For all of the negative things that I’ve written about President Obama over the years, he is deserving of praise in his devotion to his deeply held political convictions and unwillingness to waiver from them, however sinister and misguided they may be.
In other words, a little ideology can be a good thing.
Too often in the media narrative, ideologues from both sides are demonized ad nauseam as being “what’s wrong with America” on account of all their dangerous “closed-minded” approach to politics.
Having an intact political governing philosophy seems these days to be akin to a scarlet letter of shame branding the wearer as worthy of public scorn and ridicule.
Only the all-knowing, all-sensing, all-caring moderates have the open-minded brilliance to pick and choose from what each side has to offer in a cornucopia of wave-riding lunacy that negates one policy with another in an effort to make everyone feel better as the communal hymn of Kumbaya begins.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. As voters themselves do not do the physical act of governing, they need to have clear choices in elections and the confidence that comes from honest and principled government. Wimpy middle-of-the-road moderates need not apply. Their lack of a guiding principle makes them erratic at best and extremely susceptible to manipulation by the media elites and talking heads.
Leaders lead, they don’t rock back and forth and sway in the breeze. It is not wrong to expect our candidates to have a coherent and firm political philosophy. May our left be left and our right be right.
Too often, in the name of bipartisanship, principles and campaign promises are tossed aside as a lurid display of self-serving “compromises” gives birth to the very programs, laws and agendas that the voters thought they were rejecting.
This is not to suggest that government folks shouldn’t work together where they can. It is, however, a plea to reject the all-too-common abandonment of principled leadership and common sense that is a side effect of elected office.
So, while I oppose everything Barack Obama stands for, I applaud his political clarity in leading (even though he nefariously hid that ideology from the faint-susceptible masses in 2008.)
And, quite frankly, I’m ready for an order of that courage and clarity on the GOP side (hold the side of arrogance please.)
No, then we can’t win. We need Mike Castle and Lisa Murkowski! Only moderates can win elections! Conservatives, like Ronald Reagan, just can’t win. That has been disproved time and time again. Conservatives with confidence will win every time. Just ask Chris Christie.
Former President Ronald Reagan made the case for ideology and partisanship in 1975 following the Watergate-inspired GOP losses in the mid-term election. His advice went unheeded by a party driven to moderation by Gerald Ford who lost the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter.
Reagan rightly identified that, then, as now, Americans were “hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness.”
People aren’t inspired to action by befuddled moderate wind-blown wandering. A person who is “undecided” on healthcare reform or fiscal policy is not what the nation needs. A person who votes for funding the war before he votes against it isn’t much help.
Reagan continued in his famous 1975 CPAC speech:
“I don’t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, ‘We must broaden the base of our party’--when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.
Let us show that we stand for fiscal integrity and sound money and above all for an end to deficit spending, with ultimate retirement of the national debt.”
It was a feeling that there was not a sufficient difference now between the parties that kept a majority of the voters away from the polls. When have we ever advocated a closed-door policy? Who has ever been barred from participating?
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?
So when the specter of “bipartisan” compromise, known in some circles as abject surrender, is raised by GOP politicians regarding Obamacare before the election is even held, one has to worry about the knee-strength of the GOP. As Lady Thatcher used to say, “this is no time to go wobbly.” And should the GOP fail to heed that advice, they will only consign themselves to political irrelevance, inevitably bound for a lengthy stay in the political wilderness.
More importantly, however, they will sign America’s capitalist death certificate as the devolution of the freest, most prosperous nation into the utter failure of socialism will be complete.
As James Capretta writes in National Review, “there’s no avoiding ‘repeal and replace’” as it is “essential for limited government.” For, if Obamacare is not repealed, and soon, it will become institutionalized pork lulling an entirely new voting bloc into submission of another government master. Obama and his allies know this already and are banking that just enough weak-willed RINOs and a broad assortment of career politicians in both parties who are more interested in their own personal power and fortunes than the interests of the republic, will cave to the intoxicating draught of Washington power.
Dovetailing with another National Review piece by Victor Davis Hanson, Capretta argues that the voters are only now waking up from the folly of 2008 with a new determination to make things right. Voters, he argues “are ready to take matters into their own hands and send a brigade of genuine change agents to the House and Senate on November 2.”
However, he further warns that “these new members will come with clear marching orders: Cut government spending, hold the line on taxes, and shake up Washington in ways not seen in many years.”
In other words, we need some good old-fashioned Ronald Reagan/Calvin Coolidge-style common sense conservatism to rule the day. Like a knight in shining armor, conservatism needs to be the agenda and the guiding political philosophy of the new GOP elected officials.
Partisanship and sticking to a defined political ideology is never easy and is often not pretty. But folks shouldn’t enter politics because it is easy or to become popular. If validation and a life of ease is the intended goal, apply for a reality show.
Serious times and serious responsibilities call for serious men and women. Folks who have a vision and passion and communicate that freely and without guile to the constituents. Folks that will adhere to their stated goals and campaign promises. Folks that respect the will of the people and are worthy of their trust.
Partisanship and ideology can be a good thing. And they’re needed now more than ever.