Conversation with a Conservative: Viewers Respond

Here’s what some of our readers and viewers are saying about <I>Conversations with Conservatives</i>.

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Clyde Prestowitz

Bravo, Mother Jones! An opinion from the conservative bastions like this speaks volumes. If only this knowledge could be printed and air dropped over the “swing states”, the smoke and deception of the administration would burn off like a morning fog.

Very well said! I agree completely. Let’s send GWB back to Texas on a rail.

A compelling argument that Conservative is not what the Bush administration is about. Radicalism in the truest sense an appropriate descriptive explanation of who this group is.

I grew up in an ultra-conservative household in the congressional district that sent Donald Rumsfeld to Congress. I am intimately familiar with the conservative creed. I absolutely agree with Mr Prestowitz that the current Republican administration is far from conservative. I’d like to add to his list of concerns the Bush administration’s enrichment of big business and the investor class. The elevation of corporations and stock holders over citizens is an astonishing corruption of the American ethic, and one which signals a serious threat to the core values of democracy and our constitutional system, and well as the conservative ideal of local control.

Excellent article and one that creates a new thinking and perspective on current policies. But why is this NOT being mentioned in the press?

Every real Republican should be up in arms about the takeover of their party. This administration is the ‘Rogue’.

I pasted your excellent Clyde Prestowitz interview to a word processing file, and this is the exact text of a footnote which I just added to that file. I see the Bush administration — and that twisted mountebank, Cheney — as vulnerable to withering criticism, yet I’m frustrated that they’ve managed to “swindle” the American electorate this long with their preposterous “Emperor’s New Clothes” gambit:

This flagrantly incompetent, wildly-ideological, inflexible, mendacious bunch of zealots is fundamentally undemocratic, and dangerous! They must be removed from office! Their basic argument seems to be, incredible as this is, that “How can you say we’ve made any mistakes, if you hope to improve conditions?” Bush attempts to assail Kerry for describing the Iraq diversion as “the wrong war at the wrong time, in the wrong place,” yet for also claiming he’d do his best to end the escapade honorably. What else can Kerry say? The fact is that Bush blew it, and he created an outrageous disaster. The smirking Bush attempt to laugh off Kerry’s accurate assessment of this unprecedented disaster and to mock Kerry’s promise to back out of Bush’s monumental blunder, in the least-harmful way, simply smokes my circuits. Are these idiots saying that they erred so egregiously that the country’s committed to them in perpetuity? Wake up, you lunatics! You blew it! You forfeited re-election! You don’t deserve the right to continue in office, and to do any more damage! (Oh I admire the great pamphleteers of the American Revolution in the 18th century! I wish I could state my objections clearly, and cogently, as those past writers stated their objections to the British crown!)

These people are wildly incompetent, they’ve performed disastrously, and they’ve brought us to the brink of doom in many respects, yet they display incredible chutzpah !

At last! A sane Republican! I’ve heard of these mythical creatures, but here in my home state of Florida I haven’t encountered a single one.

The best analogy I can think of to describe the way progressives view Republicans these days is from the perspective of a well-meaning host trying to wrest car keys from a drunk and belligerent party guest. Now, I’m not talking about conservatives who usually vote Republican: those among us who believe in balanced budgets, small government, environmental conservation, and the importance of the strong defense of our nation. I’m talking about those citizens who would recklessly wield their precious vote to allow this administration to “stay the current course” right off the proverbial cliff. …

We simply believe that, in these times, all sane Americans owe it to our great nation to heed the advice of a silly but succinct bumper sticker I saw the other day: “Friends don’t let friends vote Republican”.

As a lifelong conservative, life-member of the NRA, etc., etc., I could not possibly agree with you more. I must vote against Bush, Inc. and for Kerry, whom I do not see as my friend!

John Dean

I am a political independent with a fiscal conservative bias. The past four years of a Bush administration that makes totally irrational decisions and squanders the National Treasury like a gang of drunken sailors has left me in a state of total disgust. I totally supported the Bush administration’s tax cuts. All Americans pay too much tax to support our grossly bloated government. However, tax cuts without an associated reduction in spending is no tax cut at all. It is a tax deferment that passes the debt burden on to future generations. When will the Republicans learn that when you’re in a hole the first rule is to stop digging?

