This just in: I sometimes write just to help my mind flush out an idea or solve a problem. One thing that has always escaped me is, “Why do conservatives want to be conservative?” Today, I’m going to explore that.
I may be right but I’m probably wrong. So…let’s see what happens.
Republicans are seen as the party of “Conservatives”. One of their rallying cries that never fails to gather enthusiasm from their base is “We are the party of family values!”
What does that mean? Does it mean that only they value families? Does it mean that they think marriage should be as it has been traditionally; between a man and a woman? Does it mean that they long for the days of Leave it to Beaver; where there as a strong father figure and a woman that stays at home wearing pearls?
I read something yesterday that made the argument for the Leave it to Beaver scenario.
It went like this…
Family values means there is a strong male figure that leads the family. He makes the tough decisions. He earns the money. The wife is subservient; her job is to keep house and raise the children.
Does this fit?
Conservatives tend to claim to be “God Fearing.” This feels a lot like needing a strong father figure that will take care of things.
Conservatives tend to vote for authoritative figures; typically equating wealth with strength. Could Trump be their “God” or their “Father”? I certainly see a lot of parallels. Trump acts like he is the boss. He acts like his word is law. He acts like only he can save us. Sounds a lot like vision of what a Father should be to his family.
Suppose this is right. Suppose conservatives do like to have someone or something they can look to as their “protector”. Who cares?
I don’t. At least I don’t until the politicians get involved.
Here is what happens…
The Republican Party rallies their base with “We are the party of Family Values.”
Recall that is says, “We can take care of you”.
Next, the Republicans say, “The government should be small”.
Now, this is the exact opposite of “We can take care of you” but it is exactly what you want your party to say if you are rich and want to have regulations relaxed and taxes dropped so that you can be even more richer.
I’m certain that the Republican base would disagree with this. I’m equally certain that the Republican base loves Trump. So…you can probably understand when I care very little about what the Republican base thinks.
I care only to the extent that I’m trying to understand. Why are there any Republicans? Why do they elect people that represent the exact opposite of what the base says they stand for? Why do they change their views and principles to stay loyal to a president that shifts with the tides?
I must admit, I like the idea of Mom staying home and Dad going to work. I equally like the idea of Dad staying home and Mom going to work. I think a family does better if someone is there to raise the kids.
So, if this is what we want…what should we do?
I will give you two choices…
Choice #1: Do what the Republican Party is doing now. They just passed a huge tax cut that does nothing for anyone that is not rich. This further increases the income inequity between the rich and everyone else. This causes poverty to spread even as the economy grows (because that growth is going to a very few people). As poverty spreads, not only do both parents need to work, they need to work multiple jobs. Plus, kids getting out of college are so far in debt that they can’t afford to start families; in fact, the often move back home. Older people re-enter the workforce to pay for medical bills. Etc…etc…. In short…we can have a small government that benefits a small portion of our citizens.
Choice #2: Pass laws that end income inequality. Tax the rich and redistribute that wealth throughout the country. This is not stealing from the rich. It’s putting an end to the rich stealing from the rest of us.
The true path to family values goes through a world where the middle class can afford to own a home and raise a family. We are not on that path right now.
Having written all of that, I’m not sure I solved anything. But…it does give me pause.
Time to save the world.
Up, up and away…