Archive for April 10th, 2013

by lizard

I believe rational conservatives exist. I believe, beyond labels, there are lots of good people out there who want to be helpful instead of hurtful.

Despite the truly sad display of fear behind the attempt of MT legislators to continue criminalizing consensual sex between two people with the same nether parts, younger conservatives who live in this new century are increasingly not going with it.

Here are a few tweets from Missoula councilman Adam Hertz:

It’s an absolute embarrassment to the State of MT that 38 members in the House would send someone to prison for being gay. #MTLeg #MTPol

~

So 36 members of the House, not 38. Two reps apparently read the Constutition between 1st & 2nd reading. Good for you two! #MTLeg #MTPol

~

Thousands of young, prospective Republicans will instead grow up to be Democrats thanks to 36 of you who voted no on SB 107. #MTLeg #MTPol

I commend Adam Hertz for speaking so frankly about the warped, unconstitutional reasoning behind keeping the criminalization of gay sex on the books. That last tweet is absolutely correct. Attracting young people into the party is made much more difficult with such cruel stances being taken by ignorant people.

I think it’s important to find and support rational conservatives. The conservative blogger that inspired this post may be one behind all the liberal/communist fear-mongering, but I remain skeptical, because of posts like this.

Evidence of participating in the echo chamber of right wing paranoia, this conservative blogger adds his voice to the noise being generated over a promotional spot for MSNBC featuring Melissa Harris-Perry. Because Communism. This is the offending language Harris-Perry used to expose her nefarious communist agenda:

“We have never invested in public education as much as we should have, because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours, and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of “These are our children”; so part of it is that we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments,” (Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC promotional video).

This ridiculous “controversy” that Rush Limbaugh is feeding with stupid allusions to communist genocide is the sad glue of fear being used to keep the broken GOP from further splintering.

I wonder if the right-wing noise makers would call Family Promise a communist endeavor. I mean, just look at this group’s mission: Building communities, strengthening lives. More specifically:

Our mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence.

Here in Missoula, there are not a lot of resources for homeless families. Family Promise takes a collective approach to serving a huge need that our community is not adequately addressing. Does that make them communists?

While I believe rational conservatives exist, the loudest conservatives are often the most irrational. I wonder how many of those conservatives frothing at the mouth over the communism on display in Harris-Perry’s words simultaneously believe they have the right to impose their anti-abortion beliefs on others.

If we are to abandon the collective notion of kids, then we should abolish child abuse laws and disband child protective services state to state. Right?

Wrong.

Melissa Harris-Perry responded to the absurd controversy in a blog post. Here is part of it:

I believe wholeheartedly, and without apology, that we have a collective responsibility to the children of our communities even if we did not conceive and bear them. Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values. But they should be able to do so in a community that provides safe places to play, quality food to eat, terrific schools to attend, and economic opportunities to support them. No individual household can do that alone. We have to build that world together.

So those of you who were alarmed by the ad can relax. I have no designs on taking your children. Please keep your kids! But I understand the fear.

We do live in a nation where slaveholders took the infants from the arms of my foremothers and sold them for their own profit. We do live in a nation where the government snatched American Indian children from their families and “re-educated” them by forbidding them to speak their language and practice their traditions.
But that is not what I was talking about, and you know it.

I venture to say that anyone and everyone should know full well that my message in that ad was a call to see ourselves as connected to a larger whole. I don’t want your kids, but I want them to live in safe neighborhoods. I want them to learn in enriching and dynamic classrooms. I want them to be healthy and well and free from fear. I want them to grow up to agree or disagree with me or with you and to have all the freedom and tools they need to express what they believe.

And no hateful thing that you say to me or about me will ever change that I want those things for your children.

We have a situation in this country where 1 out of 4 children live in poverty. For the richest nation in the world, that is an absolutely shameful statistic.

Conservatives don’t want to talk about our collective responsibility to children. These irrational conservatives would rather talk about “personal responsibility” while cutting school lunch programs and head start programs and cutting government assistance if kids then get bad grades in school. That is insane.

I know there are rational conservatives out there and I wish they would be more vocal, because most of what we hear from the right is totally bonkers.

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