I’m not sure what happened to Conservatism. I know that it has been taken over by the “Religious Right” in many ways, and these things happen. I have nothing personal against the people as individuals from the hard right of the GOP. I am, as most of you have figured a Republican. I’ve never voted for a Democratic candidate in my life. I’ve come close a few times, but in the end, I realized that the Party that I agree with most often than not is better off if I vote for their candidate even if I’m not too crazy about them.
I have also posted on some Dems I respect, a great deal, one of them was Sen. Monyhan of NY, whom I usually had to really think about before I pulled against him. I figured he was a shoo in every time, so it didn’t really matter, anyway.
Also, in many ways I’m somewhat of a Conservative. I don’t like government expanding too much. I like to see fiscal responsibility, though the GOP hasn’t been too good at that lately. I am a Hawk, very much so. I am also rather spiritual. Oddly, while my spiritual side makes me uncomfortable with issues such as abortion on demand, gay marriage, and stem cell research, it tends to make me a bit more moderate than the GOP on “Great Society” issues. I also don’t trust corportations, and I feel that is really in the history of Conservatism (Teddy Roosevelt). It’s that old “Love of money line”. I also tend to favor civil union laws for homosexuals, and certainly feel that basic assumptions of society such as inheritance, child visitation, adoption rights, and being able to live freely and without fear in the public is a human right. My spirituality also makes me concerned about this planet, as I feel it is a gift from God for man to use, but not destroy. My spiritual side tends to “moderate” me, and is the part of me that says, “Be reasonable, and listen to the other side”.
What I do find is that the Party that I have loved is squeezing me out. Me. I voted for Reagan, and campaigned for him when I was 18 in 1980. I have never once missed an election, even in off years. I have campaigned for GOP candidates in three different elections. I cried in joy when Reagan was elected. I feared when he was shot. I felt badly for Bush 41, and felt that he got done in by the base. I really felt that way about Sen. Dole, one of the greatest statesmen in American history, for the way the base treated him in ’96. I am not always happy about the President, and am certainly worried about Iraq, but then again, I don’t spit when I say that this President is not really a true Conservative. You see the things I’ve liked most about W are when he has incorporated the best of the ideas from the 60’s – The Great Society – and tried to implement it by reinstating Title I. I also can understand where W’s coming from when he talked – prior to 9/11 about the need to moderate views on our illegal alien policies. I think he didn’t go with his instincts, when he should have just done what his gut told him was right.
In ’96 the “Father of American Conservativism”, Barry Goldwater maybe summarized the “new” Conservativism best when he told Bob Dole, who had been abandoned by many of this new breed, “We’re the new liberals of the Republican Party. Can you imagine that?”
I guess I just can’t.