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Is Conservatism Dead?
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 America.

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 House.

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 now headed.

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 view.

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 the load.