Is America a conservative nation?

posted at 4:10 pm on July 31, 2009 by Doctor Zero

A recent Gallup poll shows a majority of Americans reporting their political views are becoming more conservative. Conservatives naturally welcome such reports of movement in public opinion, but the question of whether America is a fundamentally conservative nation is not easily answered. Polls proclaiming us to be a “center-right” country have appeared for decades, even as the nation’s practical politics have moved inexorably leftward. There has never been a time, since the heyday of the New Deal, when liberal philosophy has received enthusiastic support from the public… and there has never been a time when liberalism has not grown in power and influence, except perhaps at the height of Reagan’s strength. American politics orbit on the right side of a center that has been creeping leftward for the better part of a hundred years.

The Gallup article includes a good deal of head-scratching about the obvious contradiction of an electorate that describes itself as generally “conservative,” but elected a leftist radical to the Presidency in 2008, along with solid majorities for the Democrats in both houses of Congress. A look at the disastrous politics of Obama’s most extreme initiatives, such as health care or cap-and-trade, suggests the public that voted him into office was fooled into thinking he wasn’t as far Left as he turned out to be. This is probably true for a certain segment of the population, which had essentially non-ideological reasons for supporting Obama: they enjoyed his speeches, they voted for him because he was black, they hated Bush or disliked McCain, or they followed the advice of media celebrities. Such voters were looking for ways to be comfortable with voting for Obama, and probably didn’t dig into his past, or the actual content of his speeches, as much as they should have. I think there is more to the story than mere deception or self-delusion, however.

How do we reconcile a public that claims to be increasingly conservative, with a government that has become increasingly liberal throughout our lifetimes? I think the key lies in understanding the increasing obsession Americans have with “crises,” and their belief that government should stand ready to take quick action in resolving them. Most voters are not ideologues. They haven’t invested much effort in putting together coherent philosophies of government. They generally think of both “liberal” and “conservative” as bad words, describing extremes they would prefer to avoid. They are eager to identify themselves as “moderates” or “independents,” and pride themselves on being thoughtful and flexible. A sizable portion of voters who do describe themselves as liberal or conservative hasten to add that they aren’t rigid extremists, and will consider good ideas from both sides.

In their personal lives, most of these people – including a great many of those who consider themselves proudly liberal – follow principles we have come to associate with modern conservatism. In fact, the idea of applying liberal principles to their daily lives seems absurd. Most of the conservative positions that saw the strongest gains in the Gallup poll can be viewed in the context of people thinking about their own lives, and answering in a manner consistent with their behavior, or at least their ideals. Of course most people would not sacrifice their economic success to protect the environment, or casually surrender their right to defend themselves from criminal assault, and they’re squeamish about relinquishing control of their health care.

In matters of public policy, however, Americans have generally accepted the idea that only government action can resolve the most serious problems we face… and a sensationalist media assures them we face many serious problems. The size, scope, and number of these problems seem overwhelming to the average citizen. He has no idea how to deal with the meltdown of gigantic financial institutions, heal the country’s racial divisions, or “save” the environment. He desperately wants to believe there are smart people in Washington who know how to handle these issues. A century of astonishing technological development has convinced us that every problem has a large-scale, scientific solution. There is no aspect of the future we don’t believe we can design and build, if we place our trust in the right group of social engineers.

The leftward movement of American politics has tracked almost exactly with the development of mass media, from radio to TV to the Internet. Overt political bias from the media is not as damaging as the general environment of permanent crisis they foster, accompanied by heroic narratives of brave and compassionate politicians with Big Ideas about how to rescue us from this week’s nightmare. This attitude is essentially inevitable from the media, because fearful crises and bold actions are the product they sell to their consumers. You’ll never see a news anchor kick off his nightly report by admitting nothing much happened today. Not even Fox News, routinely described as the “conservative” news network, is immune to sensationalism – far from it. Like all the other networks, Fox has a prestigious Washington bureau, staffed with people who are breathlessly eager to report on the latest adventures of our executive and legislative action heroes.

The idea that government is morally or legally prevented from addressing a major issue – the very heart and soul of the Constitution – is dismissed out of hand. James Madison’s assertion that “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents” would be a complete non-starter in today’s political climate. Rewrite that statement to make it sound like it came from a modern leader, and it would be swiftly denounced as uncaring and out-of-touch, the mutterings of a callous tool of the rich who foolishly thinks government should let poor people suffer, to finance tax breaks for his wealthy friends.

The GOP has not been vigorous in fighting the rising tide of dependence on government, or the disintegrating faith in private institutions. Republicans are largely willing to go along with the relentless accumulation of central power – they just have different ideas about how to use it. George Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” was an expression of this attitude. Even Bush’s tax cuts, like those Bob Dole half-heartedly campaigned on with his little “15%” signs, were presented without any connection to a larger conservative philosophy about the size and role of government… making them amount to nothing but a discount on the purchase of a deeply defective product.

As long as the basic principle of ever-growing, activist central government is accepted, the nation’s politics will continue to slide leftward, no matter how conservative the population thinks it is. Belief in the State necessarily requires diminished confidence in free enterprise. The most encouraging development for conservatives is the mounting sense of frustration with Obama’s clumsy policies, and their absurd price tags. The surest sign we are a conservative nation is that every Democrat since Walter Mondale has felt compelled to lie to the American people about the cost of liberalism, as well as over-selling its supposed benefits.

The challenge for conservative politicians is to express matters of national policy to the voters in the same terms which guide their daily lives. As the Gallup poll shows, most people find liberal ideas ridiculous or immoral when applied to the behavior of individuals and families. We should help them understand that liberalism does not become more efficient, or righteous, when it governs millions of lives and spends trillions of dollars. President Obama has done a great deal to help us make that case. The Republicans should build on the framework of Obama’s failures in 2010, and begin moving America’s center of gravity back to the right, where it belongs.

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yes

Red State State of Mind on July 31, 2009 at 4:13 PM

If it wasn’t, I bet it is now.

bloggless on July 31, 2009 at 4:13 PM

“Is America a conservative nation?”

No. It is an individualistic and [classically] liberal nation.

All this conservative vs liberal squabbling is poisonous. America belongs to neither of your mobs.

LimeyGeek on July 31, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Is America a conservative nation?

As compared to which other country(s)?

