Crossposted at The Rockefeller Republican.
As we move into the New Year it is important to take stock of where we are and how we got there. While Obama has made some interesting first steps he has yet to actually do anything and therefore none of my original fears has necessarily subsided. A look back so that we can move forward….
Why Conservatism is still the best choice for America’s future.
I admit it. Obama/Biden was a better ticket than McCain/Palin. Obama and Biden are intelligent, well-informed and disciplined men who connected with the populace. They seem to have a vision for our country and are more prepared to lead us there. If I were voting on personal qualities I would probably have voted Democratic. However, I voted for McCain because he followed a more conservative principle. For me, this was the most important point.
There are two main philosophies of government in 21st century America, Liberalism and Conservatism. Our nation has always been strongest when it was governed from the center-right. Just look back to our most recent history. Clinton, a centrist Democrat was balanced by a republican congress. Reagan was similarly balanced with a Democratic Congress. JFK and Johnson were of the old yellow-dog Democrat mentality. It is only in the last generation that we have seen the Democratic Party lurch towards its more leftist ideologues. However, we are now facing a federal government entirely dominated by the Liberal philosophy. To illustrate why this is a problem we need look no father a field than our neighbors in Europe.
We only need to witness the adoring crowds that came to see Obama speak in Berlin to realize how close the left wing of the Democratic Party is drawn to the continent. Europe has, for the most part, been following a liberal/socialist philosophy for much of the past 75 years. They have down-scaled their militaries, created nationally run health care systems, experimented with government enforced 35-hour work weeks, created year long paternity leaves- all funded by an exorbitantly large tax base. On the surface this sounds good. However, they have done this largely because they have been under the umbrella of America’s military and financial protection. When people need risky or experimental surgery, where do they go? When rogue nations invade their neighbors, or attack their own populace who is expected to stop them? When disasters strike or social needs are not met, which nation often donates the most money, time and resources? The answer to all these questions is us, the United States of America. Why? Because our capitalist society, which values above all else personal freedom tempered by strong moral values, allows us to be the strongest nation on earth. Now I am not saying Obama will turn us into the Europe overnight. But will a Democratic Congress and president put us on a road that will be hard to come back from? Once people get used to the government taking care of them it will be hard to convince them of the necessity to stand on their own again.
Too often people only look to the immediate future and ignore the long-term consequences. A long-term democratically lead nation would probably have universal healthcare, more of the middle class would have an infusion of cash taken from those who earned “more than their fair share”, and other countries would probably like us better, as we would adopt more of a “go-along-to-get-along” European styled foreign policy. These things may be fine for the next four years, maybe even eight years. But if America continues to move down a path where it more and more resembles Europe, where will the next generation be? When China, or Russia, comes into its own, militarily, who will stand up to it? When recessions turn into depressions will an essentially Socialist economy be able to rebound the way our Capitalistic one can? (Who do you think is going to rebound from the current worldwide recession first? The culture that values 35-hour work weeks and six month paid leaves with nearly 50% tax rates, or the one that pushes people to work as hard as they can as long as they can, and at least purports to keep the government out of their pockets?) I am not saying it is pretty or fair, but it has proven to be resilient.
For me, this election was a choice between two visions of the future for America, and that future belongs to my children, not necessarily me. We are going through hard times now, just as we did during the Civil War, the World Wars, The Great Depression, and of course the Cold War. The one constant that has gotten us through those times was our ability, as a nation, to pick ourselves up with our ingrained sense of self-reliance. It was our job to make our futures, not our governments’. The government just needed to stand out of the way. Throughout history all great empires have fallen for essentially the same reason. Be it Greece, Rome, or the British Empire, when a nation begins to think it deserves its riches, when its people feel entitled to prestige and profit without sacrifice, the end is near. If we fundamentally change who we are as a nation, will we be able to weather the next storm that will inevitably come our way? I fear not.