Those of you who know me or who have ever read this blog know that I am no Progressive. I have been in many an argument/discussion with liberals on issues from health care reform to abortion, taxes to the role of government. But I can’t be silent any more and be party to the ridiculousness of what many “conservatives” are doing. Years ago I would have considered myself a conservative… I’ve since grown older and, I hope, wiser in the process. Here’s why:
While I make no bones about my frustration and ideological differences with the current administration and majority party of Congress, the “dissent” from the other side of the aisle on issues ranging from health care reform to cap and trade to government expansion lacks a modicum of credibility. I, myself, am a firm believer in the limitations of the federal government not on in size and scope, but also in authority and jurisdiction. I originally supported George W. Bush based on the platform of federalism and a humble foreign policy as well as strict constructist Supreme Court judicial nominees. But when the light of truth was shined on the policies of the former president, the platform had been replaced with something entirely different. I could no longer support the policies of the president in regards to the expansion of Medicare liabilities, the expansion of the Department of Education, the continued support for nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the inability to enact meaningful tax, tort and social security reform… 3 of the primary underpinnings of his platform.
Over the last 8 years, “conservatives” have idly sat by and watched as the “conservative” Republicans ran up the Federal deficit, nearly doubled federal spending and intervened, without respect for the constitution, in the affairs of sovereign nations on American’s dime. “Conservatives” watched as American’s civil liberties were diminished by unnecessary articles in the Patriot Act and government surveillance projects all the while condemning Democrats for “hating” America and being “weak” on defense. And at the core of the issues was the defense of the “American” way.
But now, with a Liberal Democrat in the White House, “conservatives” have decided that NOW federal spending is out of control and government is getting too intrusive. “Conservatives” now decry President Obama on every issue from health care reform to cap and trade to the foreign policy tactics with Iran and Israel to his use of a teleprompter for public address. This has to stop.
The President delivered several addresses this week, 1 to the G20 environment summit and another to the United Nations. While I disagree with many of the President’s policies, not everything he says is wrong. Conservatives continue to criticize Obama as being weak on national defense and yet he has continued many of the policies of the Bush administration in regard to foreign policy and even increased activity in the war in Afghanistan. You can’t have it both ways… either Bush was wrong or now Obama is right.
President Obama’s preference for diplomacy, even with rogue nations, rather than his affinity for military battering ram has been criticized ad nauseum by conservatives ever since he started running for President. However, Obama is not alone in his affinity for diplomacy, he is accompanied by the likes of guys named Washington and Jefferson. Not involving ourselves militarily in every conflict throughout the world is not a sign of weakness but rather of wisdom.
Those who call for American military action in Iran or North Korea would prefer to ignore the constitution and replace it with an Emperor. The American military is not tool of politicians to effect change throughout the world, but a great deterrent to anyone who wishes the American people harm. Those who criticized Bill Clinton for his interventionist policies in Bosnia and Somalia are the same ones who cheered George Bush for his interventionism in Iraq and Afghanistan and who would see us attack anyone else who doesn’t do what “we” say. Something is missing… it’s called credibility. Many conservatives now remind me of Keith Olbermann shouting down George Bush and his administration, lots of passion very little credibility. You can criticize a position, a policy or a vote, but make sure you’re not just criticizing because of the letter that follows the name in parentheses.
Democrats and Republicans seem to determine their platforms based upon what the other is for or against and then doing the opposite. Suffice to say that no political party has cornered the market on the truth. In fact, if any major political party has even a little bit of it I’d be surprised. But I’m big enough to say when those I normally would agree with are wrong. I’m not going to join the Progressive Democratic party bandwagon, but I’m also not going to criticize them for how they comb their hair or how they throw a baseball. There are very few issues I agree with modern Progressives on but when I do, I can acknowledge it. If only Republicans and Democrats could do that too…