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Old 02-07-2003, 02:18 AM
whiskeytown whiskeytown is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 700
Default The Crisis of a Conservative...

I wrote this 3 days ago...drunk, depressed, heartbroke, and generally a rambling bastard...

it's barely coherant, yet it makes complete sense to me...

read and comment as you see fit...

RB

---------------------------
The Crisis of a Conservative…

It’s 2am…I am sitting in my friend’s spare bedroom, tired and too broke to consider moving out to my own place. The friend in question is a drummer in a band I play in who was smart enough to pick up a house and a nice Union job. – I moved here in Sept. after 5 months of unemployment where I was ineligible for benefits because I was a contractor.

In the year 2001, I earned approximately $131,000 before
taxes. In 2002, I earned less then $20,000. I’m a poor man’s version of Joe Millionaire, except I only lost the heart of one lady when my wages dropped to the poverty line. I have been assured this is not the reason I lost her, but for some reason she chose to leave the week after the job did. Funny how that works, huh?

In 2000, I voted for George W. Bush. Before you jump down my throat too deeply, let me point out two facts.

a. I voted for GWB in Minnesota, where voting Republican is almost as wasted a vote as voting for Clinton in Nebraska. It is simply impossible for a Republican to take the popular/electoral vote in Minnesota. I chose to vote my conscience. In Plato’s “The Republic” – the argument is made that the life of a Democracy or Republic is safe until the citizens realize they can vote themselves more money. The U.S. is past this point and spinning downwards….I am not willing to accept this yet, and so, I voted Republican as opposed to Libertarian, believing that Republican was the better hope of two evils. The only way this country would ever revert to a Libertarian mindset is with a lot of blood and revolution, and I’m not willing to pay that price for that kind of country (yet)
b. I grew up in Montana. I grew up in a state where you help yourself or you do not get any help. Montana is a good place for me to be, but not enough opportunity, hence the transplantation to Minnesota. I was one of the many kids who benefited from a good Education system, but the work wasn’t there for me when I finished it. Someday, maybe I’ll move back to Montana when I retire or when the tech industry catches up to it.

Ah jeez….I had a shot to vote for Ralph Nader. I had friends who sent me emails BEGGING me to support Ralph Nader. I admired him as much as I admired another Minnesota local, Paul Wellstone for some of the stances he took. Nevertheless, I believed that self-sufficiency was better then a community mindset like that supported by the Green Party. I also believed self-reliance is better then a benevolent government that really doesn’t give a rats ass about me anyways because I’m Male, white, and apparently privileged enough to drive into the utmost levels of taxation while still selling tax breaks to large corporations. The only way I’d ever vote Democrat is if Paul Wellstone rose from the dead to reclaim a U.S. Senate seat. (There’s my motivation, Paul – come back and I’ll give you my vote and energy)

Anyways, I joined the IT industry and the table scraps of the dot.com bubble in 1998. I was a Board Operator for the premier Conservative Talk Radio station in Minneapolis. I ran the board for the Rush Limbaugh Program for a year. Unfortunately, I made less money the a Taco Bell employee, so it was time to move on. – I was smart and I liked computers, so I worked my way up from desktop repair to Network engineer in 3 years. I struck gold in the year 2001, and carried it for eleven months, and worked without pay until May of 2002, when the company I worked for, overwhelmed by the purchases of new houses and Harley-Davidsons, collapsed under it’s own weight, laid off it’s contractors, and promised to pay my back invoices someday. After 6 months, I have since acquired temporary employment in the IT industry, my chosen field. I am lucky. I am gifted, and I pick up stuff fast, and I can keep a job and the admiration of an employer so that contracts get extended.

But that doesn’t help much of Middle America. That doesn’t help the employees of Enron, WorldCom, Comdisco, EDS, or a thousand other corporations whose profit margins exceed those of many foreign countries. It doesn’t help fathers with familes, mothers who gave up a part of that experience to have a fulfilling career. It doesn’t help those abandoned by their CEO’s and those with more then a million stock options in their portfolios. That doesn’t help the tens of thousands of laid off employees who ended up in the exact same situation I did who I now compete with for work.

