Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bracing Ourselves

I know that some will see this post as unnecessarily defeatist, since the election is still over two weeks away.

But as the latest polling data shows, it might be wise to start thinking about the possible ramifications of an Obama presidency, so that we can get a head start identifying those areas of our lives most likely to be impacted and positioning ourselves to defend our most important principles.

Now, some will point out that the polls are all over the place; one has Obama ahead only by two percentage points, while the infamous CBS/NYT poll puts it at fourteen, leading to suggestions that their polling agents might occasionally want to poll people outside their actual corporate headquarters once in a while. But the reality is that nobody has McCain ahead, and with so short a time before the election, barring a last-minute October Surprise or other spoiler, it seems more likely than not that Obama will be our next president.

I remember how shocked some of us were when Clinton was first elected. It didn't seem possible that such an unprincipled and morally deficient person, so staunch a supporter of abortion (for, one sometimes suspected uneasily, his own reasons), so left-leaning and dictatorial a figure could possibly have been selected by a majority of the populace to lead America. What kind of nation could we be, that our fellow citizens would choose such a man as their leader?

I suspect the same kind of soul-searching will take place in the event of an Obama victory. But those who think that such a victory will be a good moment for Republican conservatives to redefine who they are and what is important to them from within the party are forgetting something--history. When the first George Bush was defeated in his second campaign, when Dole lost (however deservedly), the Republican party has moved, not to the right, but to the left. Should McCain go down in defeat, the neo-con wing of the party will scream that it's the fault of the die-hard social conservatives who insist on taking "extreme" positions against abortion and gay marriage, when clearly every American from kindergarten on believes that they have a fundamental right to both (as soon as they're old enough, that is).

Last year, I wrote this post about the flaws of our two-party system; while it might be slightly comforting to reflect on the notion that no matter how badly McCain might be doing, at least we haven't had to endure a Giuliani campaign, there is a part of me that wonders whether it wouldn't be better, in the end, for us conservatives if the Republican party drew that line in an upcoming national election, and went ahead and nominated a pro-abort, pro-gay marriage type. They could then compete with the Democrats for the same voters, and the rest of us could begin the arduous and lengthy process necessary for the forming of a new and viable third-party; because, while I may yet be voting for a third-party candidate this time around (especially after last night's less than encouraging answer from McCain on abortion and judges) I'm under no illusions that any of those parties are even remotely positioned to become national contenders.

Should we wait, though? Realizing that Republicans in general have continued to be disappointingly weak, for example, on abortion--and especially in making the scientific, moral, and philosophical case to the American people for its abolition--should we wait until the party is officially in the hands of "personally opposed" candidates? Or should we call for the establishment of a truly conservative party that will do exactly that?

Should we wait for the Republicans to quit bumbling around the gay marriage issue by offering civil union and partnership dodges that will only lead to full marriage rights in the end anyway, or support a fledgling conservative party that will stand firmly against the redefinition of marriage to accommodate a handful of people whose commitment to sexual perversion isn't even remotely akin to marriage?

Should we wait for the Republicans to come to understand that big business isn't necessarily the friend of those who embrace traditional living, rejecting the mindset that mindless consumerism is a patriotic virtue, or form a party of conservatives who realize that conservation and conservatism go rather well together, and that the increasing 24/7 demands of corporate employers are demeaning to their workers' human dignity and detrimental to a stable family life?

Should we wait for the Republicans to realize that a leaking border and promises of amnesty aren't helping working families who are already here, and are cheapening the struggles of those who sacrifice greatly in order to come to America legally--or should we work toward a new conservative party that, without abandoning human compassion, still makes it a priority to seal our borders and end the policy of turning a blind eye toward illegal immigration?

Should we wait for Republicans to stop thinking that America's role in the world demands military intervention in every corner of the globe, and come to understand that empire-building nearly always destroys the nation that engages in it; or should we form a party that truly will put America and American interests first, and engage in conflicts only when all peaceful options have been tried and have failed?

More and more, the two political parties seem like pale shadows of each other, and their policies seem to be aimed at the same goals--only the smallest details differentiate them, and aside from Ron Paul who truly called for constitutional-level reform, nobody seems to be proposing anything that would put the federal monster back in its place, and return to state and local governments power that was long since usurped from them.

So if Barack Obama is elected, our best ability to protect and preserve what we hold dear will most likely not come from the Republican Party; our best bet may lie in ending the game of pretending the Republicans really represent our interests, and, instead, create and support a new party which will actually do so.


Anonymous said...

I think you're spot on here, but I want to take issue with one side point, about McCain on judges. I was listening hard, and after he said he would not apply a "litmus test" but would choose someone qualified, he said, almost as an afterthought and while being interrupted by the interviewer, that he didn't think anyone who voted consistently pro-abortion would be the type of person who is qualified. In my view, McCain made it very clear that he would elect pro-life judges. That is huge, huge huge. Obama made it clear he would elect pro-aborts. Huge. Obama was right that Roe V. Wade hangs in the balance, and I think this presidency esp. with regard to supreme court judges will be crucial as a turning point towards better or worse. For that reason alone, that tremendous reason, McCain has my vote. This is so important; I so wish conservatives would rally on this.


eutychus said...

I think you are right, Rebecca. I heard him say, that any judge who thought RoeVWade was a good decision would not be qualified in his view. But I think you are right, Red, in your view that it may be a done deal. My only glimmer of hope lies in the FBI investigation of ACORN. But no doubt the media will continue to turn a blind eye to it all at least untill after the election, if then. Meanwhile we must prepare ourselves for the type of extremist view outlined over at the Witherspoon Institute.'s%20Abortion%20Extremism_.xml
It is a sad and frightening time. May God have mercy on us.

Daddio said...

I actually think McCain pulled out the right answer on judges in his last little muttering that came out before time ran out. He went on and on about no litmus test, but he did eventually say that any judge who believe Roe v Wade was good decision making was unqualified. I might try to watch it again sometime just to make sure I got that right.

Anonymous said...

I agree with parts of this post, but if you have time to clarify, Red, how do you define the terms "neo-con", and "empire"? And also, how, in your way of thinking, should government treat "big business"?

How can we really say that the US is "empire-building"? We have not seized Iraqi oil supplies, we are not setting up a government there that is made up of Americans. It seems to me that while the US is heavily interventionist, it cannot be said that we are empire-building at all.

--Elizabeth B.

Red Cardigan said...

Elizabeth, I'll try to post more on this tomorrow. Generally speaking, I'm referring to some of Pat Buchanan's ideas; even though I don't agree with everything he's said or written, on the subject of America's involvement in foreign conflicts and indebtedness to foreign governments his ideas about what would happen (namely, an economic crisis/crash) are seeming pretty prescient.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Red.

katerine said...

Agreed Completely! But let us not forgot on our hope rests in Jesus Christ.

We must become fervent in prayer and fasting for woman facing the decision to abort their baby, the family, friends and doctors of such women and for our legistlators.

We must rally all christians to work to ensure FOCA is never passed and not sit idely by hoping it will never make it out of comittee.

We must rally to support truly pro-life (in all meansing) politicans (probably in a new party) to higher officers where they can make difference in the policies that are set.

we cannot rest. We must not give never up.