BobMbx on July 31, 2009 at 4:14 PM

I recommend a great book, “Leviathan on the Right”. It explains how big government conservatism doesn’t want to shrink government, just make it more efficient, or change the tenor of the federal programs while maintaining their size. Career politicians on the right have a hard time reconciling their stated goal of reduction of government, when their personal status is based on the level of government power.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 4:14 PM

To the degree that someone understands what “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” is all about, he is conservative. Otherwise, not so much.

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 4:15 PM

In a way, it doesn’t matter if the majority of the people are “conservative” or not. The Constitution is a fundamentally conservative document, and it is supposed to be the law of the land. As long as we are a nation of laws and the Constitution is the final word, America will be a conservative nation whether segments of America like it or not.

As long as we enforce it, and not let crooks like Obama get away with ignoring it.

Rebar on July 31, 2009 at 4:16 PM

LimeyGeek on July 31, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Word has it that the terms of surrender signed at Yorktown has a typographical error. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is reportedly going to summarily rule the document invalid, and soveriegnity will necessarily return to the owner of record……

BobMbx on July 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Well golly gee whiz. I was so looking forward to my teeth breaking, and gluing them back in place, til a dentist became available.

Seriously…I hope people out there become more aware during election periods, and educated on the issues, and the candidates. This is crucial in todays world. Stop being gullible, or falling for an image. Keep up on current events, and know the solutions, to the issues, these candidates want to mandate.

If people are becoming more conservative…I see that as a good thing. However, I can’t help but wonder, if this is happening, only because a vast majority that voted for Obama, now want to put on the brakes to this hope, and change. Fear the future!

capejasmine on July 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

If it ever was, there is at least no doubt that it is becoming less so every day. Democracy is coming to the USA.

greggish on July 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

It’s not conservative, it’s not liberal. It’s situationally either.

lorien1973 on July 31, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Hate blinds … The state run media whipped hate into a frenzy in 2008. But eventually, reality sets in.

tarpon on July 31, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Dang! I am uncaring, out-of-touch, and callous tool of the rich who foolishly thinks government should let poor people suffer, to finance tax breaks for my fellow wealthy citizens.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Well,the Liberals think Conservativism is dead,thats why
they are busy trying to ram-rod every Utopian dream throu
gh!

But,to borrow a phrase,they have awoken a sleeping giant,
and that giant would be Conservatives!!

canopfor on July 31, 2009 at 4:23 PM

The Gallup article includes a good deal of head-scratching about the obvious contradiction of an electorate that describes itself as generally “conservative,” but elected a leftist radical to the Presidency in 2008, along with solid majorities for the Democrats in both houses of Congress.

The answer to this was dilemma was illustrated perfectly at this very site. Our own bloggers felt more comfortable with the idiot messiah as Precedent than a sitting Governor as Vice President. That same phenomenon happened all over the place, as too many people were easily taken in by the idiot messiah – though it was exceedingly obvious that he was neither smart, nor capable. The leader of ths group of addled thinkers was, of course, the GOP candidate, who was unable to identify who his opponent was, even though the rank and file could see it all too easily. There are still many who resist the obvious and continue to think that The Precedent has anything but disdain for America and Americans … and that description is being overly generous.

But, these things happen. We had a very toxic combination of white guilt and a mass insanity triggered by the credit crisis. People underestimate what populations can do when hit by mental and emotional disturbances such as these. They underestimate at all of our peril.

progressoverpeace on July 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

canopfor on July 31, 2009 at 4:23 PM

“…and filled him with great resolve”.

BobMbx on July 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

I have long rejected the meme that America is a center/right country.

I believe it is segmented somewhat equally between Lib and Con with nearly 50% in the middle describing themselves as “moderate”.

Moderate is probably the most slippery, elastic political concept imaginable.

I think of moderates as infants who can be induced to vote Left if shown enough delightful toys.

The Right offers them hard work and responsibility.

The Left offers them toys.

An infantilized populace.

guntotinglibertarian on July 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

No country of any size will be conservative. The unfortunate truth is – at least until technology is much further along than it is today – there is an ongoing need for people to do jobs that don’t pay as much as they wish they paid. (In stark terms, there is always a need for cheap labor – lots of it.) It’s a problem that’s haunted civilization throughout history – and there doesn’t seem to be any solution in sight.

And that problem is: a majority of the people will see themselves as being below average (which may or may not be true depending on how you define “average”). And because human beings tend to be driven by selfish forces (call it “greed” or call it the desire to attain your highest potential – it’s the same thing), they want to be above average – way above average, usually.

And most will perceive the only way to do that is with government help: the cards are stacked against me; I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, etc. etc with the excuses.

Bottom line: a majority of people (sometimes a large majority) will tend to vote for the guy who will redistribute the wealth (especially if he doesn’t say it quite that starkly).

That’s why the US was successful for so long – the vote tended to be weighted toward responsibility (property owners, people who could read …). But the Warren Court changed that with one-man-one-vote (that’s not in the Constitution, unless you “read it in”). So we’re not a conservative nation any more.

ManUFan on July 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

I always thought that we were a liberal nation in the Adam Smith sense.

YellowDawg on July 31, 2009 at 4:27 PM

It’s a problem that’s haunted civilization throughout history – and there doesn’t seem to be any solution in sight.ManUFan on July 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

The solution was/is a republican government with sovereign states. Monarchies are unsuited to large geographic areas, whereas republics are flexible and predictable.

Pick up W. Cleon Skousan’s, The 5,000-Year Leap.

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

canopfor on July 31, 2009 at 4:23 PM
“…and filled him with great resolve”.

BobMbx on July 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

BobMbx: Damn straight,I think the greatest generation are
now seeing LiberalS for what they actually are!:)

canopfor on July 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

ManUFan on July 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

What’s the quote?

We can neither bare nor faults, nor the remedies for them.

lorien1973 on July 31, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Sample Poll Question: Do agree with the statement, “The larger number of people a government effects, the smaller scope of the power it should have over the citizens’ daily lives.”

I think if you ask a question like this to Americans, and hopefully most would understand its meaning, you would get greater than 75% agreeing with it. Our nation is classical liberal.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Well, the need for cheap labor is an economic situation; not sure how that can be changed with politics – unless you’re talking socialism (or worse). But I’ll check out the book. Thanks.

