Sunday, July 25, 2010

Can Conservatism Be Reformed, Continued

A Reader responds:

I have faith in our political system that eventually the GOP or some other conservative party will be that reformed conservatism that you and I are looking for.

I always felt that 2008 wasn't enough to get rid of all the bad influences and extreme talking points on the right. I had hoped that it would reform but didn't think it would.

No(w) I feel that politics is cyclical, it will take a couple Mondale like thrashing(s) and wandering into the wilderness for sane conservatism to come back. Maybe like liberals will we come out with a new name, maybe ironically classical liberals (or just plain libertarians).

But whatever it is, I just can't see this country staying as it is, demographics and even ideologically the data says it won't. And no I don't believe in a permanent majority of any party. Eventually things change.

But that change might not be for decades and frankly that sucks for you and I.

All you can do is try to speak your views and vote for whoever you feel best represents them.

I think he has a point. At this point, the GOP losses in 2006 and 2008 were only seen as mere bumps in the road, instead of signs for reform. With the economy the way it is and with Obama presently in the doldrums, it seems like a chance for the Republicans and conservatism to strike back with no changes in their agenda.

In some way, I think the GOP is repeating the some of the same mistakes the Democrats made 30 years ago. After losing big time in 1980, the Democrats gained some seats in 1982- a year when the economy was still in the dumps and President Reagan was losing some of his popularity. These signs made them think that nothing had to be changed and former Vice President Mondale became the Democratic nominee in 1984. Mondale went on to be crushed by Reagan in November of that year, winning only 10 electoral votes.

In someways, it feels like history is repeating itself. I can see the Republicans gaining seats in November and feeling overconfident. Believe that nothing need be changed, I can see the GOP nominating someone like Sarah Palin and then going down to a devasting defeat.

Of course, history doesn't repeat as much as it rhymes. Things might change between now and 2012. But I do know that American Conservatism won't change until it enters the wilderness and ends the denial that it is currently in.

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