By JR Dieckmann
Is conservatism dead in America? It would seem so, or at
least it has shrunk to a no longer viable political ideology. There was a time
when the Republican party had itís roots in conservatism. The party was based on
conservative values of smaller government; low taxes; a strong national defense;
freedom in commerce and industry for entrepreneurs to grow and expand their
businesses and make a profit. The freedom and liberty of the people to choose
their own path through life and develop to their full potential without
excessive government interference in their lives was the standard.
What went wrong? I donít really know, but obviously the
mainstream Republican party is no longer conservative. This has become apparent
in the current election campaigning for President of the United States of
For as long as I have been engaged in politics, every
conservative I know has been looking and asking for a true conservative to
occupy the White House. We havenít seen one since Ronald Reagan, but current
candidates just canít resist using the Reagan name in the campaigns as the gold
standard to measure all who run for the office. Yet none of them measure up to
Reaganís ability to govern the country and communicate with the people. There
will never be another Ronald Reagan, so we can just forget about trying to
revive the Reagan persona.
But finally, there is one candidate who has most of the Reagan
qualities in his conservative views and abilities to govern, but Republicans
donít seem to be much interested. Fred Thompson was drafted by grass roots
conservatives to fill that vacancy, and he finally accepted the call of the
people. If the Republican party was still a conservative party, Thompson would
have been propelled right to the top and stayed there, but that didnít happen.
The best Fred has been able to do so far (except for his little known
2nd place in Wyoming) is third place with votes proportional to those
of John Edwards on the Democrat side.
There are only two possible conclusions to be drawn from this:
1. The Republican electorate is simply ignorant of the candidates and what they
stand for. 2. The Republican party is no longer populated with a conservative
majority. We finally have the chance to elect the first real conservative to the
presidency since Ronald Reagan and weíre blowing it. Instead, we are voting for
the most liberal candidates in the race, Mike Huckabee and RINO John McCain.
Itís becoming quite clear that the Republican electorate is no longer interested
in conservative values or in seeing those values materialize in the White
Thompson is the only candidate in the race who has been honest
with the voters about what he believes. The only complaints I have heard from
conservatives is that he voted against a constitutional amendment to ban
abortion, and that he voted against the Bush tax cuts. There were good reasons
for those votes that few seem to understand and they both go right to the core
of Thompsonís conservative beliefs.
On the abortion issue, he opposed it on the grounds that such
things come under the issue of ďstateís rightsĒ and the federal government has
no business trumping the powers of the separate states. Fred is 100% pro life
but he also believes in constitutional federal government that respects the
limited powers granted to it by the Constitution. As much as he would like to
see abortion banned in America, he feels the federal government does not have
the constitutional powers to do it.
On the issue of the Bush tax cuts, this goes to the core of
Thompsonís understanding of the economy of the country. He recognizes that Bush
has been artificially inflating the economy with excess federal spending so that
he can leave a legacy of continual economic growth. The problem is that the
natural state of the economy based on commerce is not constant economy growth.
There has to be settling periods for things to settle out and like water, seek
its own level. The more federal money Bush pumps into the economy, the more
inflation it causes and the lower the dollar sinks in value.
Just like climatic temperatures cycle up and down to maintain
an overall average, so must the economy. If the Bush economic stimulus practice
was to continue, eventually the dollar would be worth no more than the Peso.
This is why prices of everything are going up at a faster rate than wages across
the country. We have to put on the brakes before our economy spirals completely
out of control.
Thompson tried to do that when he opposed the Bush tax cuts so
that the country could absorb the pending recession a little at a time, rather
than wait for it to develop into a full blown depression which is where it is
Thompson also opposed the Bush tax cuts on the primary grounds
that the bill in Congress did not include federal spending cuts. Instead, it
increased federal spending, just as all bills in Congress have since Bush has
been in office.
Fox News commentators are now speculating that Thompson will
drop out of the race, possibly as soon as this week. I donít know if there is
any truth to that, but what I have noticed about Fox News is that in spite of the
fact that Fox program hosts are often conservative, their producers and program
directors often seem hostile to conservatives and try to suppress conservative
views while promoting liberal views. There are frequent and sometimes obvious
conflicts between the on-camera reporters and the producers and directors. Itís
not uncommon to see the program host state one view offered by his producer,
then go to political field reporter on the ground who has an entirely different
But itís not only Fox News. The entire television media has
been extremely unfriendly to any conservative candidate while preferring to
feature the more liberal Republicans. For example, yesterday after the So.
Carolina polls closed, Fred Thompson gave a speech. Shortly after the speech
began, Fox experienced some minor, emphasize MINOR, audio difficulties.
Regardless that Thompson could still be clearly heard, Fox immediately switched
to an interview with Mike Huckabee, while CNN continued to air the entire
Thompson speech. This to the credit of CNN but demonstrates the bias of the Fox
News program directors and producers.
I donít know if Fred is going to stay in the race or drop out.
If he drops out then I will no longer have dog in this race, which will come down
to choosing the lesser of the available evils. If we canít elect a conservative,
then my first choice of the best qualified candidate for the job would be Mitt
Romney. Iím convinced he can handle the economy well. He is also strong on
border enforcement and illegal immigration. I have heard little from him on
national defense and his social policies would be anyoneís guess.
As for McCain and Huckabee, well, you might just as well give
the White House to the Democrats for there would be little difference. That just
leaves Guliani, who I seriously doubt will be in the race much longer. If he were
able to pull a Huckabee and rise up, he would be a slight bit better than either
of the two mentioned above.
As Iíve said before, itís a crapshoot and right now it looks
like the White House is going to have to install a lot more crappers to handle