Burch: Conserve this!

Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 9:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

I was a Reagan Republican, but I have severe doubts about our current crop of self-alleged “conservatives.” Tennessee conservatives in particular have been a busy bunch of beavers recently, with the “guns in bars” and “don’t say gay” and “no hand-holding” bills. Other than making Tennessee the laughingstock of the nation, it’s hard to see what such bills accomplish. So perhaps it’s time to ask a simple question: “Just what is it that conservatives are trying to conserve, these days?”

It seems obvious that Republicans are trying to conserve tax cuts for the super-rich, while sending everyone else to the poorhouse. But most Tennesseans aren’t wealthy, so that can’t be the reason we keep voting them into office.

Republican politicians are trying to conserve their fat-cat health benefits while denying decent health care to the elderly, but most of us care much more about our grandparents than hypocritical politicians, so that can’t be the reason we keep electing them.

Republican men are trying to conserve their power over women’s reproductive systems. But most Tennesseans don’t want our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters to be forced to have babies they don’t want or can’t afford, so that can’t be the reason either.

Republicans are trying to conserve their unholy political unions while busting teachers’ unions, but most of us care much more about students and teachers than power-hungry politicians, so that can’t be it.

Republicans are trying to conserve American military power and global influence, as with the invasion of Iraq, which then-senator Barack Obama and the majority of House Democrats opposed. But most Tennesseans don’t want to rule the world, and the wars have only destabilized the Middle East, making Americans less safe, so that can’t be the reason.

Republicans are trying to conserve “morality,” but it’s a hypocritical morality that seems to boil down to “Heterosexuals can do whatever the hell they please, while non-heterosexuals are denied the right to marry.” And yet the same Bible that condemns homosexuality also condemns divorce, adultery and fornication.

Republicans are obviously trying to conserve brain cells by not using them to consider scientific facts like global warming. We can easily confirm that the earth is getting hotter because the once-fabled Northwest Passage recently became a reality, due to rapidly melting ice in northern climes. Melting polar ice caps and glaciers are causing sea levels to rise, another indisputable fact which has been reported all around the globe. But most Tennesseans don’t want to make the planet uninhabitable for their children and grandchildren, so that can’t be it.

Republicans are trying to conserve bigotry, by employing racial profiling, which is unfair to legal immigrants and native-born Americans with darker skin. But most Tennesseans are descended from immigrants, so that can’t be it.

Republicans are trying to conserve intolerance, by stopping the construction of mosques while Christians build churches wherever they please. But most Tennesseans believe in freedom of religion, so surely that’s not it.

I must admit that I’m completely stumped. How is it possible that Tennesseans keep electing people who seem to be intent on ruining our state, nation and the world? I think it’s time for us to conserve something, before it’s too late: … our votes!

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

102 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 6/29/12 at 4:56

People inhabiting the southern states are really that dumb. It's a fact.
Just read the posts over at The Tennessean any given day.
Same jack-asses reciting the same b.s., and they all pat each other on the back and high-five as to their awareness and mental acuity.
They don't even know how dumb they are. Burch's "global warming" piece brough them all out with "the Earth has been cooling for the past 15 years..." nonsense.
But, in all fairness, I'm building a chicken coop with air conditioning and track lighting for my backyard. Probably spend $400 and $100. a month to produce eggs that cost .99cents a doz at Krogers. Pure genius.

By: Ask01 on 6/29/12 at 5:45

There may well be change in the air. The Republican party has long depended on the Middle Class for support. The Middle Class has reciprocated by throwing their support behind the Republican Party which seemed, on the surface at least, to reflect the same values they embraced. (Publicly, at least.)

Of late, however, the Middles Class, so negatively impacted by the recent, and still current, recession, has begun to recognize the growing two faced character of the party. As so many middle class have fallen from the social strata, with so many more clinging desperately to their current lifestyle, the group hears how companies are forced to lay off workers to survive, then reporting record profits and obscene bonuses for those at the top. They are beginning to recognize a disconnect in the party mantra and reality.

