Jan 252005
Authors: Vincent Adams

In response to the conservative movement. In response to a recent federal proposal banning gay marriage, and a state-level proposal banning homosexual-themed literature in Alabama. In response to King George's proposals to privatize Social Security and other entitlement programs.

In response to all the aforementioned and more, I bring forth to our population, and my progressive peers, a proposal. Or, more accurately, a series of proposals forming a movement.

My friends, we must embark on a War against Conservatism.

Throughout the ideology's existence it has rationalized segregation, forcefully imposed its standards upon those who seek knowledge beyond the realm of conservative institutions, and it has created aristocratic structures where elites benefit from working-class labor while the working class barely survives.

In short, it has, more often than not, been on the wrong side of progress.

While neo-conservatism is an evolved version of its former, more fascist version – for example, neo-conservatives no longer call for racial segregation – its core remains: a stubborn belief that the ideology is the lone way to operate society, and an equally stubborn refusal to accept change.

My friends, our society faces a dire need for change. Our society is becoming less rural and more interconnected. We must live in harmony with our fellow man or risk complete annihilation. We can no longer afford to separate from each other, destroy each other and hold onto archaic notions of superiority – like the notion one sexual preference is superior over another.

And until a more perfect version of democracy and capitalism is created, we cannot let the conservative movement destroy institutions that benefit our working class. Unlike many wealthy conservatives, the workingman needs government-assisted retirement programs like Social Security.

If the affluent are to benefit off the backs of workingmen, should not the working class at least be entitled to retirement? While many companies offer helpful programs, not all working-class individuals are guaranteed retirement. Social Security is their safety net, yet the conservative movement and King George call the system broke in an attempt to scare legislators into privatizing the system.

Paul Krugman, a well-known and well-respected economics professor at Princeton University, has publicly challenged King George's claims: "Right now Social Security has a large and growing surplus. … If the economy continues to grow at an average rate, the trust fund could quite possibly last forever."

Krugman provides analysis to King George's rationale, "Since the days of Barry Goldwater, the Republican right has really wanted to dismantle Social Security … (because they) dislike the notion that the government provides a safety net for the poor."

Krugman also warns of King George's rhetorical threats against Medicaid and Medicare.

Conservatism attacks these institutions because of a misguided faith that capitalism will provide for the working class and a notion that government should only spend large amounts of money on war and not entitlement programs.

My friends, what I mention throughout are only a few examples of the battles we face in this war – a war we are losing because our interests are too fragmented and because our enemy is craftier than we. We start with winning the battle to provide homosexuals their due respect and offer them union rights, and then we strengthen entitlement programs that benefit the working class. We then ride that momentum's tide to other important fronts.

But since our ideology is not in power we must use the strength of a movement and become active in protests and other formal grievances. What we need to win the War against Conservatism is a formal, organized and powerful Liberal Rights Movement.

Vincent Adams is an English graduate student. His column will usually run Tuesdays in the Collegian.

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