Lindy’s Blog: Where Mom is Always Right

September 26, 2008

Republicanism vs. Conservatism

No doubt I’ve written about how Republicans and Conservatives are not necessarily the same thing.  At no time has this been more evident than right now, as many Republicans (and Democrats) are seeking to go on with the bailout.  This is making conservatives (a la me) cringe.  This article by Craig Shirley is a fairly good analysis of this phenomenon:  I don’t agree with everything he says, but a lot of it is true.

Yes, yes, of course I’m still supporting McCain, but not for his conservatism.  McCain has grown on me as I’ve watched and listened to him during this campaign, and he has my respect, but I don’t think many conservatives supported him in the primaries.  (I really liked Fred Thompson, but I digress…)  However, compared to Obama, McCain looks like Reagan, and he’ll get my vote this November.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I identify as a conservative for mainly economic reasons.  When it comes to social issues, well, that’s easy.  Republicans have my vote, there.  I’m a conservative first, a Republican second.  When it comes down to it, a politician is still a politician, Democrat or Republican.  That’s the unfortunate truth. 

There has been conservative discontent with the direction the Republican party has been going for quite some time.  This was highlighted by the huge response by Sarah Palin’s nomination.  McCain got a huge boost from her–why?  Because she seems like a true conservative.  Suddenly, McCain gave conservatives every reason to vote FOR him, and not just against Obama.  It has been his smartest campaign move.  But I sincerely hope that he’ll just unleash her and let Palin be Palin.  We don’t suddenly want to see a McCainified Sarah. 

This whole economic crisis is causing anger and panic (rightly so), and I’m glad that Washington is acting quickly to do something about it, but I just don’t think a short-term fix for a problem that’s been brewing for awhile is the answer.  It seems like it will only serve to further grow government and start us in this direction that isn’t easy to reverse.  And does it bother anyone else that we’re giving control of this problem to the very people who caused it in the first place?  Shirley says in his article:

“The argument confronting the great middle class of America—who only stand to go into greater debt if this bailout is passed—is that yes, you have behaved responsibly, paid your mortgages on time. But unless you fork over $10,000 per household to those who should have never given 1.9 percent mortgages and those who should never have been granted 1.9 mortgages, we cannot guarantee you financial security. For most Americans, this bailout is little more than extortion, a 21st century ‘corrupt bargain.’ ” 

No, no, I don’t want a depression.  I just think that after this all blows up or over, hindsight will have many saying, “If only we hadn’t socialized the financial markets back in ’08!”



  1. As difficult as it would be, I have to agree that this thing needs to run it’s course not be covered with a band-aid. It is going to be painful either way, but this country has never pulled back from a slide into socialism. Look at FDR and the social security program. The original set-up was voluntary and locked away from the government. Then Lyndon Johnson moved the program from an independent trust fund to a general fund and Congress emptied it. The Democrat party took away the ability to get an income tax deduction for FICA withholding. Now illegal immigrants get paid out social security. We only have become more socialist, not less. This bailout will be another nail in America’s coffin. I’d rather be destitute then not free.

    Comment by dsgawrsh — September 27, 2008 @ 8:46 pm |Reply

  2. I’m reading this blog because I’m really trying to figure out what the attraction of the Republican ticket is (as a thought exercise, pretend for a moment that the Democrats had advanced a ‘liberal’ presidential candidate who has very few liberal beliefs and a true-believing liberal vice presidential candidate with Palin’s background). I also don’t understand the Conservative love of Reagan. Sure, he was a great speaker, but he was certainly not an economic Conservative. He neither balanced the budget nor took government off the back of Americans. You can check the numbers– he oversaw the largest increase in government in American history to that point and left the largest budget deficit to that point in history. Maybe many of the Reagan Conservatives didn’t live through the Morning in America. Still, you can look up the numbers. There hasn’t been an economic Conservative Republican in the White House since Nixon.

    So, please tell me– what is the appeal of McCain/Palin? I’m not being confrontational– I really can’t figure it out.

    Comment by Jim Sherridan — September 29, 2008 @ 11:40 pm |Reply

  3. The appeal, for me, is that neither John McCain nor Sarah Palin are a) pushing socialist agendas b) want to kill babies in the womb c) seem to have a genuine love of country, and hang out with people who have the best for America as their number one concern…just for starters. (unlike Obama, with universal…everything, BAIPA, and Bill Ayers and co., among a variety of other reasons.)