This election season could provide some interesting turns.

I recall Ronald Reagan being asked why he left the Democratic Party following his famous conversion. The reply was insightful, as he declared, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, they left me."

This seems to be the case between the Middle Class and the Republican Party.

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 6:09

Mike,

If there is a global warming trend taking place on the earth, how can you explain why there are sections of the world's globe that is having colder weather?

When I entered my career in meteorology, I was taught the global atmosphere changes constantly. Of course, that was almost 65 years ago. Has the sciences of weather changed?

It hadn't when I retired almost 20 years ago.

By: dargent7 on 6/29/12 at 6:30

It's going to be 107 today in Nashville. Get with the program. No one gives a sh** what you experienced 65 years ago.
The Polar ice caps are melting, raising ocean levels.
A dunce in 8th grade science class could comprehend this.

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 6:36

Mike,

I don't know how anyone else votes and I don't see it as any of my business. But I agree with you on the point of why the citizens keep re-electing the same members of congress, be it state or national. As a matter of fact, even the counties and cities.

People in congress are elected to represent the citizens, be it the state or nation. Before congress found they could set their personal salaries, retirement program and medical benefits, most of them went in, served their fellow citizens and went home. Most after two or three terms in the House.

But the politicians of today are seeking to make their tenures a career. Heck, with the benefits they have enacted into law for themselves, wouldn't you? How many actual days a year are they in office? And how many of them can you speak to personally? You usually can only speak to one of their employee we're paying for.

In my sixty years of voting, I have never voted for anyone more than three terms in the House and one in the Senate. Six years is enough and could even be too many.

Because congress pushed the Obamacare program down our throats before they even to the time to read it, what makes them so special they are entitled to a [personal, congressional] medical benefit?

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 6:38

Do you even know how to read an official thermometer, dargent7?

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 6:49

Mike,

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but in your 4th paragraph you comment about the Republican party conserving their "power" over women's reproductive systems. What "power" are they conserving? When did they place a law that "required" a woman to give birth to a baby or murder it?

Where does the Democrat Party stand on that issue? Women's personal choice, have it or kill it?

By: dargent7 on 6/29/12 at 7:07

The reason America is in the tank is because people like you roam around, unchained, and untethered to a post.
The Democratic party wants women to have a choice. It's their's, not old white rich men's will exerted upon them.
Get this novel concept: women have birth control provided, then they don't get pregnant.
Then, no need for an abortion, welfare, foodstamps, ADC.
Get it?
You Republican fools say, "Say no to sex, sex education, contraception..."
Doesn't work that way, never has, never will.

By: Rasputin72 on 6/29/12 at 7:09

Mike, In the words of a famous American from the past, "These are the times that try men's souls."

At that time a Revolution was in sight. At that time every man and woman had to depend on their own abilities to survive. Today we have 47% of Americans who do not pay any federal income tax. Yet they are still surviving. The 53% who do pay a federal income tax pay for this survival.

The 53% are pro-creating at a much slower pace than the 47% who pay no federal income tax. A day of reckoning is comiing.

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 7:17

You're drinking too much, dargent7. The political parties have nothing to do with women getting pregnant, unless they're the one that got them pregnant.

Contraceptives are so easy, and inexpensive to use, so why don't the women make their "mate" use one before they "begin"? A pregnancy is the couple's fault that are "in bed" together.

If they don't know how to prevent it, they should stay out of that damn bed!

By: dargent7 on 6/29/12 at 7:18

re: the famous line, "47% of Americans do not pay any Federal Income tax".
Oh, really?
I've been on "unemployment" before. At years end, I'm taxed at 27% on that amount.
Yes, the IRS is on it, and does send out letters. They do sieze your bank account, garnish your wages.
That tax exceeded my Earned Income Credit of $5,800.
Republicans run around stating and saying, "people are making money off the government for not working..."
It's total bullsh**.

By: dargent7 on 6/29/12 at 7:23

Hottest day on record since 1871, when records were first kept.

