WTMA commentary broadcast 1/25/08:
As we head into tomorrow’s Democratic presidential primary here in South Carolina, an email from a listener once again reminded of a constant criticism I receive, as I was asked why someone who calls himself the “Southern Avenger” insists on beating up on Republicans all the time instead of the Democrats.
To me, it is obvious as the day is long that the Democrats stink. The conventional liberalism of a Hillary Clinton, a Barack Obama or a John Edwards is frightening in the sense that such people see no dividing line between the private and public sector. They do not recognize the immorality of seizing a man’s property or the fruit of his labor for the purposes of government. They believe government should be the primary agent of cultural change, where social engineering can and should be implemented from the top down by federal courts, even if such change is against the will of the people. And in the end, liberals define “democracy” as the people forever choosing to increase the power and scope of the federal government, which in the name of “progress” should know no bounds, constitutional or otherwise.
But in their defense, at least the Democrats are open and obvious about what they stand for.
Like the Democrats, it is also blatantly obvious to me that the Republicans stink. The health care proposal of a self-described businessman like Mitt Romney is remarkably similar to that of Hillary Clinton, where the government mandates private action. While Republicans are eternally promising to cut taxes, most ultimately have no problem with seizing a man’s property or the fruit of his labor through the current tax system, and vigorously oppose any serious systematic changes – like the Fair Tax – as ridiculous and unreasonable. Like the Democrats, most Republicans support legislation that would outlaw certain types of marriage or medicinal drug use, where social change would be implemented and enforced from the top down through the federal courts, even if it’s against the will of the people. And in the end, today’s Republican party loves centralized power every bit as much as the Democrats, whether as defined by the corporate bottom line, or by the size of the military, which despite already being the largest history, must forever be expanded and used all over the world in the name of “progress.”
Compared to the Republicans, Democrats truly have a choice. Obama, Clinton and Edwards might be remarkably similar, but at least they all stand for the big government liberalism that has long defined the Democratic Party. In contrast, there is nothing that defines the Republican Party right now, as evidenced by the fractured mess of the 2008 presidential campaign. So-called “conservatism” today amounts to little more than enthusiasm for torture, enthusiasm for bombing Iran and enthusiasm for beating Hillary Clinton. When someone like myself tries to bring up the old-time conservative religion of prudence in foreign affairs, small, Constitutional government, balanced budgets and states’ rights, I’m called a “kook,” a “coward” and sometimes even a “liberal.”
Pretend for a moment that your children are rotten. Now pretend that your neighbor’s children are rotten. What kind of person would you be if you constantly criticized your neighbor’s children, yet said nothing about your own?
This is how I feel about the Republicans in relation to the Democrats, because by all rights, the Republican Party should be my party. From George Washington through Ronald Reagan, there is an honorable and true American conservative tradition, and so long as the Republican Party insists on running away from it fast as they can, I will gladly continue to try to cut their legs out from under them every chance I get. And no one should be surprised come November when the party that stands for nothing is defeated by a party that still stands on principle and has the courage of their convictions, however damaging they might be.
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.