I have to be honest, and blunt-I’m thoroughly disgusted. I’m mostly disgusted by field of candidates for POTUS. For the most part, they represent nothing more than what we have been served for years, progressive, RINO, establishment types. And, I see people that I thought were more Conservative, come out in support of these candidates. I’ve seen the “just win” philosophy of Rove creep back into our narrative. As these things jump out at me, I want to scream, because we’ve seen it all before.
To get to my points, I do need to share some personal observations and experiences. Let’s just say that like so many others, I came out of college with a degree, and a head full of mush. Needless to say, I was in for awakening, as real life didn’t quite measure up to what I had been taught. In fact, I got the impression, nearly right off the bat, that much of what I had been taught was completely false. It was at that point, that some of my friends convinced me to listen to talk radio. The rest, as they say, was history. What I heard resonated with me, because it matched my observations. When Clinton’s tax increase went through, I got zapped-retroactively. When the Contract with America passed, the economy took off. When welfare reform passed, no one died, but a lot to people started escaping the government plantation, including people I knew. I became a Conservative because it matched the reality that I was directly observing. It wasn’t always popular with some family members and many co-workers, but I would prefer to be right than popular any day.
But all was not well, for me, or Conservatives (or at least people that called themselves Conservatives). What I didn’t do through much of the 90’s, and into the early part of this century, is read enough about Conservatism. I didn’t take the time to learn the history of it, and more importantly, the rationale for it. I had a cursory understanding of it, but I caught, in the process of NOT learning, something I now call “NeoCon Disease.” That terrible malady is centered on the concept that government can successfully intervene in economic and social problems, provided that said intervention is done in a “Conservative” way. Of course, as most of us should know, any big government solution will fail, because by their very nature, big government solutions fail. That, and big government is antithetical to Conservatism. I didn’t get it, and apparently, nor did many Republicans, as we kept voting for the people that took advantage of our NeoCon Disease.
As the 90’s ended, and George W. Bush won the election, there seemed to be a growing unrest in my gut. We were always presented with candidates that talked about being Conservatives, but once in office, governed like progressives. Spending increased, regulation increased, and freedom decreased. We got one justifiable war, and a complete waste of another. We got the Patriot Act, as well as porno-scanners and sexual assault in the name of “security.” The outcries to secure the border were ignored. Failed programs were not de-funded, but made more powerful. In the end, these “conservatives,” presented little to no difference to the Democrats that we were resisting. I completely faulted the GOP for losing the Congress in 2006. I blamed their lack of principle, as well as their progressive actions, for their loss.
Even before Obama won the election in 2008, I was referring to the two parties as the “demicans,” and the “republicrats.” I wasn’t seeing that much of a difference between them. For me, the GOP was “Socialism-lite,” driving the country off the cliff, only at a slightly slower speed than the Democrats. I was posting at a Conservative forum (now defunct) about all of the ideas I have mentions so far, but the admins there allowed trolls to run free. My response was to start the original Conservative Hideout, as a forum. Even as I began blogging, I did it as a very sarcastic parody/insult blog. I was still too angry to approach issues seriously without issuing long streams of profanity. I felt betrayed, as well as angry, both at the politicians that lied to me, but also at myself, for being so easily taken in by those establishment tools.
I really rebounded when the Tea Parties emerged. At last, there were people talking about real principles. Real change was openly discussed. True cuts to programs that are not Constitutional, and do not work were suggested and embraced. And, more importantly, there was a push to learn, and grow. Consequently, I’ve read more (still not a much as I should). I’ve listened to Conservatives of all stripes, as well as our Libertarian friends. In the end, I think I’ve managed to shake much of the NeoCon Disease out of my political thinking. However, I’m now questioning how universal that trend is. Since I’m starting to see more and more people settling for a Romney or a Gingrich for POTUS.
I do admit that defeating Obama is absolutely vital. I get that 100%. But in our search for a candidate, are we going to pick the same kind of charlatans that we allowed to deceive us for decades? Are we going to go back to holding our noses and voting for the lesser of two evils-again? Are we going to keep telling the establishment, “why of course, we’ll bend over again?”
We’ve all talked about limited government and free markets, but that is actually a difficult thing, because those things have not existed in the lifetimes of most of the people that will read this post. That’s how NeoCon Disease takes hold. Since, for all of our lives, government has been meddling in things that it should not, we’ve been accustomed to it. We have a hard time imagining, or acting on, concepts that we really haven’t seen in action. So, when people come along and actually suggest that we eliminate large amounts of the government, or that we shouldn’t meddle in the internal affairs of other nations, it “feels” weird and uncomfortable. When suggestions are made to dismantle part of the “security” structure that does nothing to keep us safe, people start to get nervous. When it is suggested that perhaps we shouldn’t bomb the crap out of countries that look at us sideways, people want to attack the messenger. I would submit that we all have to carefully and intently question all of our beliefs. We have to set aside the rhetoric that many of us, including myself, have used for many years. We have to expose it all to the most important litmus test of all-does it work? Just because something has been done for decades doesn’t mean that it is right, or effective. We can’t accept status quo, even when it is our status quo, just because it’s been the status quo for a long time. If we do, we’re going to keep on making the same old mistakes, and getting the same old result, namely failure.
Now is the time to take a hard look at what we think and believe. We’ve been sold down the river before, and if we don’t take time to carefully examine what we are thinking and doing, we’re going to get burnt again. Frankly, we are running out of time, and I don’t want to lose the Republic because we didn’t take enough time to be honest with ourselves.
End of rant.