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Old 11-18-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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There have been many discussions here on the separation of church and state and the dangers of government favoring even a majority religious view. There has even been some discussion from Christian fundamentalist such as Mennonites and Amish as to the dangers of the state corrupting their faith and religious practices. However, in light in the changing face of the Republican Party and the crossroads it now stands before, I would like to add something else to this.

I have often wondered how traditional conservatism ended up where it is today, a dysfunctional collection of those longing for fiscal responsibility, those who desire to maintain their liberties free from government intervention, social conservatives, and the all too familiar neoconservative crackpots.

I went back and started to reread some older material from the heady days of William Buckley and I noticed the change started even then. Despite Buckley being touted as the modern grandmaster of conservative ideals, a second look seems to refute a good portion of this. While a very large number of Buckley’s writings were on the dangers of the state intervening in the lives of Americans, he at the same time was a water carrier for the anti-communist types that culminated into people like Christopher Hitchen’s today.

This issue of external threats to our society, whether justified or not, ended up being part of the basis for the neoconservative movement that focused so intently in external fears of perceived dangers abroad that they abandoned nearly every conservative principle and in turn became the danger from within. The danger being the destruction of civil liberties, surveillance of American citizens, embracing expansive government, a liberal and progressive foreign policy, and utter fiscal irresponsibility. History is likely to place Bush next to FDR on the conservative scale.

While contemporary Republicans lament over the Obama, the socialist spreader of wealth, they at the same time take no issue with socialist aspects of the Wall Street bail out, the proposition of borrowing from their children in order to pay for the debts they incurred. This almost laser like focus on single hot button issues such as the second amendment, gay marriage and abortion that have come to form a social narrative that has been the sort list of “modern Republicanism”.

After nearly eight years of these policies and progression of ideologies, Republicans have in turn become the very thing they despise the most, liberal/progressives of a social narrative and the majority wouldn’t know a conservative if one punched them in the face.

I have to wonder if the current tectonic shift in political philosophy will help or hinder those of a more traditional conservative mind and if a third party has been born but not yet recognized in the split taking place in the GOP today. I believe it is time for a separation of conservatism from the state.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:56 PM
 
8,180 posts, read 11,253,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnHilltopper View Post
There have been many discussions here on the separation of church and state and the dangers of government favoring even a majority religious view. There has even been some discussion from Christian fundamentalist such as Mennonites and Amish as to the dangers of the state corrupting their faith and religious practices. However, in light in the changing face of the Republican Party and the crossroads it now stands before, I would like to add something else to this.

I have often wondered how traditional conservatism ended up where it is today, a dysfunctional collection of those longing for fiscal responsibility, those who desire to maintain their liberties free from government intervention, social conservatives, and the all too familiar neoconservative crackpots.

I went back and started to reread some older material from the heady days of William Buckley and I noticed the change started even then. Despite Buckley being touted as the modern grandmaster of conservative ideals, a second look seems to refute a good portion of this. While a very large number of Buckley’s writings were on the dangers of the state intervening in the lives of Americans, he at the same time was a water carrier for the anti-communist types that culminated into people like Christopher Hitchen’s today.

This issue of external threats to our society, whether justified or not, ended up being part of the basis for the neoconservative movement that focused so intently in external fears of perceived dangers abroad that they abandoned nearly every conservative principle and in turn became the danger from within. The danger being the destruction of civil liberties, surveillance of American citizens, embracing expansive government, a liberal and progressive foreign policy, and utter fiscal irresponsibility. History is likely to place Bush next to FDR on the conservative scale.

While contemporary Republicans lament over the Obama, the socialist spreader of wealth, they at the same time take no issue with socialist aspects of the Wall Street bail out, the proposition of borrowing from their children in order to pay for the debts they incurred. This almost laser like focus on single hot button issues such as the second amendment, gay marriage and abortion that have come to form a social narrative that has been the sort list of “modern Republicanism”.

After nearly eight years of these policies and progression of ideologies, Republicans have in turn become the very thing they despise the most, liberal/progressives of a social narrative and the majority wouldn’t know a conservative if one punched them in the face.

I have to wonder if the current tectonic shift in political philosophy will help or hinder those of a more traditional conservative mind and if a third party has been born but not yet recognized in the split taking place in the GOP today. I believe it is time for a separation of conservatism from the state.