    Like I said in this post, most true conservatives didn’t have McCain as their first pick in the primaries. But most conservatives realize that a vote for Obama is not a vote for America, and thus, their support has adjusted accordingly.

    And I think that conservatives, especially, find it hard–and rightly so–to vote for someone from another party for perhaps a valid reason, if that new candidate takes abysmal stands on moral issues (like abortion.) Remember the “moral values” exit polling data that dumbfounded the press after the ’04 election?

    As for why conservatives admire Reagan: Just research him, and listen to all that he said. He was a smart guy and a great president. I was age 0-8 when he was president, not exactly of an age to know or understand what went on during his presidency. My opinions have been formed because I spend a lot of time reading people who are way smarter than me, and I agree with what they say. It makes intellectual sense to me. And maybe it was because he followed Jimmy Carter; Mickey Mouse would have looked good after him.

    Of course, I cannot speak for all conservatives. The reasons are probably myriad.

    Comment by lindyborer — September 30, 2008 @ 7:47 am |Reply

  4. I don’t have to research Reagan– I voted for him twice. Like you, I didn’t want to vote for a candidate that was on the wrong side of the abortion issue. I also voted for George I. But here’s the thing– the abortion laws are still the same as they were before 8 years of Reagan, 4 years of George I, and 8 years of George II. You can try to blame that on the opposition, but the Republicans managed to accomplish some major things that were important to them: deregulate Wall Street, shift huge percentages of wealth from the middle and working class to the wealthy, run up massive budget deficits, destroy labor unions (the only wage protection working class people have), and start a war in Iraq. These things are not up for debate– you can consult the historical record. Look at the GAO’s tables on budget deficit and check which presidents oversaw the greatest expansion of debt. Wall Street deregulation is very clearly documented. The loss of earning power of the working class and the middle class is easy to see in economic data from any variety of sources. Its all there– on the Internet– easy to find.

    I continue to want abortion on demand made illegal. I continue to want a balanced budget. I don’t want to bail out the Masters of the Universe who created the current credit crisis. I would prefer to have our Armed Forces, for which I have the greatest love and respect (my father being a two war combat Marine), paid enough to support their families and tasked with going after real terrorists in Afganistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, the Sudan etc. Does that make me a Conservative? I don’t know. But I do know that no Republican administration has delivered on any of those values. I do know that there were not homeless people in numbers on our streets until the Reagan administration. I lived through that era. I do know that Reagan went right after the labor unions when he came to power, consistent with his history as California governor. That is the reason that men and women need to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet. Again, I lived through this and saw it first hand being from a factory worker family in Detroit. I know that despite being a decorated Marine who fought in 2 wars (infantry fighting, not dropping bombs on villages and returning in time for steak and champagne at the officers club several hundred miles from the front), my father couldn’t even get his medals from the bankrupt VA, let alone the medical care that I believe every vet deserves.

    In my lifetime, the Republican party has failed to deliver on any of the promises made that appealed to my Conservative values. I have been disappointed by every one of them. Not that the Democrats are any better (though Clinton is the only president in my voting life who has balanced the federal budget and opened up free trade– as ironic as that is). I have watched the Republicans betray conservativism, the working class, and the military for too long to continue to believe that the party can accurately be called Conservative. Maybe we need a return to the Whig party.

    Comment by Jim Sherridan — October 1, 2008 @ 8:56 pm |Reply

  5. Sorry that it’s taken me awhile to reply, Jim. I’ve been arguing with some dolt who won’t admit that a human baby might be…human.

    I think this discussion represents one main thing: political parties and politicians will always, in some way, fail us. Count on it!

    But I can’t simply abandon my civic duty to vote, and when it comes down to it, my vote has to be for the Republican ticket: whether they are conservative or not.

    I have to respectfully disagree with you on certain statements (for one, I’m not sure I agree with your statement that the Republicans have betrayed the working class or the military. Conservatism: yes.)

    As for Reagan, I thought this article offered an interesting perspective on Reagan’s economic policies: Feel free to take it or leave it, though. Keynesian economic theories just don’t make sense to me.

    Comment by lindyborer — October 3, 2008 @ 9:37 am |Reply

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