Thursday, November 27, 2008

Conservatism's Valley Forge

I hear there's a new search engine out there whose environmentalist creators have pledged to plant a tree for every 100 search inquiries entered per person utilizing the service. Great if your into that kind of rubbish, but I would be more inclined to use a search engine that pledges to clear-cut an acre of the rain forest for every fifty searches entered. It's kind of like those great Sumatra coffee beans they grow in soil that has a high content of volcanic ash - some anti globalist do-gooders won't buy the coffee beans because it's picked by 6 year old children under less than perfect conditions; I say it's their tiny hands that make it tasty.
Anyway, on to the subject du jour.

How do they contain themselves? "They" being the Sunday morning pundits who are helping the progressives try and hammer a brittle nail into conservatism's coffin. The truth is that conservatism didn't die on the November 4th, and President-elect Obama's fortunes are not - as we discussed in the last post - a result of the rise of the so-called "moderate" cabal of the American populace. It's a cheap slight of hand parlour trick the media is so good at - creating an issue that didn't exist to begin with and making you think it was there all along. On November 5th, the big question on every news anchor's lips was "What does the Republican party have to do to reach out to moderate voters?" Did you catch that? You might have missed it if you blinked. My question is simple - who decided that the Republican party needs to change their strategy to reach out to moderate voters, or if these so called "moderates" (i.e. liberals) even require reaching out to in the first place? Was there a debate before the debate that even clarified what a "moderate" voter is?

Initiatives to ban gay marriage were on the ballot in 30 states, and these initiatives passed in every one of them. If, as my friend Jonah Goldberg pointed out, white liberals see gay marriage legislation as the single most important civil rights issue of their generation, then it seems that progressive Democrats are in a lot more trouble than the conservative base of the Republican party. The ban on gay marriage even passed in California, which is the Mecca of all things ridiculously liberal.

This is not a trivial matter and conservatives should take heart that the core convictions of Hispanic, African American, and blue collar voters remain steadfastly socially conservative.

I must admit that it would be intellectually dishonest of me to say that many in the conservative movement do not share this opinion - it was even the central theme of the recent Republican Governor's conference. Many prominent Conservatives such as Ross Douthat and Chris Buckley feel that Conservatives should concede that the great welfare state is here to stay, and the movement should work within these parameters to try and shape public policy to reward those -such as in the case of welfare - who are trying to return to work and be less gracious toward those who are using the social safety net as a hammock. Even Rush Limbaugh conceded this almost two decades ago in The Way Things Ought To Be. I say this is conceding defeat, when the opposing army is oblivious to the weakness of their position.

Conservatives, as Goldberg said, should strive to be happy warriors, throwing everything in the conservative arsenal at the Democratic party, and continue not only to be anti-left, but also anti-state.

In the winter of 1777, as Washington's Continental army froze at Valley Forge, soldiers starving and barefooted in the snow, it would have been easy to concede that the end was near. It wasn't until Washington realized that the reason his army was starving in the breadbasket of the nation was because farmers were selling their Summer harvest to the British army stationed in Philadelphia, who payed for food in Sterling pounds, instead of selling their goods to the Army, who were paying the farmers in worthless Continental currency.

Conservatives and the Republican party may be at their own Valley Forge at the moment. We all need to see through the snow and press on undaunted for the glory of the cause.

Enjoy a classic from Blues Traveler as we head into the weekend!




Dr Sandy said...

As a Liberal and avid reader of this post, and in a same-sex marriage, I am forced to quote Pierre Trudeau, "We take the position that there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." This is a comment made in the house on the decriminalization of homosexuality Dec. 22 1967.

gojoe150 said...

Dr Sandy. Thank you for your comments and continued support.

The ballot measures that appeared in all 30 states regarded the constitutionality of gay marriage, and not the decriminalization of homosexuality. The over-blown comments of an overrated Liberal Canadian Prime minister in no way illuminates the debate on whether gay marriage is constitutionally valid in the United States.