Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. . . . But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice. As Clive Crook, an Obama admirer, wrote in The Financial Times, the Obama budget 'contains no trace of compromise. It makes no gesture, however small, however costless to its larger agenda, of a bipartisan approach to the great questions it addresses. It is a liberal’s dream of a new New Deal.'- NY Times columnist David Brooks, March 2, 2009
David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, Christopher Buckley and other self-described conservatives who supported the candidacy of president Obama perplexed me. There is a nascent desire to get along and not to confront what needs to be addressed in all of us, even among those who, like Brooks, should have known better. I have discovered a more ominous threat than the desire to get along and that threat is fear, the fear that makes some receptive to vapid messages like Hope and Change. When did this happen, how did so many of us become fearful and susceptible to the irrational?
America has been a blessing to so many for so long that we have had the security to listen to revisionist history, politically correct moral equivalents and accept them as equally valid points of view, because there was no threat. We have been so removed by time and distance from the lack of liberty, that we take our own for granted. Now that our way of life is under threat and people are losing their jobs, their retirement incomes and security that we will endure, we no longer have a national understanding of the blessings of liberty. Even those whose instincts tell them that as the moderate Gerald Ford observed, that the government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have (paraphrasing), are uneasy about standing up to those who would enslave them.
Liberty from the tyranny of government and the free (non-coerced) exchange within a market economy is at the core of what defines my conservatism. I also believe that what John Adams said regarding America is true: "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." My Christian faith, which is core to my being also informs my conservatism. Some will try to characterize that faith as intolerant or impractical and focus on that but my response is that you don't know my God!
I, like Jennifer, am bowing out. I appreciate the invitation to join the fine folks here and to contribute as an author but in ordinary times our differences would be academic. I think there's consensus, even among those of us who disagree, that this is no ordinary time. As I mentioned to Jennifer, I believe I am responsible for the sharp differences and fissures that have revealed themselves here. I am unyielding and stubborn in the best of times but when I sense danger, I am intractable. It is my view that some of the ideas put forward here are decidedly not conservative in the classical liberal, modern conservative tradition. I'm not talking about the difference between Ron Paul followers with neo-cons on the war in Iraq, I'm talking about more fundamental, basic issues about ownership of production, do the producers own what they produce or does the government? I say the producers because that embodies the wisdom of our founding fathers.
I am also unrelenting in the face of a threat to me or mine and I say no to Hitler taking the Sudetenland, I mock those who pronounce "peace in our time." Analogies often fail, so let me be direct. Do I want Barack Obama to succeed with his plans? Hell to the no (forgive the ethnic expression)! I have studied this man and his words, his background and associations, his tactics and his actions, he is a lying Marxist in the Saul Alinsky tradition. My beliefs don't accommodate another view, my family is under threat from this man and his collaborators and I am locked and loaded!
God Bless you all and Good Luck!