Cowboy-booted conservatives constantly remind us we’re in danger, and that only they can protect us. From crime to drugs to terrorism, conservatives wear the mantle of security. Meanwhile, they ignore real risks, dismiss success stories and stir up hornets’ nests all over the world.
Conservatism is not an ideology of security, it’s an ideology of fear. Conservative policy is designed to sound tough, but too often it’s political posturing or an excuse to transfer funds among friends. If it doesn’t keep us safe, so much the better. People will be more scared, pay more money and vote redder in the next election.
Meanwhile, conservatives are ideologically blind to threats that don’t fit their cowboy script. They don’t see the dangers of dependence on foreign oil or trade imbalances that threaten worldwide economic stability. They don’t recognize the security consequences of global warming or Third World poverty.
The result isn’t safety. It’s a protection racket.
Symptoms of Security Racket
In an essay entitled “War Is The Health Of The State," early 20th century progressive writer Randolph Bourne noted: “The government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. Nowadays he might have added, "War is also the health of the corporations." The military-industrial complex is a key component of the system of conservative misrule that lines the pockets of the rich whether ordinary Americans are better off for it or not. read more »