ManUFan on July 31, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Part of the problem ( and the ‘disconnect’ ) is the decline of the size and role of the family in American society, and the expansion of government to fill the resulting gap: Government now does what families used to do: Take care of pre-school kids, look after the elderly, etc

When the Constitution was written, the average family in America was 8 children per married woman, with 1 or 2 adults in the household in addition to the biological parents. These much larger families were less likely to move during their lifetime, and so there were probably many cousins and aunts and uncles nearby; elderly widowed grandparents were also nearby rather than in a trailer park in Florida or a condo in Arizona.

People pursue their self-interest: Certain things need to get done to survive and raise children, so if there are few family members around but many government programs………..

Janos Hunyadi on July 31, 2009 at 4:31 PM

How do we reconcile a public that claims to be increasingly conservative, with a government that has become increasingly liberal throughout our lifetimes?

We, The (conservitave) People show up when government hosts town halls with protest signs. Oh, and we laugh.

TN Mom on July 31, 2009 at 4:33 PM

How people vote on election day is more complicated than whether or not they are more conservative than liberal in their thinking. Hispanic and black voting patterns don’t appear to be related to their predominantly conservative values, for example. Democrats shamelessly pander to such groups, which may explain the seemingly leftward drift. National security and economic issues may, at times, swing the pendulum back to the right. I suspect we are seeing just such a swing now, prompted by the Democrats’ myopic overreaching.

littleguy on July 31, 2009 at 4:33 PM

I’ve heard some interesting discussions referencing major events/programs that have altered American mindset to expect the federal government to solve problems “for” us.

Kennedy’s exciting call for NASA to get us to the moon was of necessity a federal program. But the affect influenced us to associate the feds “job” to do stuff for us, and by association our expectancy to solve our problems on the grand scale federal level rather than locally in nearly every field.

The most recent example of Americans not realizing in advance the problems we’re compounding for ourselves deals with the autonomy that Bush vested (parting “gift”) in the Sec./Treasury. Until challenged successfully, the Sec./Treasury is effectively our Economic Czar, beholden to no one in our government.

Americans permit Congress to pass TARP, STIMULUS, CAP/TRADE because we are so conservative that we yet comply with whatever Washingtonians decide without our approval. Yes, we voice our dissent, write our letters, protest peacefully. Washington knows we are tame. The Socialists don’t care; they won, they trump.

What stinks near home is the progressive name-calling to smear whoever might be conservative with a radical tag; Capitalist, Right-wing extremist, truther, birther, Alaska-loon, healther, gunner, whatever. Alinsky tactics only help the Socialists to divide and conquer our right-of-center nation.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 4:34 PM

ManUFan on July 31, 2009 at 4:30 PM

It’s in stock.

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Janos Hunyadi on July 31, 2009 at 4:31 PM

FDR upon signing SocSec (August 14th, 1935 for those that want to celebrate the anniversy):

The civilization of the past hundred years, with its startling industrial changes, has tended more and more to make life insecure. Young people have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age. The man with a job has wondered how long the job would last.

So has the family structure strengthen since 1935? My guess, no. Has SocSec made it weaker? I say yes.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 4:36 PM

The most encouraging development for conservatives is the mounting sense of frustration with Obama’s clumsy policies…

It took a Carter to give us Reagan, and it may be Obama who sets back leftism for decades to come… assuming we survive it.

The challenge for conservative politicians is to lead not just a government or a party, but a movement (as did Reagan). Consistent success at the polls requires we restore the moral superiority of conservatism — our ethics, values and Constitutional principles.

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 4:37 PM

I recommend a great book, “Leviathan on the Right”. It explains how big government conservatism doesn’t want to shrink government, just make it more efficient, or change the tenor of the federal programs while maintaining their size. Career politicians on the right have a hard time reconciling their stated goal of reduction of government, when their personal status is based on the level of government power.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Which is why you have to elect someone who hates government, but those guys aren’t apt to become involved with an entity they hate. I think that’s what Thompson was trying to say during his campaign when he stated he didn’t want to be the president. Our only hope is for things to get so bad that people resort to the “if you want something done right do it yourself” saying, and then we might get people you aren’t sexually aroused by the thought of public office.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Is America a conservative nation?

The founding documents, the founding fathers, the pioneers and settlers were all conservative. There is no doubt that America is founded and works best as a conservative nation. Since the 60′s there has been a small but very loud (and growing) contingent of leftists. The population of the country is by far conservative but unfortunately the left owns the media and controls the government education system so they can project their cause and their agenda into our living rooms and the minds of our children at will. In spite of all this they are unable to sway the majority of the population. They create an illusion of their numbers but in reality hardcore leftists are quite few in comparison. The squishy center only exists when times are good but when the going gets rough they return to their true core values.

Conservatism is alive and well, thank Goodness.

Guardian on July 31, 2009 at 4:41 PM

You mean I have spent several thousands of dollars on guns and ammo for nothing?
//sarc

Offshore_Drilling on July 31, 2009 at 4:42 PM

What stinks near home is the progressive name-calling to smear whoever might be conservative with a radical tag; Capitalist, Right-wing extremist…

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 4:34 PM

It’s getting so tedious it bothers me less with each passing day. I find instead of bothering me, it’s galvanizing me. If they want to play Alinsky, then let’s play Alinsky. Bring it.

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Whether classically liberal, conservative, right-of-center, centrist, or situationally either co/li, we are what we are: DISCONTENTED WITH OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS for dragging us into national bankruptcy and forcing us to submit to federal mandates.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 4:43 PM

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 4:36 PM

You’re probably right on both counts: Government does not strengthen the family; it undermines the family by usurping family roles and functions. OASDI – Old Age, Survivors, Disability Income – has usurped and undermined the family by substituting government agencies for family members

But, with average family size at just over two kids with no unmarried adults living with the parents to help out, increasing numbers of people have no place else to turn–or it is increasingly convenient to use the available government services that we are taxed for.

Janos Hunyadi on July 31, 2009 at 4:44 PM

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 4:42 PM

They never put their own pelotas on the table, just do the hit-n-run.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 4:45 PM

nope. to expalin the disconnect in the voters is simple. the voters have not had a chance to vote for conservatism since 1994. EVERY time a conservative a real conservative is on the ballot or conservative ideas are on the ballor they win in a landslide. The problem is not the voters it is the political parties to increase their power they can not (or at least they think they can’t) run a small government, low spending, canidate because they fill if the people handled their problems they would soon discover that we do not need them. Thus the parties put up liberal and liberal lite to run for president and the people are left with the choice of two evils.

