Worldnetdaily.com published one of my columns this weekend. In the column, I argue that what we really need in political office are people who have no interest in political office. Moreover, we do not need people who believe that the government is the solution to all problems, but in fact believe that government has a very limited role. The problem should be obvious: such a person will never run for political office! Therefore the only thing to do is to identify such persons and push and pull them into office, whether they like it or not.
For perspective, I was myself elected to local public office this spring… something I had no desire to do… rather, I felt driven to it.
Conservatives rightly rejoiced at the results of the 2010 midterm elections, but a more sober analysis could lead them into abject depression. One could almost believe that last November’s results indicated real progress until one remembers that just two years earlier the landslide belonged to the liberals. aWe deceive ourselves if we think that there has been a tectonic shift in the way that Americans think. In reality, there was probably no principled, informed change in American sentiment. In all probability, it was a mere change in American winds.
We may see evidence of that in the reaction to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s reform attempts. This July, six Wisconsin GOP senators are facing a recall election. In contrast, most of the Democratic senators that walked off the job are likely going to get a pass by the electorate. Oh, how quickly the winds change!
What we really need is an America that knows what its values are and remembers them from one election to the next. Before we address how to bring this about, we should consider why it is otherwise.
For example, recall G.K. Chesterton’s famous statement, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” A similar charge can be made about conservatism, except it isn’t difficult – just not tried.
For decades, conservatives have been under fire regarding the effectiveness of their philosophy, but the real truth is that it hasn’t really been implemented in America for generations. Actually, we’ve seen much of the opposite:
Richard Nixon established the EPA and OSHA and a variety of other highly intrusive government programs. Carter may have created the Department of Education, but Reagan didn’t abolish it. G.W. Bush created the massive Department of Homeland Security. Then we hear that former Gov. Mitt Romney is the current “front runner” for the GOP in the 2012 presidential election. This is the same man who, while governor of Massachusetts, oversaw the implementation of a health-care law suspiciously like the national one foisted upon us by Obama, including the individual mandate!
Is it any wonder why reflective conservatives may fall into a deep depression?
But my reason for raising those examples is to point out that American society has had little opportunity to see true conservatism in action, even when conservatives are in office! For generations.