Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Pants Theory

A Conservative always believes the pants he has on are better than the ones in the catalog or the store window. It doesn’t matter how worn out they are. Conservatives like to be comfortable with things and tend to know what they like. I knew this already when I was a boy only I applied it to tennis shoes. Nobody can trust a kid in white sneakers. Gray is the color of trustworthiness.

Someone who thinks he’s funny will say that Conservatives prefer the pants they have on because they fear having them off. But this is true. Nixon slept with his pants on, the same pair, all through his time in Congress. Pat complained about it to close friends, but she never had to worry about Dick.

Conservatives are faithful to their wives because they are unimaginative and inclined to be risk-averse. Gingrich, Livingston and Hyde, the Robespierres of the Clinton scandals, were never Conservatives, they were opportunists and closer to Radicals (besides being philanderers themselves). I often like to point out that Clinton was and is more Conservative than Nixon (and only a fraction as sneaky, despite the monkeyshines). I say this to be provocative, but you will notice that he and Hillary are still married. Thick-and-thin marriage is as Conservative as a country song. Bedrock stuff.

So it is possible to be Conservative and Liberal at the same time. Actually, after a half-century of the Good Life built upon Liberal, New Deal institutions (the middle-class wage-earner, the factory worker who can afford the car he makes, secure retirement, good public education paid for by the taxes paid on good wages and salaries, clean air and water protected by enforceable laws, honest businesses kept honest by fair regulation, sound banking practices watched over by the government, public parks, safe workplaces, affordable healthcare, affordable houses that people own themselves) any decent Conservative had better be a Liberal. It’s his job, it’s his sacred duty, to uphold and defend what works, as if it were a good pair of pants. Liberalism, no matter what Gingrich and his radical disciples like to say, has worked well. The Radicals would like to throw it all out the window.

Usually what these wingnuts are complaining about is taxes (and it’s their own taxes they hate, not yours or mine). I don’t like taxes much either. Nobody likes doing them. Everybody hates paying them. But there was a time, not long ago, a time Conservatives ought to remember fondly, when paying your taxes was a point of pride. It was part of being an American. It was patriotic. It was what responsible people did. It showed everybody you weren’t taking a free ride. People wouldn’t have thought of renting a mailbox in the Bahamas to avoid being a responsible American. I like to think of taxes as the belt that holds the pants up. I feel half dressed without a belt on. Conservatives, especially the neo kind, wear their pants a bit tight, so they stay up by themselves; being a Liberal kind of Conservative I don’t like that. If the pants are really comfortable, like these I’ve got on, with the kind of room around the waist I like when I sit down, they’d fall down when I stood up if I wasn’t wearing a belt. (Some people prefer suspenders, and that analogy works just as well.)

Message? The group we have in charge right now call themselves Conservatives but they’re not, they’re just trying to take away your pants. A population that doesn’t have any pants is much easier to control. The belts get taken away first, the pants come next. If you like your pants hold onto them. Don’t let them take them away. Fashion is a bellweather. Keep your eyes open. There are already a lot of people whose pants are down around their knees. No true Conservative should consider that a good thing.


Blogger Joanna said...

Ciao, Pasquino!
Thank you for posting a comment on my blog and sharing the link to yours. I'm always amazed when someone actually reads much of mine. I like what you have to say about real conservatives and the true motives of the neo-cons, those failed opportunists who switched from left to right in pursuit of personal power whatever the damage to the greater good. Social safety nets, which require the patriotic fulfillment of the duty to pay taxes, are the only guarantees that the fabric of the society we enjoy will not be torn to shreds.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Funny how comments show up in e-mail notifications long before they show up on the blogs.
Castiglione d'Orcia is about an hour south of Siena off the Cassia (SS2). It overlooks the Val d'Orcia where Pienza, Montepulciano, Monticchiello and Radicofani are located. It's just south of Montalcino on the lowest eastern slopes of Monte Amiata.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Forgot to say that I seem to be welcomed by many Italians as a political refugee from what is just a bit more of a new Weimar Republic than they are yet.
That's once they meet me; I make my politics pretty clear immediately. Beforehand I am, more often than not, taken for something other than American.

7:43 PM  
Blogger pasquino said...

I received an interview from someone today, out of Mother Jones. A former Reagan Administration official who says essentially the same thing I wrote in this piece. (I wrote it in the Spring and sent it around to various print outlets, as I usually do.) This strange marriage of Corporate money and piousness, cold capitalism and profligate money policy, is quite a new animal. It certainly ain't conservative. Look at the diplomatic relationships they've managed to shred. I just hope there are enough moderate, old-fashioned, public-minded Rockefeller Republicans who hate this Administration enough to vote against it. I wish Lugar, McCain and Hagel were criticizing loud enough to be heard, but they're practically ignored.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Lorika said...

Unfortunately too, McCain is often stumping for these guys. That really pains me because I have to take my respect for the guy down a notch.

ALso, here is what your great post inspired me to rant, and I may do a post about this as well:

How is getting into your mind, your bedroom, your libido, and your vagina conservative, compassionate or small govt?

Those fuckers say they are for less govt control over our lives, (Bush says - Kerry's plan will let the govt tell you who your doctor is) but really they'd love to control our entire lives from cradle to grave (and beyond) for "our own good". They'd like us to all be good mute little low wage slaves and silently make them piles of money, while feeding our meager dollars back to them to buy their crappy corporate sludge.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Pasquino Rockefeller said...

Good article. Perhaps Bush and Cheney should invest in a belt because every time I see them in the news their pants are around their ankles and their heads are up their a@*es. Oh, and my blogger name is just a coincidence. You might, though, like some of my articles. Check them out on my blog if you want. Keep up the good work.

7:18 PM  

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