For months, Republican presidential hopefuls have been tip-toeing on conservative egg shells lest they offend their anti-science, anti-civil rights, anti-tolerance and anti-religious freedom constituency.
However, three have stood out for their gaffs and speaking blunders, to the scorn of political pundits.
Throw all examples of back-peddling in a hat and pull one out: Rick Perry questioned the president’s birthplace in a conversation with Donald Trump; Mitt Romney reconsidered his silence on a bill restricting collective bargaining rights; Herman Cain did the proverbial soft-shoe-shuffle in a contradictory statement about abortion.
Those conservative critics are hard to please and balancing candidate statements with ones that would be more appealing in that pesky general election is a tricky thing.
The 2012 presidential campaign is going to come down to the same thing it always does: conservative “values” vs. liberal “concepts”.
Political satirist, Daniel Kurtzman’s definition of Conservativism:
“Conservatives believe in fearmongering, gay-bashing, entitlement to power, patrio-fascist jingo-ism, more fearmongering, neo-Puritanism, giddy apocalypticism and in building a bridge to the 19th century.”
In reality, conservatives prefer to think of themselves as the party of principles. In the radical sense, the party is more concerned about its blind faith in God and blind loyalty to country and patriotism. The very nature of the word conservatism is to preserve old traditions and resist change. They have a belief that every thing must conform to their moral code. Conservatives are intolerant of anything or any one that doesn’t fit into their belief system, which separates the righteous from the unworthy. Clinging to the old ways gives them comfort in an uncertain world. Conservatives are only open to change if it doesn’t cost them anything or impact their life in any way.
On the other hand, Liberals, by the definition of the word, are open to pragmatic change. They embrace new ideas to remedy problems. They are more tolerant of social and religious differences in American society. Liberals have an existential view of the world and want the greatest good for the greatest number of people, by using the most effective policies possible. Liberals believe in progress and that solutions can be found by human endeavor and engagement. True liberals believe in stewardship of the planet, civil rights, and the equality of all people, no matter what their social status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or skin color.
Conservatives rail against “big government”, unless they need the government to enforce one of their moral imperatives, otherwise it should stay out of their way. They don’t want to pay taxes, but they don’t want pot holes in their roads either. They want to protect unborn children, but those outside the womb are on their own. Conservatives are “patriots” and anyone different from them are “American haters.”
“If by a ‘Liberal’ they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.
John F. Kennedy, September 14, 1960.