In a post right below here, Doug Gibson looks at recent polling data and wonders why more Americans call themselves conservative, but the Republican Party is losing ground.
I posted a response to him there, but thought I’d expand on it here.
I’ve been telling Doug for some time now that the terms “Republican” and “Conservative” don’t mean anything any more. Same thing goes for “liberal” and “democrat.”
You can be conservative (the adjective) without being A CONSERVATIVE (the noun) if you catch my drift — the title is totally disassociated from the action, and the Republican Party even more so. In Nixon’s Checkers speech he said his wife Pat had “a good Republican cloth coat,” and he chose that phrase very carefully because the Republican party fancies itself as the party of the common man, and the common man watches his pennies.
I’m conservative because that is how I lead my life — simply, cheaply, with an affinity for small consumption, little govenrment intrusion and a demand that government pay for what it buys, just like me.
The group of people who call themselves the core of the Republican party, and claim to be conservatives (noun) are not conservative (adjective) at all — they believe in massive government spending and debt, huge expansion of government powers and intruding government oversight into the doctor’s office — they live in massive expensive houses, drive massive expensive cars and lead massive expensive lives.
I believe in paying for what you buy — yes, even if that includes raising taxes. The so-called “conservatives” of the so-called “Republican” party threw two wars and actually cut government revenue, through tax cuts.
That’s fiscally irresponsible and politically insane. It tells the people that they can have something for nothing and put the whole thing on the nation’s Visa card. That’s a policy that’s good for short-term gains in popularity, but in the long run is unsustainable, as the current national deficit shows. It hit a trillion under Obama, but the path was set under 8 years of Bush, who added trillions of dollars to the national debt while continually promising that his budget would balance someday, always in the future.
I believe in smaller and less intrusive government. That includes staying the hell out of life-or-death medical decisions such as that brain dead chick that our Rep. Biship was ready to fly across the Atlantic, at massive public expensive, to vote to intrude the federal government into. Government has no business at all making rules about who can get married, who can get an abortion, or who can be tought how to keep from getting pregnant. The expansion of government snooping powers under the so-called “Patriot” act is frightening in the extreme.
I believe in effeciency and eliminating waste. That means, among many other things, making health care available for all to cut medical bankruptcies and avoid forcing people to wait until they’re so sick they qualify for emergency room treatment, as President Bush so blithly advice people to do.
So, yeah, I’m conservative. Sadly, the Republican party, which is composed of a lot of people who call themselves conservatives, is the antithesis of all I stand for.
And, please note, I am very aware that the Republican party SAYS it is for much of what I believe in. Sadly for them, I look at actions, not words. When the Republican party starts acting like real conservatives, I’ll be happy to give it another look.