For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Is Conservatism Dead?...Get Real.

It has been brought to my attention recently that Conservatism is dead. The announcement of its demise followed the other shocking announcement of the death of the influence of talk radio (namely conservative talk radio) on the electoral process. It was still further noted that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Mark Levin would all be selling apples on street corners before the election next November. Okay, I made that last part up. But it would fit snuggly into the box of wishful thinking gift-wrapped by the liberal main stream media for our consumption. However, the facts would suggest otherwise.

And just what are those facts? Isn’t it true that there are only two Republican candidates left standing and that both of them are moderates? Well, there are actually three if you count Ron Paul, who has made no announcement of suspending his campaign. But since he stands less than a snowball’s chance of winning, and since we cannot seem to take him seriously enough to classify him as either conservative, or moderate,…or even crackpot, we will for all intents and purposes ignore him hereafter.

Just how did we end up with two moderates left standing?

When the campaign started with ten candidates vying for the Republican nod, there were ten self-proclaimed conservatives. No moderates could be seen anywhere with the naked eye. All invoked the name of Reagan during debates and speeches. All claimed to be the most qualified AND all claimed to be the most conservative of the bunch. Some told the truth about their conservative credentials and some did not. In the end we got stuck with two of them who did not.

Part of the reason has to do with a change in primary scheduling, without changes in how the media reports on candidates. Usually there is plenty of time to get to know each candidate as they step into the spotlight. One by one the media investigates their backgrounds and exposes this and that to the voters as each candidate becomes popular. First Giuliani, then Romney, Fred Thompson, Huckabee, and finally McCain. But by the time people started to seriously look at McCain he was only one of three left standing, the other two being more conservative than him splitting the vote. To put it quite simply, those who were moderate lied to us bald-faced about what they stood for. And those of us who didn’t follow the process closely enough bought into the lies thinking they were voting for someone who filled the conservative bill.

The other reason had to have been the inability of Fred Thompson to inspire consistently and with enough energy the confidence required by the public to entrust in him the highest office.

Still another reason was due to election losses in the Senate of George Allen and Rick Santorum two years prior. The strength of an Allen-Santorum ticket would’ve made believers out of many of us. But for Congressman Foley and a war gone sour those two would’ve retained their offices, and one or both would be positioning themselves on the Republican ticket.

So conservatism itself is not dead. If it were, all the candidates would’ve claimed to be the most moderate, while invoking the names of Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller.

(McCain button "borrowed" from Conservative Cat.)