Can we go back to the conservative use of the word, conservative?
Looking at the current political impasse between those of both political stripes who want to govern America effectively, and a pack of regressive revolutionaries bent on destroying the government, I have to wonder if a great deal of the blame for things getting this bad doesn’t lie with the press. When Chuck Todd recently got blasted by progressives for parroting blatant lies from the far right, he defended himself by claiming that it was not his job to fact check political spin. Actually, that is EXACTLY the job of an investigative reporter, and when the reporter fails at that job, it is the job of the editor to call them out on it. But Todd is such a reasoned head in reporting that his claim might well be seen as exposing the tip of an iceberg that, in its full underwater bulk, might be big enough to rip a Titanic-sized gash in the hull of the US Ship of State.
As an example, take reporting on what “conservatives” are doing or want done. I would have hoped that news writers and editors were well educated enough in the English language to realize that words have pre-fixed meanings, and conservative does not mean “a radical regressive seeking revolutionary change”. But if writers are unsure of what the meaning of a word is, there is this magical book called the dictionary where they can look the word up and discover its correct meaning. They don’t just have to parrot what political propagandists tell them.
Here, let’s test how the magic book works for those writers and editors that missed learning about it in their elementary school through college years. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines conservative as follows:
: believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society : relating to or supporting political conservatism
Conservative : of or relating to the conservative party in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada
: not liking or accepting changes or new ideas
Funny. I don’t see anything in that definition that would come remotely close to defining a fellow like tax revolutionary Grover Norquist, who summed up his political philosophy by claiming “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” The media is perfectly happy with repeating the right-wing lie that Norquist is expressing a “conservative” idea.
Watching our great Republic, the world’s first major nation to experiment in democracy, slowly decay into a banana republic that inures to the benefit of a small handful of well-connected plutocrats thanks to the assault of radical right-wing revolutionaries; I now yearn for a free press that speaks truth to power. Bring back the conservative use of conservative. People who want to destroy everything we have built since the founding of this nation are no more conservatives than Che Guevara was a conservative. Call them what they are. Radical revolutionaries and regressives.