Reagan and 1994 showed that america is a conservative nation we have just not been offered the chance to prove it again at the ballot box. It is another reason for the all out attacks on Palin. Palin would give the people that oppurtunity once again.

unseen on July 31, 2009 at 4:46 PM

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 4:40 PM

That’s a good point.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 4:47 PM

“Leviathan on the Right”

We should take Vashta.Nerada’s suggestion and read it. Discussions could improve around points to promote with our legislators.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Silent Majority Redux.

califdreamnred on July 31, 2009 at 4:52 PM

It’s getting so tedious it bothers me less with each passing day. I find instead of bothering me, it’s galvanizing me. If they want to play Alinsky, then let’s play Alinsky. Bring it.

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Alinsky would require Obama to show his birth records. Alinsky would require Obama and Gore to live a life in caves. The GOP does not have enough balls to play Alinsky. They wet themselves when someone calls them racists. they run away when a latino of marxist stock is put up for the supreme court. they are so afraid of their own shadow they are next to worthless.

When the GOP starts to fight instead of acceptting the left’s arguements then we might get somewhere.

Like healthcare. Conservatives should attack the government for the problem. they created the monster of medicare, of business tax breaks, government is responsibily for the inflation and out of control costs in healthcare and college.

The GOP should simply say government intervention in the healthcare industry for the last 60 years is why we are here now at this place. How are the people that created the problem going to fix it?

The GOP should say get government out of healthcare and let the free market work.

unseen on July 31, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Who really cares?

If 51% of the population think Communism is a good idea, then do the other 49% of us have to be their slaves?

We tried arguing for a constitutional form of government. That process isn’t just failing now; it failed a very long time ago.

Those of us who want freedom will have to fight for it. Liberals are perfectly free to give themselves all the free health care, welfare and everything else they want. But the rest of us have to not be a part of the Worker’s Paradise.

It doesn’t matter whether 1% of the population are social parasites, or whether 99% are. They should never, ever have been allowed to take what is not theirs.

Communism, or Socialism, or liberalism, or collectivism, or progressivism, or whatever the Hell you choose to call it isn’t a political idea you can agree or disagree with. It is evil. To accept a little bit of it is to give up a little bit of your soul. And there is absolutely no way anything good can ever come of that.

The time for arguing is long past; a lot of us were just too stupid to realize that until now. There is no such thing as “a little bit of Communism”. Anyone who wants it will always want more of it.

Liberalism has never been a political movement. It is a religion based entirely upon greed and the lust for power. It can never be accomodated or appeased; it must be fought, and it must be killed. And every minute we wait to admit the obvious is another nail in our coffin.

logis on July 31, 2009 at 4:57 PM

After reading this I felt the “Elephant” in the room wasn’t even addressed. Why do moderate conservatives have such a problem with understanding that if you moderate your position to be closer to the other side, only more reasonable in your moderate view, then people feel there is only one choice.
 
When I read the quote, which I have read many times, concerning the Constitution and its authority as being a non-starter if advocated today I knew this had to be a moderate.
 
The only reason it would be a non-starter is because if a moderate conservative says it and then offers no alternative ideas of how on an individual basis WITHOUT the involvement of government people could take care of their own communities at the local level, then of course it would appear to be a non-starter since you have leave only the LEFT and their overreaching government as the idea of how to handle the problems every community has to deal with currently.
 
In other words, if you leave only the Democrats offering for government to handle the problems as the only idea out there and never bother to explain to people why that it is a bad idea and then offer suggestions of how people could on their own handle these problems better, then of course people will accept the only idea offered them from the Democrats.
 
And if you are a moderate conservative offering a watered down version of what the Democrats offered for government to handle the problems, then of course again people will move to the Democrats since any Republican mouthing such tripe as McCain did last election will feel that he isn’t competent enough to do what the Democrats came across as confident they could do.
 
Until Republicans offer a CLEAR, CONCISE, and TRUE CONSERVATIVE platform they will continue to lose no matter how bad the Democrat perform since the people will feel the partys are the same and there is no alternative. Additionally fewer and fewer people will vote because of the same reason, no alternative to the leftist slide.
 
The age of Republican Moderate Timidness has come to an end. Either that or the Republican Party will come to an end if it continues. Either stand for something and stake out a position based on principles and morals or you better expect to continue to lose and I wouldn’t be surprised if a new third party sprang up later.
 
I fully believe that over time the people in this country have given this idea of government assistance a try and now after years of incrementalism they are finally waking to what is the final result of this action. Oh there are some who benefit from this government largess and of course will fight to continue it, but I don’t think they quite have the majority they think they have to stop a real conservative push.
 
But the folks who are finally waking to what socialism would be if allowed to come to fruition are not going to vote for a watered down continuation of what the Democrats have been doing for years, so unless moderate Republicans stop this attempt to move toward Democrats they will lose.

woodythesingingcowboy on July 31, 2009 at 4:58 PM

The challenge for conservative politicians is to lead not just a government or a party, but a movement (as did Reagan). Consistent success at the polls requires we restore the moral superiority of conservatism — our ethics, values and Constitutional principles.

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 4:37 PM

In other words, Antonio Gramsci had it right. The political war for the soul of America will be won at the cultural level. Why There is a Culture War: Gramsci and Tocqueville in America, by John Fonte in Policy Review

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 4:59 PM

The government is a corrupting force such that even well meaning GOP politicians end up becoming more liberal. We’re on a slow deathmarch to the left after the government began to provide everything for us.

The only way to stop that would be to have a hard press right for decades but that’s just unlikely to happen. Conservatives are generally independent and are more principled, so they’re not as willing to lock step and do what Soros tells them to do like liberals are.

Not to mention the fact that many on the left who push for leftist reforms don’t actually have jobs, while conservatives pay for everything.

In short, it’s too difficult for us to maintain constant organization because we think and we’re dedicated.

John_Locke on July 31, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Alinsky would require Obama to show his birth records…

unseen on July 31, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Of course he would! That’s why I say to the Birthers, let ‘er rip. Let’s use a little cognitive dissonance to our advantage, for a change.

I agree with your other points too. You write what I think too.

petefrt on July 31, 2009 at 5:07 PM

John_Locke on July 31, 2009 at 5:00 PM

The tree of liberty is thirsty

LimeyGeek on July 31, 2009 at 5:08 PM

We’re on a slow deathmarch to the left after the government began to provide everything for us.

