As Long as Conservatives Have Any Kind of Power, This Country Will Always Struggle

paul-ryan-11As humans we naturally resist change.  Now that’s not true for everyone, but in general we’re creatures of habit and we often fear the unknown.

But when it comes to conservatives, they take this to a whole other level.  Conservatives cling to “the good ol’ days” like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  They fear change on such an extreme level that they’re literally trying to take this country backwards in time.  For many conservatives it isn’t about the promise of tomorrow, it’s about longing for yesterday.

There’s just one problem – their version of “yesterday” never existed.

See, the “good ol’ days” for most of these people seems to fall somewhere around the 1950’s and early 60’s.  But the issue they seem unable to understand is that during the 50’s and 60’s we had much higher taxes, unions were stronger and we built economic policies based on what benefitted the middle class to “trickle up” wealth to the richest among us through consumer spending, instead of letting the richest among us accumulate ridiculous sums of wealth while hoping that they’d “trickle down” some of it to the rest of us.

It’s impossible to “get back to those days” when your party’s entire economic ideology stands in complete contrast to the policies that were enacted during those times.

Pretty much every landmark thing we’ve done in our more recent history has been the result of liberal beliefs:

  • The New Deal
  • Social Security
  • The Civil Rights Act
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Putting a man on the moon
  • Women’s suffrage
  • Killing Osama bin Ladin
  • Passing health care reform

Every single one of those events was the result of a liberal being in the White House or liberal ideology trying to bring about real change in this country.

What has conservative ideology ever done for us?  Sure, conservatives will claim Lincoln, but while he might have been a Republican – he wasn’t a conservative.  He didn’t cling to tradition, sure as heck didn’t take the path of “small government” to free the slaves, he’s actually responsible for our nation’s first income tax and the Emancipation Proclamation was actually an executive order that bypassed Congress.

In fact, looking at our history the progress we’ve made has always come at a slower rate than it should have because we’ve constantly had to fight with conservatives who, generation after generation, do everything they can to impede progress and keep us shackled to the “good ol’ days.”

It’s why this November’s elections are so vital and why it’s so disheartening to see evidence showing Republicans possibly taking back the Senate, thus giving them complete control over Congress.  If that does happen, we all might as well just give up any hope of anything being done in this country until 2016 at the earliest.

Because it’s the same old story that we’ve seen play out like a broken record throughout history – liberals are trying to bring about real change and progress in this country and conservatives are just getting in our way.

Image via AP

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Sandy Greer

    While I agree that Left is better – and that our major achievements in ‘bettering’ ourselves have come from the Left:

    I don’t hold with ‘exclusion’: I don’t advocate Conservatives shouldn’t
    have ‘any kind of power’.

    Who said Life is supposed to be easy – without ‘struggle’? This world has never seen a Utopia, and never will. And that’s a good thing.

    Ideas are born of conflict and ‘stuggle’. We gain Strength – mentally, physically, emotionally – precisely BECAUSE we have Opposition. The Left is better for having to fight for its ideals.

    A good idea will sell itself. But ALL ideas can benefit from input of Opponents. We want them to ‘buy in’ – don’t we? That way, what gets bought – stays bought – and is not subject to return.

    No, Lefties. Leave the ‘exclusion’ to The Right. They’re so much better at it, than us.

    I agree about the importance of voting. Every election, every time – local, state, national. Never, EVER, let an election pass without your input.

    And, when things don’t seem ‘right’ – go Left. 😉

    • Veritas vos Liberabit

      Constructive dichotomy is a good thing.

      • Sandy Greer

        I think ANY dichotomy a good thing.

        Sure, we beat our heads against brick walls of Ignorance, Hate, Fear (destructive dichotomy) It’s frustrating, and taxes our patience.

        But it allows us to ‘perfect’ ourselves: Sharpens our communication skills; hones our arguments. Forces us to ‘focus’ Energy on what is most important.

        ^^^At least, that’s what I like to tell myself when I’m beating my head against a brick wall… 😉

  • Veritas vos Liberabit

    While Mr. Clifton’s intentions may had been in good nature, I consider this piece poorly written. Let us take the first sentence: “As humans we naturally resist change”. That statement is only partially true. As humans we resist changes that we perceive as negatively affecting us. Changes, however , are inevitable whether we like it or not. “We’re creatures of habit and we often fear the unknown”. Fears are a major impediment in progress. To conquer those fears we need a spirit of survival and risk taking. The Wright Brothers would’ve never been able to invent the airplane if it wasn’t for risk taking. That is also imperative for progress. For every action, there is a “reaction”. Conservatism and Liberalism are two philosophies that cannot exist without one or the other. In fact, we are all Conservatives AND Liberals in our modus of thinking. We are both of those philosophies although we prefer one over the other to a certain extend. To summarize, changes are imperative to improve our quality of life. Conservatives seek changes that in their minds will improve our quality of life while Liberals seek the same. It is our responsibility as voters to decide what it’s best, not for us at a personal level, but as a Country. To do that we need to put aside our differences as individuals and look beyond what it is impeding progress for us all: Hatred for those who are different than they. Racism. Xenophobia. Homophobia etc. In other words, treat others as human beings without reservations.

  • DavidD

    The good old days where I live now was an era of racial segregation,women who could not aspire to any real equality and no jobs.
    Here in rural East Texas you either tried to make a very poor living off the land or competed for the few very low paying jobs in small towns.
    Most people had to move off to the big cities or join the service.
    It can still be a hard struggle but compared to the 50’s and 60’s it’s a lot better now.
    Conservatives want yearn for a time that never existed.We didn’t even get REA electricity until the late forties and that was in town.
    I loved my grandparents dearly but they worked very hard to get by and made other people rich and comfortable by that labor.
    I wouldn’t want to do from can to can’t in the cotton patch.

  • strayaway

    “What has conservative ideology ever done for us?” Well, Under Harding and Coolidge, we had peace, prosperity, job growth, technological progress, and workers benefits increased. Much of this happened under Eisenhower too but he had the advantage of our Country supplying the rest of the world that had to rebuild its factories. Harding walked into a recession with 11.3% unemployment much as Obama did but Harding had the unemployment rate down to 3.6% within two years. Harding even let some of Woodrow Wilson’s political dissidents out of prison including Eugene Debs. Peace, prosperity, and liberty; they go together.