Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Agents of Destruction

I am, I suppose, a proud Republican. I don’t dodge the question of political affiliation when the topic of conversation turns to politics, I vote for the Republican candidates for state and county office, and I vote in Republican primaries. I think that the impulse which leads conservatives to believe that boycotting the GOP will lead to increased conservatism are, at best, misguided and unrealistic. Conservatives should be realistic.

But if one takes a “realistic” look at the last fifteen years, one conclusion is inescapable. For the last decade or so, the Republican party has done incalculably more harm to the country than have the Democrats.

In fairness, the Democrats haven’t had much of a chance—Bill Clinton was always on the defensive against the Gingrich Congress, and Bush has had a Republican congress for six of his eight years in office. So possibly, the Democrats would have ruined America if given half a chance—but they weren’t, and the Republicans were, and they did.

Hands down, the biggest challenge facing the country is the national debt. It’s massive—it’s over 75% of America’s GDP, and represents an amount more than three times the amount of the entire 2008 federal government budget. It’s almost impossible to see a way to pay this debt, and it’s not as if this was a problem that just snuck up on us. In 2000, when Bush took office, the national debt was about five trillion dollars, a daunting number, and one that clearly posed a difficult challenge. So, to fix this little difficulty, Bush went and doubled the national debt. Now, the national debt is a problem that may be wholly insolvable.

Another problem: energy. Ten years ago, it was obvious that oil wouldn’t last forever. (Actually, there is probably enough oil to keep us supplied for years—it’s the getting it out of the ground that’s the killer). We needed new energy sources, and fast. Fortunately, there was a clean, renewable, limitless source of energy, which wasnt being exploited due only to the fears of a small but influential group of people whose gullibility regarding the dangers of nuclear power would embarrass a student of phrenology.

Republicans did almost nothing to promote nuclear energy. (A few nuclear power plants will be opened in the future, but nothing near the scale required to make a meaningful difference). This omission is almost inexplicable—nuclear energy has massive potential, is cheap, and would, after its beneficial effects became apparent, be a wonderful issue for Republicans. But they didn’t take advantage of it, out of fear of hysterically inaccurate worries of a nuclear apocalypse. (Nuclear power plants are the only victims of anti-nuclear hysteria—MRIs are more accurately called NMRIs, but the “N” stands for nuclear, which forced hospitals to alter the abbreviation).

When Clinton was president, he brought the U.S. into a variety of ill-planned, destructive wars. However, these wars were mostly destructive to the innocent natives of the countries in which they were fought, while the U.S. army mostly escaped without harm. Bush changed that. Even if we accept that the Iraq War was a good idea (and it was regarded as such at the time), it is impossible to defend Bush’s handling of it. He turned in a dreadful performance—the war has come in inexcusably over budget, and the death rate (while historically modest—we call 4000 dead troops high; in World War II, they called that Tuesday) is higher than it should have been. Much of this can be traced to Bush’s inexplicable refusal to change course in Iraq, even after it was evident that things were not improving.

Few in the GOP criticized Bush’s performance. In fact, with the exception of a few eccentrics like Chuck Hagel and one Senator from Arizona, few spoke out against Bush’s poor strategy at all. And this unpardonable silence cost lives.

So why do I still support the Republicans? They are still superior to the Democrats. Also, they do have some good points. They have lowered taxes (although that’s not much good if spending isn’t lowered as well), have appointed good Supreme Court justices, and have done at least an acceptable job of fighting the War on Terror.

But the primary reason is potential. If fellow conservatives exert their influence on the party, the Republicans can do great things. (Remember, Sarah Palin is next in line for the GOP nomination). When I vote for a Republican, I am, in part, voting for that future. It worked in the seventies—after years of left-centrism, the GOP finally nominated Ronald Reagan. I believe that that given time, much the same thing will happen again.


At September 18, 2008 at 5:33 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Daniel, do you read what you write? You tell how the Republican party has done a poor job for far too long now (by them acting like liberal Democrats) and the only solution you have is to hope they come around because Sarah Palin could be next in line??

Do you realize how Reagan came AFTER perhaps the worst president ever? It was because people didn't want more of the same! McCain will be more of the same, and so the continuing troubles you listed will again be added to the list of failures by Republicans. How is that going to help rebuild the Republican party?

Answer: it won't.

Listen, I truly believe you think you are doing right by the party and right by conservatism by allowing what you think will be just one last RINO in the White House. I hate to break it to you, Daniel, but your ideas set back conservatism greatly.

Now I will stop and let Throwing Stones have his rant and name calling session, since he is so good at that.

At September 18, 2008 at 6:12 AM , Blogger Daniel Ruwe said...

Yes, Reagan came after Ford, and by the same token, Goldwater came after the decent but moderate Eisenhower. But do you know how Reagan and Goldwater came about? It was because of activists within the Republican party, who worked to remake the party from within--and mostly, succeeded. Read William Rusher's book The Rise of the Right (it's out of print now, but if you can find it, it's well worth reading) to see exactly how. He was one of the people behind the Goldwater movement, and helped Reagan become prominent in the party. He supported some absolutely dreadful RINOs (people who made McCain look like Rush Limbaugh), but he did, because he wanted to change the party from within, not boycott it from without.

