Can political conservatives re-emerge?

Photo by John Lund

I spent some time this week reading political news and listening to political news from the conservative perspective. (Not much else to do when living in a hospital room other than catch up on news!)

While many of my views could be characterized as conservative, I struggle because the language of conservative politics is almost always backwards looking. The line of thinking seems to be, “If we could just get back to how it used to be, our country would be back on track.

That line has a lot of derivatives:

  • We need to roll back spending to pre-Obama spending levels.
  • We are a historically Christian country, our country will be better if we go back to the original authors intents.
  • The civil war wasn’t about slavery, it was about individual states rights. We need to re-embrace federalism.
  • We need to close our borders because “Americans” don’t have jobs.

My problem is that as a forward-thinking person there isn’t anything worth listening too but a bunch of cry-babies.

I could identify myself better with conservatives if they spoke in a forward-thinking, innovative, and solution-based language. Voting against things without having a solution to replace what you’ve voted down is playing checkers when politics is a game of chess. Then getting on the news and talking about a great win for conservatives when, in fact, it was neutral or a loss, isn’t helping me. I’m not going to identify with people who are losing and don’t see it!

All I hear/read is fear-mongering and stoking the flames of yesteryear. It’s as if they forgot that the primary reason Ronald Reagan was the most popular Republican president in the last half century was because he helped move our country forward– not backwards.

Conservatives need to start dealing with reality. The stock market has been on a 12 month bender. Job growth is taking hold. Consumer confidence is soaring. Even the housing market is springing to life again. Obama kept his promise to cease military operations in Iraq. The strategies in Afghanistan seem to be working. In other words… Obama took the hand that a helpless Bush administration dealt and are turning it into a full house.

Politically, the Democrats will regain everything in the next round of elections if Republicans continue to look and sound like the crabby old white men. Clearly, based on what you hear on conservative leaning talk radio and read in conservative leaning news is that they think that they need to appeal to an older, white, extremely conservative audience.

Back to politics 101:

  • Tell me what you want to do.
  • Stop whining.
  • Forget the Tea Party concept, it is back-firing.
  • Tell me your vision for our country.
  • Help us envision what America will look like when we embrace the forward-thinking, innovative changes you foresee.
  • Disassociate yourself with one-dimensional ideologues/radio heads.
  • Distance yourself from “the religious right.”
  • Come up with a new approach to the abortion issue– put the nail in the coffin on abstinence-only education.
  • Come up with a more centrist view on gay marriage.
  • Find some intelligent women that my daughter can idealize. (And get rid of “pitbulls with lipstick.” That’s gross.)
  • Give me something, anything, I can identify with.

In other words, look at the country you hope to govern, see what our strengths for tomorrow ought to be, and then build your agenda. Move to the middle.

Because at this point– it seems like Republicans have given up on capturing younger conservatives.





2 responses to “Can political conservatives re-emerge?”

  1. Bob Longman Avatar

    They’re ‘on the stump’ even while they’re still sitting on the stump, because they’re stumped. As you said, it’s the basis of their thinking that is wrong – look forward not back. I think that they have a potentially bigger problem than the religious right, though: their constant parroting of big business’ lines. It already almost brought us down, and if they get their way on that, it could well happen again.

    I wish that the Left would somehow find themselves reevaluating their way of seeing abortion. But that can only happen if a centrist approach steps up, and the Left stops saying ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ at anyone who brings it up.

  2. Christopher Moghtaderi Avatar

    The national debt is out of control, unemployment is still incredibly high (in the teens when you include people who are only working part time or have stopped looking all together) and inflation is on the rise which will hurt the poor more than the rich. If you call this moving forward, then I’m all for stopping. When you make a wrong turn you sometimes have to reverse direction and get back on the right road. The problem began with Roosevelt’s debt spending and has continued on since. We need to get back to a time where we lived within our means and a time when we understood and governed by the constitution. The document was created to protect the people from greed. Whether that is greed from companies or greed from politicians. Both which seek power and wealth.

    Here are some ideas to help fix the problem:
    Health Care:
    – Rather than socializing health care, open competition across state lines. That same practice has worked for automotive insurance and could very well work for health insurance.
    – Reform malpractice lawsuits and charge the plaintiff court costs for fraudulent cases.
    – Reform medicare to a % based system. Create a higher cut off point for those in between. As your income increases towards that cut off line, then your contribution towards your monthly cost increases.

    – I’m just gonna say what no one else may be willing to say. Abortion is racism in the worst form. Abortion was promoted and pushed, although quietly, because the wealthy were unwilling to support the lives of children of those who were less fortunate. At the time was primarily the African-American population in the United States. The black population would be double it is currently if it weren’t for abortion. This is one I can’t back down from, sorry. As planned parenthood offers free contraceptives, there should be no excuse for abortion with the exception of rape or complications of pregnancy. Oh, and it seems that NPR thinks abstinence only education works.

    Illegal Immigration
    – Modern day slavery for businesses. Slavers would house and feed their slaves. If you were to look at the average wage of an illegal immigrant worker/month and compared it to the monthly cost of keeping a slave/month and took in account inflation, today is probably much worse. We need to punish those who employee illegal workers, not only for taking advantage of cheap labor but also for breaking the law. In addition institute a guest worker program. Amnesty is not the solution. It wasn’t the solution with Regan, it will not be the solution today. Cracking down on employees worked and reduced the influx of illegals, but the government got lazy and the problem picked back up again. The real problem is that Mexican politicians are reaping from the benefits of their oil industry while the people suffer. The same thing that could happen here if the government becomes too powerful.

    Gay Marriage:
    -I’ve stated my view on this quite a few times. I would not be opposed to a measure that would allow gay marriage if that measure specifically included language to protect the speech of churches to continue to speak their views and the right to refuse ceremonies without legal repercussions.

    But let’s talk about moving forward. How about the left stop accusing conservatives of killing grandmas and the poor in order to scare people to vote for them because they want to reform medicare, medicaid, and social security as they have for the past 50 years? How about they actually be sincere when they call for something such as the new civility. If they want it, they need to attack their own for uncivil rather than giving free passes for those who agree ideologically. Attack Steve Cohen for comparing conservatives to Nazi’s, attack the unions in Wisconsin for doing the same to their Govenor, or attack them for making signs with targets on his face. Let’s move beyond the hypocrisy.

    I don’t know this Bob, but he’s misinformed. The health insurance industry benefited greatly from Obama care as it forced people to sign up for health insurance. Guess who the health industry donated more money too. McCain or Obama? If you guessed Obama, you’re right. BOTH sides are in bed with businesses, they are just in bed with different businesses.

    We need balance of power and we need smaller government. The more government interference we have, the more we are moving backwards to a time of oppression, the same thing our Founding Fathers wanted to escape from.

    Yes, the conservatives unfortunately have Palin, but the liberals have Pelosi. Neither side seems to have an intelligent, or attractive for that matter, female face to the party at this time.

    Sorry for taking up so much space but politics (both sides) make me angry.

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