Considering the state of the economy, our men and women abroad, the culture of our country, now is as important a time as ever to discuss, as conservatives, what the coming years, months, even days, mean to us and for the future. We already face liberal madness. We always have. But last November didn’t just guarantee two more years of Speaker Pelosi. November 4, the last half of 2008, even, reminded us just how important conservative principles are, how much better they serve the country, and how prosperous the Republican Party would be if it adhered to them.
Already, President Obama has overturned an eight-years-long limitation on abortion (under President Bush federal funding did not go to foreign pro-abortion organizations, now it does), blamed America in his first TV interview since becoming president (on an Arab network), and publicly dissed Rush Limbaugh (and his (more than 20 million) fans). Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have racketed up a startling $819-900 billion-and-counting “stimulus” bill for taxpayers, pledged to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine, supported Al Franken’s shameless theft of a Senate seat, petitioned against Rush Limbaugh, and, in their most recent Orwellian attempt, tried to add funding for “family planning services” to the latest economic “rescue”, reasoning, “they reduce cost.”
But to think there’s sufficient opposition from Republican representatives on The Hill may very well be naiveté (or denial) on our part. Responding to Limbaugh’s criticism of Republicans in Congress, Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga, retorted, “I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach.” (In Hannity’s “Liberal Translation” segment (excepting the likelihood Gingrey is “conservative”), I would expect this to mean we “real” Limbaugh-listening, Coulter-reading, Reagan-quoting, common-sense conservatives had better just get used to trillion-dollar bailouts, “stimulus” bills, and the president’s and Congress’s chiding of private citizens for expressing their opinions.)
It should be noted, however, that Gingrey subsequently apologized for his comments and every Republican and eleven Democrats voted against Obama’s stimulus bill in the House. So far, perplexing as it may be here in Berkeley, there seems to be truth to the claim that this is still a center-right country. Who’d have thought? Well, Rush Limbaugh, for one. Matt Drudge, for another. Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, too. Matt Lauer, Harry Smith, Keith Olbermann, anyone at MSNBC, and anyone not at FNC, for that matter… Conservative pundits communicated this the moment it was clear Republicans stood no chance November 4. Today, in the second month of 2009, it is clear that Rush, Drudge, Republicans in Congress (if and when they are willing), get results.
Taking just the last few weeks’ colorful events, it could not be clearer that now is the time for principles, ideals, ideas, fortitude, and democracy. For years conservatism has struggled—in many cases, least of all because of the Left. Gingrey’s groveling to talk radio’s king—his 180 turnaround back to Limbaugh’s listeners—rather than a sad reminder of the state of our party, ought to be viewed as nothing short of inspiring in that it could be a preview of true Republican representation and opposition in the future.
We all know we need it, but only when we the people, the grassroots of true democracy in this country, speak up, take action, stick to our guns, do we surprise ourselves with what we are able to accomplish.
February is a new month; tomorrow is a new day—heck, today is a new day—this month a new month. With the latest (and possibly the most unpopular) spending bill heading to the floor of the Senate, remember this: conservatism is what we make of it. The success of conservatism depends upon us alone. Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction, but it is still ours. And it is ours for the taking.