The only way to stop that would be to have a hard press right for decades but that’s just unlikely to happen. Conservatives are generally independent and are more principled, so they’re not as willing to lock step and do what Soros tells them to do like liberals are.

John_Locke on July 31, 2009 at 5:00 PM

You’re missing the other more likely outcome. It all collapses and then people realize that there is no free ride. The question then becomes what do we do with the few clingers who refuse to admit the entitlement system spells eventual, inevitable, doom for any free nation?

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 5:10 PM

The question then becomes what do we do with the few clingers who refuse to admit the entitlement system spells eventual, inevitable, doom for any free nation?

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Forcibly expel them from our society.

LimeyGeek on July 31, 2009 at 5:11 PM

For the most part I believe America is a conservative nation.
It is the lazy entitlement mentality many people have, that is destroying this country.
The day of being responsible for you and your family is a dying pride in this country.
When you learn from a very young age the marxist mentality taught in the federal government run education system, its hard to change that, the government should take care of me, brainwashing.

CDM on July 31, 2009 at 5:12 PM

A company I used to work for gave potential employees a personality test that I think was developed by the university of minnesota. It was dead on in telling you what to expect from someone, it was so accurate I used to consider taking one home and giving it to myself but was afraid I might have to fire me afterwards. You cannot lie to the test.I am sure a similar test could be (or has been)developed to test for conservative versus liberal. I would bet that between 75 and 85 percent would come out as conservative. Across the board, no matter race or sex. The overwhelming majority of liberals I know live a conservative life. They teach thier children conservative values and treat others in what would be described a conservative manner. There is an unexplainable disconnect between how they live thier lives and how they view the world. They teach thier children conservative values and then tell them conservatives are evil. Maybe in a thousand years a sociologist will be able to figure it out but I think the system is too over run now and everyone is too close to it to recognize it as a syndrome.

peacenprosperity on July 31, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Seeing as classic liberals were renamed “conservative” by progressives in the 20th century, who then stole the term “liberal” for themselves …

Yes, we are a conservative nation. We are by no means a “progressive” nation.

darwin on July 31, 2009 at 5:19 PM

No, America is not a conservative nation. Bill Maher is right; it’s a stupid nation. Look at the group that leads it, starting with Obama, down to Biden, to Pelosi. C’mon, scary stupid is more like it. Couple that with the fact that we moan and complain about how Congress sucks, then have a 98% reelection rate, and what does that tell you? STUPID!!!In fact, STUPID DELUXE!!!

RWLA on July 31, 2009 at 5:19 PM

“Overt political bias from the media is not as damaging as the general environment of permanent crisis they foster, accompanied by heroic narratives of brave and compassionate politicians with Big Ideas about how to rescue us from this week’s nightmare.”

Turns on TV…………….

“AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Changes channel…………

“AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Changes channel…………

“AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Self medicates…………..

Seven Percent Solution on July 31, 2009 at 5:20 PM

A company I used to work for gave potential employees a personality test that I think was developed by the university of minnesota. It was dead on in telling you what to expect from someone, it was so accurate I used to consider taking one home and giving it to myself but was afraid I might have to fire me afterwards. You cannot lie to the test.I am sure a similar test could be (or has been)developed to test for conservative versus liberal. I would bet that between 75 and 85 percent would come out as conservative. Across the board, no matter race or sex. The overwhelming majority of liberals I know live a conservative life. They teach thier children conservative values and treat others in what would be described a conservative manner. There is an unexplainable disconnect between how they live thier lives and how they view the world. They teach thier children conservative values and then tell them conservatives are evil. Maybe in a thousand years a sociologist will be able to figure it out but I think the system is too over run now and everyone is too close to it to recognize it as a syndrome.

peacenprosperity on July 31, 2009 at 5:16 PM

I’ve asked parts of my family the same thing. Why do you vote Democrat when, in your personal life, you don’t support any of their agenda, and you consistently live by conservative values. I’ve never gotten a good answer, but they still vote Democrat.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Most people are conservative. They’ve been beaten over the head with political correctness for so many years that people sometimes get confused about morals and values. They still have them, it just needs to be brought out.

darwin on July 31, 2009 at 5:23 PM

America is the most leftist nation ever. We chose Marxist ruin for ourselves even though we were the richest and greatest nation on earth. And we did it out of pure parasitic envy. Other nations chose Marxist ruin, at least in part, out of desperation and poverty. Who is more ideologically leftist?

It only gets worse from here. The US is unrecoverable until socialism is outlawed. It should be obvious that anything you do to rebuild the country after this current bunch of liberals lose power will be ripped right apart again when they retake power again a few years later. It’s not even worth the investment of attempting to repair it until you take the socialists out of the equation.

Buddahpundit on July 31, 2009 at 5:24 PM

STUPID DELUXE!!!

RWLA on July 31, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Consider this the only reference you will receive from my theft of that phrase.

DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 5:24 PM

By the way, would you like to bet that the woman who made the call to police is a solid liberal democrat and obama voter? I wonder if she understands that it is her fellow travelers that are calling her a racist and sending her death threats. The same for both police officers, I wonder if they realize that it is the left, the people they vote for that has demonized them and that it is conservatives that are standing up for them? My answer is yes to all three of them being liberal voters and no them getting it. The duke lacrosse kids were all from northeastern liberal families. They were demonized by the media nad liberal commentators. They were championed by conservatives and conservative commentators. If it were not from the outcry by conservatives, right now those guys would be looking at another few months before they got out of prison. Who did they go to for the exclusive interviews after the charges were dropped? cnn and time magazine. They went to the people who were firing up the lynch mob.

peacenprosperity on July 31, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Alinsky would require Obama to show his birth records…
Unseen on July 31, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Alinsky would whine about it — and eventually get what he wanted. But the professional tantrum-throwers are running the country right now. Trying to out-scream them is an utter waste of breath.

Barak Hussein Obama is (probably) a United States citizen. And, as such, he has no obligation whatsoever to release any records he does not choose to.

However, Barak Hussein Obama is DEFINITELY the President of the United States of America. And as such, under the Constitution of the United States of America, he has the obligation to provide a resignation letter – regardless of any accident of birth.

However, it is safe to assume that Barak Hussien Obama will continue to refuse to fulfill every and all obligations of his office. And no amount of whining will ever make him.

These people understand absolutely nothing except raw power. It is precisely because they DON’T give a rat’s ass about histrionic wordplay that they got where they are; and if we try to use the same silliness against them that worked so well against us, they probably won’t even bother to laugh.

logis on July 31, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Good article!