The issue that frustrates me the most concerning America’s political leadership is the fact that there are several competent, respected, and experienced Republicans who would make excellent presidents. Moreover, John Kerry is no super-star himself.

On November 2nd American’s will have to make the following decision: Do I vote for idiot number 1 or idiot number 2?

John Dean talks sense, and real Republicans should listen.

I think if John Dean watched cable news networks he wouldn’t be wondering why the country does not react to the Bush administration’s shenanigans. There are no broadcast media outlets that didn’t cheerlead for the administration. Even Woodward isn’t Woodward anymore.

I agree completely with Mr. Dean …. If Bush gets re-elected, the radicals will continue to rule this country…. It can only get worse. Whoever he appoints to the Supreme Court will certainly be biased, and there goes Roe v Wade, plus other rights we women have fought so hard for. The Iraq war is a disgrace to the world; therefore, many countries hate us. What does this mean to this administration? Absolutely nothing. I cannot understand how people can vote for Bush. Everything in this country has spiraled downward since his term began. I just don’t get it!!!

Thanks, Mr. Dean
for your voice and your book. Let’s all continue the fight for Kerry!

Russell Train

I cry when I recall how hopeful we were back in the days when we actually believed that we could not only save the environment but make the world a saner place. It’s been heart-breaking to see the legislative actions taken toward clean air, clean water, and preservation of our natural resources and open space gutted since George was elected. Heaven help us, if he is reelected and does not need to worry about running for the presidency again. Or will he somehow completely do away with our Constitution and make himself King George?

He’s right – from a socially liberal-as-hell, fiscally conservative, wild-eyed environmentalist.

These interviews are a breath of fresh air but hardly bring comfort, since I also read an interview with Pat Buchanan where he disagreed with Bush on the war etc., but was still voting for him, because of his personal values. Huh? What values? Certainly none that I can identify with. How can so any rational human being still buy into the load of manure that comes out of the White House? But to be fair, I also blame the Democratic Party for being absolutely spineless and impotent. Just ask yourself, what would have happened if Mr. Clinton had done the following: have special secret sessions with special interest groups to write legislations, change the rationale about going to war, have major campaign contributors and personal friends rip off millions of Americans. Can anyone guess the reaction of the Republicans? Can you say “special prosecutor”?

So where is the Republican indignation and their upright moral values when it comes to George Bush? It seems to be worse to have oral sex with one intern and lie about it than when you send young American soldiers to die based on a lie. It seems to be all right mess up our environment and economy, the only thing of value that we can give our children, as long as you can quote scriptures and seem like a guy that one could have a beer with.

Is there still hope or should I move to Canada now?

Peter G. Peterson

That’s a good start. How about the anti-intellectual attitude promoted by the president? How about the mockery of education?

The Republicans have decided to pass the taxes to the kids because they have no vote; besides, Jesus is returning — so no problem. And, to paraphrase Dubya, I’ll be dead by then.

I would not be too sure.

These are perfect for sending to my Bush-loving friends. These are the real reasons we are voting Democrat across the board.

Mr. Peterson is a fine man with the best intentions for the country as a whole. He seems to be an empirical thinker who believes in facts, history and evidence. This is in stark contrast to President Bush, who seems to have belief systems which he sticks to, such as tax cuts anytime.

To me, that seems to be the difference between old and new Republicans. It’s the empiricals vs the belief system group.

This will be the interesting struggle within the Republican party. If Bush loses, this process is accelerated.


Sad but true. I remember a day when conservatives were well thought of. No more. Why the pandering to religion? As if out of heaven a mandate came to proclaim a party the Word? I’ll never vote Republican again, ever.

My hope is that in these last few weeks of the election process that the majority of Americans are seeing … truly seeing what this administration has done to all of us now and in the future.

I too am most hopeful regarding all the new voters. It appears young people are realizing just what an obligation voting is and also how lucky we are to have it and protect it.

I believe that Americans in general are the last thought of this administration and their first thought is the corporate world.


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