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The battle continues… November 11, 2008

Posted by neoavatara in Politics.
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Is this man a conservative?  Really?

Is this man a conservative? Really?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/opinion/11brooks.html?ref=opinion

David Brooks, whose credentials as a conservative are questionable at best, takes a clearly biased view of the battle within the Republican party.

He paints it as a fight between traditionalists, supporting limited government, lower taxes, and restricted immigration; versus reformists, who don’t believe slashing government alone can win the public’s approval, and more need to address income inequality.

I think Brooks has it wrong on both levels; and actually both camps are wrong.

First, to go forward, we have to analyze what has gone wrong the past 8 years.  Largely, Pres. Bush made a couple large mistakes; he grew government beyond compare, grew the deficit, and albeit questionable, took us into war in Iraq with limited reason to do so.

O.K.  I think most of us can agree with these major problems.  Then how do conservatives fix these problems?

First, we cannot be the party of big government; the Democrats will always do big government better than Republicans.  And Brooks is right in one sense; nonintellectuals in our party have basically said all government is bad.

We must take a middle road.  Limiting the size of government is essential to conservatives for one simple reason; we believe that government causes more problems than it solves.  That DOES NOT MEAN GOVERNMENT CAN BE AN AGENT FOR POSITIVE CHANGE!  What we have lost in the past decade is that our limited government should be dynamic, competent, and responsive to the public it serves.  It is not true that a bigger government necessarily is a more competent and receptive government.  We have to be the party for SMALLER, BUT BETTER GOVERNMENT!  This is frankly something the Democrats don’t understand.  They are unwiling to be honest about programs that have failed miserably.  When is the last time you heard a Democrat cut a program because it is failing the people?

Clearly, we need to be the party of fiscal responsibility.  We should never spend when we don’t need to.

As for the war, the surge, and the gradual refocusin of the war on terror, clearly has improved.  And largely, despite the rhetoric, Obama is unlikely to change course drastically on this issue.

Now Brooks talks about Hispanics, Suburbanites, and other moderates and independents that the Republicans lost this election cycle.  What he fails to understand is that these are not hard core democrats; these are not hard core progressives.  As late as October, many of these voters were open to McCain; unfortunately, he gave them no reason to vote for him.

For example, the fastest growing economic group in America?  Those making greater than $100,000!  Majority of these voters voted for Obama!  Don’t you believe fiscal conservatism could have attracted many of these voters?

These voter are available to the conservative movement.  Self hating conservatives like Brooks believe that their own belief system is not acceptable to minorities.  I would argue the opposite…I think that our principles make more sense, and independents will be willing to consider our ideas, when it benefits them.  No, we can’t be the anti-immigration party.  No, we can’t be the party dominated by social conservatism.  No, we must be a more open tent party.  But that doesn’t mean we need to abandon the basic principles that make us who we are.

Hold true to your principles.  Yes, we need to adapt as a party.  We need to mold our ideas to the problems of today.  But if you are willing to sacrifice everything you believe, you might as well switch parties and be done with it.

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