In the spirit of this holiday, I suggest the following list of resolutions for Republicans for 2013.
Republicans must resolve to:
1. Acknowledge that your party is not a “conservative” party. Recognize, and then admit, that it is a neoconservative party.
2. Come to terms with the fact that neoconservatism is almost as antithetical to genuine conservatism as is welfare-liberalism, socialism, and, in short, full-blown leftism. And then realize that this is because neoconservatism is but another species of the latter.
3. Disavow anyone among your ranks who prides himself upon being, say, a “Kennedy Democrat,” or a “Scoop Jackson Democrat.” You should resolve to disavow such a person just as quickly as you should disavow a self-declared “conservative” who regards The Weekly Standard and Commentary as “conservative” publications. Fortunately, these are two birds for which you will need only one stone, for it is a certainty that anyone who professes to be a Democrat in the mold of JFK or Scoop Jackson will think of these publications as conservative in nature.
4. See “conservative” talk radio and Fox News for what they are. If Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and others really are “alternative media” voices, as they are forever assuring us, this is only because they are an acceptable alternative. And they are an acceptable alternative only because they are a scripted alternative.
Our “conservative alternative media” unfailingly adheres to the Politically Correct script. This is why the Left has succeeded in not only maintaining, but actually strengthening its hold over our culture during just that period that our “alternative media” has exploded.
5. Abandon all cult-like worship of all politicians — particularly those at the national level. Few things are as inimical to liberty as this. Republicans seem to have a glimmer of this insight whenever they speak to the phenomenon that Sean Hannity routinely refers to as “Obamamania.” Yet when it comes to the log in their own collective eye, they are oblivious.
Yes, the elevation of Barack Hussein Obama to the stature of a deity is both idolatrous and dangerous. However, it is no less idolatrous or dangerous when Ronald Wilson Reagan is immortalized. For that matter, it is equally idolatrous and dangerous to deify Abraham Lincoln and the Founders.
This brings us to our next resolution.
6. Eschew the deification of all politicians, certainly, but especially those who have championed, not just “Big” government, but Gargantuan Government.
Indeed, it is without exaggeration that Republicans can be said to worship Lincoln. Our 16th president they have canonized as a saint. Yet there is no figure in American history who has done more to “fundamentally transform” the relationship between the citizen and the government than has “Honest Abe.”
Via four long years of the bloodiest war Americans, to the present day, had ever seen, Lincoln succeeded in revoking the Founders’ vision of a federalized, constitutional government rooted in states’ rights. He was the stuff of which the anti-Federalists’ (and many of the Federalists’) nightmares were made. Lincoln established the precedent for the ever growing consolidation of authority and power that continues to unfold at neck-breaking speed today.
Stop worshipping Lincoln and start realizing that he was as perilous a threat to liberty as America had ever faced.
7. Drop all talk of “the Reagan Revolution.” This is closely related to the last resolution.
There was no revolution. Federal debts and deficits ballooned under Reagan. No department, no program, was eliminated. Taxes were cut, yes, but so too were they increased, and they were increased more frequently, and far more significantly, than they were reduced.
Reagan talked a good game — a great game, actually. But he didn’t walk so well.
In practice, Reagan was every much a champion of Gargantuan Government as the Democrats with whom he (all too infrequently) did battle.
8. Continuing this same theme, repent of the cover that you ran for George W. Bush throughout his presidency.
Any politician who refers to himself as a “compassionate conservative” is neither compassionate nor conservative. Government exists to see to it that justice is done. Compassion is for individuals to dispense. Bush was as gargantuan a spender of tax monies as any politician has ever been. He expanded the size and scope of the federal government.
Obama is our president today because Bush was our president yesterday.
9. Concede the glaring inconsistency of simultaneously advocating “limited government” while calling for a larger military. In other words, recognize that the military is government, that the larger the military, the larger the government.
If you are in favor of a smaller, less intrusive government, then you must favor a smaller, or at least not a larger, military. If, on the other hand, you favor a larger military, then you favor a larger, not a smaller, government.
10. Call out, by name, those self-declared “conservatives” who actually threaten the cause of liberty. Even if this proves to be an endless task, which it undoubtedly will, it is a task that needs to be fulfilled.
Happy New Year!