I agree with pretty much everything you have said....with the exception of the bolded portion.
I have stopped identifying myself as republican, but many in my extended family still do and none of them agree with the bailout. I believe this will be the final straw for many republicans in regards to the direction the gop is headed. I expect to see many disenfranchised reps. becoming independent if not libertarian after this.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:04 PM
 
11,127 posts, read 12,641,371 times
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Originally Posted by camping! View Post
I agree with pretty much everything you have said....with the exception of the bolded portion.
I have stopped identifying myself as republican, but many in my extended family still do and none of them agree with the bailout. I believe this will be the final straw for many republicans in regards to the direction the gop is headed. I expect to see many disenfranchised reps. becoming independent if not libertarian after this.
I do my best to make the distinction between contemporary Republicanism and conservatism as they are indeed so far apart today as to be seen as completely different. In fact, I suspect that many contemporary Republicans would despise conservatives and their non-nation building, less interventionist, and fiscally responsible ways. Being a conservative has little to do with protecting the unborn so they can grow up to serve as a soldier on foreign soils in wars that empty our treasury.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:13 PM
LML
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,109 posts, read 8,090,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnHilltopper View Post
There have been many discussions here on the separation of church and state and the dangers of government favoring even a majority religious view. There has even been some discussion from Christian fundamentalist such as Mennonites and Amish as to the dangers of the state corrupting their faith and religious practices. However, in light in the changing face of the Republican Party and the crossroads it now stands before, I would like to add something else to this.

I have often wondered how traditional conservatism ended up where it is today, a dysfunctional collection of those longing for fiscal responsibility, those who desire to maintain their liberties free from government intervention, social conservatives, and the all too familiar neoconservative crackpots.

I went back and started to reread some older material from the heady days of William Buckley and I noticed the change started even then. Despite Buckley being touted as the modern grandmaster of conservative ideals, a second look seems to refute a good portion of this. While a very large number of Buckley’s writings were on the dangers of the state intervening in the lives of Americans, he at the same time was a water carrier for the anti-communist types that culminated into people like Christopher Hitchen’s today.

This issue of external threats to our society, whether justified or not, ended up being part of the basis for the neoconservative movement that focused so intently in external fears of perceived dangers abroad that they abandoned nearly every conservative principle and in turn became the danger from within. The danger being the destruction of civil liberties, surveillance of American citizens, embracing expansive government, a liberal and progressive foreign policy, and utter fiscal irresponsibility. History is likely to place Bush next to FDR on the conservative scale.

While contemporary Republicans lament over the Obama, the socialist spreader of wealth, they at the same time take no issue with socialist aspects of the Wall Street bail out, the proposition of borrowing from their children in order to pay for the debts they incurred. This almost laser like focus on single hot button issues such as the second amendment, gay marriage and abortion that have come to form a social narrative that has been the sort list of “modern Republicanism”.

After nearly eight years of these policies and progression of ideologies, Republicans have in turn become the very thing they despise the most, liberal/progressives of a social narrative and the majority wouldn’t know a conservative if one punched them in the face.

I have to wonder if the current tectonic shift in political philosophy will help or hinder those of a more traditional conservative mind and if a third party has been born but not yet recognized in the split taking place in the GOP today. I believe it is time for a separation of conservatism from the state.
It has long appeared to me that the neo cons....and even the Reagan Republicans....spent more time reading Machiavelli than they did Monroe. If you follow the genesis of their foreign policy, as an example, you can pretty well trace it right back to The Prince. Little to none of their efforts have been directed toward effective governance. It has been almost totally directed toward the maintenance of power. We now live with the results.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:16 PM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,788,547 times
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Goodness TNhill, I've never been able to make this connection, but I'm seeing exactly what you're talking about. Equal time for dem's traditional version of party identity--- Does Obama resemble anything you've ever seen? What party would we call his positions remains to be seen as we live them out with each decision.

Yes, this is the hard way roll of the dice, but after 2004 elections I've never seen so many desperate (from every walk of life) for any semblance of sane leadership or the utter despair from ordinary people convinced their government was bought and sold out from under them. I myself have never doubted my country's ability to check and balance out until I witnessed Bush in action. I had to listen to Tony Blair Parliamentary proceedings on Cspan to figure out why my brothers and sisters in arms were going to Iraq???

