The conventional wisdom making the rounds in the last 24 hours is that we’ll be down to 3 candidates by Super Tuesday, with expectations running high that both Huckabee and Giuliani will be relegated to the sidelines after Florida. Both candidates are seeing their numbers slip as they struggle with an inability to come up with new money to power their floundering campaigns. I tend to agree with the conventional wisdom on this point. It will be down to the well-funded Ron Paul, the self-funded Romney and the un-funded McCain.
And to listen to the neo-conservative emmanations from the Ministry of Truth, you’d get the idea that they’re all liberal flip-floppers who don’t know what conservative means. Here, the CW is two-thirds correct.
From there, I can’t follow what passes for wisdom from the conventional crowd. Mike Reagan posits that this is just the right scenario for Newt Gingerich, but Mike never really has been one to use his head for much besides sitting. You can forgive him for being a dunce, as he really is no blood relation to the Gipper, and intelligence is a genetic trait. While he might have picked up a little rhetoric spending some time with RR, he certainly missed the fundamental premise about what makes one a conservative. Here’s a news flash for you, Mike: a proclivity for bombing third world nations doesn’t make one conservative, and in light of a historical understanding of conservatism, it is actually a contra-indicator.
As much as I dislike Limbaugh’s inability to name the one conservative in the race, at least he is holding the line against redefining conservative so that he can avoid the indisputable fact that not only is Ron Paul the only conservative in this race, he is decidedly the most authentic conservative to vie for the Republican nomination since Barry Goldwater.
And I won’t do more than mention Glenn Beck, for whom it is all about the war. Strike that. I will make one comment for Mr. Beck: If you sell out everything that is important to conservatives to be able to kill more people in the middle east, you are not a conservative. You are a liberal hawk. That’s where you’re living, and you’ll have a hell of a time convincing the conservatives who have tuned you out of anything else.
If wanting to expand our war footprint (in opposition to the traditional conservative position) is a deal breaker for the self-appointed neo-conservative opinion-shapers, grow a set and say so. Stop trying to act as if Paul isn’t an authentic conservative – it doesn’t make your own abandonment of conservatism any less cynical. Fine – you’ve drank the ‘Islamo-fascist’ koolaide. That doesn’t mean that anyone unwilling to join you in the militaristic liturgy is not a conservative. As for your own conservatism – it died when you threw your weight behind increasing the power of the state over individual liberties in the name of security. What an indictment of you gentlemen – Mr Beck, Mr Limbaugh, and of the rest of the second tier of opinion gate-keepers.
You can get it back. I know you’re afraid of losing your seat at the table, but haven’t you been a spineless genuflector to the establishment long enough? You can recapture your conservative credentials, and do the nation a solid in the process. Learn to say the name of the only conservative left standing. It will hurt a little at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. Just two little one syllable words.
Test it out at home, try it with your significant other, or another close friend. After a little practice, you can gain the strength to say it in the presence of your respective audiences. And after you spend a while trying to rememeber what conservatism really is (hint – it doesn’t mean you want to kill more towelheads), you just might start to be conservative once again.