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 7:29

Mike,

In his "run for office", Obama made several statements about being against war. He was going to "get us out of war", He was going to "bring our troops home". So why is he sending more troops to Afghanistan and why is there "rumors of war" against Iran?

You state most Tennesseans don't want to rule the world. I'll up that and say most American's don't want to rule the world. So where does the ruling theme come from? I'd believe it comes from politics and money for more world control.

Couldn't that be why so many "leaders" in the world (including our presidents) are pushing for a One World Government under the control of the United Nations.

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 7:36

The hottest day on record since 1871? Where, dargent7, Nashville, or Timbuktu?

By: dargent7 on 6/29/12 at 7:42

Take your tin-foil hat off, and turn on the tv set. Be sure it's plugged in. You'd look at a blank screen thinking the Mother Ship has landed or a test pattern thinking it was a Cowboys & Indians drama.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/29/12 at 7:45

Reading Poor Richard’s Almanac does not make yogi a weatherman; it just makes him an idiot.

Does yogi know there are more than one kind of thermometer than the one up his ass?

By: Rasputin72 on 6/29/12 at 7:46

DARGENT7.....If you actually paid a federal income tax even if it was $300.00 then you are not one of the 47%.

By: Kosh III on 6/29/12 at 7:47

Yogi asked why some places are experiencing colder weather at times.
I'd think someone in meteorology would know the answer but I guess not: when there is Climate Change, as we are experiencing now, there are more extremes in weather.
That's why we had a record flood, why it was so hot in Canada that there was no snow for the Winter Olympics, why record cold dips into Florida, then a year or so later record heat.

Yeah, even a 5th grade Kenyan can know that the glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone in a few years due to climate change and global warming.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/29/12 at 7:51

The records of higher temp have been in July and August, not June.

By: govskeptic on 6/29/12 at 8:03

I was a Reagan Republican, now I'm a Reagan Independent, and actually
glad to be so! The answer to the probing question by the author is possibly
a majority of Tenn voters just don't agree, swing in vocation, morals or
temperament, that he, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Sen Reid, nor
a host of others in their fairy land of" Hope and Change". Not that there's
anything wrong with that! There are vacancies in Calif, NY, and Conn!

By: Loner on 6/29/12 at 8:21

Good morning, Nashville.

Another fine missive from the pen of Mike Burch.

American conservatives are trying to conserve white supremacy, Mike....it has been under attack since 1861...in those days, the Republicans were the relatively tolerant liberals and the Democrats were the racist conservatives....parties change positions over the years; but ideology remains fairly constant. The passage of the Civil Rights Law in 1964 caused the big switcheroo...the GOP reached out to the segregationists and the born-agains at that time....the Solid South flipped.

Conservatives do not really believe that all men are created equal...they try to conserve the qualitative edge of the aristocratic ruling class....conservatives fear change, as they consider it to be a threat to the comfortable status quo....they have a lot to lose.

Liberals, on the other hand, are for the most part advocates for positive change...for reform...for equality of opportunity...for representative democracy.

Conservatives are pro-management types...liberals are pro-labor types.

Conservatives tend to be dogma-bound religionists. Liberals tend to keep their religious faith private and personal.

Last but not least, conservatives prefer Grey Poupon....liberals will eat any old mustard.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/29/12 at 8:29

I am happy to say that I was never a Reagan Republican, however I did vote for Nixon twice and Goldwater once. Now days I can’t vote Republican, because the party has a Neo-Nazi attitude.

By: govskeptic on 6/29/12 at 8:32

Loner: sounds like the above descriptions were taken straight out of Mother
Jones and Slate magazines. Such a tainted group of cliques to help
with one's sense of superiority!

By: Captain Nemo on 6/29/12 at 8:36

Loner at less your opinion was not taken from the FOX Bubble; nothing of intelligent gets in and only what FOXS wants you to know stay in the Bubble.

By: Loner on 6/29/12 at 8:54

Well, Gov, thank you for the compliment, that 8:21 rant was no cut/paste, that was original stuff...of course, one might argue that I have been bullshitized; but haven't we all been victims of bullshitization?

