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Does the US Conservative movement suffer from Alzheimer's Disease?

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Message Tom Lydon
As a former Republican voter, and the son of a Mother with Alzheimer’s, I feel that there are some very scary medical similarities exhibited by both my Mother and the Right Wing of the GOP. When my Mother was initially diagnosed with a case of advanced dementia, possibly Alzheimer’s, I read up on the disease to prepare for what was ahead for our family.

Now looking at the conservative movement in this country, I am afraid that they suffer from this same affliction. My Mother, like most advanced cases of Alzheimer’s lives in “THE MOMENT”. There is no future; there is no immediate past, although she still has some strong ties to much earlier times in her life.

My Father, Mother and I immigrated to the USA from Ireland when I was five years old.  My Mother is now reliving her childhood in Ireland with her family. This was a time when she was very happy. She does not think beyond what you say to her at the exact moment you are with her and almost all of her former memories of the past are gone except for her very early childhood. She talks about her Mother, Father, Sisters and Brother as if they were still alive, and she sees them daily in her mind.

The conservative movement of the GOP is very similar. They chose, either consciously or unconsciously, to forget the recent history of the GOP control over large portions of our government for much of the past twenty years. They especially want us to forget the George W. Bush years: ENRON, 9/11, IRAQ, Katrina, Wall St. collapse, Madoff and  Abramoff and so many more scandals and mismanagement. I won’t even mention the SEC, EPA, FEMA and countless other agency failures and the uncontrolled spending and budget breaking illegal and immoral war. They do remember the Reagan years quite fondly and want to return to those good old days, even though Reagan also grew the Government and budgets substantially. They want us to remember the Reagan years and forget the Bush years that brought us to our current point of collapse. It’s all Obama’s fault, not Bush and the GOP’s.

There is no past, just “THE MOMENT”. A true Alzheimer trait.

This wing of the GOP does not see anything beyond the current administrations’ spending and possible return to earlier tax levels on the $250K plus folks. They do not see a need for any future investments in our country. In the recent decades other politicians did not envision citizens driving into the Mississippi River and dying due to a collapsing bridge system. For years, they did not worry about the weakened levees in New Orleans, and the devastation that they knew would surely come in later years. They did not feel that spending on the future of our country was needed, because it would be a tax burden on our children. They use that same debate today. Don’t spend on anything and just cut everyone’s taxes and we will be OK. Never mind the fact what we are now paying for those earlier lapses in judgment and the costs in real lives and dollars today are far more devastating.

Our economy is collapsing and our infrastructure is just plain wearing out after years of extreme neglect. The politicians who were in control must take the blame for these problems.

But, Mr. Limbaugh and the Leadership voices of the conservative movement are once again trying hard to make looking out for America’s future as somehow Socialistic in nature.

Our new President is very concerned about the existing financial mess he inherited, BUT he is also looking beyond the next few years. He wants to ensure America’s long term strength and growth as a leading nation in the world. That makes very good sense to me.

Let’s look at another Alzheimer’s trait, simplicity. Life is simple for my Mother. She loves to see her great grandchild playing around her, but always asks who they are, and forgets them the moment they are out of sight. She enjoys being with you, but talks about the simplest things; how sweet the soft candy is that you have given her or how soft the stuffed animal is that she hugs and kisses. You simply can not have an in-depth serious conversation with Mom.

The conservative wing of the GOP shares this simplicity trait. They only speak about sound bites and emotional grabbers. Nothing in-depth or detailed. For example, science during the Bush years was relegated to the trash pile. Don’t spend money on anything that we don’t believe in or understand. There is no real threat of Global Warming; fossil fuels are the only real source of energy and so on. Everything is just fine as it is.

Even the earliest Cheney energy meetings with industry leaders were so secret that no one knows what the hell was discussed. Now they complain about an administration meeting on the economy that was open to all with published minutes, an attendee list, debates on a variety of viewpoints and suggestions.

What is wrong with this new administration?

Just keep it simple. Keep the American people in the dark. That was the cry from the previous Bush years that the GOP wanted us to forget.

One further point on science and simplicity, I was recently listening to the Stanford University Chairman speak on PBS. He told of a unit at the school working on the technology for a new system of long-life, readily rechargeable batteries. This sounded great until he said that the study was being funded by a Saudi Prince, not the United States. Something is wrong here when the Saudi’s may own the next new energy technology, much as they now control the World oil markets.

We are fast becoming a nation that will no longer have the World’s largest economy. We have not been leading in most major world wide efforts, such as global warming, hunger, poverty and disease. Although, in the last few Bush years, there was significant moves made in African causes.

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Trained as an Organizational Consultant, Change Agent and Ombudsman I have a unique view and affinity for both sides of most issues, namely in the labor/management struggles in a deregulated industry, and it's full impact on employees and (more...)
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