The Stop Gap Conservative
By J.J. Jackson
September 7, 2009
Lots of people are wondering, even with 2012 years away, will the Republican Party learn its lesson? In 2008 the vast moderate (read liberal) conspiracy within the Republican Party got their preferred candidate in one Senator John McCain and he was soundly trounced because when push came to shove both he and his opponent, and now President, Senator Barack Obama, had no real answers for dealing with the tough fiscal and constitutional issues facing this nation. Outside the War on Terror, the fineries may have differed but both of these big government supporting men were close enough to being the same that in the end McCain simply could not beat the novelty of electing the first black president.
Given this less than appealing choice between liberals, one of which was certainly much more so than the other, Americans chose the novelty regardless of what you think or feel. While McCain might have been the more reasonable human being and far better capable of adapting to the current government caused fiscal crisis currently dragging America down, do not kid yourself and think that we would be much better off under the man who supported the largest infringement of the first amendment in American history and who, like now President Obama, supported billions in bailouts to failing banks.
The American people spoke loudly in 2008 in that if they are given the choice between an incompetent left wing boob with novelty and a somewhat less incompetent left of center boob without novelty, the electorate would choose the former even if other candidates existed that might have been a better fit. It is just too much work to think about voting for someone other than a Republican or Democrat for too many Americans.
So back to my original question. Will the GOP learn its lesson?
So far the signs are murky. A recent poll showed that among the leading candidates for the GOP nomination in 2012 were Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. Gee, uh thanks I guess. Thanks as it looks like the Republican Party is well on its way to nominating, potentially, what could at best be a stop gap conservative to try and slow our march to the left when what this country really needs is someone capable of turning this whole ship around. This is of course unless the liberal wing of the party and the power elite running it don't drum up another left of center candidate like John McCain to take the lead. In that case? Well it will be full steam ahead into the iceberg that awaits.
The idea of putting up a stop gap conservative is something that might appeal to a large portion of the Republican Party who are by and large right leaning moderates and who turn their noses up at true conservative principles because of the inconvenience and responsibility they bring. You know who these people are. They are the "conservatives" that rail against big government and unconstitutional spending but fully support programs like Social Security which fits both categories perfectly. But because they really hate the idea of their left of center and far left brethren, who are also not adverse to ignoring the Constitution at times as they are wont to do, having control they might be able to coax enough of the conservatives who call the Republican Party home to nominate a "conservative" who will turn just enough of a blind eye to their moderate ways and that the conservatives can live with it if he or she were to be elected.
Every day that goes by I wonder about what any of these three would do if nominated and even elected that would coerce conservatives to be really gung-ho to vote for them. Sarah Palin I would certainly have the most hope for as being something other than a placeholder that would simply slow the leftward march of this nation under the guise of compromise. But I also know one thing about her that is troublesome. That one thing is that she will do nothing to get control of our nation's real problems and tackle the tough subjects of unconstitutional programs such as Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. I know that if history is any indication she will do nothing of substance to grab hold of these immense costs that are punishing the working middle class through high taxes to support them and which are such a large part of our federal budget. Without hacking and slashing, and preferably eliminating, them we will never return to fiscal solvency and sound tax policy. She might give token reforms but with the size of these problems more than that will be needed.
Mitt Romney? Please. The man that brought us the "great" Massachusetts government health care plan that failed before it even really got started? Oh I know his excuses for when that issue is brought up; he had, "no choice," and the Democrats "changed" the plan to add things that made it a failure. But that just proves to me that he is no leader and not qualified for the Presidency regardless of the experience as an executive his devout supporters tout. A real leader would have stood up and with the power of the executive said no and refused to fund the program and staff it. A real leader would have cited the constitutional problems with forcing people into contracts they do not want to be bound by. A real leader would have stood up and challenged all to take him down and stood against all comers that tried. Instead he went along to get along like so many self-professed "leaders" do.
Mike Huckabee? If you could see me you would see my eyes rolling in my head. His attempts at reviving his facade with a soft spoken talk show on FOX News is a good effort but I do not see conservatives deeply embracing a man that has already shown a contempt for the laws of this nation and our borders.
Of course, any of these Republicans would be preferable to any candidate the Democrats could muster because they would never nominate a candidate as far to the center as any of these. The problem though then becomes the same as in 2008 should the Republicans nominate a stopgap conservative in that it will remain to be seen if they are conservative enough to woo the vast majority of Americans who disagree vehemently with nearly every policy the Democrats put forth. And then that leads to another problem too in that will a stopgap "conservative" be good enough to pull America back from the gates of Hell and walk us back up the paved road in the hand basket we are currently in? Or will we just stand at the gates under their "leadership" and wait for the next liberal/progressive/socialist/Marxist President to walk us over the threshold?
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.