Government is like tooth decay. Once it sets in, it takes a drill to get rid of it. Tyranny (like decay) is the natural state. Humans must be constantly vigilant against tyranny to keep themselves free.

bitsy on July 31, 2009 at 5:53 PM

The question then becomes what do we do with the few clingers who refuse to admit the entitlement system spells eventual, inevitable, doom for any free nation?
DFCtomm on July 31, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Forcibly expel them from our society.
LimeyGeek on July 31, 2009 at 5:11 PM

First of all… “few”? Almost a third of the US population (whether they know the word or not) are hard-core Communists, and more than half are (regardless of their political viewpoints) dependent on the government for their livelihood.

Don’t kid yourself. We are not talking about rounding up a couple of dozen hippies squatting in your local park. We are talking about an entire class of two-legged parasites who outnumber their hosts.

And we don’t need to expatriate any of them. We don’t need to torture them to death. We need to do something infinitely more evil than that: we need to IGNORE them.

The first step is massive civil disobedience. The bottom line is that liberals need taxpayers as desperately as a tapeworm needs a host. But liberals are (with all due respect) of absolutely no conceivable value to society whatsoever.

We must treat all unConstitutional laws and taxes as if they simply do not exist. We must treat liberals, both publically and privately, with the dignity they deserve – which is absolutely none.

The next step will be theirs. And make no mistake: no matter how effete they appear, Communists ALWAYS resort to violence once they find out their propaganda has stopped working. And we have to be ready for that.

I’m not talking about barricading yourself in your home; I’m talking about banding together. Many of you know police officers and Chambers of Commerce members; talk to them about this. If your city or state governments are salvageable, work with them. If not, just work with your neighbors.

If you’re serious about the Constitution, that means you’re serious about local self-governance — well then, start practicing it as if your life depended on it. Because, guess what? It does.

logis on July 31, 2009 at 5:58 PM

America voted for

a) Communist president
b) Communist speaker of the house
c) Socialist Senate leader

Is America conservative? If you defined conservative as far left, then yes.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 6:12 PM

When the Bush tax cuts expire more than 50% of the population will pay $0 income tax. Which means the majority will from now on always vote for more government and higher taxes on the ever shrinking % of the people who pay taxes.

Communism in the USA is inevitable.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 6:17 PM

As long as the basic principle of ever-growing, activist central government is accepted, the nation’s politics will continue to slide leftward, no matter how conservative the population thinks it is.

Many Americans have lost touch with the founding principles of this nation.

“Most bad government has grown out of too much government.”

“The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

-Thomas Jefferson

People need to understand that choosing Conservatism over Liberalism is actually choosing Libery over Tyranny.

infidel4life on July 31, 2009 at 6:30 PM

bitsy on July 31, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Tyranny is the natural state of humans. We must fight hard and exercise self government to have freedom.

chemman on July 31, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Utimately all surviving nations are ‘conservative’. In other words they don’t change much and stick to what works. What works today can be more or less the same as what worked yesterday because neither the planet nor human nature has changed much in the past umpteen millenia.

However conservativism has different expressions: African Animistic -v- Oriental Paternalistic -v- Occidental Christian -v- Israeli Jewish -v- Arab Islamic, for example. There is more than one way to keep a society stable, but all are ‘conservative’.

Radicalism, in any form, usually causes so much disruption that the nation ceases to function coherently and possibly, as a consequnce, ceases to exist at all. Radical action could be the replacement of one form of conservativism with another, as through colonisation. Alternatively it could be the exchange of a stable conservative ideology for an unstable ideology, such as swapping a monarchy for marxism.

One of the great flaws in contemporary ‘liberal’ or ‘scocialist’ thinking is that they don’t understand that it simply isn’t possible to dig-up and remake the conservative foundations without demolishing the thing they are supposedly trying to improve. In their zeal to attain ideological purity they forget that the nation must first survive as a functioning entity.

This flaw can be seen in two ways. In Europe and the USA radicals are trying to change the foundations to suit their ideology, not understanding that when they uproot the foundations, the society they want to improve will collapse around them to be replaced by brutal anarchy or totalitarianism.

Alternatively in Afghanistan and Iraq many good people are working hard to radically change the society but the refurbishment plans did not include replacing the foundations, thus the exercise is doomed to failure because once the agitation ceases the waters of society will pool more or less as they did before (because the foundations are unchanged).

YiZhangZhe on July 31, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Lots of fabulous, insightful, thought-provoking comments in this thread. Thank you everyone.

YiZhangZhe on July 31, 2009 at 7:05 PM

The simple fact of the matter is that the “conservative” options have become little more appealing. To paraphrase Bob Dole’s infamous sobriquet, the Republican Party collectively has become the tax collector for the corporate welfare state. What has the Republican Party done since 1994 to truly redefine the role of government downward? Certain parts of the government have grown more slowly, perhaps, but most notably with TARP, the Republican Party has been in the position of arguing against welfare for the poor, but for welfare for the rich. This is an egregious violation of every principle of classical liberalism — Adam Smith would vomit if he knew the caliber of politicians that invoked his work today. Whatever happened to the “invisible hand,” creative destruction, moral hazard? I got uncharacteristically irritated today arguing with my liberal co-worker about why the government shouldn’t be handing out money to every individual, and I’ve come to realize that the reason is that I am really angry that my own party has put me in a position where I’m perceived as trying to justify giving huge portions of the “largesse of the public treasury” to the rich and leaving poor people with subsistence-level food and health care, despite the fact that you could have found no more venomous enemy of TARP than was I. I think that as of today, I officially hate the Republican Party, maybe more than the Dems — the Republicans claim to know better.

Oh, and the other day, my Congressman, John Shimkus, invited me to attend a teleconference with “our next Senator,” Mark Kirk. Mark Kirk voted for cap-’n'-trade. William F. Buckley, Jr., destroyed Lowell Weicker in favor of Joe Lieberman in Connecticut to prove a point; I think that the time may have come to prove such a point on the national level. I don’t know about a third party, but I think I may be ready — I’m sick of this one. (For the record, I still really like Mr. Shimkus, but he needs a higher class of friends.) I am ending every post and non-work correspondence between now and the ’10 election with the following, which is what I will use to close this post as well:

Kirk delenda est.

loneloc on July 31, 2009 at 7:08 PM

In a secular society, especially a highly fragmented (i.e. pluralistic) one, the state is the only thing that unites us. The post is very good, but neglects to mention this point, that the trend is tied not just to the rise of mass media but to the rise of secularism.

