Conservatives seem to rule two domains. The very ignorant and the very rich, as well as those who want to support either of those two groups.
There is nothing wrong with supporting the ignorant, if they are at least smart enough to know when they are voting against their own best interests. Of course conservatives would argue that in voting to say, save the whales, or worry about green house gasses and climate change, you are voting against your own best interests in that you might not have whale products or cheap gas or energy. But that is a very short term localized mindset. One could argue a defective mindset.
What good are those things if whales disappear forever or we speed up climate change or ruin our environment or waterways?
Conservatism as a fundemental platform in politics or for humanity may have worked once in an agrarian society where things remain constant over years and decades or centuries. But in a world such as we have now where things are ever changing and our climate is most definitely changing, no matter who you think is doing it, nature or Humankind, slow movement and conservative thought is fundamentally defective.
In fact, I would argue that conservative thought as a basis for existence is a fundamentally flawed mindset.
Time is ever moving forward, change happens. There is nothing we can do about it, other than make up our minds not to do anything about it. A conservative mindset we've seen of late in denying climate change, or humanity's role in it, depending on what is more conducive to the conservative argument at the time.
Conservative (Republican) controlled groups in authority in various US states have legislated not to allow words like climate change, or to legislate to protect our coastal areas all do do economic concerns. When in reality, as the years pass we will be losing those land to the oceans and climate change.
What is the problem?
Progressive thought is something to base a platform for government or action upon. However, conservatism, is a dangerous thought to base a fundemental platform or lack of change upon. Liberal or progressive government is needed and we have seen worldwide those progressive countries have done well while other conservative, typically less educated or non first world countries, have not done so well. Those that have, actually have used more progressive actions in governing over well in a conservative way.
Since time changes and cannot be stopped, it is progressive. Trying to change that is an impossibility and trying to govern in that way it follows, is quite similar in it's affect to the environment and society at large. Conservatism is a filter through which to run the progressive thought processes. It is the brake to the progressive train so that it does not run off the tracks of progress.
To try and run the train of conservatism is to run the train at walking speed while nature is going far beyond running speeds or in many cases of late, passenger car speeds. We need conservatism. We need progressiveness. But in the right formats and the right degrees.
Conservatives need to realize they are relying too much on a desire for the status quo when it no longer exists. They need to educate themselves from the truth and not just sources with invested interests in making money, which is against many of those they are informing.
They need to stop supporting groups who tell them they are all for them, while taking everything away from them with their other hand. They need to understand they can be slower progressives but not faster conservatives and where their beliefs lay in the land or reality.
Progressiveness need to realize they need conservatism in its proper place, as a governing (limiting) force and although they need to be against it as a primary governing (primary management) solution to just about anything, they need to appreciate it and it's followers for their contributions.
That example above about "governing" is a main issue in the nature of politics today and a misunderstanding in our processes.
Obfuscation and misinformation by the right's conservative forces blind their followers to even more blindly follow whatever they are told by vested interests by many of the rich like the Koch brothers or the powerful Rupert Murdoch's of the world with his Fox News arm of his vast conservative media empire.
We need conservatives and that way of thinking, but in a limited and appropriately used filter to our overall progressive movement forward in order to protect ourselves from the nearing future possibilities (possibilities that are even now existing and becoming problems like the shrinking water resources and misuse of what we have, their pollution by big oil and so on),
But we do not need conservatives and that way of thinking as a primary guiding governance in America, or the world. That of course touches on the biggest issue today which is religion and how it has grabbed a hold of some disaffected people's minds like a virus in a computer, damaging their connection to the world and the rest of humanity over issues that are fair tale like in nature, and against science on so many important issues today.
Although religion is shrinking in the first world and it won't be long before theists are no longer in the majority in the more educated nations of the world today, it is still growing in those not first world nations, the emerging nations of the world.
Those nations who have religion, and are populating quickly, where religion's number one method of maintaining its existence is not growth through reasonable, educated and intelligent thought, but through attrition of intelligence and education through overbearing population growth.
We are seeing this kind of battle between ancient beliefs based only in the beliefs of ancient societies against that of education and science, more and more. It is the last and final death throws of religion in the first world countries and examples of theistic groups like ISIL (or ISIS if you prefer) in the Middle East are prime examples of how things can and do go terribly wrong with religion.
It is an issue we see more locally and in more minor issues such as gun control, if not just safe gun use and ownership in America.
We have a gun problem in America. We seem to think owning a gun is a right and not a privilege. A very conservative way of looking at this. At least, many conservatives have latched on to the gun issue as a prime issue, not the least of which the NRA has championed as a cause celebre.
We seem to love guns. We seem to think they are cool, fun... toys.
We need to change that national attitude toward guns.
I'm not going to argue about the second amendment and what it means. It's pretty obvious it was meant to protect our nation and not against our own government but against other nations, primarily, Great Britain back in the 18th century. Or France back then, should they have decided to go to war with us. Until America was a solid nation with a standing army, they needed all individuals to rise to the defense of the nation should the need arise. However since we have had a standing army now for well over one hundred years, the need is not such as it once was. Not at all.
Conservatives will disingenuously claim that we still have that need. Surely, and of course, that need is a possibility. But is it such a need as there once was? Absolutely not. If you compare the two, you instantly can see the difference. But it is one of those obfuscations that conservatives will hang onto until you pry it out of their cold dead hands, as some like to say.
To feel that way about our needing a citizen army which is there to protect us against our own government, is to ask to breed paranoia and keep us from cohesion as a nation, as the United States and that was never the Founding Fathers desire.
Many of the comments they made back then about things, about trusting your government or not, were not about America, but Great Britain. But you cannot convince a conservative about that now a days. Because it fits their agenda, their beliefs, they emotions, all somehow oddly supported by their mostly Christian religions.
We do need to be aware. Recent times from the Bush administration after 9/11 have proved we can lose our freedoms, exchanging our fears for security. After our abuses and crimes against humanity, our torturing and wars, we do need to watch carefully our nation's leaders and interactions after we allowed them to lead us into abuses against others and even our own citizens. Mostly because it made us feel good or feel as if we were doing something, anything, even when there were better albeit counter intuitive ways to achieve our goals.
We do not need to be paranoid but attentive and proactive (something always difficult for a nation not to mention just the conservative elements within it. Today there is a thermocline of paranoia running rampant among many of our citizens. Mostly the mono-processing type citizens but our citizens nonetheless.
Getting back to guns, look at how we treat getting a driver's license. Classes, training, testing, certifications, carefully allowing only after we have been assured someone driving a car can safely handle that privilege. And that is the problem. In believing guns are a right, we also think we cannot properly control that ownership. That, is a mistake that has been pushed aside by gun lobbies as well as the NRA. And they are wrong.
That is how we need to treat owning a gun. Sure, fine, let's say owning a gun is a right. Does that mean we should give the ability to one we know will use it to offend against law abiding citizens? Or someone mentally unable to attend to the responsibilities of owning a gun. Or the ignorance of a new gun owner, or a long time gun owner who had inherited poor ownership training since childhood? Or someone who regardless will misuse the gun?
Certainly not. We need to train and regulate. Fine, so most people can purchase a gun. But if it's a right, shouldn't we just give everyone a gun? Or are there indeed limits to gun rights? Then if you want to own or buy a gun, let's at least require as much training and certification for gun ownership as we do for driving or owning a car.
A car is a privilege but a gun is a right? Okay fine. The training is important and you have to pay for driving lessons, or you get them through your high school and paid for by the city, state or federal taxes. So too we can make training for guns free. After all, it is protecting our citizens. We don't allow any incapable person to drive a car, we don't allow poisons in our foods, let's not give rightful gun ownership to incapable gun owners. Let's at least try to make them capable gun owners, and if they cannot be, let's not allow them to have guns then.
We have to make gun ownership not what I could call controlled, as much as safe as possible. We have to change our attitude toward guns. And giving their ownership the same import as that of a new teen driver getting a driver's license, is the very least we can do about it. Because if you have to go through some degree of training, it gives you time to learn how to safely handle a gun, how to live with a gun safely, how to feel the weight of responsibility, the heavy weight of owning that weapon, that killing machine.
Many gun owners like to say that some gun or other is not a weapon, but a target piece, or built for entertainment. But if you turn that entertainment piece on another person, will they, can they die from if when you intent turns from fun to killing, or from safety to irresponsibility? It surely can.
In making gun ownership a thing to achieve and not just a thing practically thrown at you at the cost of the gun, we will walk away with a sense of the direness of having a gun in the house, the responsibility of carrying a gun, or using it in public.
Only then, will our national attitude toward guns begin to change and our country start to be a more safe environment to live and raise our children in. Even with the existence of guns just about everywhere.
Only then will the argument of conservatives that “if we outlaw guns, only criminals will have guns" start to become even somewhat untrue. The meaning of that statement is really about an attitude, an attitude we need to change. A change we can only affect if we alter how we deal with guns, to educate and elevate people's orientation in how they perceive guns.
