Never run with the crowd. They're probably headed over a cliff.

Killing Conservatism

So Rush Limbaugh wants to own an NFL football team, huh? He does seem to know alot about, and have a true love for, the sport. Funny how things a person says years ago can come back from the past to haunt them later in life. Sort of like what this blog will do to my writing aspirations if ever I get the attentions of a gatekeeper (i.e., agent or editor). But for now my anonymity is doing a great job of keeping me, well, anonymous.

In reality I don't think Rush is a racist. If he were, he wouldn't make such seemingly racist comments. No, I think in this case he is a victim of his own self-honesty - at least on that subject. Then again, that Donovan McNabb comment was pretty stupid and he should have known better.

Regardless, it seems his bid for partial ownership of the St. Louis Rams has met with an untimely end in what he says is a vicious smear campaign bent on destroying conservatism. While Al Sharpton and his many detractors are definitely not conservatives, I think Rush's perception of who is destroying conservatism is skewed. Though he is right, conservatism is on the decline.

Even if the talking heads on the left are trying to destroy conservatism that sort of assault is generally ineffective. It is tantamount to Americans trying to convert Al Qaeda. Conservatives simply don't repond to those kinds of attacks. Just like Liberals don't respond to attacks from the right. In general, either camp, when under assault from the other, tends to circle the wagons. And in many cases, attacks from the opposition strengthen the base. The problem with conservatism isn't the attacks from the outside, the problem is what's happening inside the wagon-circle.

Every successful movement goes through a series of stages. There is the genesis when the group's founders carve a niche for themselves and begin attracting followers. It is their energy and the truthfulness of their message (in the ears of the converts) that builds momentum by attracting true believers. In most cases the group's founders not only preach the message, but live it as well. They become icons and examples of the ideologies they champion.

The second stage can be broadly categorized as growth. In this segment the group gains additional members not only from the truth of the message but from the appeal of a successful group. Except during this stage one begins to see that new members are less and less true believers, but simply people who want to be part of something that matters. In this stage you'll find people from the opposition flocking to the new movement like lemmings. Especially if the opposition is already in the third stage - corruption.

Success of a movement always breeds corruption because in addition to attracting true believers, success always attracts followers who have no interest in the core ideology. They just want to be in charge. It is these people who usually become the second generation of leaders. Because they have no stake in the ideology they are more free to move fluidly and are nearly always more aggressive and predatory. At the same time they are often charismatic and charming and will do whatever it takes to rise into leadership positions. For these people charisma and charm formed early in life as they realized they had nothing substantive to offer but were skillful at manipulation of others to get their way. In many cases they are sociopathic and in a primitive society would be banished because they not only offer nothing useful to survival, they demand to be served. In modern, affluent societies though they find willing followers because they personify the energy of the movement's success in themselves, and the majority of the second stage converts are only there for the party. Or rather, the partying. These leaders also tend to promote only those like themselves which but reinforces the growing problem.

Corruption of course leads to decline. A hypocritical group of leaders can only sustain the charade for so long before the acolytes doing all the work - that dwindling number true believers - get fed up and leave. When that happens the ideology collapses and all you are left with is a large group of angry people with self-aggrandizong leaders: the Republicans in 2008. It is also where the Democrats found themselves in 1994 when they were tossed out by an up and coming group passing through the second stage: Neoconservatives.

Reagan rekindled the dormant flames of Conservatism and he was, there can be no doubt, a true believer who was amply endowed with charisma and wit. True conservatives flocked to him in droves followed by millions who just thought he was a cool guy because he stood up to the Soviets. It was the second generation of his followers who took the reins of power in 1994. This included George Bush Jr., Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Marc Sanford, and many others, as well as popular figures such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity who effectively self-monetized the swelling tide. While I won't say all these people are not conservatives, their actions do identify them as people whose personal aspirations trump the mandates of their own ideology. And some of them, such as Mark Foley and John Ensign were conservatives in name only, using the ideology only for personal gain and herding their only followers like lemmings to the cliff.

It is these people, I charge, with destroying conservatism - Not Al Sharpton, Henry Waxman, Barbara Boxer, or even Barak Obama, who in fact tend to strengthen the opposition's core. From Rush Limbaugh's drug addition to Newt Gingrich's extramarital affairs, from Dick Cheney's greed to George Bush's mistaken invasion of Iraq, from the seemingly uncontrollable sexual appetites of an endless string of elected officials, the party of Conservatism has become the party of Corruption and is being killed from within. Can the Republicans take a lesson from the Democrats who have reinvented liberalism in the form of a young, charismatic outsider? With the same old names being bandied about, I got to tell you, it looks like a trainwreck in slow motion. Or a modern adaptation of the film White Wilderness. And I for one am not going to wear a furry suit for those characters.

Futbol Guru


Not-a-Lemming said:

Yesterday's post was titled, Mr. Obama, Don't Build That Wall! A reader, Marty Yost, was kind

# November 11, 2009 11:02 AM

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# December 7, 2011 3:47 AM