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Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Ugly Face of Radical Conservatism

UPDATE AUGUST 5
I have been called to task on this post and I have reflected on some of what is said in this post. I do think some of it is potentiall unfair. The Harper affinity to follow George Bush's economic, security, social policy and political tactics is a fact. That said, nothing Harper or Bush does or says should have them implicated in any way with the radical right-wing Conservative violence in Tennessee noted in this post. I think I may have left that erroneous impression with some of the content of this post. It was not my intent. Rather than edit the post, I think this explanation is a more reasonable way to clarify matters. If the Anonymous commenter who made this observation would comment again using his or her real name, and in a civil manner, I would be glad to post the comment.

There is a worrisome group of extreme social conservatives in America who are, all too often, running amok with violence, often causing death, due to their rigid and raging ideology. They used to murder doctors around the abortion issue. Now they seem to have moved on to targeting liberals because they can’t tolerate then because they are different. This radical right-wing anger against difference recently played itself out in a killing spree in a Tennessee Unitarian church.

I often wonder about these people and how they justify their beliefs and behaviours, especially when many of them espouse a fundamentalist religious belief as well. I see the Harper government aggressively aligning itself in word and deed with the political and governing philosophy of the George Bush White House . This is not healthy for so many reasons and at so many levels...and it is especially problematical for any hope Harper has of forming a majority government.

It gets very complicated to see how this value set advances the best principles of American society and for how it influences Canadian society too, especially with Mr. Harper's affinity for such political values. Mr. Harper’s personal relationship with George Bush and his embracing of the deceitful neo-Republican political techniques, coupled with a fear based foreign policy, does not serve Canada well at all. There are some insightful bloggers commenting on this event and its implications too. I particularly like what The Red Tory as to say.

The Canadian orienting value set is very much more classic liberal than the social conservative orientation of some scary people in the States. That Canadian difference is a good thing from my perspective, especially when we see events like what happened in Tennessee recently.

I think it is time the Harper Cons created and articulated a specific Canadian conservative vision. We don’t need a conservative Canada that is just variation on the American Republican social conservative model that we see happening now under Harper.

Otherwise the default decision by Canadian voters will be to see all conservatives as the same – just like the neo-Republicans of America, or worse yet, to presume conservatives are mostly like the radical conservatives who are killing liberals based on intolerance for differences.

As the sign on the wall in the Chapter’s bookstores says; “The World Needs More Canada.” The time has come for Canadian conservatives to start speaking up about what it means to be conservative in Canada, socially, ecologically and economically. If it means the same thing as being a American Republican then who needs the Conservative Party of Canada?