The Aftermath of Hurricane Bush: Rebuilding and Redefining a Party, Part 1 by Kyle Dodd

The elections are over, the campaign signs are coming down, the transition teams are coming into place, and the Bush era is coming to an end.  The man who has spent the past 8 years redefining the “Conservative” movement will soon leave office, and the aftermath of his hurricane force politics are now becoming visible.   

To give Bush some credit, he has taken a lot of criticism, especially from the left over the past 4 years, and has kept rolling on like a freight train.  To have that kind of, well tenacity, is impressive by anyone’s standards.  Where I am confused though, is why the left, the Democrats, the liberals, were the ones who were the most critical.  The man who was a self proclaimed “Conservative through and through” should have been receiving his biggest boos and hisses from within his own party. 

As a true political conservative, I find myself everyday needing to explain to people what a “true conservative” is.  I find myself catching glares or being snickered at for telling people I am a conservative.  I feel like making a new name up sometimes for the party I belong to just so I am not categorized with Bush Era Conservatism, and to be honest, I don’t know how we got here.  The election in 2000 of a governor of a truly conservative state, who grew up around true conservative values and policies, raised in the wake of a father who served along side some of the greatest conservatives in the 20th century, should have meant pure gold for the Republican Party.  Yet, here we are, 8 years later, and it feels like a hurricane has moved through the Republican Party, and dismantled everything it stood for. 

Conservatism is now viewed by many as a bunch of radical Bible thumpers who love war, hate the poor, and love the rich.  We are now considered the party of elitists, who are to blame for the economic downfall that has left so many longing for hope and a better future, so much so, that one of the most liberal Senators in Congress was elected President by running on numerous CONSERVATIVE policies: tax breaks for 95% of the country, getting the government out of your wallet and out of your life, and giving power back to the people.  This is all due to the policies of the Bush era.

During the past 8 years, we have seen numerous liberal/federal policies put into place on the backs of the Bush administration, and leading Republicans alike.  We have seen the control and size of the federal government expand at a rate only equivalent to that of FDR’s administration throughout the 1930’s.  We have seen the government creep into our lives more and more with each passing year, and seen our tax dollars flushed down the toilet at an alarming rate.  We have seen bridges to nowhere, and special interest groups take hold of our hard earned tax dollars, and we have seen all this with the commander and chief only explaining his policies as “conservatism.” 

Now, many are much more hesitant than I am to put the blame on the Republicans and Bush, and say that the cause of all of this was September 11, 2001, but this is just not the case.  Yes, what happened on 9/11 was the most horrific thing imaginable.  Yes, we should have began preemptive strikes on terrorism across the country and globe to make sure this did not happen again, but we have veered so far off course from that, that saying this is all due to 9/11 is not even a valid argument.   

We have pumped billions of dollars into National Security and DHS, yet our boarders are no safer now than they were in 2001.  Yes, it is harder to get onto an airplane, but it is easier to jump our boarder from Mexico and Canada, and the safety and security at our ports is a joke.  We have former Mexican militants now running drug cartels back and forth across our boarder.  They are kidnapping American citizens and taking the back to Mexico.  We have an ever increasing gang problem from Latin American based groups who have freely migrated to the US without any problems jumping the boarder.  Where did all our money go?  If we are going to increase the size of government, and increase spending, we need to see results.   

We are now trillions of dollars in debt, and still increasing spending and the size of government.  Our “conservative” President passed a $700 billion dollar bailout package without hardly any oversight that has seen much of the first part of the bailout squandered and spent frivolously by the people who supposedly needed bailing out.  As conservatives, we should be furious.  We the people did not cause this, the institutions did it to themselves, so why are our hard earned tax dollars being spent on companies who want handouts?  Our money should be protected from frivolous spending, yet it seems everyday more and more is being spent without any oversight by the American people. This is all on the back of our “conservative” leader.   

Bush has also taken the Christian Coalition which Ronald Reagan brought together under the conservative wing, and amplified it to the point that now that is the main base of the Republican Party.  Now, I have no problems with Christians, I am a Christian.  What I do have a problem with is making Religion a key staple in the Republican Platform.  The forming of political conservatism, by men like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry was to make government as small as possible, keep the government out of people’s lives and wallets (or satchels back then), and “separate church and state.”  Political Conservatism should be just that, political conservatism, not moral conservatism, or Christian conservatism, but political conservatism.  Religion should not run the government, nor should government run religion.   

