Saturday, January 26, 2008

The GOP Malaise

I have heard a lot from my friends on how they feel about the candidates running for the Republican Presidential nomination. I have never heard such a dislike for the field. In all my years of politics I have never seen such a lack of enthusiasm for the GOP candidates (the exception is the Ron Paul supporters) as I have seen this year. The biggest complaint I've heard is "none of them are like Reagan."

Reagan never got elected to office and then developed a political philosophy. I followed Reagan's political career from his famous speech "A Time for Choosing (delivered October 27, 1964)" until he retired from politics in 1994. If you look over his political career before he was elected to office as governor of California in 1966, he already had a well-developed political philosophy. He was not a cipher when it came to political philosophy. He actually read philosophers who developed the conservative philosophy he believed in--Locke, Hayek, von Mises, Kirk, etc. This is not just sheer talk. Reporters who visited him looked in his library. He actually had those books by those philosophers and underlined key passages. Believe it or not, Reagan was a conservative intellectual. When he decided to run for office, his political philosophy was already developed and backed by an intellectual knowledge of reading.

This is in very strong contrast to the candidates running for the GOP nomination. With the exception of Rep. Ron Paul, none of them have any defined conservative philosophy. If you were to ask them why they were conservatives, they could not give you an intelligent answer. (Paul could. Indeed, he is very well-read on conservative philosophy. His political philosophy was already developed when he was first elected to Congress in a special election back in 1976. Alas, he stands no chance of getting the nomination.). Of all the major candidates, Fred Thompson came the closest. But he has dropped out.

I have read the transcripts of the GOP debates and I can tell you the four major candidates--Mitt Romney, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee--know nothing about conservatism and its intellectual underpinnings. They just flow with the times. They just differentiate themselves a little from the Democrats. Their big arguments are they are not Hitlery or Obama. Now that's a sure-fire political philosophy.

When all four of those candidates initially ran for office, none of them had a defined political philosophy. Giuliani was a GEORGE MCGOVERN supporter in 1972. Mitt Romney ran to the LEFT against Ted Kennedy(!) in his race for the U.S. Senate in 1994! Huckabee was a big taxer as governor of Arkansas. And McCain is certainly no conservative. Just look at that McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act.

Now all these four claim to be conservative. They are no more conservative than my cat Bueller is a space alien. I just may vote third party this year. If this is the best the GOP can do, they richly deserve to lose. In all my years of being involved in the GOP Presidential primaries, I have never been so disenchanted as I have this year.

Let Hitlery govern for four years and mess up this county beyond recognition. The GOP will regain control of Congress and maybe the GOP will put up a REAL conservative in 2012.

1 comment:

Amy said...

To all conservative voters who want to take their votes and go home

(WARNING: The following musings are my own and not endorsed by the Carver County Republicans. But, I would argue that they should be.)

What happens when you do not like the game, and you take your marbles and go home?

I certainly understand the frustrations of many conservative and Republican voters who are now talking about not voting and letting the Democrats win. "The Republican Party deserves to lose," they cry!

Perhaps you do not like our choice of presidential, or congressional candidates. Perhaps you are disappointed with votes taken by incumbent Republicans.

Well, to conservatives who now think they will find victory in giving up their precious right to vote ; Who now urge others not to vote and to basically just hand the country to the Democrats:

Before you "pick up your marbles and go home" because you're not happy with the game and before you so "gleefully" help elect Pres. Obama by historic margins, and new liberal pro-abortion Supreme Court Justices for life, along with a Congress entirely under Democrat control (not to mention state houses, on down) please stop for a moment and think about just what you are doing.

Think about what you thought about the playmate who, when he/she didn't like how the game you were playing was going, stopped playing and cried, "I'm going home!" I'm not sure you would describe those thoughts as "admiring"... now, would you?!

I, too, think how difficult it is to vote and pick the lesser of two evils - but that is the reality sometimes. More times than we care to admit. We are human after all, and there is not one of us who is perfect.

And then I become more serious and remember those who served and died to protect my right to vote, particularly my own, close relatives who fought in WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam and now in Iraq.

Isn't it the job of those of us in the trenches, at the grassroots, to find and elect conservative, limited government candidates ... and all that we want in our representatives? Yes, we have work to do ... but staying home certainly isn't going to find the kinds of candidates we need elected.

You HAVE to play the game in order to even have a chance at winning.

So... put your marbles back in the game.

My argument stems not from the argument "when conservatives are not given a choice, they don't deserve our vote..." to the subtle, but real choice of what to do "when WE at the grassroots do not work to give ourselves and conservatives a choice..."

It is our job to find the candidates. It is our job to hold conservatives to their election promises. I know that helping them lose does not do that. Helping them lose takes away any ability to affect any change whatsoever.

And, I greatly, greatly fear for the alternative, - letting, ... no, helping Democrats (the greater of two evils, I dare say) win by not voting.

I greatly fear what they would permanently do to "government by the people, for the people and of the people."

Why, we are still dealing with damaging socialist legislation enacted by Democrats:

Justices who perpetrated Roe v. Wade on the country and the countless innocents that were and are being murdered because of that judgement;

All of the welfare and government control instituted by FDR and the generations of people trapped in a cycle of poverty and government dependence because of his policies;

The United Nations and the damage continually inflicted on America because of Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations and his and Democrats' "one-world" view;

The war we now wage and the men and women who now risk and lose their lives because Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter refused to recognize and properly deal with religious Muslim fanatics bent on killing those who love and value freedom

... and so, so much more.

How long has Ted Kennedy been in office?!!! Will Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar keep her seat for life too? And the new Senate Democrat we would help elect by not voting for Sen. Norm Coleman, will that Democrat keep his seat for life too?!!

How are you going to pay for all the tax increases? And, what will you do for a livelihood after all of the damage they will produce destroys your employer? Will our children, our grandchildren and future generations suffer the consequences because I quit and did not vote?

I cannot and will not lay down and place my country into the hands of Democrats. The risks are too great.

I will not give away my hard-fought, precious right to vote. No, when the going gets tough, I can't just quit and go home. I have to dig in my heels and work harder.

Now, where are those marbles?

Amy Anderson, Chair, Carver County, Minnesota Republicans