We become self-bullshitizing...we are all just hominids on a mudball...what in the hell do we know?

Certainly, conservatism has its merits; prosperity requires law & order and there are people out there who hate the USA. We need guns and we need butter.

Middle of the road seems to work... extremism to the left or right is not good for society.

By: Sherwood80 on 6/29/12 at 9:37

The Republican party discovered that money was the answer to their getting elected when Reagan's "kitchen cabinet" realized that fact of political life and every since then, they have used their resources wisely. The defeat of Bush I solidified their ranks and that ended any thoughtthey might have had that a political party had to represent the people.

Had they realized that Barack Obama could be elected in the first place, they would have buried him in :green backs" as well.

But don't blame the Republicans as you would be wasting your time and besides you don't have enough money to impress them.

If you want to blame anyone, look in the mirror as I have had to look in mine. I still believe that "We, the people.." was the best answer and it's time for us to rise up and bury the Republicans, once and for all.

By: dargent7 on 6/29/12 at 9:54

Where's this "47% of Americans don't pay any Federal Income Tax" group?
Those on Social Security can only make so much a year, after that, their income is taxed.
Foodstamp people don't pay taxes at POP or at year's end. So, sue me.
Welfare? I don't know.
But, unemployment benefits are taxed at 27%.
Uncle Mitty paid 13.7% on his Capital Gains.
Which then paid less in taxes?

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 10:12

Why do you keep misspelling Democrats as Republicans, Sherwood80?

Both parties have changed their names a few decades ago. The Democrats have become the Demolicans and the Republicans have become the Repubmocrats.

Can you tell any difference between them today except in spelling? I can't.

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 11:13

Sherwood,

You said: I still believe that "We, the people.." was the best answer and it's time for us to rise up and bury the Republicans, once and for all.

I couldn't agree more. We need a Democratic majority in both houses, if we want to protect the environment, get the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, and help the poor and middle classes climb out of the pit caused by GOP madness.

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 11:15

dargent7,

I was interesting to see the responses to my global warming letter in the Tennessean. Rising sea levels are a clear indication that the earth is getting hotter and glaciers and polar ice caps are melting. But conservatives conserve their brain cells by not using them ...

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 11:20

Ask01,

You made a very good point:

There may well be change in the air. The Republican party has long depended on the Middle Class for support. The Middle Class has reciprocated by throwing their support behind the Republican Party which seemed, on the surface at least, to reflect the same values they embraced. (Publicly, at least.)

The GOP has betrayed the poor and middle income classes. The GOP is also alienating women, gays, people with darker skin, the elderly, et al.

If the American public opens its eyes, the GOP could be in for a Humpty Dumpty fall.

Mike

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 11:40

Mike,

I must disagree with you once again. We don't need to "eliminate" the Republican party. We also need to "eliminate" the Democratic party. Why do we need political parties in our nation? Aren't the legislators being paid to represent [we the people] instead of a party?

Mark Levin just gave a good explanation on the SC's decision on Obamacare yesterday.

You can hear him at marklevinshow.com/article.asp?id=2484259&spid=32364

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 12:24

Yogi,

Rising sea levels indicate that, on the whole, the earth's temperature is rising and ice held in glaciers and polar ice caps is melting. Low-lying islands are already in danger, as are countries like Bangladesh.

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 12:39

dargent7,

I agree. The idea that boys and girls can remain chaste until marriage, then always pick the right partner never having "done it" is simply ridiculous. Modern sexual freedom requires condoms and other contraceptives. Right-wing religious fanatics live in a world where men have sexual freedom, but girls and women are subject to the whims of God and nature. It costs $250,000 or more to raise one child and most people can't afford many children these days. The GOP is trying to shut down Planned Parenthood, one of the stupidest things imaginable when so many young girls are getting pregnant unintentionally.

