Posted by Charity on November 18th, 2008

Now that it has been two weeks since the election, I suppose I should post some sort of post-election reflections on the Republican Party.

It’s been an interesting two weeks. I have gotten all of my political commentary from either very right-wing or very left-wing blogs, and have not read any mainstream opinion. It is like visiting two different planets. No, I mean more so than usual.

Why do people on the left keep saying that this election was the defeat of conservatism? Conservatism was on the ballot? I wish someone had told me. The only thing I saw was two guys both fighting over who could expand government more to solve our problems.

Conservatism is not dead. Conservatives are now struggling to figure out what to do about the GOP. Is it too far in with Big Government to be saved?

This news is not promising. I read on Alphecca this morning that five Republicans introduced the new Assault Weapons Ban. Apparently, they wanted to make sure that the Republican Party was really dead to conservatives who were clinging to this last morsel of principle left in the Party’s platform.

Here’s what I think. The Republican Party does not need to continue to try to be Democrat-lite. Why? If you want to be a Democrat, go do it. People don’t like to vote for the Democrat in Republican clothing when they can just vote for a Democrat.

As for the party, get a spine. Come up with some basic principles that are essential to conservatism – smaller, more efficient federal government, more power to the states – and to the people – to make decisions on the local level, keep your grubby hands off the Constitution (if you use the phrase “living document,” you are automatically kicked out), you know, the basics.

Then, any candidate that doesn’t want to be on board gets shunned. No money. No campaigning on his or her behalf. Nothing.

How awesome would it be if when a Republican gets all Big Government and mushy on the issues, other prominent Republicans just kind of looked at him with this “What on God’s green earth are you talking about, you fool?” expression?

Answer: So awesome.

Seriously. What has the GOP got to lose? It’s time to get real about standing for something.

4 Responses to “On Conservatism and the GOP”

  1. While I don’t see the Constitution as a “living” document in that it grows and expands with abandon, I can’t think of it as a “dead” document either. Or even in limbo.

  2. What do you do if it turns out that they start acting like real conservatives and they’re still rejected? What if Obama has an activist government that ends up being both successful and popular? I’m being serious, not snarky. What then?

    Dammit. I was really trying hard to avoid political discussion. Grad school is killing me right now. Can we talk about puppies or something? Food?

  3. The popularity of a philosophy of government is not an accurate measure of whether or not it is right.

    As for successful, well that depends on your definition of success. Is success some artificially sustained notion of equality of outcomes? The government as provider?

    At what point does trading liberty for comfort become no longer successful? When it negatively affects you?

    Everyone is a libertarian when their rights are the ones being trampled.

    This is not about being popular for me – obviously, I am a conservative in Vermont, for Pete’s sake. It is also not about whether or not liberalism will work out the way you all think it will, though I doubt it will. It is about believing in and fighting for what is right.

    America was not founded to ensure that everyone had a cushy life, but to ensure that everyone had freedom from tyranny, even the tyranny of the majority.

  4. JD Ryan

    What if Obama has an activist government that ends up being both successful and popular?

    Well, then, he will have won his point in the arena of ideas.

    But first, you must consider that he is not looking especially “activist” from a Left point of view.

    And at the moment, people still want what they wanted when Republicans took over Congress in 1994.

    Now, though, they want it from Democrats.

    Results will change their minds, but at the moment, the change Americans want is the change Republicans promised but didn’t deliver.