Conservative versus Progressive

For those of you who slept through American History, the figure above is President Theodore Roosevelt. Not only was he a very effective and popular Republican President, he was at the forefront of the Progressive Movement at the turn of the 20th Century. I use him to illustrate a Pew Poll that came out several weeks ago.

In this poll, the political term of “Conservative” scored 62% positive and only 30% negative. Very impressive. But you know what? in the same poll, the political term “Progressive” scored 67% positive and only 22% negative. And guess what else, Liberal and Capitalism scored nearly even at 50% positive and 40% negative.

This would appear to run contrary to what you hear from mainstream media and politicians who run on the label of “Conservative” while bashing the term Progressive. They continue to bash Liberal even though I see the term synonymous with Progressive. Socialism scores the worst at only 31% positive and 60% negative. It’s ideological opposite of Libertarian barely beats it out at 38% positive but only 37% negative. What explains this?

Well its messaging. Over the past few generations, the right has done an excellent job in using the mainstream media to convince the country that Liberal is bad and Conservative is good. It’s interesting to question self-proclaimed Conservatives on specific issues to find that they actually support the liberal view of these issues over the conservative. It boils down to wanting to belong with the popular folks, screw whatever they stand for. The problem the right created for themselves is they continue to focus on Liberal and not Progressive. Progressive is popular because human nature wants to progress through life, not stay stagnate or go backwards. That is actually the very nature of conservatism. Keep things as they are, don’t try to make it better because you never know what you might end up with. As some research has pointed out, conservatives tend to be more easily scared and operate in the fear mode than liberals/progressives, they are more daring and hopeful.

Historically, it was the Liberals/Progressives that started our revolution, the conservatives of the age wanted to stay with the King and supported the corporate structure of the East India Company. As time progressed it was the Liberals/Progressives that wanted to end the established institution of slavery while the conservatives wanted to keep it as their “peculiar institution”. It was during this time that the Republican Party came to prominence and power because it proposed Progressive ideas that moved the country forward and that’s what the majority of our people wanted.

At the turn of the 20th Century under Teddy Roosevelt, the progressives worked to end child labor, establish a “living wage”, established a social safety net for those who couldn’t care for themselves, worked for prison reform, government reform, populist movements, again these were progressive ideas while the conservatives held on to the Robber Baron establishment or corruption, a system where the power elites had control and they didn’t want to upset the cart. This continued to the ascension of Teddy’s cousin Franklin and the New Deal. The fruition of all the built up anger and populist reform demanded from a country fed up with conservative ideas that created the Great Depression and stagnation of the American People.

It was a result of the government and economic reforms of the Liberal/Progressive New Deal legislation that led to the greatest growth, both economically and social mobility of the American people. It was continued by both Democratic and Republican administrations right up until Ronald Reagan and the new messaging that “Conservatism” was good and Liberal was bad. Complacent Americans bought into the labels, but never really dwelled into the substance and ever since, the country has regressed both economically and socially. The only respite was the Clinton Administration, but now we are back to where we were just before the implementation of the New Deal.

The majority of the American people are Progressive by nature, their populism is reaching fever pitch while the Conservative Movement that only has support due to successful labeling of the term, hangs on for support. As people truly learn what conservatism means to them, they start to move left for their and the country’s best interests.

While researching for this rant, I found this interesting Conservative/Progressive Wheel. It has no relationship to percentages of where the American People stand regarding where they are, but it shows and interesting linkage. You will note that Corrupt Progressives (Democrats) meet up with Corrupt Conservatives (Republicans) as they move towards “RealPolitick and Anti-Intellectual” beliefs. The far right extremes of the conservative and progressive movements actually tend to meet as they become corrupt and unaware of what they stand for. When they forget the truth of their movement and focus more on the politics. But you can draw your own conclusions from this wheel.

Regardless, the Progressive label is more popular than the Conservative label because that is what this nation is. Again, I suspect most people call themselves “Conservative” because they want the label, not the blame for what the movement actually means.

