To the editor:
Mr. Bates is as out of touch just as he is mistaken. There is no “deep state.” Not in truth. That is just another in a long line of GOP bogeymen, used to try and frighten the uninformed and the easily misled.
Conservatism, thankfully, is the minority point of view in our country and, indeed, around the globe. Why do I say thankfully?
In all of American history, there have been the differing points of view, generally reducible to conservatism and progressivism. There have been myriad ideologies that contain more or less of each of those, but ultimately it boils down to those two. In the roughly 245 years we have been a nation, conservatism has been on the right side of history precisely . . . once.
The American Revolutionary War? No. Conservatives then, like now in much of the English west, were called Torries. They favored the crown and opposed colonial independence. They actively sought to defeat the colonial army.
The American Civil War? No. The Southern Democrats founded the KKK, yes, and they also formed the Confederacy. They then declared war against the United States of America. A Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, fought that war to preserve not only the Union as a nation but the federal government as the ultimate authority. States rights were to be subordinate to federal power — the precise opposite of what today’s Republican party seeks.
Women’s suffrage? No. Conservatives vehemently opposed women’s gaining the right to vote.
Child labor laws, prohibiting children from working dangerous jobs like mining? No. Conservatives then, like now, sought to exploit child labor in the name of profit. Look no further than the recent actions taken by the Iowa Legislature in regard to child labor.
Unionization? No. Conservatives despise the very notion of labor being organized and having a seat at the negotiating table. Power is what they seek to hold over labor. Unions are what built the middle class. For proof, look at the American middle class before 1920 and after World War II. No less a figure than President Eisenhower favored unions and recognized fully their contribution to overall American prosperity. For proof, see the 1956 GOP presidential platform.
Civil rights? No. Conservatives violently opposed civil rights. (See Emmet Till, for example.) President Lyndon Johnson, Democrat from Texas, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. He allegedly said at the time, “We’ve just lost the South for the next 50 years.” If you look at Electoral College maps before and after 1964, you will see the accuracy of his prediction.
So when was the one time conservatives got it right? When did they come down on the right side of history? Oddly enough, in light of their current efforts, they would now oppose the one issue they once got right. Prohibition was initiated by progressive wives and ministers. Laboring husbands found their jobs so excruciating (pre-union) and so demeaning that they took to alcohol to forget their woes. Then too many drunken men abused their wives and children. Thus the Prohibition movement was born in a misguided effort to save families from the “evils of alcohol.” It was conservatives who led the charge to repeal the 18th Amendment, and it was labor unions that ultimately saved families via better wages, working conditions and benefits.
A Constitutional Convention led by today’s American rightwing would totally and completely destroy, for all time, the United States of America. We fought a war on our own soil once to defeat such insurrectionary traitors. Does the American rightwing really want to face another war in our backyard? Is it truly their intent to put an end to our free republic? Because that is exactly what they seek to do.