Conservative parties, be they called the Tory Party, or Republican Party, or Likud Party, have for the most part of the early 20th century to present advocated policies that seemed unreasonable but the world continued to vote them into office. These policies are often presented to the public lased with patriotic cinnamon sugars. And the public has consumed them with passion.
At the formative stages of the European Union, the conservatives urged Britons not join as Labor and other progressive parties pushed for joining European Union. General Charles De Gaulle’s opposition to Britain’s membership did not help but it was mostly internal British debate that stopped Britain from joining until after ten years (1975), when a two to one favor was negotiated and referendum held. Even after joining, the Conservative Party was still lukewarm in the association. It was this attitude that led some conservatives to propose that a referendum be held to exit. The leadership of the Brexit was mostly Conservative Party membership although the conservative PM campaigned against the exit. And when he lost he resigned and the new PM has proclaimed, loud and clear, that Brexit means Brexit and no attempt would be made to renter through a back door.
Across the pond in America, the conservative party here known as the Republican Party has also, for the greater part of a century, argued about American Exceptionalism; that America is different and special and does not have to be America; and avoided strong relationship with the rest of Americas; South America, the Caribbean, and even Canada. While there is some tolerance for Canada other Americas are treated with nothing but contempt, pretty much like British conservative treated their European neighbors.
In the Middle East their own conservative Party, the Israeli Likud Party also preached their own Israeli Exceptionalism. There will be no ties with their Arab neighbors and no arms to Iran, Jordan, Egypt or any Arab nation that might create equality with her neighbors. Israel must be superior to all just as America is and just as UK believes she is.
We may include the Apartheid government of South Africa in this category but since it has been defeated, we could take a pass for now.
There are many fundamental sub-themes running in the conservative politics no matter where it is found. They include
- Immigration is bad and should be contained or controlled
- Poor nations in Africa and Asia should be held in abeyance and brought into discussion if they have resources to be exploited.
- Veto powers of the United Nations must remain in place and are inviolate. In other words, except for the six or so nations that have them all others opinions or views of a restructured world would not matter unless these views please and are in favor of Euro-America. Africa, South America, SE Asia, or 75% of the world be damned!
- Past evils committed against humanity or the world should not be brought up and if corrections are necessary then EVERBODY should bear equal burden. Nowhere is this most glaring then in the current issues of Global Warming. As the WEST developed and went through the industrial revolution it pumped gazillions of waste matter into the environment which has now poisoned the atmosphere. These conservative parties are either in denial that any harm has been done or are blaming it the newly developing countries.
Like the Tory members who brought Brexit Donald J. Trump is about to bring about the same kind of revolution to USA. He wants US to build walls on its southern border (a kind of USEXIT) from America. He wants to deport 12 million illegal immigrants from the USA; to stop Muslim immigration into the US; abolish negotiated trade and political treaties signed by US; limit USA’s foreign investments, and build economic walls around USA among other policy proposals.
What is most ironic is the fact that under a different hat, conservative parties argue the very opposite of these policies, CP’s supports limited government, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, etc. To implement all of Mr. Trump’s policies would require a very strong government. Freedom of speech is OK in the world so long as the free speech of Africans in UN for example is not allowed; government should stay out of the people’s lives except in their bedrooms where it must monitor who is sleeping with whom, etc.
Another ironic thing about these moves is that the underlining facts of the development of nations where the CP exist is based on the very things they are desirous to stop. Great Britain was great when it was the center of the world. In any section of UK one would find great numbers of West Africans, West Indians, Chinese, South African, Indians and Pakistanis, Aussies. etc. Britain was the center of the universe. It was the limitation of these people or rather as these people started leaving Britain that it started to lose her importance. Immigrants bring in fresh ideas. Russia and China, it could be argued, did not develop as fast because they were closed societies. And CP’s made these arguments.
When these foreigners started leaving UK they started migrating to the USA. Today in USA just as was the case in UK one would see many various sections of Africans, West Indians, Hispanics, Asians, etc. Each group bringing along its cultures, its ideas, its businesses, etc., for the development of USA. Once more nobody knows this better than the Republicans for they had argued these same positions.
The beauty of the Rise of Donald J. Trump and the results of Brexit referendum is that they have brought to the fore the contradictions of conservative policies, The Tory seems to be running away from Brexit they had promoted from time immemorial and the GOP is seen also running away from the version of conservatism in US that they had advocated from Adam.
It is left to time to see how far each could get from their cherished desires.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
July 24, 2016