President Harry S.Truman attacked the GOP of his day as promoting " ragged individualism " ( playing on their stock phrase rugged individualism ).
Today's crop of conservative pundits and some office holders follow the same line. As economic failure undermines more individual initiative, honest brokers need to look at the current state of personal responsibility.
Being fat and happy is a luxury that seems to be facing extinction. At least for the short term.
Sound bite thinking isn't addressing the diminishing returns too many working and middle class Americans are forced to swallow. That's how Obama received so much otherwise conservative support. They felt their ROI wasn't being sustained by the Republicans. Many threw race and ideology to the winds by voting against what they felt was the Grand Old Party's perceived offer of more ragged individualism.
I always felt Senator McCain got a raw deal. I'm not a race hater so a nominal brother heading the ticket of the party of the EBT card didn't endear me.
Sprinkle the Gulf Spill atop a non-economy and talking points rapidly lose the ability to spice a boiling brew. People are practicing personal responsibility but when jobs are scarce and relief distant the siren call of the fat and happy grows fainter by the moment.
I view the two party system as a con game. I reluctantly align with the Republicans because their grasp for my God given rights ( usually ) is slower than that of Democrats.
The worldviews of Fox News and MSNBC offer contrast but little relief. This crisis transcends arguments over Big Government verses Limited Government.
The Right has a good set of theories. Sadly, reality of trumps their call for a return to the fiscal, moral days of old.
The average conservative has entitlements he would take up arms to defend rather than lose in the name of rugged individualism. Social security; disability; SSI; public and private pensions; MEDICARE; MEDICAID, etc, it's highly unlikely we'll see a national grassroots conservative movement to refuse these services.
America is either a social democracy similar to England or very close to so being. Just as the Conservative party there wouldn't dare dismantle entitlements, America's " conservative " party ( the Republicans ) dare not either.
Too often conservatives who aren't fat and happy ( or jockeying for entry into the proverbial Big House ) mean for someone else to experience ragged individualism while enjoying state subsidized " rugged " individualism involuntarily provided by fellow tax payers.
I'm no fan of Big government but we need to be honest about how phony calls for ragged individualism is from fat and happy pundits whose bulging waistlines aren't included on the belt tightening program they're pushing.
Big spending and government expansion happened through every Republican Administration in modern memory.
The fat and happy on this side of the aisle use less well connected true believers to feather their nests while sending the country deeper into debt.
Any working class or middle class conservative who wants more ragged individualism please taise your hand? You can't vote yourself raises ( hint, hint Congress ) nor shoe shine your way into the conservative inner circle, i.e the next wave of pretenders to the throne.
If conservatism really means personal responsibility; limited government and a compassionate charitable sectorthen it's high time you kicked your fat and happy class of overseers in the behind!
All they're offering is more ragged individualism while getting more jiggly and jolly by the minute at your expense.
If it's any comfort, the Democrats aren't any better. They're just more generous with other people's money. Yet another reason why I'm neither conservative nor liberal