Conservatism has been said to be a dominant factor in the Republican Party for a long time, and conservatives in Congress and on talk radio and Fox News Channel have been spewing forth their poison, whether it is to go to war as a first resort, rather last last resort; putting women, African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, gays and lesbians, labor, poor people, environmentalists, public service workers, consumer advocates, and anyone who promotes progressivism, in their place; and promoting corporations, the wealthy, and religion and the military as dominant parts of American power to make our nation a militaristic, religiously based plutocracy, only advocating the interests of the few, rather than the many!
But the frustration of these conservatives is that, somehow, it never seems to work out quite like they expect. Witness: Dwight D. Eisenhower defeats Robert Taft in 1952 and does “unconservative” policies in office; Richard Nixon also disappoints in many areas; Gerald Ford and his wife Betty actually promote social progressivism; even Ronald Reagan shows that he can be moved away from hard line conservative ideas; George H. W. Bush is clearly too moderate and centrist; George W. Bush follows certain aspects of conservatism, particularly following the “neocons” in foreign affairs, but too involved in “compassionate conservatism” in domestic affairs and government spending; and even Bob Dole and John McCain, losing GOP Presidential nominees, are insufficiently conservative, and actually come across as “moderates”, a hated term.
And now Mitt Romney cannot be trusted to be hard line conservative, despite his own efforts at protestations. And even Barry Goldwater, thought to be in 1964, the “ideal” conservative, later revealed his social progressivism and condemned the role of religion in the Republican Party! What is a frustrated conservative to do?
The answer is back and nominate former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who wants to bomb Iran on Day One in office; wants a very hard line social conservatism, putting women “back in their place”; wants no regulation of business or corporations that interferes with “free enterprise”; wishes to wipe out by any means the rights of gays and lesbians; wishes to take away all of the federal entitlement programs of the New Deal and Great Society; return America back to the 1950s in some ways, the 1920s in other ways, and the Gilded Age of the late 19th century in other ways!
Conservatives want to bring back the “good old days” of white male domination over society, and corporate influence, joined with the military and religious control over our foreign and domestic policies.
Let’s hope, even pray, that Rick Santorum is nominated, and watch as he is obliterated in November, and his support by conservatives sets them back for at least a generation, and give mainline Republicans the opportunity to rebuild the party as what it once was, a centrist party, a good competition for the Democratic Party. And if the GOP refuses to reform itself, then it should be replaced by a new moderate centrist party in the mainstream of 21st century America!
Of course, notice that the author said a “generation” would pass of conservative decline, as sadly, to believe conservatism will leave our shores forever, is not going to happen, as it is like a recurring cancer on the body politic–it WILL return eventually, and the battle for control of government and politics is, therefore, a never ending battle of American history!