There was a time when to say someone was conservative was to say that they were invested in healthy tradition. Change for the sake of change was a foolish notion. In the world of the twenty-first century the conservatives have changed the meaning to something more like: Progress for the sake of Progress is a foolish notion.
Change and progress are not the same thing. By definition change just means to do something differently – change by itself is not necessarily progress – and not necessarily a good thing. But also by definition, progress suggests change in a positive direction. Progress is, by definition, a good thing.
For clarity we must present the definition of oxymoron:
Somewhere along the road of political progression the world view of conservatives took a wrong turn. President Dwight David Eisenhower never flew into a rant about taxes and spending – Eisenhower was a thoughtful man who sought best-case-scenarios for our country. Even President Richard Nixon sought balance – Nixon opened the doors of detente to the Soviet Union and Communist China. Both Eisenhower and Nixon used the power of the Federal Government to bring progress to America. Agree with them or not, like them or not, Eisenhower and Nixon each used the power of government in what they believed to be progress for our country. They were not afraid of the work ‘progress.’
In the modern world we find conservatives trying to turn back the clock to romanticized traditions which were in fact never real traditions – the ideals of modern conservatives exist only in rhetoric:
- There was never anything good about a two-ton passenger automobile getting seven miles to the gallon.
- There was never anything good about a man being the head of his house – a romanticized ideal which justified domestic violence against the physically weaker wife and children.
- There was never anything good about children being denied proper nutrition or education or health care because their father was the traditional asshole.
- There was never anything good about laborers being abused in sweat shops designed to make Andrew Carnegie’s wealth grow exponentially.
- There was never anything good about food processing plant products laced with a variety of toxins.
- There was never anything good about forcing religious beliefs on the innocent children in our public schools.
- There was never anything good about separation based on race.
- There was never anything good about women’s salaries being judged as merely a ‘second income’ – thus justifying abusive labor practices by the business community.
- There was never anything good about corporal punishment as a means of discipline for children.
In the world of modern America the whacked out conservatives clamor for a return to more sane times – to the times of perceived healthy tradition. The conservatives of Eisenhower, Nixon, Buckley, George Will, and even Reagan, sought progress through thoughtful deliberation. The only difference between the conservatives of the past and the liberal factions was in rate-of-change.
Modern conservatives not only oppose any progress – they wish to turn back the clock to some idealized, romanticized notion of American Morality. A morality that existed and exists only in the fantasies of desperate people.
Tradition and conservative are no longer words that fit together.
Just for fun – here are some other examples of oxymoron (From the web):
- military intelligence
- jumbo shrimp
- A little big
a little pregnant
A new classic
- Blurry vision
books on tape
- Congressional accountability
- consistent discrepancies
- Dry beer