Mike Zimmer and Ernest Wilson offered two similar, yet different defenses of extreme conservatism in last Friday's editorial page.
One offered a financial defense and the other a social defense.
As a fellow conservative, however, I would offer a firm rebuttal to both and state my opinion that extreme conservatism presents neither an example of fiscally prudent decision making nor of responsible leadership.
It's not entirely surprising that Zimmer, an avowed "ultra-conservative," mentions an earlier board of commissioners' support for the failed enactment of a transfer tax as an example of not being conservative enough, yet fails to mention his own support of spending over $70 million of county money to build an unnecessary high school, which received no funding from the state (MVHS).
Zimmer also voted to spend over $200 million on a questionable $500 million incinerator plan with Frederick County, which was later scrapped when the fiscal realities became clear. I find neither of these major decisions fiscally responsible, but apparently controlling spending is less virtuous to "real conservatives" than Ronald Reagan's raising taxes to deal with revenue shortfalls.
Wilson's views of the benefits of extreme conservatism, however, all deal with social issues and the benefits of extremism's paranoia as a governance strategy. Wilson defends Commissioner Richard Rothschild's preoccupation with the United Nations, offering that despite being generally lampooned locally and throughout our state for his numerous conspiracy theories, Rothschild has seemingly attracted a national extremist following. While I'm hard pressed to see this as a positive, fairly, Rothschild's delusions about Agenda 21, global warming and Common Core have certainly brought critical attention to our county. Furthermore, his continued anti-government rants against state and federal government "intrusion" have certainly cost the county tens of thousands of dollars on phony educational forums in support of his personal political views, not to mention huge sums in legal fees to defend indefensible decisions.
Plainly, Rothschild continues to be mocked because, like the rest of the tea party, he offers no practical solutions with local impact, focusing instead entirely on social issues and politics to the detriment of accomplishing anything he was elected to do.