Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Republican Party: Liberty's Version of the AIDS Virus

It’s funny how much rationalizing Conservatives are doing about their party’s election losses. All around the blogosphere, we hear the same mantras being spouted and touted: We didn’t lose because of the scandals, the complete and utter lunacy of the war on Iraqi, massive expansion of State power, a reckless foreign policy, etc.… No, we lost because we "lost our way"… We didn’t deliver on the promises we made in 1994. Spending and government growth have gone through the roof, and so on.

What Conservatives need to realize is that the Republican party is not, nor has ever been, the answer. Republicans have ALWAYS stood for bigger government. Whenever they have held the reins of power, we have seen massive intrusions on civil liberties and the Bill of Rights, and the diminshment of liberty on all fronts. We get more warmongering, which in turn leads to more taxes, more spending, more debt, and more inflation here at home. People who call themselves "Conservative" need to understand that the Republican party is not the party of smaller, limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, and free markets. To sit here and say… well, our party didn’t deliver on what we asked for 12 years ago is, frankly, disingenuous, because even 12 years ago, any libertarian could have accurately predicted what the Republican party would deliver upon seizing control of the State.

The problem, as I see it, is that many Conservatives truly and honestly believe their party is organized around the principles of liberty. As I said, they are not. Sure, a few Republicans now and then will spout a few platitudes about free markets and smaller government, but when you take a look a bit deeper at the actions of Republican politicians, not a single trace of principle – beyond the principle of weilding raw power – can be found. The unwillingness to examine this core truth is what makes Conservatives probably the biggest enemy of liberty in existence.

This is also why I equate the Republican Party to the AIDS virus. When Democrats are in power, and try to pass their hare-brained big government schemes – higher taxes, new programs, onerous regulation, stupid laws, etc. – self-described Conservatives are on guard to fight these encroachments on their fundamental rights. When Conservatives are the "opposition party", they do a marginally passable job of, at least, keeping the debate open on liberty (even if it is a misguided sense of what true liberty is.)

However, when Republicans hold the reins of power, as we’ve had these past 6 years, suddenly, any big government intrusion on liberty is now deemed acceptable by Conservatives, and defended with every ounce of energy. When Republicans want, say, to abolish habeas corpus – a staple of the western legal tradition dating back to 1215 – Conservatives everywhere rush to defend this massive expansion of State power. Because it’s the "good guys" doing it, it must be OK. Where Conservatives once acted as the body politic’s immune system to State tyranny, Republicanism has lulled their defenses to sleep, allowing the State to expand and liberty to diminish.

Think this isn’t the case? How many Conservatives railed against Clinton’s plans for education and healthcare, only to turn around and give a pass to Bush for doing just about the exact same things? If a Democrat does it...it must be fought. If a Republican does it...at best, go ahead and complain a little, but by all means, don't leave the fold! We must keep the Rs in power at all costs!

Furthermore, how many Conservatives stuck by their party in this past election, hoping they could maintain their power, but now say that Republicans deserve to lose because they walked away from their Conservative principles? You can’t have it both ways, people! If they walked away from Conservative principles, and you were STILL out there campaigning and politicking for them, then you cannot say that they deserved to lose because they didn’t deliver what you wanted. You’ve seen the record of the past 6 years, and you still wanted to see them hold on to power, Conservative principles be damned! In short, you want more war, more spending, more government. More! More! More!

So, my message for those Conservatives trying to console themselves for their party’s losses is simply this: don’t blame the Republican party - blame yourself and your ideology. The Republicans gave you what you ask for, which is power over principle. If you don’t like the result, then maybe it’s time to rethink your principles.

Or else, admit you're not the least bit interested in liberty.

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