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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The GOP of the 21st Century: Is Fiscal Conservatism Dead?

This election gives voters a choice between more or less socialism. I use the term socialism very loosely, but it is quite clear that the United States has been inching in that direction for decades.

In 2000 primaries, George W. Bush was the “conservative” choice over John McCain. Perhaps my definition of conservatism is flawed, but I do not understand how more than doubling the size of our government and national debt are conservative principles at work. Six years in office and not ONE veto. Is the open line of credit to the U.S. Treasury endless?

John McCain has been preaching on the campaign trail for some time about his belief in “conservative principles.” He has spoken sharply against wasteful government spending. If I had a dollar for every time he mentioned the terms “pork” and “earmarks”………
He states he believes in the free market. He understands how low taxes and a small federal government stimulate investment and growth.

As I watched the President address the nation in the midst of the housing debacle, I saw him make a case for the biggest move towards socialism in my lifetime: temporary nationalization of the banking industry, and corporate welfare at work. $700 billion…why not $800, $500 or $900? Why is $700 billion the magic number?

Next, I hear Senator McCain is suspending his campaign. Is this the “maverick” at work? Will he stop the insanity? I thought this was his chance to stand up and illustrate what happens when capitalism is broken…how government-sponsored enterprises (GSE’s) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the potential to do harm for decades to come. This is his chance to oppose the President and outline a free-market solution. Instead, he marches to the beat of the drum in the Senate and votes for a bill filled with pork – one that essentially nationalizes the banking industry. Was it a little too “mavericky” for him to take such a risk?

After voting for this bill, Senator McCain would like us to believe that once he is President, he will veto every single pork barrel bill that comes his way, and he’ll make the author famous. He can begin by adding his own name to that black list. He will veto every pork/earmark bill except one that moves us further away from free-market principles – the very principles on which he campaigned.

Is this the GOP of the 21st century? Down the road, will America have a choice between left and center-left? When the GOP abandons its principles for votes, this flawed strategy emboldens the left. Barack Obama would never be where he is today if the GOP didn’t move so far away from conservative principles. People do not take the time to examine the events of the past 8 years. If they did, they would never conclude that George W. Bush was a conservative, and that conservative principles have failed the country.

Political ideology in America has become a blur. The masses, with the help of the media, simply echo the talking points of each candidate instead of their philosophies. Have we seen a glimpse of the 21st century GOP; or does it take an Obama Presidency to wake the party? Perhaps a third-party is needed for all those who feel lost this election because there isn’t a candidate on a major ticket who is willing to stand for and defend all that has made America the superpower she is…..

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