What Does Conservative Mean?

About Bill Formby
I consider myself a conservative pragmatic progressive liberal, meaning that I think practically liberal, act practically liberal, and I am not going to change in the near future. But, if I do you’ll be the first to hear about it.
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I was reading my emails the other day and I got one from a long lost acquaintance who was encouraging me to vote for a particular person in the up coming election. Since he pointed out this was a good Christian conservative fellow you can surmise just how lost and distant this acquaintance was to me.

south What Does Conservative Mean?

The email did get me to thinking, and yes I do that from time to time, about this description. A “good Christian conservative fellow.”  For clarification, the fellow part was his words, not mine because I never use the word “fellow.” That sounds more like Norman’s word and I feel like I would be intruding on his tundra by using it.

I would like to examine, however, the other words and in particular “conservative.” There was a time when one might have called me slightly conservative because I did, and still do, believe in the justice system when it is applied fairly. Unfortunately that rarely, if ever happens, unless you’re a very wealthy person and then it seems to work fair to the extreme. I would say that I was a fiscal conservative also in the sense that if a person was physically able to work then we should not just hand them money (welfare).  We should find work for them to do so they feel as if they are actually earning their way in society.  There were some experiments with those programs and I’m not sure if they are still ongoing, but that is to give you an idea of my position on things.

I have always been against the death penalty because I’ve always understood that it has never deterred one person from doing anything. Though not religious now I do remember as child something a Methodist minister saying to me: When Cain killed Able God had the opportunity to show man whether or not he approved of capital punishment.  If you don’t know the story, God did not execute Cain but, instead, shone a light upon him and sent him to live among those in the land of Nod, or something like that. Anyway, his point was God showed that he did not believe in the eye for an eye crap. But, when one does something wrong there is some price to pay I believe. But, these days I’m afraid that I am looked upon as a screaming, out of my mind liberal, at least that is what they call me. They being some of the local rednecks and once before Mad Mike.

I would like to refer back to the sixties when there were compassionate conservatives. As bad as Nixon was I could probably consider him an angel compared to many of the politicians today and Nixon was a mean son-of-a-bitch. Lyndon Johnson was a good southern democrat who tried to carry out John Kennedy’s plans but was woefully lacking in the brain power to do it. He did have guts though; I will give him that. It took a lot of courage to face down his Southern Brethren on civil rights issues, but he did it. We also had folks like Barry Goldwater who was crazy as hell but at best he would be too far left these days and, Strom Thurmond, bless his heart, would have been drummed out of the Senate.

So, I ask myself: “When someone says they are a conservative what exactly do they mean?” It’s OK folks. When Rascal, my beloved dog and best friend, is not around it’s hard to find someone in Alabama with whom I can intelligently converse.  So, continuing my conversation, myself said back to me, “Bill, you must understand the context under which you are trying to define this term lest you fall into the trap of thinking that you are dealing with a true, old style Republican instead of one of these newly found righteous minded, Christian wannabe politicians know nothings that are gumming up the process today.” Myself has a problem just saying dumb asses. But, I asked myself, “Self”, I said again. “How can I tell the difference if they all just stand there and tell me that they are good, Christian, conservative people.” Self said, “Damn, Bill are you a complete idiot?”

“Anytime someone starts telling you that they are good, or Christian, or conservative, much less puts those three words in the same sentence, you need to be heading for the door because that’s one of those I just described for you. Do not pass go! Do not collect your $200! Do not wait for Lynard Skynard to play “Gimme Three Steps,” or Ray Charles to sing “Hit the Road Jack,” “Just hop on the bus Gus. Make a new plan Stan. No need to discuss much-just get yourself free.” “These people have a bad case of the stupids and they cannot be fixed” OK.

They are NOT conservative.  They are fucking NUTS!

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Posted by on July 6, 2014. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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10 Responses to What Does Conservative Mean?

  1. Pennyjane Hanson Reply

    July 6, 2014 at 6:03 am

    “christian” and “conservative” are diametric terms. christian, “Christ like” being radical revolutionary and conservative being the opposite of that. to know that one need only stay awake while reading the gospels. when i hear someone describe themselves as “christian conservative” i hear someone saying they have no idea who they really are.

    • Timmy Mahoney Reply

      July 6, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Penny I never thought of it that way, but then again I never stayed up at nights reading the bible. Not sure we even had a bible. Good stuff here Bill. Read it twice.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        July 6, 2014 at 8:12 am

        We were Catholics. Didn’t have a bible, but had “prayer books.” These are mini-bibles but written in “Catholic.”

        • Glenn Geist Reply

          July 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

          We had Bibles, but they were a lot shorter.

    • Glenn Geist Reply

      July 6, 2014 at 10:57 am

      The term “Christ” as Christians tend to use it is in itself misleading. It’s not a name, it’s a condition and needs an article, as in “the Christ” and even then it refers to someone in the lineage of David as the king of the twelve tribes anointed by God. Christlike can mean a number of things when you remember that David was the Christ, the Mescheach, the beloved son of God even if hardly the most moral person in Jewish history. Jesus brothers including Jacob who took over for Jesus would have been the Christ, but somehow, you never hear that talked about.

      But if we see Jesus as wanting to restore a kingdom based on God’s appointment of rulers and God’s laws, I would have to call Him a conservative. The term is relative. In the sense that the religious right wants to create a kingdom of God and god chosen leaders in America, they are hardly conservative as this was set up to be (despite their lies) a secular democracy and there is nothing secular about god choosing our rulers and nothing democratic about it either!

    • Bill Formby Reply

      July 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      PennyJane, it may well depend on how you define “conservative. Normally, conservatives like to maintain the status quo and do not like radical change. However, it seems that these days conservative means being against anything that the Black President tries to do. But you make a good point.

  2. James Smith Reply

    July 6, 2014 at 7:03 am

    When I think about my life, I remember that every time I have been cheated, stolen from, lied to, taken advantage of, or other wise treated badly, it has always been by a “good christian”.

    Yes, I know christians who are decent, trustworthy people that I respect for their character if not their religion.

    Nonetheless, if yu had been consistently duped, cheated, and misused by people with red hair, would you become wary of red heads?

    • Bill Formby Reply

      July 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      James, I have always had a philosophy that when people tell you how good the are you should doubt them every time.

  3. Rachael Reply

    July 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Since there are so many Christians in America, about 88% as I recall, it’s no wonder that so many are just assholes.

    • Glenn Geist Reply

      July 6, 2014 at 10:20 am

      In fact it’s often the last refuge of scoundrels who would love to separate themselves from their actions. Many people would never identify with retail Christianity but that they are assholes and know it.

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