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 1:03

Kosh III,

I agree. Anyone who watches nature shows can see polar bears swimming 60 miles or more trying to find food in imperiled northern regions. Glaciers are receding around the world, and chunks of ice the size of Rhode Island are breaking apart from the polar ice caps. It only takes functional eyes and a brain to understand why sea levels are rising ... lots of ice is melting, all around the world.

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 1:06

Loner,

You said: Conservatives do not really believe that all men are created equal...they try to conserve the qualitative edge of the aristocratic ruling class....conservatives fear change, as they consider it to be a threat to the comfortable status quo....they have a lot to lose.

I agree. The main things conservatives want to conserve is their money, power and supremacy over other people. They feel threatened by a changing world in which equality and science outweigh the rights of the elite and blind, unreasoning faith.

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 1:09

Nemo,

I feel the same way: I can’t vote Republican today, because the party has succumbed to racism, bigotry, intolerance and warmongering ... the GOP does seem to be run by fascists and neo-Nazis.

Mike

By: pswindle on 6/29/12 at 1:27

Yogi,
A man can make any choice he wants for himself , but you do not want a woman to have the same rights. How many women have been forced to lay down and take whatever happens. I bet many.

Of ciurse, we are in global warming, but the GOP can't think for themselves because of the polluters and the churches. They have a strangle hold on TN.

By: dargent7 on 6/29/12 at 2:07

Mike Burch & Co.:
If you listen to Romney, he'll shut down ObamaCare his 1st day in office. The moron doesn't even know what's in it. It actually mirrors his "RomneyCare" .
Then, he'll attack Iran, as "1st order of business".
Damn.
He'll be certainly busy his 1st day in office.

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 2:39

pswindle,

I agree with what you said, but I think the coming elections give right-minded women and men the chance to end the GOP's madness, by electing people who believe in equality, and will work for it.

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 2:41

dargent7,

Romney's cavalier comments about attacking Iran for the same reason we attacked Iraq seems to prove that he isn't capable of rational thought. In my opinion he's just another vote-pandering politician. He will say anything to get elected, and is willing to pander to any moron dumb enough to buy political swampland.

Mike

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 3:12

Mike,

I think your man Obama has proved what you are "saying" about Romney's comments. Romney is just the next man in line. Every man I have heard, since Franklin Roosevelt, who was running for the presidency will say anything they think you want to hear to get your vote. Bar none.

And you made a comment I do not want a woman to have the same rights as I. Where in the hell did you get that BS as a fact in your weak mind?

Yes, sometimes women are forced "lay down" and have sex. But also, some men are forced to have sex.

Sometimes it's call rape. Other times it happens when its the mode of the people "in the mood".

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 4:11

Mike,

All through your article posted today, you kept making the comment; "Republicans are trying to..." and made many comments on what they are trying to do. May I ask what the Democrats are trying to do? Or should I ask what they are not trying to do?

I'd like to compare the two to see which one I feel I should agree with.

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 4:19

Yogi,

President Obama said that he would get us out of the war with Iraq, and he did.

Mitt Romney seems to be saying that he would attack Iran for the same reason we attacked Iraq.

If you can't tell the difference, it's probably because you prefer your bizarre version of science fiction to reality. In your strange world, a piece of paper matters more than thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars down the drain, because that's what we probably face if Romney starts a war with Iran.

I never said anything about anyone forcing anyone to have sex. I made a remark that the GOP in its madness is making it harder for women to obtain contraceptives, which can cause them to have babies they don't want and can't afford.

My point is that women need the right to decide if and when to have babies. They don't need morons like Romney, Gingrich and Santorum interfering with their right to choose, because alpha male politicians want the votes of other male chauvinists who align with the Papacy.

The pope and his minions are sentencing people to death and terrible diseases by saying that using condoms is a "sin." Is it more sinful to prevent diseases and unwanted pregnancies, than it is to hand down death sentences to poor, uneducated people who think they have to obey the church or go to hell?

Why are rich Americans who use contraceptives for family planning siding with men who sentence poor people to disease and death? Not because they care a damn about contraceptives, but because they want votes and money, and the political power they bring.

