Joe Scarborough was talking about his new bookon his morning show this morning, and his assertions were right on the mark. What has happened to conservatism, he said, is that right wingers in this country have some how gotten sold the idea that conservatism somehow has nothing to do with the verb "conserve", the ulitimate Bush Neo-con Legacy. A true conservative wishes to do just that: Conserve our military, and only use it when the expected results and goals are clear. Conserve our national wealth, and not let a run-away Congress exploit it for their pals as Bush and the Bridge-To-Nowhere Congress did. Conserve our environment, as Theodore Roosevelt and the original environmentalists/Republicans did - all things that so-called "conservatives" have been rabidly against for the last two decades.
But then he went on to make an interesting second point, that Conservatism is all about expanding Liberty, and the incorporation of the idealogy of the Religous Right has distorted that Goldwater/Buckley (on back to Lincoln) concept as well. He used history as an example, it was Lincoln who freed the slaves, it was the Republicans under Reconstruction that wrote the 14th Amendment, and the Civil Rights advances of the 1960s would have never happened if the Republicans led by Goldwater in the Senate did not join with the Northern Democrats to pass the Civil Rights Act, and yet today, the Republicans oppose all efforts to grant simple rights of contract law to homosexuals, while at the same time they oppose a woman's right to be free to control her own reproductive choices - in other words, today's so-called conservatives are paradoxically against granting liberty.
Scarborough went on to state that William F. Buckley, before he passed away, totally agreed with him when the two of them discussed Scarborough's ideas, and Buckley emphatically stated that George Bush would destroy the Conservative Movement because of one central fact: GWB was not a Conservative, which I find a wonderful supporting fact to my own assertion made here numerous times that the GOP had become The Sucker's Party. Even Buckley thinks millions have been taken for suckers by the neo-cons.
I found Scarborough's arguments compelling. Under his definition, I would be more of a Goldwater Conservative than a I am a Liberal Democrat. If the GOP ever wants to get back into office, they better listen to this guy, because if I feel that way, millions more must as well, and that's where the votes are.