Of all of the post election analysis in which the typical finger pointing and blaming continues as the necessary consequence of a general election in which the American People returned the single worst President in American history to a second term in office, nothing gets my dander up as much as the proclamation that this election has signaled the death of conservatism as a viable political ideology. This is stated as if our political leanings were adopted somehow as a pretext for winning elections quite independent of what our true beliefs happen to be. Those positions therefore should just as dishonestly be abandoned, simply because according to the elite class of punditry, they are losing positions, and no longer capable of producing electoral success.
While this view of what direction the Republican Party should take in light of losing this latest election may satisfy the pseudo intellectual pursuits of the Sunday morning punditry, and certainly would make the opponents of the Republican Party ecstatic, it flies in the face of reality, history, and intellectual honesty. This tittle tattle is nothing more than a race to be the first to offer analysis, and is produced as the logical result of such analysis being offered up prior to any real thought having the chance to make its way to the frontal lobes of those typing said analysis into their keyboards or saying it in front of cameras and microphones.
Let’s take a step back for just one moment, and actually give this some thought. When is the last time you heard of anyone from the politically left party actually stating in an honest manner what their planned agenda for carrying out the duties of their office would be, should they get elected. Barack Obama’s second term agenda, all 20 sentences of it was so devoid of any actual content, I would be willing to bet a substantial amount of cash that the vast majority of the people who voted for him still have no real idea as to what he plans for his second set of four years. Remember the Blue Dog Democrats, those Senators and Representatives elected in the wave elections of 2006 and 2008 who promised to legislate as conservative Democrats and promptly angered their constituents by signing onto the most bizarrely left of center agenda ever put forward in American History. So angry was the American electorate that the 2010 midterms produced the single largest legislative switch in the history of our nation. (This includes Governorships, Senators, Representatives, and State Legislature Seats, and various other sundry state wide offices.) Before we write off the conservative movement, the last really large success of the Republican Party was the direct result of the conservative movement making its voice heard at the polling booth. Bear in mind that this happened only 2 short years ago. In 2012, we conservatives were told to shut up, and to just go along with the establishment candidates picked for us by the smarter and more politically savvy liberal wing of the Republican Party. So, after running yet again, liberal Republicans as the party’s standard bearer, how exactly is it the Tea Party’s fault that Mitt Romney lost this election? As a matter of fact, it was the Tea Party that gave Romney his greatest support, and this was in spite of the fact that Governor Romney did nothing at all to reach out to us. Remember back at the end of September, it was the party establishment who had largely abandoned Romney and declared him to be dead in the water and already defeated. Those are the politically savvy folks we are supposed to allow to dictate our direction for us?
This brings us to another point. How long will the Republican Apparatchiks insist on positioning themselves in direct opposition to their base, which means us? I have voted mostly with the Republican Party for quite some time. I have done so because more often than not, their candidates for office have come closest to matching my core principles and beliefs. Beyond that, my loyalty is not to the party, but to my core principles and beliefs. I believe in the unbridled power of the free market to give every American the best chance to enjoying a living standard that he or she wishes to enjoy. I believe in a smaller and less intrusive government that is constrained in both scope and authority by the consent of those governed. I believe in a society where our freedoms are not traded, however slowly over time for more free crap donated from public largess. I am not impressed by a Republican Party that promises to trade those freedoms slower than the Democrats will. I do not feel a loyalty to a Republican Party that seeks to grow a government’s scope and authority to the same monstrous proportion, but seeks to have that behemoth status achieved at some later date, rather than immediately.
Election cycle after election cycle, the Republican Establishment forces liberal candidates upon us, insisting that only the moderates can win on a national level, and then blames us when failure ensues. To find a conservative Republican who lost a presidential election, one must travel back in time all the way to 1964. More over, the entire gamesmanship school of picking which side of an issue to appear on, puts aside entirely what is actually best for our nation. We must stop deciding our stance on important issues based on the tyranny of campaign consultants, otherwise, our Constitution and Nation are indeed doomed.
The plain and simple fact of the matter is, that the Republicans lost this election by a very thin margin. Yes, the electoral college made it look like it was not as close as it was, but such is the nature of how we chose our Presidents. Otherwise, it was a 50 to 49 split, about as close as these things get. The perspective I have tells me that trying to blur the lines between the two sides ended up costing more votes than it attracted. Mitt Romney about a month ago did a tremendous job of highlighting the differences between the two sides of our ideological coin, during the last two weeks of the campaign, not so much.
If there is one thing that we on our side should tweak in ourselves, it is this. Each of us needs to stop using our one pet issue as the litmus test for who is conservative and who is not. We need to stop applying the purity tests of a very narrow few issues and label that as the arbiter of all things right of center. We will not be able to run Ronald Reagan for President again, and coincidentally, the perfect candidate who matches everything each of us believes individually and collectively will not ever exist. If we ever find that candidate, he or she will be the same empty suit we have now, and consequently will be every bit as terrible as Barack Obama has been, and will continue to be.
On the day prior to the election, I had coffee with a friend, a life long Republican, who questioned whether or not Mitt Romney would have been any different than Barack Obama in terms of his regulatory stance, support of free markets, judicial appointments in terms of picking people who would interpret the Constitution as written rather than divining some interpretation based on empathy or momentary expedience. I realized of course that Romney would have been light years better than the current occupant of the Oval Office, but I was never the problem, as the Republican establishment would have everyone believe. It was the people from their own fold who largely had trouble seeing it. Such is the wage of equivocation. This is what the party establishment wishes us to do more of. Might I propose that the Republican Party listen to its voting base for a change, and let’s see how that works out. We can hardly do any worse.
Tags: Rockefeller Republicans