Thoughts on Movements and VP Candidates

I’ve been thinking a good bit lately about the apparent stranglehold movement conservatives hold over the Republican Party.  They really have been quite brazen and shameless about it.  They have been unapologetic about pushing their agenda, especially their economic agenda  — lax regulation, lower taxes on corporations, privatization of everything that used to be the sole purview of government — and providing a Chatty Cathy doll to echo both the movement conservatives and the social conservatives in the form of their Vice Presidential candidate.

So I says to myself, “Myself, why on earth would these Republicans be singing the praises of the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place?”  To which my inner Deep Throat replied:  “Follow the money.”

This brings to mind the many events which were calamities to the people directly impacted by them, but turned out to be boons (or at least not the busts they could and should have been) to the companies and industries involved.  They are all so obvious and prominent — pet food contamination and the protracted salmonella outbreak that turned the FDA into the Keystone Kops, to name just a recent few — that links are hardly necessary.

Having just finished a novel set in Moscow during the economic transition to capitalism, it occurred to me that there was also ample evidence that communism didn’t produce the Utopia its fervent believers expected.  But even the privation and corruption spawned in the wake of the failed policies didn’t impel the true believers to admit, or even consider for one moment, that their beloved communism quite simply didn’t work.  It would never work.  It was too rigid to ever work, except in a very specific and elusive set of circumstances that were highly unlikely to occur spontaneously and simply couldn’t be forced into existence.

As went communism, into the annals of ideologies that sounded good on paper but were just too impractical to exist in this imperfect world, so too shall go movement conservativism.  Not because it’s inherently evil — although some aspects of its component policies are so unbelievably cruel as to be easily seen as evil, to be sure — but simply because it’s too inflexible to ever adapt as necessary to the millions of messy variables we have roaming freely in this world.

And, quite honestly, movement liberalism is really no different:  It, as well, is too brittle to ever take hold and work perfectly in all its moving parts to exist for more than the most fleeting moment.

And hence, I come to terms (finally) with the intense pragmatism fostered by our Presidential candidate and his choice for Vice President.

Us true and fervent liberals will never have a candidate who perfectly espouses every position we support and who will unflinchingly fail to compromise even when doing so might really be justified or necessary.  So it goes.

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