Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"If McCain Wins, Conservatism is Dead"

A unnamed respondent to my Pennsylvania post thinks that whatever happens this election cycle:

GOP ultimately loses--
McCain is a LIBERAL Republican!!!
If he wins, conservatism is dead.


My working assumption is that the commenter thinks that either Obama or Clinton would be preferable to McCain, because if the "liberal" McCain wins, conservatism is dead.

Conservatism is an instrument, not an idol or religion. The more important question is what happens to our country. We are conservatives because conservative policies are best for our country, and for no other reason. If it's a choice between what's best for the country, and what's best for the conservatism as a movement, then the devil take conservatism.

Whatever we think of McCain, there are ample reasons to prefer him to the alternatives. Obama or Clinton in the White House will certainly lose us the war, not rebuild our military, cripple our intelligence capabilities further, and assist the Lilliputians in tying down Gulliver by subordinating American policy to that of other states and international organizations.

Both Obama and Clinton would hobble the American economy, by extending existing welfare entitlements and creating new ones (such as nationalised health care) that we cannot pay for, and that will destroy opportunity and economic growth. The Democrats thus favor repeating the folly and decadence of socialist Europe, rather than looking to our own history, and to more successful economic examples in Asia.

Socially, Obama, Clinton and their poisonous liberal friends and adherents are on the side of all the forces in Hollywood and academia making for rot in our culture. I do not argue that Republicans, at the moment, are necessarily better: but they can hardly be worse than the Democrats. If you hate McCain (and those of us who are for him) so much that you want a liberal Supreme Court for another generation, combined with the exaltation of judges over legislators; more power for lawyers and for public employee unions -- then by all means pull that lever or dimple that chad for Obama or Hillary.

I have never argued that John McCain was perfect. He probably wouldn't have been my first choice. There may be better choices another day. But McCain is what the opponents of the Left have, today. I have maintained, and continue to maintain, that John McCain is a conservative. John McCain needs no words of mine or anybody else to vouch for him: his voting record in Congress, and his military service in Vietnam prove both his conservatism and his patriotism. So McCain's hacked-off some of our self-appointed movement popes. What of it ?

Maybe conservatism is dead. Maybe it dies if McCain is elected. I don't for a minute believe it, and neither should you, but the fate of conservatism is a secondary, even a tertiary issue. We are all in our own small and individual ways the servants of our country, which by the deeds of those who came before us lived long before any of us; and, by God's grace lives today; and, by God's grace will go on and on for our children and theirs long after we are gone. But we must take care of what we have been given, as best that we can. For me, Obama or Clinton are not up to that duty.

Folks, Ronald Reagan was a very great man. But he's gone now, and we're left to carry on. We don't carry on by worrying more about the "movement" than the country.


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