Posted on | December 9, 2012 | 66 Comments
And the conservative movement?—?a bulwark of American strength for the last several decades?—?is in deep disarray. Reading about some conservative organizations and Republican campaigns these days, one is reminded of Eric Hoffer’s remark, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” It may be that major parts of American conservatism have become such a racket that a kind of refounding of the movement as a cause is necessary. A reinvigoration of the Republican party also seems desirable, based on a new generation of leaders, perhaps coming?—?as did Ike and Reagan?—?from outside the normal channels.
What’s not in question are the basic principles of conservativism that go back to our founding documents: liberty, equality before the law, private property, free enterprise, &c.
What’s coming into question is whether the GOP elite has snorted so much Progressive cocaine as to make their heads ‘splode and forget those basic principles.
It’s not fair to rip Rubio over this weekly GOP address speech and call him a milquetoast. The weekly address is not CPAC, where Rubio can be expected to arrive with some sort of bacon gun and shoot pork product pellets into the sea of meat-craving conservatives. The weekly address is certainly an occasion for something short and vaguely positive that colors within the lines.
However, for 2014 and 2016, this blogger wants to see some recognition that those lines mark a Progressive pit into which the country has sunk, and correctly identifies the systemic issue for the problem: our government has shifted from being representative to redistributive over the last century. Both parties have been buying votes with entitlements and turning a country of opportunity into some sort of neo-feudalism.
Hopefully the GOP can glom onto the reality of 2012, which is that the Gradual Onslaught of Progressivism is not going to attract voters anymore. If the GOP is merely saying tom-ay-toe to the Democrat’s tom-ah-toe, then the losses will continue to mount. It’s time to put on the Big People Pants and talk hardcore reform.
Update: linked by Nathan J. Martin