Thursday, November 06, 2008

Whither Conservatism?

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There's been much in the media written about the end of the Reagan era and the shift of America from a center-right country to a center-left nation. I'll chalk that up to the usual media bias and the feeling of exultation in the media after the last two ass-kickings we dropped on them when Bush won in 2000 and 2004.

But what of the Republican Party?

We have become a party that has strayed far from our roots--roots rediscovered in 1980 and pushed forward in 1994. The Reaganism of smaller government, lower taxes, a strong military and the idea of America as a beacon in the world for all to aspire to has been replaced with a party that voted for a new entitlement program (prescription drugs for seniors), has made many small fiefdoms through earmarks of federal tax dollars (Ted Stevens) and, in essence, became a clone of the Democratic Party. They all fed at the trough and ushered in what we now have--a far left President--elect.

It's hig time for some serious soul searching by our elected men and women of the GOP. Are we a party of bridges to nowhere and greedy lobbyists or a party of smaller government, lower tax rates and freedom? I choose the latter and it was those basic tenets that were the hallmarks of Reaganism.

When George W. Bush was elected the White House, I was leery, just what the hell was "compassionate conservatism"? But then he immediately lowered taxes and we pulled out of a recession. He was brilliant after 9/11 and saw that the War on Terror was not going to be won in Afghanistan but in Karbala and Fallujah and Basra. Freeing a Muslim nation from tyranny sent a message that we were serious.

But then his conservative became what was defined as "compassionate conservatism". Prescription Drugs for Seniors was the largest entitlement program signed into law in decades. Bill Clinton reformed welfare (albeit with a knife at his throat held by Newt Gingrich) and W. gave us an entitlement program guaranteed to cripple us for years. He let the deficit balloon to heretofore unseen heights and got a majority Democratic House and Senate for it. He strayed far off the Reagan ranch and into LBJ territory.

So here we are and what can be done?

For starters, let's continue electing men and women like Sarah Palin and Mitch McConnell and stop electing the likes Don Young, Randy Cunningham and Tom DeLay. Let's elect true conservatives who will hold the line on spending and ensure that freedom is the number one priority. That freedom includes the right to speak, write and say what one wishes, have the right to dictate what you do with your money and not the state and the right to live your life according to how it was envisioned by our Founding Fathers and not by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

We need to get back to our roots and remake the party into what it was before the greedy, thieving bastards of the last ten years took it over. Conservatism works and it will win again whether it be two, four or ten years out.

Hell, you shouldn't have read me and should've just listened to 'Zo. Amen my, except for the Huckabee stuff.

Via AP who notes that Fox News should make some space for this guy. He speaks conservative instead of the usual gutter Republican that people like Bill O'Reilly and most of the guests on the channel do:

1 comment:

johnsal said...

I've read a lot of these kind of unfocused laments. A real action plan must be developed. (See to help.) Here are some of the major elements:

1. The Republican federal and state office holders MUST grow a spine. They CANNOT let accusations of racism and bigotry (which will start any day) be apologized for. And they must take principled stands and defend them clearly and forthrightly.

2. Fewer total votes were cast in this election than 2004. Obama didn't sweep in on a general wave of enthusism for leftist policies. Minorities (Asian and Hispanic) and the young switched because they wanted to elect the first minority President. Well, that's a one trick pony. Won't work a second time, but

3. Republicans must get young, hip and diverse. Not just talk the game, but live it. Current up and comers like Jindal, Steele, and Palin (OK, or someone like her) must be given voice and new recruits found. The small government-individual liberty-free market principle WILL resonate with these groups as pro-growth will promote their personal goals.

4. Two policy areas - social issues (abortion, marriage, homosexuality) and national security - must be reviewed and redefined. It is arguable that the U.S. public, particularly under these economic conditions, wants to continue subsidizing Europe's defense. The military must be focused and probably downsized, but responsibly. The social issue vocabulary must be secularized and probably refocused to emphasize a strategy of federalism, i.e. it is not the federal governments decision but the states and people are responsible as consistent with the Constitution.

5. The smaller, more limited federal government idea must be built, first and foremost, on the development and promotion of a general plan for simplifying and making more transparent the tax system, from top to bottom. From this will logically flow the necessary discussion of how much money is collected, from whom and under what conditions, what does it buy us, and does all of it make any rational sense.