Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is Conservatism Dead?

After last Tuesday's defeat, and the loss in the 2006 elections, many pundits are claiming that "conservatism" as we know it is dead. After all, let's look at some of the 'facts'.
  • Barack Obama got over 50% of the popular vote; only two Democrats have broken 50% since FDR (Jimmy Carter in 1976, and Lydon Johnson in 1964).
  • Obama won in red states that haven't gone blue in decades, and came close in states that shouldn't have been close.
  • By the time the votes are all counted, the Republican Party will have lost about 55 House seats, and 12-15 Senate seats since 2005.
  • Democrats have won many traditionally Republican seats (House, Senate and Governor) in the past few years, while the GOP struggles to hold on in "safe" Republican areas.
  • The nomination of a moderate Republican (John McCain) for President.
So, in light of these points, is conservatism dead? I beg to differ. The conservative movement is still alive and well, but is in desperate need of a re-awakening.

The Republican Party has drifted far from it's campaign promises of 1994, and has become the big-spending party of today. The GOP has claimed to be the party of limited government, and lower spending, but has not followed through on its promises. As Sen. Tom Coburn (R, OK) said in the recent edition of WORLD Magazine, "People just don't like hypocrites, and they see the Republicans as hypocrites. That's the one thing that is not tolerated in this country. Until you get rid of that and the ethical lapses and have real leadership willing to give up position to stand on principles, you're not going to have people come flocking back to the Republican Party."

If Republicans wish to remain a powerful force in American politics, we must return to our conservative roots, and keep our word. When we say that we'll cut spending, do it. When we say that we'll eliminate earmarks, do it. When we say that we'll stand by our conservative principles, do it, and don't waver in the midst of attack.

This election was not an embracing of liberal ideology, but a rejection of conservative hypocrisy. Had the Republican party been true to its word in the past decade, things might have turned out differently. However, in our haste to seek approval from the media, moderates, and even some liberals, the GOP has lost its honesty and determination. The Republicans did not govern as a majority, for fear of upsetting the Democrats; on the other hand, the Democrats have had no compulsion to kowtow to conservatives. Our spine has grown soft. We may be the Elephant, but we are the Boneless Elephant.

But, these things can change. If conservatives can find their backbone in the coming months and years, and hold to their word, the American people will reward them.

These next few years present a great opportunity for conservatism to stage a major comeback. No, conservatism is not dead; the future is bright, if we stick by our guns.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank the Lord for Tom Coburn. His courage in standing up for taxpayers and the constitution against the bailout was exactly what was needed! Thanks Senator Coburn! He is right about hypocrites!