For the GOP, Moderate Is the New Conservative
I've come to a cross roads, and I believe many of you are with me. I no longer have faith that members of the Grand Old Party can represent me as a classical liberal or more specifically as a Conservative-Libertarian, and neither do I believe the majority of the members of the party share true forms of those ideologies.
This feeling began developing after the 2010 election when several friends and colleagues of mine and I developed ConservativeCongress.com to assess every single candidate self-proclaimed to be running as a conservative in the entire country. Thousands of unpaid and thankless hours were put into the project by myself and my friends. I myself put in roughly 2,000 to 3,000 hours alone. Then I watched as various state Tea Party groups and supposedly conservative minding groups signed off on the status quo. I became sick as state after state sent D.C. main stays and beltway insiders back to flap their gums about conservative principles while we all watched continuous compromise and a lack of any leadership with the House at their disposal.
The final blow personally for me was when I watched a man take my home district who had not lived in his home state in 18 years and also did not even own property in the state in which he was running for office. I've had the great privilege in my lifetime to travel extensively and live in various areas of our great nation. I remember very clearly living abroad in Australia some seven years ago and then upon returning spending the next four years moving around for graduate school and work. When I made it back home I hardly recognized the place in which I grew up. Everything had changed.
How in the world can I expect a man whom has not lived in my state in 20 years to understand the mindset, the true needs, and the conditions of the place he calls "home" and effectively execute the needs of those people with his representation in Congress? Furthermore, how can I trust party members that would attend Tea Party rallies and wax poetic about conservative ideals and then vote for this type of candidate? Consequently this gentleman has done nothing of any interest in his first term. Shock and awe!
This type of thing happens all of the time in D.C. and it is baffling. It is akin to Microsoft hiring as their CEO an 18 year veteran of Apple, whom had zero experience at Microsoft and then telling him he could run the company from Apple.
It was at this point that, while I was and am still heavily vested in the policy side of the tech/telecomm sector, my interest in politics and having any faith in the Republican Party died a very sad death. A death that has not seen any signs of life with the current GOP nominees for president.
It's unsettling that Republicans who claim to be conservatives or "Tea Party'ers," can without a hesitation hand over their support to an individual who seems to have learned the definition of "conservative" from Dictionary.com. Republicans have spent 4 years lining up outside to protest the healthcare bill and now they are lining up inside to throw their nomination at the man who is responsible for the model for Obamacare.
In fact, most of the entire line up of candidates, whether they realized it or not, were moderates in some fashion. Being that there is no political ideology in political theory for the terminology "moderate" I can only determine that the modern Republican Party is represented by a form of Neo-Con.
These were the individuals the Tea Party was going to take the GOP back from. But if you go by the evidence of the actions of the individuals reelected and those voted into office only one of two things can be determined, and my appologies in advance for my bluntness, but:
1) Either the majority of the Republican Party is now represented by fiscal moderates and interventionists or some type of Neo-Con; or,
2) The party is represented by a majority of idiots who take to the streets and protest for one thing, but can't rationalize how to apply that ideology to the appropriate candidate in the voting booth.
One has to realize that many of the founders of American NeoConservatism were Democrats. The whole movement, which arguably could be traced back some 60 years, but at a minimum to the 1980's has moved the entire American political spectrum left. NeoCons are what Democrats were 33 years ago. The Democratic Party has transitioned into a party of progressive socialist principles and instead of conservatives in the GOP holding their ground they have additionally taken a step to the left to replace the spot where the Democrats once stood while those of us promoting liberty seem to be doing so with a shrinking audience.
Peggy Noonan warned of this ratchet affect in 2010,
Imagine that over at the 36-inch end [of a yard stick] you've got pure liberal thinking—more and larger government programs, a bigger government that costs more in the many ways that cost can be calculated. Over at the other end you've got conservative thinking—a government that is growing smaller and less demanding and is less expensive. You assume that when the two major parties are negotiating bills in Washington, they sort of lay down the yardstick and begin negotiations at the 18-inch line. Each party pulls in the direction it wants, and the dominant party moves the government a few inches in their direction.
But if you look at the past half century or so you have to think: How come even when Republicans are in charge, even when they're dominant, government has always gotten larger and more expensive? It's always grown! It's as if something inexorable in our political reality—with those who think in liberal terms dominating the establishment, the media, the academy—has always tilted the starting point in negotiations away from 18 inches, and always toward liberalism, toward the 36-inch point.
Democrats on the Hill or in the White House try to pull it up to 30, Republicans try to pull it back to 25. A deal is struck at 28. Washington Republicans call it victory: "Hey, it coulda been 29!"
But Noonan anticipated that the Tea Party would correct the course of the party, not just show up to rallies and then vote like they had always done when it was time to go to the polls.
The truth is that once a citizen gets in on the "gimme" game, they gotcha and then one is a slave to the dictator who can provide for you.
Dictatorship and determinism are reciprocally reinforcing corollaries: if one seeks to enslave men, one has to destroy their reliance on the validity of their own judgments and choices—if one believes that reason and volition are impotent, one has to accept the rule of force. -The Ayn Rand Letter, I, 21, 1
The new conservatism is RINO.
No longer can you point out a RINO because the whole party is RINO and the majority of the GOP constituency is RINO.
To be fair the populous of the GOP are social cons. The support shared generally by all are now the issues of pro-life, traditional marriage, and fascist police state protectionism from "terrorism".
This often makes little sense as we have done nothing to protect our own borders, but we love to go to the other side of the world and kill people. I'm personally guilty of this. And I'm glad I've grown a foul distaste for it. For whatever reason Republicans love getting boots on the ground and going to war, and often in ways that make little sense. We allow Iran and North Korea to build nuclear programs in broad daylight but we spill blood and treasure to liberate a country we had vague evidence of. for people who don't appreciate our sacrifice.
Has anyone stopped to think that it is impossible to keep paying millions for bombs and hundreds of billions on wars and simultaneously lower taxes and get out of debt? It's not just social programs that are destroying our nation. Bueller? Bueller?
The completion of the takeover of the Democrat Party by progressives was shown to have come to completion 4 years ago and today I think it's clear that the Neo-Cons and moderate conservatives now control the vast majority of the GOP. That includes all the Tea Party'ers that walked out their doors November of 2010 and voted establishment beltway insiders back into office. Shame on you.
The GOP cries for another Reagan but it will never find him. Because the party of Reagan and Goldwater is dead. The tides have shifted. The Democrats will represent modern socialism. The GOP will represent wafflers, flip floppers, moderates, former Democrats, fiscal liberals that claim to be fiscal conservatives and social conservatives.
I have no agenda here. But those of us who desire liberty will either laugh and cry as it all falls apart around us or find a way to establish a third party that actually backs our talk of classical liberalism up with our support and votes. I've been a member of the GOP for my entire life, but as Zell Miller said about his beloved Democratic Party in 2004, I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me.
Originally published at nickrbrown.com.