True conservatives should conserve

Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2007

I consider myself independent, neither Democrat nor Republican. That said, I can assure you not many present day Republicans will be getting my vote anytime soon - Gov. Sarah Palin excepted.

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Ralph Swap's sweeping indictment of "anti-Alaska Democrats" (Juneau Empire, Oct. 15) is typical of the head-in-the-sand, thoughtless, boneheaded mindset of today's regressive, so-called "conservatives." That is particularly true for the divisive bunch presently running our nation so spectacularly into the ground. They are the biggest disaster to hit our country in my lifetime, bar none. Our grandchildren's grandchildren will still be repairing the damages wrought by this group of misguided misanthropes.

But they have been very, very successful at one thing: Propagandizing partisan gullibles. Otherwise, how, after all the countless failures on almost everything tried by this administration, could even one of them still be in support? Let's not even mention the fact that every single one of Alaska's Republican delegation is presently under some sort of cloud.

According to Webster, the word "conservative" traditionally means "marked by moderation or caution." But William F. Buckley Jr. quite accurately defines today's "conservative" as "a fellow standing athwart history yelling, 'Stop!'"

In Alaska, natural resource industries such as oil, mining and timber - and the jobs that go with them - are invariably controlled by nonAlaskans, and often even nonAmerican companies. And, once the resource is gone, those folks move along without a backward glance nor even a "thank you, Ma'am." That makes Alaska a de facto vassal, colonial state, subservient to outside interests on natural resources. That's progress?

Sorry, but the "development-at-any-cost" natural resources culture is a worn-out notion of the past. The future is true conservatism - and that means conserving and husbanding the remaining resources we have left - not simply raping them until all are gone forever with nothing left for our descendants.

True development is devising value-added processes for our own resources, within our own state, to provide good jobs, and help preserve our beautiful land for the folks who may wish to follow us.

Erik Lie-Nielsen

Juneau



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