Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » One Step Closer to Purity:
"Christopher Buckley, author and son of late conservative icon William F. Buckley, last week surprised readers of the magazine his father founded, the National Review:“Sorry, Dad, I’m voting for Obama” was the headline on The Daily Beast blog.
...I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.
So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.
With fiscal conservatism and smaller government clearly out the window these last eight years, really all they seem to have left is social conservatism and poorly thought out preemptive wars.
Otoh, the Democratic Party you still can't sum up the same way you can the Republican Party. Republicans believe [propaganda wise, anyways] in smaller government, fiscal responsibility and personal liberty, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Democrats believe in, ummm... honestly, such a hodge-podge of different things that you can't sum it up very well. Which is one reason the "Change" mantra and the "One America" bits play well this year. It gives them a verbal and ideological hook. Otherwise, Democrats suck on message. Clinton worked it by hammering "It's the economy, stupid." But otherwise, Democrats are horrible at articulating, simply and clearly, what they believe in.
Even Libertarians do a much better job with a very simple and clear message - maximal economic and personal liberty. Or the oft touted "economic conservative/social liberal."
Especially since they were able to make liberal a dirty word. You can't say you believe in liberal ideas in American politics anymore. Even though liberal really comes from ideas meaning liberty and openness. You can say still say you're a "conservative" and confer some sense of cautious responsibilty. "Liberal" means someone that wants to take all your money and force you to marry a homosexual. Though the left wing did hit back with a nice bit of verbal judo with the appropriation of the term "Neoconservative." Not really a conservative... a new type of conservative hellbent on screwing everything up.
Eh, they're all one big statist power-hungry party of domination and abuse. And that's my bit of cheery sunshiny optimism of the day. I'm gonna go talk with children and cheer myself up.