to no other “tribe”. By contrast, the real estate that became France or Spain or England had gone through a millennium at least of tribes slowly evolving from, say, Gauls or Visagoths or Celts into French people, Germans & British.
Just because you control the history doesn’t mean you control the Truth.
Conservative (Christian) thinking insisted that since slavery was “in the bible” it must be morally okay. What they really meant was paying fair wages to the people picking their cotton or cutting down their sugar cane would make profitability really hard. What those conservatives wanted to conserve in this case was as much money as possible.
In this instance, what conservatives wanted to “conserve” was their greedy hold on their part of America’s economy. And we made that deal. We gave slavery and slavers outsized political control over people who hated the idea of slavery.
That’s conservatism’s real problem. They’re a minority proposition in America. When more Americans vote, they vote Democratic. They vote for more progressive candidates & policies. They vote for progress & NOT conservatism.
That’s why Republicans work so hard to minimize Democracy. That’s why they suppress votes and demand voter ID laws. If Republicans thought the great mass of Americans would vote FOR them, they’d make walk-up voting as normal as breathing. But that’s not the case — so they don’t.
Moscow Mitch McConnell — whose whole mandate was to install permanent minority rule — has raised conservative corruption to a high art. Refusing to even give Merrick Garland a hearing wasn’t just another example of Mitch being a clever, cynical politician (which he absolutely is), it was Mitch asserting that only conservative goals matter — the harm done to who and what we are being utterly irrelevant.
The more “sane” conservatives will insist that conservatives don’t want to stop progress, they just want to “slow it down”.
The technical term for that is “bullshit”. Conservatives don’t want to slow America’s future down — they want to stop it dead in its tracks and reverse it. Conservatives want to live in a “golden past” that only ever existed in their own racist, misogynist, bigoted, ignorant minds.
So — the next time a conservative sits a little straighter while insisting they want what’s best for America? Be sure to laugh long and loudly at them. The America THEY think is best looks a hell of a lot like your average Antebellum cotton plantation.
Slavery epitomizes conservative values. That is what conservatives REALLY want to conserve.