And really, remember that McCain isn't that bad a candidate. I think he's probably better than Bush (if he cuts spending he would kinda have to be), and probably better than Dole, and better than Bush I. And Bill Buckley supported him. So its not like you'll have to vote for a modern Nelson Rockefeller. And also, McCain was right on spending, nuclear power (I don't know what his position was in, say 2002, but he 100% for it now), and the war before the rest of the GOP was.

At September 18, 2008 at 6:59 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Thanks for giving Dan the lesson on how he should vote I’m sure he appreciates your advice.
As for you comment below:
“I hate to break it to you, Daniel, but your ideas set back conservatism greatly”
I hope that he listens to your your advice.
Daniel, you don’t want to set back conservatism greatly, do you?

And your, “one last RINO in the White House.” is as STUPID as they come. Call it name calling or whatever, Stupid is as Stupid does.
I guess that your rants are just fines as long as they come from you or your MENTOR Soapgod.
I guess that Forest Gump is not the only conservative in the forest .

I am proud to be a Republican. And I will be proud to vote for the Mccain/Palin ticket.
You can sit there and give everyone you worthless advice all you want to. And vote for who or WHATever you want to ..But don’t lecture everyone else with your “Principles” because When reality sets in maybe you will realize that “Principles” NEVER won anything. And never will.

At September 18, 2008 at 6:59 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Reagan came after Carter, have you blocked his presidency from your mind? Not that I would blame you!

McCain touts himself as a maverick who has shown he can work with Democrats to "get things done". Well I don't mind him going against Republicans when they are acting like RINOs, but that is not what is maverick about him.

Rush has joined the McCain straight talk express, but previous to his nomination Rush would say about McCain that we cannot take the liberal premises and try to add a conservative spin to them, that gives credibility to the liberal agenda! Things such as global warming for example McCain was jumping on the band wagon. Well of course the economy now has come to the front of everyone's list for the main issue. McCain needs to show how governmental involvement is not the answer, but he is not.

I agree,l work within the party, but by getting the right people in place first and foremost.

At September 18, 2008 at 7:06 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

It never ceased to surprise me- that old saying... “I've never won anything before” But i have principles... Well thake that to the bank and try to pay your bills with it!

LOL, it sure didn't takey ou long to throw that "global warming" crap into the conversation did it?

Please change your song, it's getting to be oh so boring.

At September 18, 2008 at 7:08 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Mr. Stoneface, I am not telling anyone what to do, Daniel and I each have differing opinions on how to rebuild the Republican party, as I believe we each have the same goal in mind but different thought on how to get there. It's called having a discussion, and unless you have some point of view on the topic instead of expressing your opinions on me, I am otherwise going to ignore anymore of your commentary, I have no need for useless words from you.

At September 18, 2008 at 7:08 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Funny but when Rush was against McCain you loved him, and now that he’s for McCain you disagree with Rush.

At September 18, 2008 at 8:12 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Daniel, you are confident that if McCain wins, he'll have such a successful presidency that Palin would be a shoe-in in 2012 or 2016. I don't think he can pull that off, with a Democratic Congress working against him for one thing. For another thing, some of his ideas such as amnesty would be a costly mistake, in my opinion.

However, I am willing to concede that I could be wrong about McCain, and if he wins I will hope that he does prove me wrong, because in the long run I want what is best for our country.

At September 18, 2008 at 8:23 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

"Mr. Stoneface"?
And you called me a name caller.

I'm 6ft 4 and 5'2 is nearly invisible to me. So I'm going to take the high road and give you a free pass on that one.
But buyer beware, once you have used your free pass, it can't be used again.

At September 18, 2008 at 9:50 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"I'm 6ft 4 and 5'2 is nearly invisible to me."

The height of one's stature will never trump the depth of one's mind.

At September 18, 2008 at 10:42 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Here comes the man or boy or whatever on his White Horse to the rescue.
As for your cute little ditty: “The height of one's stature will never trump the depth of one's mind”
Tell that to the Marines.

But talking about ones “mind” if you are so dense in your mind that you as Beth's Guru, couldn’t even see my post with the humor that it was intended.
Then there really is no hope for you ..

At September 18, 2008 at 8:12 PM , Blogger Kris said...

stones: my husband is 6ft 2, and he sees me (5 ft 2) just fine....

anyway...i must agree with stones. We do have to vote for the one that will do the least damage, and that is McCain/Palin. not voting, even for principal, with enhance the problem. we must work from within to change what we do not agree with. soap and beth, i know this is where we part in beliefs. it is going to be so close and every vote does matter. obama is not an option...


At September 19, 2008 at 3:24 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Kris my 6ft 4 and 5'2 " comment was meant as a joke.
I guess I'm not to good at "humor", but that’s all I meant is to be.. Sorry if it came across any other way.

At September 19, 2008 at 5:09 AM , Blogger Kris said...

stones...i was joking right back...i guess i have to work on my humor also. it will take time for us to get to know each others worries


At September 19, 2008 at 6:51 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Thanks Kris

At November 2, 2008 at 8:10 AM , Blogger knowitall said...

The liberal illuminati politicians can only destruct America with all their spending and other socialist policies.

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