Saturday, October 4, 2008

What's the Difference Between a Republican and a Democrat? Convictions

Watching John McCain and Sarah Palin mouth the same old Republican platitudes (low taxes, government is bad, etc., etc.) at a time when most of the people in the country know it is just those principles which got us into this mess, has made me aware yet again of the strength of Conservative convictions and the weakeness of Liberal ones.

Obama can barely bear to mention the word Democrat. His campaign is all about him. He panders to the Right, not even to the center. He is all "soft": both parties are at fault, we have to come together, etc., etc. Why? Well, partly of course, it's because he has no political convictions, but mainly because he cares only about what he has to do to win.

Unfortunately, this describes most Democrats today. Republicans (Conservatives) stuck to their principles throughout the reigns of FDR, Truman, Kennedy and LBJ. Their mantra of personal responsibility (social Darwinism), low taxes, no government regulation (except, of course, when it comes to morality), and the supremacy of the free market has never changed.

We can see this in the McCain/Palin campaign. At a time when McCain needed to reach out to Independents and disaffected Democrats, he chose possibly the least qualified and most conservative Republican woman candidate around because she would appeal to the Right Wing base of the Party. He, himself, has given up any pretense to being a maverick. He continues to sell himself as a Bush Republican, but a Bush Republican who will actually govern as a Republican.

The Democrats, OTOH, after the Vietnam War seemed to completely lose their way. Not only did they stop promoting Democratic (Liberal) values, they stopped defending them. Even Bill Clinton campaigned and governed mainly as Republican Lite. (Hillary, OTOH, is much closer to the FDR, RFK ideal.)

Today we have Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc. all bowing to the Conservatives, begging for their support, doing everything they can to avoid creating controversy, least they be accused of being Liberals.

What I don't understand is why. Why do Conservatives never lose faith in their principles, no matter how much reality differs from fact while Liberals caved in at their first major loss (to Reagan)?

No comments: