If you are old enough to remember when the Republican Party bragged of having a “big tent,” with room for many people with diverse views, you are getting plenty old indeed.
There used to be several brands of conservatism. There were fiscal conservatives and social conservatives and conservatives who focused primarily on national security. Though there still are, at least nominally, many don’t want it to be so.
Imagine someone who is generally conservative in his views who just happens also to support abortion rights. Could he find a home in today’s Republican Party? Good luck…
To listen to much that passes for discourse today, one would believe that what it means to be a conservative can be boiled down to a few simple statements: Cut taxes. Shrink the federal government. Oppose Obama and anything he stands for.
Oh, and never, ever deign to work with the opposition party.
Down that road lies a whole lot of nothing.
When Ronald Reagan was president, he beefed up our nation’s military, boosting troops and weapons and programs and research and development. During his two terms, military spending increased by a stunning 43 percent.
Would today’s so-called conservatives brand him a spendthrift liberal?
A thriving political movement needs to stand for something. It needs a broad vision and leaders who are able to articulate a series of goals and how best to attain them. Simply wanting to cut, to reduce, to oppose, to repeal — that isn’t a governing philosophy. It’s a never-ending fit of pique.