Church and family are two of the strongest bulwarks against statism. When those go south, what else is left? We need the state to mediate our “domestic partnerships” and to give us meaning.

evergreen on July 31, 2009 at 7:24 PM

If we were, you wouldn’t have to ask the question.

cjs1943 on July 31, 2009 at 7:39 PM

We do have the our work cut out for us. Hollywood & the liberal MSM has deemed Conservatives as racists and uncool dontcha know.

redridinghood on July 31, 2009 at 7:39 PM

We do have the our work cut out for us. Hollywood & the liberal MSM has deemed Conservatives as racists and uncool dontcha know.
redridinghood on July 31, 2009 at 7:39 PM

This is one of the very few liberating things about what’s going on.

The whole process of respectable men and women trying to get self-congratulating reprobates to like us is what got America where it is today. That urge is the first thing we need to strangle to death. And the coming collapse is going to help.

I have no doubt whatsoever that America will swing more to the right after the collapse. The important thing is that we don’t just slow the growth of liberalism for a few years and pat ourselves on the back.

We need to kill it. Forever. And salt the earth that the vile week sprouted from.

logis on July 31, 2009 at 8:11 PM

If we were truly a “”conservative” nation, we would not now be teetering on the edge of the abyss.

We might have been a conservative nation at one time, but that went out the window with the passage of the 16th Amendment.

We are now center-left, at best.

Dave R. on July 31, 2009 at 8:22 PM

As compared to which other country(s)?

Ancient Athens, Ancient Rome, Austria under the Hapsburgs, the British Empire etc. The answer is obviously no. Comparing America with contemporary countries doesn’t count because they are all essentially under the Wilsonian world order which America created under Woodrow Wilson. For instance all countries have to join the UN which America set up (after it set up the League of Nations) and pays for. The only country to ever leave the UN was Indonesia and they quickly rejoined.

aengus on July 31, 2009 at 8:40 PM

As for America’s ever leftward drift that will copntinue and the reason for it because conservatives do not and cannot bring themselves to disagree with the fundamental liberal worldview. Instead they either act like complete pushovers, attack the symptoms or obvious outward manifestations of liberalism or else co-opt liberal policies as their own e.g. Bob Dole ran on a platform to abolish the Department of Education and four years later George W. Bush massively expanded it with No Child Left Behind.

aengus on July 31, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Also both D’s and R’s have an unshakeable belief in the Whig view of history. The R’s especially in the last few years with the glorious and transformative expansion of freedom into the Middle East.

aengus on July 31, 2009 at 8:53 PM

You Betcha!

TN Mom on July 31, 2009 at 9:45 PM

Also both D’s and R’s have an unshakeable belief in the Whig view of history. The R’s especially in the last few years with the glorious and transformative expansion of freedom into the Middle East.

aengus on July 31, 2009 at 8:53 PM

In the case of the Republicans, especially ironic given that they claim Burke as a progenitor. Burke was a Whig politician, but most assuredly not a subscriber to the Whig school of history.

Kirk delenda est.

loneloc on July 31, 2009 at 11:14 PM

I am ending every post and non-work correspondence between now and the ‘10 election with the following, which is what I will use to close this post as well:

Kirk delenda est.

loneloc on July 31, 2009 at 7:08 PM

I think you should also consider throwing in a random line of Ricardo Montalban’s from Star Trek II. “I’ve hurt you, Kirk… and I wish to go on… hurting you…”

If we were, you wouldn’t have to ask the question.

cjs1943 on July 31, 2009 at 7:39 PM

Point taken, but I think it’s an important question to ask, because influential conservative writers commonly assert that America is a “center-right” country (Hugh Hewitt can scarcely make it through a paragraph without saying it, for example.) If this is true to any significant degree, then the task for conservatives is to “wake the public up” and take them back to their center-right roots. If it’s not true, then proceeding along those lines would be disastrous. Recent history would suggest such a strategy has been disastrous. Too many people spent the 2008 campaign waiting for the country to wake up and see what Barack Obama really was, John McCain prominently among them. America needs a lot more than a wake-up call from conservative thinkers and politicians. It’s time to bust out the defibrillator paddles.

On the other hand, as that Gallup poll suggests, conservative ideas continue to enjoy majority support with the public. The growing resistance to Obama’s policies, and his plummeting poll numbers, also speak to a certain degree of centrism among the population, or at least enduring skepticism about extreme liberalism. The many thoughtful comments in this thread show an interesting split between people who passionately believe America is, at heart, a conservative country, and those who believe we’re incurably cursed with a flabby liberal mass that must be dragged along by a diminishing core of hard-working folk with traditional values.

Are we a conservative country that has been led astray by liberal corruption of our culture, and seduced by the empty promises of big government? Or are we a liberal culture doomed to follow the Marxist death spiral of capitalism, except for brief shining moments when a leader like Reagan convinces us to stand tall and fight the enervating tide of history? The answer helps conservatives shape their political strategy, and the approach they take to persuading the electorate.

I’m increasingly convinced we’re a nation that believes itself to be more conservative than it actually is, occupying the right side of a center that has move much farther left than we like to think. I can’t quite accept the Nockian view that we’re doomed, and the conservative Remnant should just stock its bunkers with intellectual Meals Ready to Eat, and prepare to rebuild society from the ruins after it crashes. Maybe I don’t accept that because I don’t want to… I want to be a part of the battle to pull America out of that death spiral, and I don’t see any point in saddling up unless you’re determined to win. Maybe I’m still carrying a bit of Reagan’s optimism from the Eighties, and its embers have never cooled.

Church and family are two of the strongest bulwarks against statism. When those go south, what else is left? We need the state to mediate our “domestic partnerships” and to give us meaning.

evergreen on July 31, 2009 at 7:24 PM

The persistence of liberalism undoubtedly owes much to the deterioration of religious faith and solid families. However, it’s important to remember that the rise of modern liberalism was frequently surrounded by explicitly religious language, especially in the case of the Wilsonian progressives and the New Dealers. I don’t think we can quite square the circle of a population that identifies itself as conservative, but votes liberals into power, entirely by citing the decline of religious values. As I wrote above, I think people have fallen into the embrace of the State because they’re tired, confused, and frightened. They didn’t get that way primarily due to flagging religious faith, but a resurgence of faith and family can help to bring them out of it.

