LOCAL VOICES: Sanders paints with far too broad a brush

By MARK BOHNE Environmental and political activist from Milan
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

By MARK BOHNE

Environmental and political activist from Milan

Recently, Register columnist Rufus G.W. Sanders donned his liberal robe and approached the altar of commentary, lamenting the sins of conservative Republicans. In my view, his musings were nothing more than politicism (political racism.)

Mr. Sanders never differentiates between political conservatism and social conservatism. He falsely leads his readers to believe that all conservatives look alike. Social conservatism supports traditional family values while political conservatism seeks to maintain a small and non-intrusive government. Social liberalism supports re-defining all the rules and values that many Americans hold dear while political liberalism seeks to control everything through regulation and micro-management (including our income.)

Mr. Sanders divides society into two groups. One "quiet, ordinary, patriotic, religious, law-abiding, [and] silent (conservatives) and the other as "noisy, elitist, amoral, disorderly and condescending" (liberals.) Social conservatism has been around since the Old Testament. It is not a recent innovation that emerged from Richard Nixon, Pat Buchanan or any Republican think tank. All Americans have conservative and liberal ideas. I can be a "good, conservative Republican" and support a clean environment while a "good, liberal Democrat" can oppose abortion.

Social conservatism is not a racket. Our leaders need to return to the conservative American values that make us strong. However, it will be hard to proclaim the message with a mass media that is so profoundly against anything conservative, political or social.

Mr. Sanders falsely proclaims the death of conservatism. Being a self-made man, I utilized "capitalist ideology" to become educated and nurture a life-style commensurate with my hard work and self-financed education. No one handed me anything because of my race, creed or political party. I take offense when I am told I have to "redistribute my wealth" with others who refuse to educate themselves or who lack the same work ethic. I already pay stout taxes, of which 35 percent are used for social programs such as welfare and Medicaid. I also practice social conservatism by gladly supporting charitable institutions.

The failed economy was born out of a marketing idea that espoused using credit, so that everyone could have it all, anytime. It was also born of a liberal idea that everyone should be given everything all the time, with a gross indifference to hard work and self-improvement. Both ideas pollute the culture of America by fostering greed.

Mr. Sanders blames Republican conservatism for all the financial and social evils of the past 40 years. Where were the liberal Democrats who held the House majority for 42 of the past 53 years? Were they not part of the problem? He neglects to mention the fact that Democrats also contributed to the collapse of the economy. Among Bill Clinton's many credits (including signing NAFTA) was repealing most of the Banking Act of 1933, enabling banks to become investment businesses, a flaw that contributed to the Great Depression. Also, in 1994 Bill Clinton and a democratically controlled congress modified the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, loosening underwriting criteria for mortgages so that sub-prime loans could be made to those without the means to repay.

Republicans unsuccessfully attempted to "tighten-up" the mortgage rules in 2003 & 2005. Mega-banks took advantage of the situation, making bad loans and selling them to unsuspecting investors. Mr. Sanders describes those who benefited as, "the elites -- the lords and barons of high finance." That list should include both Republicans and Democrats.

Blaming conservatism for, "bombings, assaults, murders, assassinations, vigilantes, radical students, black militants, [and] segregationists is bogus. Research will point to one significant change in social conservatism in 1963, liberal judges removing the Holy Bible from our schools. Checking the statistics will show a sharp increase in crime after that change; and all this while Kennedy, Johnson and a Democratically-controlled House were in office.

In the past election, the Republican Party failed to motivate voters because it turned its back on social conservatism. The platform was packed-up and put aside and the candidate did not represent the conservative base of the party. It also didn't help that the new President was crowned "the media darling" right from the start. The election was over before the ink had dried on the Iowa Caucus ballots. After that media coup, most of the candidates (Republican and Democrat) were ignored.

Mr. Sanders closes by indicating that the new President and his liberal disciples are going to solve all our problems. They will part the Red Sea of financial malaise, bring medical manna from the skies, throw-down the walls of toxic loans and stock market abuses, burn the bush of federal debt, heal the pain of the working class, and roll back the stone on credit. After that, they will lead us all into a promised land of love, peace and prosperity.

I pray that these miracles won't result in more infants being sacrificed on the altar of abortion or continued preaching about sexual orientation to elementary students. Maybe the agenda will not prohibit too many student prayers or cause more Christians to be smothered by the gospel of tolerance. Finally, I hope that too many traditional families won't be torn apart by divisive governmental intrusion.

Our nation deserves better.