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conservatives over liberals

This is a page from the original version of Pagan Vigil. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at

Given a choice, I'd rather not deal the fanatic versions of either. There really should be more libertarians in the world, but I can't force that choice on any one.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, I really REALLY dislike partisan politics. I think that both major parties have violated both the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and the RICO Act.

Now, with that being said, I do prefer conservatives over modern liberals and progressives, but not by much.

I'd rather someone be honest with me to begin with and not guilt me into doing something that THEY think is right.

I can deal with someone opposing me because of my politics. I can deal with someone who attacks me because of my religious beliefs. I can deal with open hostility. I know where I stand with people like that.

They hate me or my actions for (insert reason here). Fine, that is their choice. Let's move onto the next bit. I'm willing to live and let live if they are.

But I don't like someone buttering me up because they need my support, only to drop me the first chance they get. I don't need sweet talk to distract me from the knife at my back. I don't need someone promising the world just so they can get a boost up.

For example, Janice Rogers Brown would seem to be the classic example of changing civil rights in America. A judge nominated to an appeals court who is a woman and who is black. Let's not forget she is also the daughter of sharecroppers. In short, an American success story and it would be a Lifetime movie except for three tiny little details. Judge Brown happens to be a conservative. She shows every possibility of being an originalist. And she succeeded without intervention from professional civil rights advocates.

Never mind that "race," gender, and social background have been rallying cries for decades. Judge Brown does not speak the approved words, She does not stick to the party line about minorities needing help because America is inherently racist. Therefore she can't be a "real black."

Don't laugh. I've been told exactly that.

For people like this, you stop being an enemy only as long as you can deliver something they want. Unless you toe the line, you have no value in their eyes. And since you are not really human, they are not bound by their promises to you. Give them what they want and they will go away for a while. Don't give them anything, and they will try to find a way to take more from you without your consent.

Not convinced? Okay, let's stroll back along memory lane. Do you remember Senator Ted Kennedy and the things he said while he was working with President Bush on the education bill a few years back? Do you remember that after the legislation was on it's way to a floor vote in both houses of Congress how Mr. Kennedy changed his tune and said that the bill needed much more funding and how it was the President's fault that it didn't have enough?

No matter what you agree to, it's never enough and you will be blamed for not giving more. Any excuse will do to demand more, no matter what was promised before.

Most liberals and progressives are nothing like that, thank the gods. Most liberals pride themselves on celebrating tolerance and diversity. Except questioning orthodoxy can have explosive consequences.

At this point, I've reluctantly accepted the theory that attitudes like this have something to do with the politics of victimhood. It's a very cynical conclusion and I would rather have another explanation, but I haven't found one that explains the behavior as well.

Under that value system, a person only has intrinsic worth if either they are personally victimized or are part of an oppressed minority.

Using that standard, someone can only earn worth if they sacrifice to benefit a victim or a group of victims. Oh, and intentions matter. If someone meant to sacrifice but hasn't quite followed through yet, they are still morally superior to someone who hasn't promised to sacrifice. And the amount that you personally have to sacrifice is inversely proportional to the amount of attention you can get focused on the problem.

Since intentions often matter more than results, solving the problem isn't as important as either defining your victimhood or showing the proper concern and sympathy. Whenever possible, the problem shouldn't be solved (and should be prolonged) just so people can stay victims or show compassion.

This introduces yet another politically elite class who derive their social worth by defining the victimhood of others.

If someone can define you as an oppressor, a person who either personally benefited from making victims of others or a member of a class who benefited from the unwilling exploitation of an underclass, you have no moral worth whatsoever. An oppressor can only redeem themselves by sacrificing everything they possess for the oppressed.

No wonder I get annoyed by it, the fundamentals pretty much violate every personal belief I have.

If your moral self worth is defined by either your victimhood or your compassion, then those will be the things you defend. Even principles will take a back seat if "it's for the greater good." Taking a stand is less important than reversing current oppression or preventing future oppression.

Again, I want to stress that most modern liberals and progressives are nothing like this.

One identifier that marks either fanatics or those that exploit them is a powerful and nearly unreachable foe. The Catholic Church. The Christian Right. The Republican Conspiracy. The Illuminaiti. Anything that opposes the True Way™ or interferes with the True Believer™ is either the Adversary or the Adversary's tool. And if you are not enlightened to the True Way™, then you are not really human. Another sure sign is the tendency for True Believers™ to demonize people they do not agree with.

Liberal fanatics fit this pattern only too well.

What makes this mindset dangerous is not the actual beliefs, but how it almost but not quite resonates with normal values. And yes, I know "normal" in this case is a very loaded word, especially since I am a libertarian Pagan. Bear with me and I will explain.

"Being a victim is bad," goes the reasoning. "So we should try to prevent people from becoming victims."

"This person, through no fault of their own, is a victim of circumstance. They need help."

"We need to systemize the help to benefit more people."

"These people are victims too."

"The system prevents solutions. We need to change the system and take error-prone humans out of the judgement loop."

"This person is a victim of society, even if there is no measurable damage."

"We can't hold them responsible. It's not their fault. We should make allowances."

"Judgment is part of the problem."

"We need more money and time to solve the problem."

"The problem may never be solved, but we should show compassion anyway."

"It's for the children. We should do the right thing."

"Even if you don't agree, you are obligated to help. Now."

See what has happened? One set of values warps another. People become chained by their own guilt. Even if they sense something is wrong, they can't get out of it without attacking their own sense of self worth.

It's a value system based on exploitation. It's hidden even from most of the people who use it. It rewards behavior that I find personally despicable.

If I choose to give, that is charity and can be celebrated. If I am manipulated or threatened into giving, that is extortion. I don't care how good the cause is, if I am required to give without my consent, that threatens my freedom. I shouldn't be tricked into it "for my own good" or "for the greater good." I want to know WHY, and I want an honest answer. I demand the choice to walk away.

Even if they attack me, at least conservatives are up front about their goals and their values.

Posted: Sat - June 18, 2005 at 05:07 AM

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