Tag: Blight

A Blight On Humanity

Paul Krugman has a short but withering post about the fraud that was American conservatism. Riffing off a link to Crooked Timber, which has Richard Posner becoming the latest conservative to jump the movement’s ship, Krugman writes:

And yet – why, exactly, should we listen to people who by their own admission completely missed the story? I mean, anyone who actually listened to what Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey were saying in 1994, let alone what passed for thought in the Bush administration, should have realized long ago that if there ever was an intellectual basis for modern conservatism, it was long gone.

Why, indeed, would anyone pretend there is any shred of credibility in anyone who found the Gingrich and Bush eras credible? But Krugman gets to the real point in the next paragraph:

And the truth is that the Reaganauts were a pretty grotesque bunch too. Look for the golden age of conservative intellectualism in America, and you keep going back, and back, and back – and eventually you run up against William Buckley in the 1950s declaring that blacks weren’t advanced enough to vote, and that Franco was the savior of Spanish civilization.

They fought civil rights, and voting rights, and the creation of Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare. They fought the environmental movement. They fought science and education and basic human decency. They launched wars that shouldn’t have been launched, they supported terrorists and terrorist regimes all around the globe, and countless millions suffered and died for their greed, hypocrisy and plain old murderous evil. They were and are, in every way that matters, morally degenerate.

There was no golden era of the conservative movement. It held political power for many years, and if we are not vigilant, it could, yet again. Because there is literally nothing its dwindling band of deranged supporters won’t try, to regain power. But it’s time to stop acting as if it was a serious intellectual enterprise, or that its methods and ideals were even worth debating. It was sick. It was demented. It represented the very worst of humanity. It’s time to stop pretending that it was deserving of respect or legitimacy. It wasn’t. It was a blight on humanity, the human spirit, and the entire planet. It should be treated as such and remembered as such.