Many Conservative talking points will be passe in a few years.
I recently watched one of Glenn Beck’s “lectures” portraying progressivism as an all-encompassing evil. This is the same kind of thinking we get when a scientist makes a breakthrough, or a tinkerer invents something like the airplane: “If God meant us to fly he would have given us wings.” If God had given Beck a brain he’d be dangerous. But, thankfully, invention, both intellectual and mechanical, usually wins out, 99% of the time I’d say. And I predict that’s what’s going to happen in the next fifty years. Poor old conservatives will lose on virtually every count.
1. Evolution. It’s as much a fact as electro-magnetism. During Scopes III, a judge, who had been recommended by ultra-conservative Rick Santorum and chosen by George W. Bush, ruled that Intelligent Design was the same as Creationism, which had previously been ruled a religion. The judge was shocked by how much he didn’t know about evolution. For instance, many of the missing links have been filled. For instance, a fish has been found that had legs. A dinosaur has been discovered with feathers. An evolution expert testified that the reason more people don’t know much about evolution is because of the original Scopes trial, the one with Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan. Textbooks publishers were scared to offend religious types. See the Texas School Board machinations.
2. Global Warming. Sure it happens periodically but that’s no reason to ignore it. We need fuels that don’t pollute the atmosphere. Conservatives would have you believe that wind and solar power and the other developing fuels will never be able to compete with coal, oil, and gas, but that’s what they used to say about carbon-based fuels when people used whale oil.
3. Gay rights. For three hundred years various conservative groups labeled blacks as less than human, often using the Bible to justify their claims. In 1964 the Democratic Congress, which at the time included some really fossilized Southern racists, passed the Civil Rights Act. You can not deny equal rights to minorities on the basis of some two thousand-year-old contradictory religious texts. Take a clue from Native Americans. They respected homosexuals for their difference. Besides gays constitute from five to fifteen percent of the population, which would be at least 15 million people.
4. Conservatives insist that capitalism is the best economic system we could ask for, but every ten years corporations get greedy and there’s another bubble. Downsizing, outsourcing, bonuses for executives, golden parachutes, ad infinitum. And now they have the same first amendment rights as the rest of us. And how in the world do you justify making money off of people’s misery as per the Health Care industry? Besides, China is a socialist country if I’ve ever seen one, and they have over two trillion dollars in reserve and are kicking our butts economically. One out of seven American citizens are below the poverty line. The gap between the rich and the poor must come down. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Paul Allen and others realize this and are donating half their wealth to the poor.
5. Abortion: Surgical abortion should be a thing of the past within the near future with The Morning After Pill more available and reliable as well as research being done on male contraceptives. When that happens, abortion will be a decision made between a woman and her doctor and conservatives won’t be able to use it as a wedge issue.
6. Religion: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs includes the need to know where we come from along with food, shelter, love, and a need to procreate. But religion, especially fundamentalist religion, causes so much trouble, one begins to wonder whether we need this crutch. American Christianity is a bi-product of European Christianity, and they certainly don’t need it. Most Europeans do not belong to a church. In American only two percent of our citizens are agnostics or atheists, but fully twenty percent do not belong to a church and that number is going up. One can imagine that the only reason it hasn’t gone up further is because of politicians using it as a wedge issue. We may need to take away their non-profit status if churches insist on being involved in politics. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all come from the same place: The Middle East and Zoroastrianism. The Jews were held captive in Babylon for something like seventy years; when they returned they brought back Mazdian mythology, misogyny, and the devil. Yet, each insists that they are the “chosen people.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go to Heaven if God has a chosen people. The pastor who wanted to burn the Koran wasn’t the only religious whack job. There’s the Texas School Board, there’s Fred Phelps of the “God hates America” campaign and there’s this troll named “Scary Gary” North who wants to bring back stoning as a punishment for adultery. Guess who would get stoned?
7. The United Nations. We just can’t afford these little wars that cost us two trillion dollars for a minor police action like Iraq. Nationalism is the big bugaboo. In order to make the United Nations more powerful we must get rid of veto power and maybe base the assembly on the American check and balance system. As is, it’s a joke, but we will never get off this planet if we don’t create effective world government. It will happen, but we don’t want some giant corporation like Ford in BRAVE NEW WORLD doing it before we do.
8. The Internet must be regulated. It was founded by military scientists who wanted to make research more accessible. But pornographers swooped down and overran the place, along with Know-Nothing conservative bloggers. The Internet has been hailed as the last reserve of freedom, but it’s also a place where wing nuts and perverts can find each other. If China can regulate the Internet, so can the United States. The FCC regulates the airwaves (at least they‘re supposed to), why not the Internet?
9. Redistribution of wealth. Let’s start with DeBeers in Africa. They’re sitting on top of a pile of diamonds, making sure the price stays high, while millions of Africans starve. There’s a justification of socialism if I’ve ever seen one. Then there’s Bill Gates. He’s worth something like 59 billion and Warren Buffet is close behind. Sure both are willing to donate half their wealth to the poor, but that still leaves something like 30 billion for each. Nobody should be worth 59 billion dollars. Conservatives claim that these people worked for their money and that they deserve it, but it’s morally reprehensible when there are people in India living on a dollar a day. This might be a job for the United Nations. Make sure there are no companies like DeBeers leeching off the world’s population. Alaska, of all places, pays its citizens something like $1,500 a year on its oil profits.
10. Education. The computer classroom might be the answer, but teachers need to be trained to supervise and coordinate rather than teach traditionally. Last night on the news I saw a young teacher complain that her union wouldn’t let her work with kids after school. Without the union teachers would still be making peanuts. Voters need to remember that the Republican party hates unions. Anything they say about education is suspect, and “No Child Left Behind” is a farce. Ask any teacher about state tests, and he’ll tell you what a joke they are. They’re multiple choice for Pete’s sake. That’s not to say reform isn’t needed, but taking away tenure from the most downtrodden professionals in America is definitely not the answer. It’s hard enough to find good teachers as is. Good people won’t work for low wagers with someone constantly looking over their shoulders.
Dave Schwinghammer's published novel, SOLDIER'S GAP, is available on Amazon.com.