In celebration of 2014’s CPAC convention currently underway, I thought it might be useful for them If they could find a more refined definition of their overall political position than CPAC, or Republican, GOP, Tea Party — something to embrace all of those synonyms, to simplify. So I set out to see if I could be of help.
First order of business was to explore “nutshells” (sotospeak) which describe the roots of their philosophy. I plowed through a bunch of old scribblings and scratchings — old notes I’ve accumulated over the last 10-12 years, and came up with some summaries of various popular issues that seem a pretty close fit. In no particular order (note: the italicized and highlighted portions are as they appear in the scribblings and scratchings):
Military: After cessation of hostilities in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s 2015 budget proposes reductions in Defense spending; right wing freakout currently underway. And even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized until they become Veterans, at which time their support is redefined to be viewed as “welfare” and commences to lag appropriately.
Gender and Sexism: In the Tea Party’s view, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy. Those collective attitudes have so far resulted in (particularly in states wherein the Republican Party enjoys a governing majority) massive political assaults on women’s health care, gender income equality, abortion availability, even on insurance funding of contraceptives (although there are no complaints when insurance covers the cost of drugs that address erectile disfunction — go figure).
Religion and Government: Conservatives have a long history of employing religion as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Consider their constant efforts, of late, to ban same sex marriage in multiple states (and even a Constitutional amendment to universalize the ban has been suggested). Many states today are also diligently exploring the means to formally allow blatant discrimination in re the LGBT community, all because some religious entities support doing so. And again, there remains their extreme opposition abortion, even birth control.
Corporate Power: Mitt Romney once famously noted that “Corporations are people, my friend.” Conservatives invariably consider the industrial and business aristocracy as the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. See also the Citizens United; conservative driven 5-4 SCOTUS decision which crippled campaign finance laws and opened the door for widespread and hidden financial support, most typically paid to the party which has allied itself with Wall Street and the corporate world rather than with real people. Koch Bros., et al., now represent Democracy “in action.”
Obsession with Crime and Punishment: Perhaps the most recent example is this week’s Senate blockage of the confirmation of Debo Adegbile to head the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division simply because Adegbile, when he was an attorney for the NAACP LDF, did his job and successfully got the death sentence of a Black Nationalist reduced to life imprisonment. Oh, the horrors.
Enemies are Scapegoats; a Unifying Cause: It’s SO obvious: the means to kicking Putin’s Russian butt is to build the Keystone Pipeline! Heard that silliness from Paul Ryan, among others, so hey, it should work!!
Recognition of Human Rights: Not always a popular option in CPAC-land, given their disdain for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment Compensation, Head Start, Education Funding, inflation-adjusted minimum wage . . . but unlimited support for and defense of Ag subsidies, of corporate tax loopholes, of reducing tax rates on the wealthy, of multi-billion dollar subsidies to Big Energy. The list is endless. And just yesterday Paul Ryan announced at CPAC that Free School Lunches mean that poor parents don’t care about kids. Right.
Think I’m sensing a pattern here, one that’s starting to sound more than a little familiar. Hmmm. I should review those old notes and scribbles a little more closely, maybe. Could be a clue in them.
Holy cow! NOW I remember where those scribbles came from! It was a website post entitled The Fourteen Points of Fascism! Here are those fourteen points, in order of presentation:
Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
Supremacy of the Military
Controlled Mass Media
Obsession with National Security
Religion and Government are Intertwined
Corporate Power is Protected
Labor Power is Suppressed
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Looks like I touched on six of them; not in proper order, but they sure do seem to drive home the thesis that there is a far more perfected term to actually DEFINE American Conservatism as it currently exists under its various banners, including CPAC, Republican, GOP, and Tea Party. The word is both familiar and definitive:
Clearly CPAC must be renamed as something more appropriate than the already-tired-and-worn Conservative Political Action Committee. Maybe . . . hmmm . . . something like . . . lessee . . . Conservatives are Fascists Undermining Cultural Development of Uninformed People, or Conservatives are FUCD UP?? I like it! Tells the whole story! And better yet (special message to Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan), you’re welcome to claim it, and (best news of all), THERE WILL BE NO CHARGE!!