Saturday, July 15, 2006

Respect John Dean but Goldwater Conservatism Won't Be Restored

John Dean is trying to do for "Goldwater conservatism" what we are hoping to do for the left, take it back from the corporate crowd. Large parts of his recent columns sound like the flip side of some of the better written leftist blogs, I haven't read his book so can't comment on it. It is probably a good idea to try to take one of the major movements of American politics away from the religious fascists, the corporate plunderers and the psychotic radicals, that can only be for the good. I suspect that John Dean will find that to take conservatism back to even Goldwater will be impossible. Goldwater's ideas were too close to the plunderers and radicals, even to some of the less fanatical religious fascists to lend itself to being a reform movement. I suspect it, I'll be very, very happy to say I was wrong if that isn't the case.

Leaving aside that John Dean's memories of Goldwater Republicanism are much rosier than many of ours, let's get straight to a practical problem. If the goal is securing democracy then I am certain that won't happen without an enormous change in the legal structure and the general culture of the United States. An ignorant, cynical, self-interested population will not produce democracy. If it gets bad enough they won't even aspire to democracy. That is what we are seeing in a population with the worst presidency in its history imposed on it through dodgey elections and even dodgier actions by the judiciary.

If democracy is to be restored then the commercial interests that promote ignorance, cynicism, and selfishness will have to be kept at the margins, not placed in charge of the only effective means of mass education, the electronic media; that means strict control and requirements of fairness and public service imposed and enforced by federal regulation. I don't see the tiny group of idealistic Goldwater Republicans going for that.

The essential forerunner of any real democratic restoration is the definitive overturning of a series of laws and court rulings, foremost among those the line of these that create corporations as "persons". We will get nowhere until that monster is destroyed.

Let's give some level of cooperation a test, though. Maybe if the left and the people John Dean is putting his hopes in got together and protected the Bill of Rights from the attack it is under by the religious fascists and psychotic radicals at the behest of the corporate plunderers we might find other areas of agreement. Let's make it a requirement that there be consensus on any amendment of the Bill of Rights, all of the Senate, all of the State legislatures, throw in all of the House of Representatives at first and throw that aside as a "compromise" if necessary.

The Senate came within one vote of the super majority needed to start slicing up the First amendment. None of us should be sleeping soundly until that can't happen again.

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