And we compete with countries like India and China where labor can be hired extra cheap. I realize too late my mistake. I presumed that the Right wing of my chosen party would put the individuals of this country first. I was wrong. So are the Democrats, of course. Both sides have promised various party favors to their constituencies while selling tax loopholes, pork, and privilege to their corporate benefactors. It just happens that the Republicans sell out based on belief and income, whereas the Democrats sell out to minorities and conflicting interests until they don’t know who they represent anymore..

It’s partially our fault, of course. We elect lawyers to Congress. We pick the vultures of society and the bane of existence to represent us. We pick people who would sue their own mothers if the clients they represented paid well enough. Their job is not to argue right or wrong. Their job is merely to argue the side of their clients. This mentality is the mentality of both parties in Congress. As much as people may not like Bob Frist, the new Senate Majority Leader, you’ve got to admit this. At least he never had moral compromises on his shift as a doctor. If I have to pick a leader of the Senate, I’ll pick a healer over a lawyer.

I have made a mistake. I should have voted for Ralph Nader…even though many feel that too would have been a wasted vote. I should have voted for Paul Wellstone, though he was gone before the vote could be cast in 2002. I misjudged the party in this country. I have claimed to be a part of for the last 12 years, and I’m sorry.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in bloated government like the Democrats. Nor do I necessarily believe in a Theocracy like my friends on the right, though we share many of the same religious views. I believe that Jesus commanded, and I paraphrase… “When choosing between your own desires or those of the Government, pick the Government as long as it doesn’t interfere with the Will of God.”

But Jesus isn’t here now. Governments no longer rule the world. The world’s strings are pulled by Multinational Corporations. These are entities that can merely bribe the necessary laws and regulations into existence. This is a 21st century Great Depression migration…except that the low waged and abusive working conditions are now being shipped overseas instead of to California fields. The next Tom Joad or Cesar Chavez won’t be in the United States, but will surface across the border in some factory where women are paid a dollar an hour for 15 hours work in an Asian or Mexican factory.

This was done under the watch of a Democratic/Republican government. This was done under our watch.

I’ll tell you my favorite Ralph Nader story. In 2000, during the time of the last minute election campaigning, all three candidates visited Minnesota. A major news channel asked them the difficult question facing all Minnesota that Sunday. “Mr. Candidate…we want to know your choice…Vikings or Packers?”

GWB recognized the trap….and laughed it off in the camera’s face…”Oh no…I’m not falling into that trap” Al Gore didn’t recognize it and gave a BS 30 seconds on teamwork, values, and the general nonsense crap that cost him the election.

Ralph Nader took 0.025 seconds and said “That’s easy…the Green Bay Packers. A hometown owned team. And as soon as they pulled it off, the NFL commission changed the rules so it could never happen again. Now all NFL teams are owned by corporations….I’ll always root for Green Bay” Granted, there’s probably not 10 people in Minnesota committed to voting for Nader who would change their vote because of that response, but he made a stance on statewide and Regional TV news nonetheless. I’ve admired that man since that day for this response. I surf Salon.com, michaelmoore.com, and the back fringes of the Internet…trying to find something I can believe in. I don’t believe in the anti-gun rhetoric., but I no longer believe in the tax breaks for the rich mentality either that puts laissez-faire mentality above of the interests of the 249.9999 million Americans who aren’t CEO’s. My dreams, to quote Richard Thompson, have withered and died. I no longer believe either party will put my interests or the interests of a million people ahead of a corporation who can donate a million dollars to their party’s coffers.

To the candidates of 2004, I offer this hint on how to win the presidency. America desires honesty and the promotion of humanity over the multinational corporation. We would kill for this kind of a candidate. We would name our children after you and walk door to door in subzero wind-chill to tell others about you if you existed. In 2004, I will not vote for the first candidate who has my favorite party next to his name. I will make my choice/vote based upon the candidate who can help the working man of America. If Ralph Nader runs again, he will get my vote and my time as a volunteer. If Paul Wellstone returns, maybe it will be him…or maybe Jesse Ventura…. I don’t know. But for the funniest reason, I have a feeling it won’t be a privileged son, or a corporation executive, or a lawyer.

Russ Brown….

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