After 8 years of these sorts of policies, what did we think was going to happen?  We practiced liberal/federal policies in the name of conservatism.  We all know that true conservative policies work.  We saw it during the boom of Eisenhower’s Presidency; we saw it during the first part of Nixon and Reagan’s Presidencies.  We saw it at the founding of our country during Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, and many others’ Presidencies.  So that’s where we are at now, a bunch of true, political conservatives without a true home, inside a broken party.  This is the aftermath of Hurricane Bush.

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. Can you really call the Republican Party one that is not made of true conservatives? I don’t think you can. It’s fair to say that the Republican Party of today is different than it was in the past – I’d absolutely agree – but a growing majority of Republicans ARE Bible thumpers who DO support war. The dynamics of political parties are always changing. Neocons who hold to the old school, traditional views should leave the Republican party behind, as it is changing, and join the Constitutionalist Party or form a new one if they’re dissatisfied. People who compromise their true beliefs for the sake of the Party are weak in mind and heart.

    Other less constructive criticisms include your several spelling mistakes and the continued rhetoric about September 11 being the “most horrific thing imaginable.” America had one major terrorism attack with a few thousand casualities and we lose our minds. Yet half a million get killed genocide-style in an African country people aren’t educated to know anything about and we start a facebook group to really show our committment. Every year, more countries than not face more horrific things than America probably ever will. We should be so lucky that we can live in such little fear.

  2. First of all. Please. I am not so sure you read the article. I made one reference to 9/11, and the only reason I did so was to make the point that the Bush administration used it as a tool to expand government. I did say yes it was horrible, it was, one of the worst on our soil. And please, let’s be realistic about Africa, the reason no major power player in International Relations has done anything for Africa is because it has no large scale effect on our countries. If you are so hurt about it, if you are so bothered by it, then please go to Africa with greenpeace or some other peace organization and do something.

    And you are very wrong about the Republican Party. The reason the party is portrayed as or seen as a bunch of bible thumpers is because that’s what the Bush Administration rallied around and focused on for support during elections, which just goes to further back my argument. There are still very many political conservatives within the Republican party, probably the majority of its base, who woudl love to see the Republican party return to its roots.

    Also let’s be realistic. Third Parties hold no real power in our political system, never really have. So joining a constitutionalist party, or creating one is not a very viable option. The Republican Party did not evolve, it was guided away from what it stands for. That is what my article was for. To take a look at how Bush changed the dynamic and rhetoric of the Republican Party. Many political conservatives want to see the Republican Party turn back to its more successful days.

    And thank you for correcting my typos, I noticed them once I sent them to the webmaster of this site. But before you decided to throw a less than stellar rebuttle about my article, why don’t you please actually read it for it’s content and not its spelling mistakes, then you might really be able to start a decent debate.

  3. For the person who does not have a clue. I felt compelled to try to help you out. You seemed very concerned with the horrible conditions in Africa, so I thought I would do some research, and I found some websites for you. The following websites are peace organizations who are in desperate need of volunteers who are ever so concerned about the situation over there. http://www.worldpeace.org, http://www.pathwaytopeace.org, http://www.iimcr.org, and many others can be found at http://www.spiritual-endeavors.org/peace/peace-orgs.htm.

    Also, I cannot help but notice your tone seem to imply that you are not to the right of the political scale, so I would like to educate you on the history of the Republican Party and Conservative movement. American Conservative political theory came from the ideas and policies of numerous founding fathers of this country such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason, and the list goes on. The idea of a small federal government, equal rights (though I am aware that at that time equality was for privelaged men, not a right for all, yet the IDEA is part of my argument), states rights, and letting the people make choices for themselves, not the government making choices for them, low tax rates, just to name a few.

    The movement went forward through men like Andrew Jackson, who although demonstrated great power as a President, used this power to extremely limit the power of much of the federal government. We can then move on to Abraham Lincoln. A man who saw the ideas and theories in political Conservatism to help bring about the Emancipation Proclamation, trying to bring equality to all men. Though confronted with the civil war, he still tried to uphold the idea of states rights, even giving the southern states power back after the war was over.

    We can then jump to the modern conservative movement with men like Eisenhower, who helped build the most efficient road system to date, as well as cutting taxes and limiting the power of the federal government. Many Conservative Republicans were also behind the pushing of the civil rights acts in the 1960’s. We can now jump to Reagan’s first term who used an extremely succesful economic and tax cutting policy to help bring about an economic boom.

    Conservatism still has a huge following in this country, and I strongly believe that the country does sit right of center. We are not talking about religious conservatism, we are talking about political conservatism. That is where the Republican Party needs to focus. My next article will be what I believe to be a gameplan for the political conservative movement to be rejuvenated, and for the Republican party to gain the trust of the people back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: