Putting the Conserve Back into Conservative

Read/comment on Daily Kos.

If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake.
— Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

Conservatism is all the rage. I guess it has been for a while. I’m usually late picking up on trends; I finally joined the New York State Conservative Party a few weeks ago, with a plan to reform the organization from within.

Photo: United States Army via The Memory Hole.

Photo: United States Army via The Memory Hole.

I got out of politics in the mid-1980s (when I was an aspiring campaign writer) because in that role, one of your daily tasks is to lie to the public. I got sick of having to make false statements of various kinds. For example, to get your candidate elected, it’s generally necessary to tell the public what they want to hear, or what gets them to vote the way you want, rather than what your candidate actually stands for.

The financial statements created by the campaigns I worked for were routinely exercises in covering up spending 10 times more than you said you did, and if you didn’t do that, there was no way to compete. All the candidates knew this and it was like we all tacitly agreed to the alternate set of on-the-ground rules.

But now that I’ve found my identity as a conservative, I feel like I can finally tell the truth. One thing that’s always confused me is the word conservative. It sounds a lot like conserve, which means “to protect from loss or harm; preserve,” or “to use carefully or sparingly, avoiding waste.”

My fellow conservatives seem to do a lot of bombing other countries, which is hardly protecting them from harm. They’re busy-bodies wondering who everyone sleeps with, and spendthrifts who literally ship truckloads of money into war zones, which then goes unaccounted for. I always thought the thing that made you a conservative was that you had a tight accounting system. It meant recognizing the value of a dollar, and respecting an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.

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Eric Francis

About Eric Francis

Planet Waves began in 1998 as the home of the Eric Francis horoscope, a prominent feature in our premium service. Going far beyond what most Sun-sign astrologers even dream is possible, Eric brings in-depth interpretations to his work. He is a pioneer in the newly-discovered planets, including Chiron and the centaurs, and is able to translate their movements into accessible human terms, offering ideas for life, love and work. Discover a whole new world of literary journalism in Planet Waves. We offer free trial subscriptions, discounts for students and seniors, and gift subscriptions for veterans and those on active military duty.
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6 Responses to Putting the Conserve Back into Conservative

  1. Judith Gayle Jude says:

    Brilliant bit of Cosmic channeling; a crash-course in how to fully inhabit ones humanity. Needs to be posted and passed around indefinitely.

  2. In response to Too close to call?

    You are so off. First time it’s become clear. Citing this woman who wants to teach about economics (they could have listened to Ron Paul; books aren’t necessary to understand the Federal Reserve system anymore,and politicians who will get the votes won’t know as much as them if they folllow R.P)…or about the constituttion…they know enough of that, too. She’s just an ass you use to get the homosexual agenda out there on Planet Waves. Right? Is there a planet station for butt banging? Redefining marriage? Substituting the Jewish definition of God? (we got it that you are Italian) Redefining “the State of Israel” to read “The Jewish and democratic State of Israel”. Anyone who votes will have their effort turned against America by the enemies of America inside America. I wish a curse on them all.

    - S T

    ====editor’s note, the writer must not be familiar with my masturbation manifestos.

    My reply –

    But Sid, homosexuality is as old as the hills — literally. We all relate to one another sexually. What has made the whole thing stick out, like, well, like whatever, is the BAN on the issue, the guilt, the shame, and the taboo on Self. We’re looking at the ‘issue’ through a distortion. Something that is natural has been bashed first by religion then by religion-backed government.

    People relate to who they relate to. We all have our own sexual orientation. The discussion as we tend to have it is incredibly narrow, and the only sane response is to admit that people relate to who they relate to, no matter what anyone tells them. Humans are tribal, sexual animals; the Pope cannot change that, nor can the Secretary of Defense.

    I recognize that the distortion has off-putting elements. And those are used to marshal fear and disgust in people whose most basic heterosexuality is unexamined and unprocessed. Marriage is not natural. Sex is. That’s the place to start.

    ef

  3. Carrie says:

    What everyone forgets is this: corporations may be able to buy air time but they can only buy our votes if WE allow them to. WE decide and that means we muct THINK before voting.

  4. marymack says:

    such a well-reasoned, rational approach … gives me hope and perhaps a model for moving forward. hope you have some sway with the party of tea-baggers … eeesh! I was such a devout McCain supporter as I longed for campaign finance reform. Still I dream of a day when free speech is not about large corporations clogging the airwaves with lies and our individual voices carry the day.

    party-schmarty.
    mm.

  5. Carrie says:

    Perfectly stated, Eric. That is the kind of conservative I can agree with whole-heartedly. Thank you for saying it so well and so clearly. Excellent words and ideas to live by.

  6. Len Wallick Len Wallick says:

    Thank you, Eric. A manifesto of the reasonable and sensible for our time.

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