Letter: How about some constructive conservative ideas?
Ryan Summerlin August 21, 2014
To the Editor:
I have recently decided to describe my politics as “Progressive Libertarian.”
In brief, as a Progressive Libertarian, I think that the duties of a government, as stated in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, is to provide for the common defense, preserve domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare and ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity.
Those “liberal” policies enacted during the 1930s (Social Security, UI Benefits, Labor Union protections, confiscatory upper marginal tax rates, strict banking regulations etc.) as well as policies enacted in the 1960s (Civil Rights Acts, Medicare/Medicaid, food subsides etc.) have allowed the U.S. government to fulfil those obligations.
Over the course of the past 40 years or so there has been a well organized effort to seriously weaken or eliminate these astonishingly successful “liberal” policies.
A “Conservative” intellectual leader and policy setter for the Republican Party, Grover Norquist, has said that the policy goal should be to “return the U.S. government to the size it was in 1908.”
I cannot see how a Government that size could do very much in fulfilling it’s obligations as stated in the U.S. Constitution.
Within the past week or so a number of “conservatives” have written letters to this newspaper saying stuff that creates a “liberal” straw-man that in no way reflects “liberal” motives or policies. I also see words that amount to, “liberal policies will cause the end of civilization as we know it.” All of these letters repeat nearly word for word the utterances of very popular “conservative” media personalities. One even sees these words repeated by some very prominent Republican politicians, even Republican presidential candidates.
I challenge Conservatives to do something more than rely on right-wing talking points. These talking points are carefully designed to validate a certain ideology and in no way reflect reality.
How about proposing something specific concerning those elements of the actual Liberal agenda that you find so objectionable, and what sort of policies that you might favor?