If the conservative mindset wants to latch itself onto the right of gun ownership, even when they are so many other more pressing matters at hand, we again need to recognize that conservatism needs to be seen as the filter through which we see things, and not the fundemental process by which we make our decisions. It's a consideration, not a political platform. It's a part of a bigger issue, not the bigger issue itself.
There's some silly things going around about guns. Like this sad, childish nonsense that completely misses the point merely for emotional necessity:
"MY GUN - Today I swung my front door wide open and placed my Remington 12ga semi-auto shotgun right in the doorway. I left 9 shells beside it, then left it alone and went about my business. While I was gone, the mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor boy across the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign near the front of my house. After about an hour, I checked on the gun. It was still sitting there, right where I had left it. It hadn't moved itself. It certainly hadn't killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had presented to do so. In fact, it hadn't even loaded itself.
"Well you can imagine my surprise, with all the hype by the Left and the Media about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people. Either the media is wrong, or I'm in possession of the laziest gun in the world.
"The United States is third in Murders throughout the World. But if you take out just four cities: Chicago, Detroit, Washington, DC and New Orleans, the United States is fourth from the bottom, in the entire world, for Murders! These four Cities also have the toughest Gun Control Laws in the U. S. All four of these cities are controlled by Democrats. It would be absurd to draw any conclusions from this data - right? Well, I'm off to check on my spoons. I hear they're making people fat."
No, a gun set down kills no one.
Yes, people kill people.
However guns the tools that hasten that effort.
But it's also notable that no one was ever shot with a knife, or a stick, a mind, or an orientation. Though those last two are in part the problem.
We don't need more gun control laws when they aren't working already, when they won't work after all for criminals.
However we do need more accountability, responsibility and intelligent disbursement of guns.
My blog this week is in part about that. I'ts not laws that will protect us, it's a paradigm shift in our thoughts that guns are a right and a toy, a shiny object for the monkey to play with.
I see no reason we should treat guns as any less dangerous than cars and for that you need training and certification to use. Should guns REALLY be any less?
In training gun owners beyond the training of merely counting out their money, saying thank you for a gift, signing a document, or having a background check run (if that even gets done), we need gun owners all to have accountability and responsibility drilled into their heads, and this is most important, we need non-gun owners also to have it drilled into their heads.
How does that help with criminals?
I said, a paradigm shift in how we view guns.
The next stage of that is an orientation in how we view human life. We'll have to stop killing people, for one.
Death penalties will need to go the way of the dodo bird. Paradigm shift in guns, gun concepts, humanity, death.
No, it's not simple (especially after decades of NRA's poisonous craziness), it's not easy (and that's hard for poor Americans when something is hard for them, or requires counter intuitive thought, or worse(!) pro-activity)... but it's not impossible.
It's that deeply embedded in our culture, and humanity in general that we love guns. Perhaps letting our kids have toy guns is the way to go about it. However, they would need to learn to use them properly, which would mean, no playing with them, no aiming at people, or shooting at people, etc., which defeats the purpose.
It sounds stupid but if the gun nuts are going to say gun control is not the way, and I might agree, then what? They have to come up with something and this, could be it.
Guns are not toys. They are tools. We need to stop seeing them as recreation even if they are used for that. They should be seen for what they are, used accordingly, and the culture reinvented toward that purpose.
On the other hand, I was as my mom put it, as a kid, "gun crazy". So she called the police department and found a kid friendly local gun team. They suggested the guy who did some reloading for the city police and used their firing range downtown.
I had to learn in junior high, how to handle these weapons, tools. I grew up with a couple of my brother's rifles hanging in my room. I never considered playing with them though I'd take them down, handle them appropriately, but I never shot anyone.
I've had a license to carry since I was 21 and I carried one before that at times. In fact I wrote a movie about it and my protecting a woman from local organized crime at 18.
But I had the right mentality toward guns. We are seeing too much of that now a days where people don't and so we see parents shooting their kids, "accidentally", gangs shooting innocents and each others, and terrorists activities cuz, it's cool.
That all has to stop.
Instead of gun owners talking about how gun control laws won't work, they need to shut up about that and start talking about what WILL work. Enough of the childish banter, let's get to work!
So sure, embrace what conservative thinking is about (not the emotional nonsense you hear them say most of the time, but the actual kernels of what they should be saying), but within the fundemental process of being progressive and progressively moving into the future, while you are actively and proactively dealing with the issues of today and tomorrow, now, and in the moment, as we truly need to be.