Conservatives Realize They Have To Lie About Conservatism To Be Elected
Jonah Goldberg (of Hillary Clinton = Hitler infamy) writes that he thinks he was wrong to dismiss George W. Bush and his “compassionate conservative” branding. Goldberg is essentially admitting here what some of us have pointed out for some time: Actual conservatism cannot sell in America.
Barry Goldwater was the first to realize this, as he was trounced from coast to coast for the sin of supporting absurdity. Ensuing Republicans either knew that they had to keep the crazies locked in the basement or had to just pretend like they didn’t exist. And no, don’t even bring up crazy tax-raising Ronald Reagan in this argument. He had to run for office as the real Reagan, not the gauzy, historically revisionist version of Ronald Reagan that conservatives hold up as an icon today.
By 2000, George W. Bush realized the only serious way for conservatives to be elected to the presidency was to pretend not to be conservatives. He put the crazies in the basement, then tried to out-compassion Al Gore. Even that was only good enough for an electoral college squeaker.
This year, we saw Romney shift to the hard right in an attempt to win the nomination, then in the first debate he tried to do a song and dance and disappear his severe conservatism. But he made the fatal flaw of actually standing in front of the cameras for those Republican debates. And America saw a true conservative, one who would do as much as possible to ban abortion, kill the safety net, and ask “how high” to the filthy rich and the corporations they operate.
It was rejected.
The only way for conservatism to win a national election in America is for conservatives to pretend to be centrist or even liberal on several key issues. Being against the actual safety net, as conservatives are, is electoral suicide. Being a totalitarian against a woman’s right to choose, is key to yet another double-digit loss among women voters. On issue after issue, the conservative position is in the fringe.
A Republican presidential candidate will only succeed in the future if he does as Bush did: hide his conservatism or disguise it in progressivism. It speaks volumes about just how hollow your ideology truly is if it can’t stand up in the light, but must instead hide in the darkness like a cockroach.