Friday, November 16, 2018

The conservative life of the lie

  Attempting to bolster the spirits of conservatives in the wake of the Democrat takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kay Coles James, the president of the Heritage Foundation - the premier conservative think tank in the country - sent out an email to her fellow conservatives that states in part:

    Now is not the time to falter and shrink, but rather the moment to fight harder, send more resources and become more committed to preserving the principles of limited government, freedom, opportunity and a flourishing civil society.

  What James and her fellow conservatives fail to recognize, however, is that the welfare-warfare state programs they embrace and support contradict “the principles of limited government, freedom, opportunity and a flourishing civil society” that they ostensibly are trying to “preserve.”

  A violent, corrupt, and racist decades-old drug war that punishes people for ingesting substances that conservatives don’t approve of, along with violent drug raids, mandatory-minimum sentences, overcrowded prisons, asset-stealing, illegal searches and seizures, bribery and other official corruption, and the rise of violent drug gangs, cartels, and drug-war warfare.

  A brutal and relentless decades-old war on immigrants based on a socialist system of immigration central planning and an immigration police state, consisting of highway checkpoints, forcible disrobing of travelers followed by careful examination of body cavities, warrantless searches of Greyhound buses, warrantless trespasses of ranches and farms many miles away from the border, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, the militarization of the border, coercive disclosure of cell phone passwords, Berlin fences and walls, forced separation of children from parents, and eminent domain stealing of people’s lands.

  Mass secret surveillance, indefinite detention, torture, partnerships with brutal and corrupt right-wing foreign dictatorships, assassination, military tribunals, foreign invasions and occupations, coups, foreign aid to dictators, and foreign meddling, all conducted by a national-security establishment consisting of the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA, a triune god that conservatives have come to worship and adore.

  Minimum-wage laws and occupational-licensure laws that block people out of the labor market on a permanent basis, including African-American teenagers.

  A massive system of mandatory charity, brutally enforced by the IRS, one in which the government forces people to care for others, as reflected by such socialist programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, foreign aid to dictators, and other welfare-state programs that conservatives have come to love and embrace, with the exception of food stamps, which conservatives love to rail against.

  The crux of the problem we face in this country is that all too many Americans, especially conservatives, insist on continuing to live the life of the lie — the life that denies reality — the life that convinces people that a welfare-warfare state is consistent with “the principles of limited government, freedom, opportunity and a flourishing civil society.”

  The conservative idea is that as long as we lie to ourselves and to each other and as long as we deny reality, everything will be hunky-dory. But as any psychiatrist will tell you, living the life of the lie and the life that denies reality does nothing but produce psychosis and dysfunctionality, which might help to explain why we live in a society characterized by mass killings, massive drug addiction, increasing suicide rates, anger and hatred, racism and bigotry, and all the other characteristics of a non-flourishing civil society.

  About the author: Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

  This article was published by The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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