Like at past Republican National Conventions, there has been a lot of talk about conservative values. Nothing new there, but this time the convention has the feeling of a sinking ship. The conservatives are doing a lot of talking about the exact same Failed Conservative Values that they have been talking about for the past 30 years. It's the same Failed Conservative Values of indifference, incompetence, compassionate conservativism and corruption that brought us the disaster of Katrina. It's the same Failed Conservative Values of authoritarianism, secrecy, deception and violence that brought us the failed invasion and occupation of Iraq. It's the same Failed Conservative Values of selfishness, greed and arrogance that brought us Abramoff and a conservative congress mired in a culture of corruption. It's the same Conservative Family Values and Traditional Conservative Values of 'you are on your own', that have lifted the national misery index. It's the same fundamentalism, self-righteousness and hypocrisy that brought the sex scandals of Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, etc. etc.
The problem is that progressives, liberals and democrats are not directly taking on the Failed Conservative Values. Progressives need to call conservative values what they are. Failed! It's not just failed policies, it's failed values. Even conservatives shout from the rooftops that they base their policies on their values. Take them at their word. I see progressives repeatedly attack the failed conservative policies, but they will not directly attack the Failed Conservative Values.
I've interviewed over 100 people and asked them if Conservative Values have Failed? They all had no problem coming up with example after example after example of the failures. People know in their heart, in their guts, in their bodies, how conservative values have failed the country. It's time for progressives to stand up and confront conservatives directly at the values level. Start off by telling them directly and with the conviction you feel in your guts that their values have failed.
Here are just a few of the stories people have shared with me.
Failed Conservative Values: Louise Specht on Hierarchy Authoritarian Narcissism
| I asked Louise Specht about the the failure of conservative values. She addressed the hierarchal and authoritarian nature of conservativism and how this can lead to narcissism for the people at the top. Steven Colbert does a great job of imitating a conservative on the Colbert Report. I just saw him begin his show lately by saying, "Did I tell you I love me lately?" He hit's the nail on the head, as does Louise.|
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Failed Conservative Values: Arianna Huffington on Family Values Hypocrisy
|Arianna Huffington is a well know progressive speaker and activist. She started the popular Huffington Post website and it seems you can't turn on a progressive TV show without her popping up on it and taking a swipe at the conservatives. I saw Arianna at our local bookstore where she was promoting her new book, The Right is Wrong. During the Q and A, I asked her how conservative values have failed. She had plenty to say. |
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Failed Conservative Values: They're Not Working - George Lakoff
|George Lakoff is a linguistics professor at UC Berkeley and author of numerous books on metaphors, framing and politics. Howard Dean has called him, "one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement." George was at our local bookstore talking about his latest book, The Political Mind. During the question and answer period, I asked him if he personally feels that Conservative Values have Failed and if so, how have they failed?|
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Failed Conservative Values: David Sirota on Economic Darwinism
|David Sirota came and talked about his new book, 'The Uprising' at the Oakland Democracy for America meet-up on June 11, 2008. During the Q and A, I asked David how conservative values have failed and he talked about the failure of Conservative Economic Darwinism. The full video of his 70 minute talk and slideshow is now online.|
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Failed Conservative Values: Gavin Newsom on Division & Schizophrenic Tasmanian Devils
|The likes of Bill O'Reilly and Newt Gingrich have long railed against 'San Francisco Values' as a cause of Americas ills. I sat down with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at the Netroots Nation Conference in Austin, Texas to talk about conservative values. Gavin articulated the case for how the conservative value of division leads to weakness and failure. Finally he likened the values to schizophrenic and bipolar Tasmanian Devils. |
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Presidential Candidate Bob Barr on the Failure of Conservative Values
|At Netroots Nation in Austin, Texas, you can always tell when a VIP is in the room. Just look for the person with a deferential crowed gathered around them and follow the direction the cameras are pointed. While I feel uncomfortable standing so deferentially in anyone's presence, I have a job to do, and that's to find out how exactly conservative values have failed. So, when I saw a crowd gathered in the hallway, I moseyed on over with my video camera in hand and worked myself into the front of the crowed. There was Bob Barr, the Libertarian presidential candidate. After patiently waiting for the other interviewers to finish asking their questions, I asked Bob, "Have Conservative Values Failed?"|
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Fatally Flawed Conservative Value of Hypocrisy
| Several people I asked about the failure of conservative values mentioned hypocrisy. Michelle, Owen and Steve brought up examples of conservative hypocrisy in; family values, education, finance, the economy, the occupation of Iraq and in human rights. While we all may exhibit varying degrees of hypocrisy in our lives, it seems that the conservative movement has embraced and institutionalized this value.|
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Failed Conservative Values: Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Blame, Hate & Lying
|I interviewed Congresswoman Maxine Waters and asked her about progressive and conservative values. In this section, Maxine mentions that conservatives have tricked people with the failed conservative values of blame, hate and lying. These values are also failing because more people are not following them anymore and in fact, people are starting to turn toward progressives values. She goes on to talk about how the occupation of Iraq is a metaphor for the failure of conservative values. |
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Failed Conservative Values: Gordon Wright on Psychopaths and Fear
|Gordon Wright values freedom but was raised by a conservative autocratic, dictatorial and bully of a father. He feels conservatives fear life's changes and it's spontaneity. An example is how all of George Bush's public events are totally choreographed and controlled events. He also thinks that the corporate conservatives value of heartlessness and unfettered self-interest, are the same values as a psychopaths. |
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Failed Conservative Values: Elaine Charkowski on Patriarchy Family Values
|Elaine Charkowski talked with me about how conservative values have failed. She says, Conservative Family Values is about patriarchy and fear of authority. It’s about not using your own mind and woman are to be subservient to the man. The type of power used is random punishment and reward, which studies show is the best way to drive animals crazy.|
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Failed Conservative Values
Assist us in systematically building the arguments and telling the stories that reveal how Conservative Values have Failed. Join in our effort to create a documentary and book on the subject by contributing articles, posts, chapters for the book and video clips. Check our website for more information and a growing outline of tasks that need to be done on this project.