11.02.2008

Conservatives for Obama

Chuck Muth reminds us that past is prologue. This election offers us a choice between a Richard Nixon and a Jimmy Carter. Which would be worse for the conservative movement? History suggests Nixon.
Nixon was no movement conservative, but conservatives were told he was conservative enough and certainly better than that bleeding-heart liberal Hubert Humphrey. Same sales pitch for Nixon’s ’72 re-election campaign against that liberal, anti-war peacenik, George McGovern.

And what did eight years of this “better than the other guy” Republican give us…other than Watergate? A little reminder from Wikipedia…
“As President, Nixon imposed wage and price controls, indexed Social Security for inflation, and created Supplemental Security Income (SSI). He also had plans to create a universal minimum income and universal health care, but was not able to realize either. The number of pages added to the Federal Register each year doubled under Nixon. He eradicated the last remnants of the gold standard, created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), promoted the Legacy of parks program and implemented the Philadelphia Plan, the first significant federal affirmative action program.”

Lovely. But remember, Humphrey and McGovern would have been SO much worse. At least that’s the line conservatives were handed.

The GOP had the opportunity to nominate Ronald Reagan, a true conservative, in 1976, but instead opted for moderate Washington insider and war hero Jerry Ford. In the general election, conservatives and libertarians were again told that while Ford was a moderate, we had to vote for him because Jimmy Carter would be SO much worse.

Which, as it turns out, he was.

In fact, Carter was so bad – Iran hostage crisis, double-digit interest rates, unemployment, malaise, misery index, etc. – that the nation tossed him on his keister in 1980 and elected a true conservative POTUS (President of the United States). As a result of Ronald Reagan’s conservative policies over the next eight years, the nation became stronger and safer and economically healthy. Robust even. Turns out government WAS the problem, not the solution, after all. Go figure.

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