Conservatism is not over and the GOP is not in retreat

Cross posted at Partisan Report

But, we were beaten. Flat out thumped in all the facets that make presidential campaigns successful. We ran a campaign suited for the mid-1900s as opposed to the dawning of a new era in power-politics that we witnessed. The Democrats, and America for that matter, witnessed their first Reagan since…well, Reagan (Relax Liberals it’s a compliment).

Even the partisan Republicans looked on with admiration of Obama’s juggernaut. We were out hustled, out talked, out organized, and outgunned. However, we are consoled by the inevitable. This, of course, was a year that no Republican could win we are told. Reaganism and Republicanism and Bushism have all been exhausted and the people of America were craving something more; something different.

And their case study is John McCain’s candidacy? As dynamic and historic as he is, McCain has often been confused on where to pitch his tent philosophically. How could he draw out contrast with Obama when he was so closely aligned with many important issues? Just to name a few.

The most recent Obama “gaffe” was the release of footage that showed Obama rather bluntly declaring war on the coal industry. A conservative could have drew a visible line with flashing lights. McCain, on the other hand, supports cap and trade policies and brought up global warming debates on the Senate floor.Illegal immigration? Obama’s Aunt? Don’t go there. McCain fought harder to pass “comprehensive” illegal immigration reform with Ted Kennedy then he did to express his opposition to gay marriage or abortion and exploit Obama’s support for them both.

Still don’t think Americans care about that stuff? Florida, Arizona and of all states California all voted statewide to defeat gay-marriage and secure and preserve the idea of traditional marriage. Proof positive that Obama’s election is not a liberal mandate on Washington, or that the country has shifted left, but is to point out that his message and vision appeared more believable and authentic. A liberal, yes; but, authentic and constantly on message, absolutely. By the way, McCain lost Florida.

Do you think that played into the fact that 1.3% of Republicans stayed home this election and Democrats turnout grew by 2.6%? The Heritage Foundation concluded that 20% of “conservatives” voted for Barack Obama. Do you think I stretched it some by comparing Obama to Reagan? Forget Reagan-Democrats, Obama-Republicans will be the new factor in future presidential elections. We can think McCain for some of that. Remember that McCain was leading Obama in all major polls during early September — even Biden let slip that Hillary would have been better. So there goes the theory that McCain couldn’t win.

When half of America — and certainly Republicans — where hammering for McCain to address Obama’s radical past and make him accountable for his associations, he always held back. During the first two debates he neglected to mention any of it. This prompted Obama, of all people, to become confident and challenged McCain to say ‘these things to his face.’ When he did in the third debate it was without any conviction.

McCain even reassured supporters and undecided voters that they had nothing to be afraid of. “I have to tell you he is a decent person and a person you do not have to be afraid of.” Remember when he denounced certain state parties for exploiting Jeremiah Wright? Boy, he sure knew how to fire up the base. Call them classless and racist really motivates people to get out and work hard for you.

An honorable campaign makes for an honorable loser. The primary election in 2000 should have been a taste of things to come. So here we are. We ran out our next in line. We did the right thing and “danced with the one that brought us.”Well the party is over and America ain’t buying it. We got thumped and rejected. Obama won Black America, and middle-class America because they believed in Obama’s tax cuts; furthermore, they believed that Obama would lower taxes and McCain would raise them.

Since when did it come to be so hard to articulate and express conservatism? Well, it was when we decided to run lukewarm conservatives for the highest office in the land. The polls are clear and decisive. When McCain hit on conservative issues he climbed in the polls. It’s time we stop acting like we are the party of power. Americans don’t want a party of power. They want good stewardship and trust.The 2006 midterm elections should have made that clear enough without the subsequent beating experienced the other night.

The Republican Party has always been the party of ideas reinforced by conservative principles that have made men free, proud and prosperous. We as a Party have forgotten that. The Leaders of the GOP ignored its base because they forgot the basic principles and the reasons in which they were elected.

So let the party infighting and jockeying for power come; but, let it come nonetheless. Let McCain and the usual suspects be an indication and reminder of a Party of power and an episode of the past. We’ve always been the party of reform and limited government and spending. So let this defeat bring about change and restoration. Let us return to our basic principles and desires that all men identity with.

America didn’t magically shift to the left overnight. Conservatism isn’t dead. Republicanism isn’t ready to rest along side of the Whigs and occupy the dusty pages of reference books. There are many issues that tens of millions of Americans still identify with as evident from the state elections regarding abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action and working class concerns with taxes and government.

We only need to find leaders unashamed of these beliefs and principles.

Comments :

8 comments to “Conservatism is not over and the GOP is not in retreat”
Angela said...

When McCain bought into the bailout, it was all over. Imagine if he had taken a principled stand against it - especially since the market hasn't really shown any appreciable improvement since passage.

Alien Patriot said...

Let's get to the point and start promoting those who could revive the flair of the GOP philosophy.

Those who stood strong in the bailout question, those who have shown a strong conservative backbone.

Bobby Jindall, Ryan Paul, Sarah Palin, Mike Pence, Thad McCotter etc.

Great post about the new young guns on The New Conservatives Blog


LoozianaJay said...

I edited this from the original. It was late when I wrote it and noticed some issues.

I agree. Let the old faces fade away. It's time for the Young Turks to take our party in a bold new direction.


my point exactly. He suspends his campaign to go save the country and signs a crappy bill that almost all of America hated. Then attack Obama for being big government and a spender.

How he made it out of the primaries still baffles me.

Angela said...

Ditto about McCain getting through the primaries. I was a Fredhead.

I am a little skeptical about Palin as I am about Huckabee - I question their commitment to fiscal conservatism and to the more "small l" libertarian principles.

I like what I see of Jindahl so far. Shadegg would have been on my list too, although I am disappointed that he ultimately voted in favor of the bailout.

LoozianaJay said...

I was a huge Thompson supporter. Hands down the best Republican in the field.

Alien Patriot said...

I like Thompson too, but didn't get votes, so I think he is out.

Palin - I hear you Angela, but she is a populist and this is what gets votes. A Republican that doesn't have anything in the cards for moderate dems will not win. I think she is a pretty straight shooter, but we can check that in the next couple of years.


Critical Thinker said...

I think it was on Hot Air where I read Mitt Romney said that Conservatism is a three legged stool, one leg is national security, one leg is fiscal conservatism, and one is social conservatism. Palin fits the bill on the last, she has that vote. Problem is she doesn't bode well on national security, but she has very decent track record on economic issues that was hardly tapped into during the campaign. As of now she should not even be a consideration for President. Let her make a Senate run get into Washington and shake stuff up, then we can talk. She has the talent to do it.

Alien Patriot said...

CT I agree, Palin should show skills in DC - that was always my point with Obama too, I would liked to see 4 solid years more to see what he actually is all about. Not just voting present.
I think it is hard as a social conservative to really engage the left. I mean when I think of national security, I think of Lieberman - I think a lot of people even though against the war, recognize the danger of the middle east, Afghanistan, Russia, China etc.
Even in terms of finances, if 75% Americans where against the bailout, then obviously those were also a lot of Dems.
But social conservative - especially Abortion seems to be a hard one for Dems to swallow.
I mean Bush won the Dems with a national security issue.
I can't see how Palin could win with a hard hitting social conservative attitude.
As older folks die away, the voters will probably get more and more liberal (just look at the demographics on the Proposition 8 issue in California - the majority of young voters voted "No").