You Support “Biblical” Marriage? Then I want to divorce you from polite society

It wasn’t that long ago that the whole subject of “Biblical Marriage” was being discussed in the media and internet. The result of all the hoopla involving legalizing same-sex marriage died down as the numbers of those who are now in favor of it hit critical mass and now the majority of the country is in support of legalizing same-sex marriages and all the benefits that come with it. But then the whole Dan Cathy and the Chick-fil-A thing reared its ugly head again and it’s back on the radar screen. So let’s go over this again and hopefully more people of reason, that is those who do not ascribe themselves to Christian Conservative-Tea Party ideology, will support the right side of history.

You may recall this chart that came out several months ago in response to what “Biblical Marriage” actually is:

The right loves to cite Deuteronomy 22 regarding marriage. It has some interesting things in it, some things that many on the right enjoy, like the prohibition of cross dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5). In general, it supports a great number of fundamentalist thinking they are proud of, as long as it isn’t applied to them, otherwise they may have to get stoned, and not in the way they would enjoy.

Let us examine the chart above because that is a synopsis of just about everything the Bible has to say about marriage. If the Bible is the word of God, then marriage must, according to those like Dan Cathy, follow these tenets.

Genesis 2:24 says that wives are subordinate to their husbands. It bans interfaith marriages and cites that marriages are generally to be arranged by others, not based on “romantic love.” And by the way, if your wife cannot prove her virginity prior to the ceremony, she is to be stoned to death. Also, the Bible doesn’t support the “Nuclear Family” of one man, one women. It cites that a man can have numerous wives and concubines. It actually supports the Mormon view of polygamy. So Mitt Romney has nothing to be ashamed of with his family history and should proudly talk about it at his next meeting with the Christian Fundamentalists.

Genesis 16 says a man can acquire his wife’s property including her slaves for his own. I’m sure this was really big in the Conservative Christian deep South culture leading up to the civil war. Today I guess men can have their way with the baby-sitters that their wives retain.

Genesis 38:6-10 says that a woman who is widowed without having a child must marry and submit herself sexually to her brother-in-law. After all, women are only here to procreate.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says that if a man rapes a virgin, she must marry him and he must pay her father 50 shekels of silver to the property loss. Again, in the Bible women are not people so much as property controlled first by their fathers and later by the men they are sold to.

Numbers 31:1-18 and Deuteronomy 21:11-14 says that male soldiers can take virgin prisoners of war and have their way with them. The wives must submit. Maybe this is why the right is opposed to women in the armed forces. Logically if they were to take male virgin prisoners……

Exodus 21:4 says that slave owners can assign male slaves to female slaves who must submit and help raise stock. Now in the corporate servitude world people like the Koch’s want to create here, this could get interesting.

Note how all the above passages relate to the Old Testament. What about the New Testament? What did Jesus himself say about marriage? Well, in Matthews he really didn’t say much about marriage as instead about divorce. Jesus preached more against divorce unless unfaithfulness was involved. He didn’t say a word about how many wives a man could have or anything regarding same-sex marriage. Not a word about homosexuality.

Of course nobody even asked him about that. So who knows what his views could have been? As a Jewish Rabbi, he knew his Torah and knew about what was cited above. So he knew that polygamy was acceptable. It was going around in Israel during his lifetime. He knew that men could have their way with their slaves, it was also going on at that time. And you know what else was going on at that time? Homosexuality. It existed and was acceptable in Greece and Rome and other parts of the empire. Jesus said nothing about it. If it was that important to him that it must have been forbidden, you would think there would be something there citing a position.

Marriage, or the union of a couple or group of people, long predates the Bible, Torah or any of today’s faiths. Unions exist because there are clear social advantages to having them. They are not, and never were exclusive to any faith. So why should someone’s religious faith interfere with an arrangement that long predates their religious tenets? If a church doesn’t want to sanctify a same-sex marriage under their roof, then that’s fine. It’s them exercising their religious freedom. But that couple should have an absolute right to establish a legal joining, whether you want to call it marriage or civil union, as long as the legal protections of that union are absolutely the same for any heterosexual couple. I don’t see where semantics really matter, only the union of two people taking care of themselves and possibly others with no legal restrictions because somebody has an outdated and harmful interpretation of a book that was written by man for the men of their age, not ours.

Same-Sex marriages hurt no one, destroys no heterosexual marriages unless someone in the union is in the closet (Marcus Bachmann). All the studies brought up to say so have been proven by scientific method to simply be full of shit with no basis in fact or reality. Again, same-sex marriage doesn’t hurt, but it certainly helps those involved.