Romney would rather see poor, uneducated people suffer and die, than tell the truth and admit that the use of contraceptives has nothing to do with religious freedom. No one is forcing anyone to use contraceptives. The real issue is simply women who want to use contraceptives being able to obtain them.

So when you vote for president, if you vote for Romney, you are voting for a man who doesn't care about young girls and boys suffering and dying of disease like AIDS. If you can't see the difference between Romney and more liberal politicians, I'm afraid your detractors may be right after all. I was holding out in the hope that you had a heart.

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 4:24

Yogi,

Democrats are far from perfect. But at least they have the right goals.

Democrats are for women's right to use contraceptives as they think best, without the interference of male chauvinists.

Democrats are for affordable healthcare for everyone.

Democrats are for helping the elderly, the unemployed and the poor, rather than throwing them to the dogs.

Democrats are for equality for everyone, including gays and Muslims.

Democrats are for protecting the environment from businesses that think only about profits.

It is true that Democrats are not always good at producing the best results, but at least they have the right goals. The GOP is dead wrong on virtually every issue. Voting for a Republican is like attacking your own family, if you have family members who are elderly, poor, unemployed, etc.

So if you love your mamma,
vote for Obama!

Mike

By: Captain Nemo on 6/29/12 at 4:27

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 4:11
Mike,
All through your article posted today, you kept making the comment; "Republicans are trying to..." and made many comments on what they are trying to do. May I ask what the Democrats are trying to do? Or should I ask what they are not trying to do?
I'd like to compare the two to see which one I feel I should agree with.

Translation; That is not what I want to hear.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/29/12 at 4:36

His mama should have drown him at birth,

By: Mike Burch on 6/29/12 at 6:08

Nemo,

Let's not give up on Yogi just yet. Surely there is a beating heart somewhere deep inside him, ready to profess that President Obama is the man to protect our mothers from Republicans who would rip their safety nets to shreds.

The real question is whether Yogi will sacrifice his own family to the wolves, over a piece of paper.

Mike

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 8:46

Mike,

Obama said he would get us out of the war with Irag, and he did; to a point. He said he would not get us into another war. So why has he sent troops to other nations under UN control without congressional approval? Why is he sending more troops to Afghanistan?

You say Romney seems to be saying he will attack Iran. How do you know Obama won't before the election? Think about it, Mike; I don't know how old you are, but how many president have been replaced when we were at war?

I disagree the GOP is making it harder for women to obtain contraceptives. How can they be? Contraceptives are in the free market, any woman can buy them. Why should we guys they aren't going to bed with buy them so they won't get pregnant going to bed with another man?. Hell, let the man they're going to bed with buy them.

It is everyone's personal responsibility to "take care" of themselves. But today, many women are having babies they don't give a damn about so they can get child support and draw welfare. Easy living, eh?

Different religions have different beliefs, Mike. If a woman goes to a particular church, they should believe and follow that religion's beliefs. If it say they shouldn't use protections when having sex, they shouldn't have sex unless they are prepared to have a baby. But women go through a routine when they might get impregnated. They should know it in themselves and have their "joy" when they aren't in that pregnancy time of the month.

And by the way, a woman can get contraceptives from the display case at a store's cash register. In today's time, why are they ashamed to?

Mike, you apparently don't know any more about Mitt Romney than you know about Barack Obama (if that's his legal name) which isn't much. All you seem to know is what you've been told by your party.

The major difference I know about the two men is Mitt Romney is running for that office legally but Barack Obama hasn't, and isn't. I can't vote for a usurper for that office.

But a little sage advice, Mike. All of the problems we have had, and are having in our nation are in the hands of our legislature. They are the ultimate cause of any problem this nation has.

By: yogiman on 6/29/12 at 8:56

Mike,

You question would I sacrifice my family to the wolves over a piece of paper.

I'm presuming you're "talking" about Obama's fake birth certificate; so my answer is NO, not as long as I can stand on my two feet and rebel against the man with that fake birth certificate claiming it as an official piece of paper.