Terrance Heath

Colorado Springs: Conservatism's Shining City

Filed By Terrance Heath | February 17, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Colorado, Colorado Springs, conservatism, Focus on the Family, tea baggers

If you've ever wondered where conservative economic policies like permanent tax cuts for the wealthy, slashed social services and government spending are supposed to lead us, look no further than Colorado Springs.

David Sirota's description of what's happening to that conservative stronghold should serve as a cautionary tale.

When the so-called tea party movement's anti-tax activists refer to the abstract concept of conservative purity, we can turn to a microcosm like The Springs (as we Coloradoans call it) for a good example of what such purity looks like in practice--and the view isn't pretty.

Thanks to the city's rejection of tax increases--and, thus, depleted municipal revenues--The Denver Post reports that "more than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark; the city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops; water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead ... recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools [and] museums will close for good; buses no longer run on evenings and weekends; [and] the city won't pay for any street paving."

Meanwhile, even with the Colorado Springs Gazette uncovering tent ghettos of newly homeless residents, the city's social services are being reduced--all as fat cats aim to punish what remains of a middle class. As just one example, rather than initiating a tax discussion, the CEO of The Springs' most lavish luxury hotel is pushing city leaders to cut public employee salaries to the $24,000-a-year level he pays his own workforce--a level approaching Colorado's official poverty line for a family of four.

This is what Reaganites have always meant when they've talked of a "shining city on a hill." They envision a dystopia whose anti-tax fires incinerate social fabric faster than James Dobson can say "family values"--a place like Colorado Springs that is starting to reek of economic death.

Well, maybe it isn't a function of government to provide streetlights, municipal water, parks, swimmingpools, fire department, police protection, and paved roads. Or it won't be, anymore. Someday, we'll have to pave our own roads. Scratch that. We'll be free to pave our own roads and hire our own police, etc.

Read the whole thing. If this is where we headed according to their roadmap, how long before we get there?


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I've long eschewed labels for my political opinions because I've become convinced that terms like "conservatism" and "liberal" don't really mean anything anymore, and this really illustrates that.

It's more accurate to call these people "radical regressives" than to call them "conservatives." They demand tax cuts because they're too greedy and selfish to pay their fair share. Then, when government services deteriorate, they complain and conclude that it's because "government is the problem" and call for everything to be privatized and deregulated.

Along with their ideological siblings, the Libertarians, they're the perfect example of whiny, spoiled Americans who take everything for granted and forget that if you want to have a decent, civilized society, then you have to be willing to pay taxes.

If you want to see what society would look like if the government had little or no revenue and no power to regulate the economy, watch "Blade Runner" or pay a visit to Somalia...or Colorado Springs.

I was trying to connect the dots between this post and Libertarianism, Alaric, and your comment helped me get the picture ... "radical regressives" are tightwads who complain when they have to pave the public road in front of their house and hire their own security guard ... but Libertarians are the ones who think that's the way things should be, and if you are too poor to hire your security guards then you don't deserve to own property.

One of several reasons why I am no longer a capital-L Libertarian.

P.S. "Radical regressive" is also a good label for the people who support the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, but don't want to pay any taxes to pay for said wars. Ironically, the same people complain about the national debt, and at the same time complain about the nanny state whose citizens "think the world owes them a living" ... totally non-conscious that they, too, believe in a world where money falls from the sky like manna from heaven.

Conservatism is the political party for bullies. Given that both Republicans and Democrats are bullies hired and paid for by business interests we have no effective liberal party in the USA.

Liberalism is the perfect philosophy for victims. It hasn't caught on in the USA despite the efforts of progressives.

The common theme for both bullies and victims is lack of responsibility. For example, a bully in high school might force someone else to do their homework. Meanwhile a victim will claim any number of problems outside their control to be excused from having to do homework.

Most people, fortunately, are not bullies or victims. They're the kids in high school who do the homework assigned as best they can given their circumstances.

So where is the political party for people who are willing to assume responsibility?

w00t, and then the US becomes a 3rd world country, just like the right wants.