As I write this article, there are two issues weighing heavily on my mind. First and foremost is the sale of the “Star Wars” franchise to Disney and a distant second is the recent election in which Obama secured himself another four years in office. As this is supposed to be a political article, I will try my best to focus on the latter.
To that end, I would recommend that all of my friends, both conservative and liberal, read an article that saved me from the Sarlaac pit of despair after the election. The article is aptly titled “Conservatives, don’t despair,” and it is written by CNN contributor and author David Frum. In his article, Frum takes a very sensible approach to the election and its consequences; I found myself agreeing with him on many points. The American people as a whole voted for Obama because, mistakenly or not, they believed that he would provide better opportunities for them to work.
Too often conservatives find themselves put into positions where they are defined by what they are against, and in this case the election was dominated by a rejection of Obama’s policies. A clear focus on what a conservative candidate could do for the ailing families of America was missing. In a sense, it is one of the inherent struggles of conservatism everywhere – it is an essentially reactionary force dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of society against misguided attempts at “progress” that do more damage than good. It does not lend itself to the bombastic nature of liberal promises of a better world that draw so many young students and working poor to the Democratic banner. Because of this, conservatives must fightto be seen not as mere contrarians dedicated to keeping the old order, but as passionate and dedicated citizens with a real desire to affect positive change.
The next four years will be a time of trial. Control of both the presidency and the senate creates a liberal Death Star with the power to turn high-flown rhetoric into a devastating beam of concentrated real political powerful enough to destroy balanced budgets and small businesses everywhere. But, as Frum points out, this is the nature of politics. Four more years of a Democrat in office will likely result in tax hikes and further regulation, but such injuries are not permanent and can be undone. Furthermore, there remains a rebel alliance on Capitol Hill – tightened control of the House gives conservatives a fighting chance against the more extreme legislation likely to come from a second-term presidency. The creation of a new alliance is necessary, one dedicated to a fiscal conservatism that all too often has been lacking in Republican politicians. Frum states that “people of all backgrounds want to create, save and contribute to society,” and it is this desire to create rather than consume the fruits of society that is the true strength of conservatism.
I would like to end with a slightly different note by touching upon a conversation I had with one of my very liberal friends. While discussing the documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11,” she mentioned that she dislikes the movie because “it made the president look dumb.” I was shocked by this, as making the former president look dumb seems like a favorite pastime of liberals everywhere (even I can’t resist the urge sometimes). Explaining the thinking behind her distaste, she said she believed that the office of the presidency is a position worthy of respect, regardless of whether or not you agree with the politics of the man behind the desk in the oval office. This is a noble sentiment sadly lacking in most of us, and I would like to apply it in this situation. Like it or not, Obama will be president for the next four years, and I personally hope to see an end to ridiculous accusations like falsified birth records. The key to future success is not ad hominem attacks against the incumbent president, but a clear and defined economic policy that will restore common faith in the nature of conservatism. If this can be achieved, then I am afraid that extremist liberals everywhere will find that the deflector shield of sensibility will be quite operational when their friends arrive in 2016.
So take heart, conservatives, as the world has not yet been blown up and millions of voices have yet to be silenced. The light-years ahead will be tough, but there is, as always, a two-meter hole in the plans of extremist liberals that allows for a degree of hope for the future. At the very end of his article, Frum provides a quote from British conservative historian Hugh Trevor-Roper that I think will work just as well as an end to this piece. “When radicals scream that victory is indubitably theirs, sensible conservatives knock them on the nose. It is only very feeble conservatives who take such words as true and run round crying for the last sacraments.”
Contact Brian Reid at [email protected]