Take Heart, Conservatives!
It’s a dreary day to be a Republican. Barack Obama is president-elect, we lost a couple of Senate seats and every liberal in the land is talking about the death of conservatism. Except, conservatism isn’t dead. It’s not even on … Read More
It’s a dreary day to be a Republican. Barack Obama is president-elect, we lost a couple of Senate seats and every liberal in the land is talking about the death of conservatism.
Except, conservatism isn’t dead. It’s not even on life support. It remains the only way to be elected in the United States.
Don’t believe me? Look at the Barack Obama campaign.
For the last two months, Obama had been all tax cuts all the time. Since the moment the financial crisis hit the mainstream, Obama has been touting his tax cuts and telling us how much more we’d be paying in taxes under McCain. I haven’t heard much at all about Obama’s promised healthplan, maybe because his campaign finally started crunching the numbers and realized tax cuts and health benefits for all don’t tend to go hand in hand.
Then there’s the foreign policy stuff. While he was ready and willing to sit down with Iranian leaders with no precondition during his primary with Sen. Clinton, the general election Obama mocked the notion that he would ever do such a thing. Why is that? Wouldn’t the true liberal move be to promise such conversations to all comers? North Korea wants to sit down for a chit-chat and some tea, let’s meet in the Blue Room! But Barack Obama knew that he would be a laughingstock and lose the election if he went that route and so he quickly adopted the muscular posture of a foreign policy conservative.
The day after the cliffhanger 2000 election, I was on a subway to work in the morning when I overheard two people talking about whom they had voted for the day before. As this was NYC, both had voted for Al Gore and were busy congratulating themselves for their choice. "Yeah, I couldn’t vote for Bush because he was for the death penalty." I did what I would never do today, I interjected that Gore was also for the death penalty. I was met with blank stares. Barack Obama too is for the death penalty. Have liberals rethought their opposition to state-sanctioned death? Or do they just not care as long as the guy has a (D) after his name?
What about gay marriage? I remember when this was the issue for so many liberals gay and straight. Do liberals still want equality for all? Obama opposes gay marriage. How come they don’t care?
Gay marriage was also defeated in California yesterday, despite the state having gone heavily for Obama. Where is the liberalism for which the left coast is known?
It used to be that being a liberal meant being anti-gun. State Senator Barack Obama supported licensing and registering all gun owners. Presidential candidate Barack Obama? Not so much. Other than his tying of guns to religion and being bitter, Obama often spoke on the idea that many law-abiding citizens have guns, and that he wouldn’t make a move to change that. He called his previous support for licensing and registering unrealistic.
The fact that conservatism as a movement lives and will live far beyond one failed election cycle is also proven in the defeat of John McCain. He was never considered a true conservative and, in fact, was always mocked as the favorite Republican of many Democrats. If it weren’t for Sarah Palin, his defeat would probably have been even more lopsided.
John McCain is an honorable man who sacrificed more for this nation than most of us can imagine, but he’s also eccentric and idiosyncratic. During the campaign, he railed against Wall Street greed and excessive CEO pay on the one hand and against his opponent’s plans to redistribute wealth on the other; he called for a spending freeze while proposing that government spend hundreds of billions of dollars to freeze home foreclosures by partially socializing the housing market.
Of all the ways to put these election results in broader historical context, it’s quite a stretch to equate the defeat of John McCain with the end of conservatism.
The fact is that no one believes Obama will govern the way he campaigned. Liberals hope he’s secretly more liberal than he has claimed and conservatives fear the same. If Obama does govern as a liberal, the likelihood is that he will be a one-term president. America is just not a liberal country. This election proves it.
Karol Sheinin blogs at Alarming News.