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february 18, 2005

Conservative America Challenge

So Karl Rove yesterday, during some sort of troop-rallying speech, once again trotted out the fact that "conservatism is the dominant political creed in America". I've definitely heard that one more than once lately, so just to clear the air I think it's time for the Conservative America Challenge.

It goes like this: Instead of always pushing the conservative agenda under the cover of some Orwellian doublespeak or in some other way sugar coating it's true intentions, the latest case in point being the Social Security issue, for this challenge the administration should for once just come right out with it.

I say make an announcement tomorrow that effective immediately we will begin phasing out one of the most socialist program ever devised in America, Social Security, with all of it's ultra-liberal "guaranteed dignity in old age" crap, and replace it completely with a system of "let the market decide your fate" private accounts.

Once the spin machine has been peeled away, let's see how conservative America really is.

UPDATE: I just remembered a post from Kevin Drum last year that really makes the point:

[C]onsider the conservative agenda as represented by major Bush administration initiatives. They want to make life less dangerous for big corporations by pushing tort reform and whittling away at environmental standards. They want to promote vouchers and private schools by implementing absurd standards for public schools in the No Child Left Behind Act. They want to reduce and privatize Medicare and Social Security. They invaded Iraq in order to install a friendlier government and give us a base of power in the center of the Middle East.

But that's not what they say. What they say is that tort reform is designed to minimize frivolous lawsuits (though capping payments patently does nothing of the kind). The "Clean Air" and "Healthy Forests" initiatives strengthen our commitment to cleaning up the environment. NCLB will make our public schools better and more accountable. Their Medicare and Social Security proposals are designed to strengthen the system, not scale it back. The Iraq war was for humanitarian reasons and we're going to get out as soon as we can.

To hear George Bush talk, you'd almost think you were listening to the reincarnation of FDR, and the fact that he says this stuff is a tacit admission that talking about conservative goals openly and honestly would be an electoral disaster. Most people want cleaner air and water, they want strong public schools, they like Social Security and Medicare, and even after 9/11 they don't want long wars or messy occupations.