by Clif Morton

How many times have you heard advocates calling for you to support “the conservative choice” lately?Unless you have taught yourself to totally tune out political ads, the answer is “LOTS.” Just as we have to train ourselves to watch for Russian fake news on Facebook, we need to seriously examine the premise of the party in power that conservatives make better legislators.

We have had an entire generation of very wealthy “conservative” individuals and groups working to make conservatism the unquestioned king of the political hill. At the same time they have worked equally hard to demonize the word “liberal.”

So what is conservatism? If you look at the example of the leader of the party in power in Washington D.C. right now, things get uncomfortable really fast. Non-partsan fact finding organizations have trouble keeping up with documenting the huge number of deceitful and and untruthful statements coming from the White House. And the name calling none of us would put up with if our children engaged in it in school has been normalized by “conservatives” for the current president. Why? Many “conservatives” have given their consent by rationalizing that their policy agenda is being fulfilled. Never mind that their ends justify the means rationale anchors conservatism in a morally bankrupt idea that is toxic to democracy. Never mind any consideration for consequences.

Think about the examples of climate change, healthcare, and the national debt. Denial and privatization are dressed up in “conservative” clothing that treats empirical evidence like the plague and convinces voters to ignore their own best interests. And the tax cuts and budget passed by “conservatives?” In spite of the unfounded notion that increased revenues will magically take care of the deficits, the consequences rooted in what used to be conservatism are that the debt will massively increase. All this will result in sacrificing our children to a world with harsher choices than we ever had when it comes to quality of life.

So what now? When pressed, conservatives are redefining themselves with the Rush Limbaugh line that “conservatism really is just common sense.” Much like the emperor that had no clothes, this definition belies the fact that 99% of scientists are in total agreement about climate change. Privatization in healthcare has made the United States the most expensive developed country in the world for healthcare and leaves millions without adequate healthcare options. And the debt? It will trickle down to local bodies of government that will be forced to increase fees and cut budgets. Where is the common sense?

But up their sleeves “conservatives” have the ultimate “trump” card — “At least we’re not liberals!”

When you get a chance, look up the origin of the word “liberal.” Quite simply, if you were an advocate of “liberty,” you were “liberal.” That definition has been added to throughout history to achieve a rough equation with “progressive.” But conservatism came along to demonize the terms to the public in their quest for permanent majorities in legislatures across the land.

To avoid the same level of demonization of conservatives that they have heaped on liberals, let’s acknowledge that there have been quite a number of people who call themselves conservatives who have done great philanthropic works after amassing their fortunes. Call it “trickle down compassion” if you would like, but good works are good works. The current call to action in the name of being “liberal” does not seek to diminish any philanthropy. What is important to remember is that liberals only seek to make sure no one is left behind when it comes to opportunities — for education, for good health and for jobs where ALL Americans are able to support their families.



2018 Election Information:  


  • August 14, 2018 Partisan Primary


    Partisan Primary for the November 6, 2018 General Election.

    Offices on the ballot are Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, odd-numbered Wisconsin State Senate seats, and all Wisconsin Assembly seats.

  • 2018 Fall General Election NOV. 6, 2018


    Offices on the ballot are Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, odd-numbered Wisconsin State Senate seats, and all Wisconsin Assembly seats.