Doctor Zero on August 1, 2009 at 12:11 AM

Well, it seems like there’s a fairly simple answer to all this… People say they are conservative, but don’t want to limit anyone’s “civil liberties.” They think gays should be allowed to marry, affirmative action, etc. thus making them liberal, although they themselves might live conservatively. As for their egregious spending, I haven’t a clue how anyone can justify that.

ConservadorRebelde on August 1, 2009 at 2:10 AM

Maybe I’m still carrying a bit of Reagan’s optimism from the Eighties, and its embers have never cooled.

I’m with you on wanting to continue the legacy of Reagan’s optimism. Unfortunately, many Democrats felt the same way about their hero JFK. They did an excellent job of making certain that Obama was seen as the new JFK from the moment he spoke at their 2004 Convention. People were willing to glaze over the facts of Rev. Wright, Ayers, et al. – and Obama’s very clear message of wanting to “spread the wealth” – because they were filled with dreams of re-living their glory days.
So, I am optimistically looking forward to the day when those dreamers wake up and realize the terrible mistake they’ve made…and pay freaking attention during all future elections! Then we will see some serious conservatism sweeping across America.

redwhiteblue on August 1, 2009 at 2:47 AM

logis on July 31, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Good insight.

This is indeed what it will come down to.

Sadly, there are too many of ‘us’ that subscribe to the fairy-tale-pantomime-view that “violence is never the answer”.

Unfortunately, if you refuse to acknowledge the potential for using violence, you have already lost – the clock is simply counting down to the moment you are steamrollered.

We need to recognize the very real possibility that those of us that value America will have to direct our weapons at our neighbours. Freedom isn’t free, and the parasites amongst us need to learn that lesson.

LimeyGeek on August 1, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009

“Big government conservatism” is an oxymoron. I certainly understand big government Republicans, but they are not truly conservatives. They are much closer to “statist” as Mark Levin defines them. We are probably splitting hairs and not really in disagreement, but since my two-cents-worth buys less every day I thought I’d throw it in the pot to add thread count.
SKYFOX

As I wrote above, I think people have fallen into the embrace of the State because they’re tired, confused, and frightened. They didn’t get that way primarily due to flagging religious faith, but a resurgence of faith and family can help to bring them out of it.
Doctor Zero

Tired, confused and frightened is no way to live and certainly no basis on which to vote. We have to get angry and, in the words of Clint Eastwood “mad-dog mean”. Our religious faith will be our strength to withstand the tribulations, but our reasoned anger will be our motivation to act.

SKYFOX on August 1, 2009 at 10:03 AM

I assert, Doctor, that this is the wrong question.

The right question is “are most Americans statists?”

Claiming a “center-right” population, and seeing the slide toward European-style socialism (even while the Euros are deciding to try something else…) makes it obvious that the metrics used, left-right, conservative-liberal are not sufficient to describe reality*.

The problem that I see is the debate over whether statism is good is essentially over in the media – they’re assuming it’s the way things are. Republicans can’t get traction to pull the state to the right because they’re too busy arguing with each other about statism.

We need to either re-ignite this debate (and I’m not sure how to achieve this on a broad enough basis) or we’re doomed to be dragged along behind the solidly statist Dems.

Mew

* I like the Pournelle Axes (http://www.baen.com/chapters/axes.htm) myself.

acat on August 1, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Unfortunately, if you refuse to acknowledge the potential for using violence, you have already lost – the clock is simply counting down to the moment you are steamrollered.

LimeyGeek on August 1, 2009 at 9:11 AM

The Limey’s right. With billions in the “Porkulus Bill” for ACORN getting out the vote we very well may have had our last winnable election. The Chicago Way does not allow for the possibility of losing. A sitting President Obama’s campaign chest will be even bigger than in 2008. With the friends he’s made on Wall Street he could have a billion dollars to spend. The odds of 2012 being a fair fight are very slim.

The only route to a Constitutional Republic may be through insurrection. That won’t be a bunch of Bubbas causing trouble. It would have to come from the Armed Forces. I guarantee Obama’s commie Czars are already working inside the Pentagon with their people. I would expect at some level Oathkeepers are doing their prep to defend the Constitution. I think (and hope) there’s a chess game being played we can’t see inside the Pentagon and Langley.

Myself, I’d prefer a military coup over what our Democracy is becoming. I’ve lost my faith in Jeffersonian Democracy. We’re in the Bread & Circuses phase of decay. We may need to clear the table and start over.

rcl on August 1, 2009 at 11:16 AM

We need to either re-ignite this debate (and I’m not sure how to achieve this on a broad enough basis) or we’re doomed to be dragged along behind the solidly statist Dems.

Mew

* I like the Pournelle Axes (http://www.baen.com/chapters/axes.htm) myself.

acat on August 1, 2009 at 10:46 AM

The “debate” is happening in a way. It’s never going to be on GMA but the huge sales of Mark Levin’s book and the heavy traffic on political blogs proves there’s interest. But the core proponents aren’t going to be swayed and the mass media appears to be aligning with the authoritarian party. I don’t think there’s much chance of swaying the polls by much.

You can’t deny the Democrat Party, with Soros and others funding the effort, are working to fix the electoral process in their favor. If that succeeds what option is there besides armed resistance? I’m certainly hoping there’s a conservative rebound from the financial calamities I think are around the bend but it’s possible the DNC can counter their effect printing $$$ and massive propaganda.

BTW, I think Pournelle should swap the Bottom Right square of his chart with the Top Right. Various Conservatives are way more rational than Communists. Fascism works, Socialism doesn’t. The combination of private industry with authoritarian goverment is rational. Do-Good Government, Socialism and Communism, totally discount human nature and are inherently irrational.

What can you expect from a Science Fiction author?

rcl on August 1, 2009 at 11:43 AM

What can you expect from a Science Fiction author?

rcl on August 1, 2009 at 11:43 AM
—–
Well, in the case of the authors I’ve read, I’ve come to expect good storytelling, but also debate over possible future directions society and technology could take us.

Yes, the statist-Dems (Soros-backed) are trying to replicate something like European-style socialism, while the non-statist Dems (non-watermelon greens, anarchists) are willing to go along since their opposite numbers are getting their oxes gored.

Mew

acat on August 2, 2009 at 3:19 PM