Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Joseph O. Patton: Helping conservatives be conservatives

  I am deeply concerned about my conservative friends, neighbors and the like. I'm convinced if you're gonna adhere to a set of values, employ those values at the ballot box, to influence your fellow Americans in letters to the editor and to lobby your elected officials, you should at least be true to your word and not contradict yourself with every breath. So in a heartfelt effort to be the helpful type I aspire to be, I've compiled this checklist of sorts. Perhaps it can be of assistance to those who claim to be conservative but only talk the talk....

  Stop claiming you want the government out of your life while simultaneously lobbying your elected officials to pass laws that would infringe on a women's reproductive rights, outlaw same-sex marriage and curb legal gambling.

  Stop screeching about how you despise government handouts and entitlement programs as you hungrily gobble up a Social Security check, utilize government loans and Pell Grants in order to send your child to college, and lap up government-backed mortgage loans, the Earned Income Tax credit and countless other benefits.

  Stop flying the flag of religious freedom when in fact you only believe that we're free to be Christian. Don't preach from your pulpit about our right to worship freely as you show up spewing epithets and lobbing threats every time someone tries to build a mosque.

  Stop accusing anyone who disagrees with you of being a "revisionist" and trying to "change history" when you readily cheer Sarah Palin who still lacks a rudimentary, fourth grade understanding of Paul Revere. Or Rick Santorum who thinks the brave American beach landing at Normandy had something to do with Barack Obama and health care reform.

  Stop arguing that our government is attempting to "indoctrinate" children via public schools as you openly demand all references to "evolution" or anything that remotely questions your fundamentalist beliefs to be stricken from text books and try to force school-wide prayer over the PA system.

  Stop whining about our military forces being involved in arguably expensive peace-keeping missions and other worthy endeavors when you never questioned it - or even blinked - when George W. Bush rushed us blindly (and under false pretenses) into an obscenely costly, directionless war in Iraq then left office without resolving it.

  Stop bashing so-called "pork" spending only when the money happens to fall outside your Congressional district or state.

  Stop claiming to be "pro life" while openly supporting the death penalty with such over the top blood lust, turning a blind eye to innocent women and children killed in military conflicts, and completely ignoring inner city violence.

  Stop distorting the Second Amendment, especially when you tout yourself as a strict adherent to the Constitution. It doesn't mean you can bully your fellow Americans who disagree with your beliefs or issue poorly-veiled threats of handgun violence if you don't get your way politically.

  Stop insulting, belittling and demeaning the working poor for receiving pennies a day in the form of WIC, food stamps and other benefits to stay alive while openly begging for millions of dollars in corporate welfare for your own company.

  Stop thinking you're the only one entitled to free speech. For every time you spew some vapid, misguided, divisive, hateful rhetoric, the rest of us have every right to smack you down verbally for it. Reader's Digest version: Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

  Stop bashing Americans who use recreational drugs while you simultaneously stroll around zombie-like, doped out of your mind on designer mood enhancers and antidepressants and provide them to your children as a means to control their behavior.

  Stop claiming the federal government never accomplishes anything and is so wasteful when every day of your life you consume food that has been inspected by the federal government, drive on roads built and maintained by the federal government, enjoy reasonable safety and labor-related standards in your workplace as a result of the federal government, are protected 24/7 around the world by American military heroes employed by the federal government, drive a vehicle loaded with safety features thanks to the federal government, retrieve your mail which has been delivered by a federal employee, drink water which is only safe due to federal regulations, and enjoy countless liberties and protections provided by our federal government.

  Stop deriding "universal healthcare" and bashing the president for it using terms like "socialist" when the majority of you polled support Mitt Romney in the GOP president primary - a man who spear-headed and enacted universal healthcare as governor of Massachusetts.

  Stop blaming media outlets and dismissing them as "biased" every time one of your leaders says something ridiculously false, illogical or absurd and they merely do their job by reporting it. (See Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, etc.)

  Stop claiming everyone who doesn't share your worldview is "ignorant" or is "drinking the Kool-Aid." Not all of us have to watch Fox News talking heads to prop up our views while blocking out everything else. Some of us enjoy thinking for ourselves. It's fun, try it!

  Stop claiming your taxes are so high when in fact they're at their lowest level since Harry Truman was in office. (I should add that he was a Democrat.) I know there's a black man in the White House, and that apparently upsets you, but stick to the facts please....

  Stop treating gays and lesbians as though they're second class citizens, especially when you're wildly waving a copy of the Constitution around. The only people who deserve second class treatment are those who discriminate against their fellow Americans.

  Stop treating immigrants as less than human and being hostile to them. Your forebears hopped a boat to get to these shores too.

  Stop treating women as some type of threat or as interlopers in the work place and in elected office, fellas. If you were secure in your own talents, abilities and work ethic, then you'd grow a set and shut your mouth.

  Stop crowing about how much you love the Constitution... then turning around and trying to amend it for self-serving reasons or to deny other Americans certain rights.

  Stop telling everyone who dares to disagree with you that they're going to Hell. If you're as righteous as you claim to be you'd know that God can handle that on His own and doesn't need your assistance.

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press. He is a former news editor for the Coosa County News, lead reporter for the Montgomery Independent and editor-in-chief of the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn-Montgomery. Patton is also the creator of and writer for the satirical news radio segment "Goat Hill Gossip," which previously aired on WAUD in Auburn, Alabama and has appeared on several Central Alabama radio programs as a political analyst. 

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

No comments:

Post a Comment