Even republicans can't see that within their criticisms of 'movie star' status lies the problem of merit issues stomped over by pundit chatter, fixation on stupidity (what color is Palins lipstick???), warchest sizes ruling politics-- I mean, COME ON already folks! We can't afford this stuck on stupid stuff anymore. This insidious predilection people have for Jerry Springer theatrics has to end. Your children's lives and fortunes are on the line.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:27 PM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,788,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LML View Post
It has long appeared to me that the neo cons....and even the Reagan Republicans....spent more time reading Machiavelli than they did Monroe. If you follow the genesis of their foreign policy, as an example, you can pretty well trace it right back to The Prince. Little to none of their efforts have been directed toward effective governance. It has been almost totally directed toward the maintenance of power. We now live with the results.
I sensed during Reagan era something went horribly awry but had few means at that age to articulate what I knew instinctively to be wrong.

I find it uncanny in the grander scheme timeline how a savings and loan bailout at a state level could be so profitable for brother Bush, and now we've got an executive scale bailout of an entire industries. Neocons still defend everything and deny all responsibility to this very minute. It's frightening to witness their thought process. Pillage and plunder party?
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:32 PM
 
11,127 posts, read 12,641,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LML View Post
It has long appeared to me that the neo cons....and even the Reagan Republicans....spent more time reading Machiavelli than they did Monroe. If you follow the genesis of their foreign policy, as an example, you can pretty well trace it right back to The Prince. Little to none of their efforts have been directed toward effective governance. It has been almost totally directed toward the maintenance of power. We now live with the results.
This Machiavellian aspect to our foreign policy is something that I have come to see as mostly a Bush legacy. While the foundations for this view were laid much earlier in what I believe the Buckley era, it didn't really come to fruition until the current administration.

Looking back, I recall folks chuckling over Reagan since he only started "small" wars that could be easily managed and even Reagan was aware of the dangers of occupation in the Middle East.

I believe this is why a social narrative of single hot button issues based in morality were culminated domestically so as to provide diversion while attempting to engage in global hegemony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
Goodness TNhill, I've never been able to make this connection, but I'm seeing exactly what you're talking about. Equal time for dem's traditional version of party identity--- Does Obama resemble anything you've ever seen? What party would we call his positions remains to be seen as we live them out with each decision.
Funny thing is harborlady, I see the Democratic Party in a similar situation. Much of the democratic party has migrated more towards the middle in my opinion as when we look to how it treats its more liberal ideologues such as Dennis Kucinich and even John Edwards. Traditional liberal issues are rarely at the forefront of Democrats talking points anymore. It has been a good long while since I heard much about issues like poverty, drug laws, etc... The contemporary Democratic Party resembles something more like the Republican Party of 1983.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:35 PM
 
39,948 posts, read 24,192,455 times
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I think there's been a growing disparity between what the Republican Party stands for, and what the GOP does. Fiscal conservatism does not pair with administrations that added substantially to the national debt. It was clearly dysfunctional, and during the last fifty years a growing number of people began to identify themselves as Independents as a way to deal with the contradictions that were growing in the GOP between ideology and action. Rather than address the contradictions, the party leaders embraced the religious right, and moved further into social conservatism. This served again to underline a disparity, the disparity between an ideology that proclaimed the Republicans were for less government, while the religious right tried to increase legal restrictions on people's behaviors.

Historically, the parties have shifted back and forth within a fairly moderate political spectrum. It's just my opinion, but I think that the GOP is going to have to step away from what it now considers its core base in order to regain a majority. McCain the maverick (circa 2000) appealed to those Independents whose core values actually square with Republican ideology. Most Presidential candidates, after receiving nomination, actually begin to lean more and more to the middle in their proposed policies and rhetoric. McCain didn't do that. Palin wasn't the problem, she simply showcased the problem. McCain and/or his advisors didn't think he could bring the conservative base to the polls if he began to lean toward the middle. But the middle ground is the battlefield.

Democrats reaped the benefits of an unpopular President and financial instability. But they have to work on crafting an enduring identity that goes beyond the social liberalism they've been advocating. Social issues didn't dominate this year's campaign, and if they had the Democrats might have been holding their breath a lot later on election night.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:36 PM
LML
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,109 posts, read 8,090,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnHilltopper View Post
This Machiavellian aspect to our foreign policy is something that I have come to see as mostly a Bush legacy. While the foundations for this view were laid much earlier in what I believe the Buckley era, it didn't really come to fruition until the current administration.

Looking back, I recall folks chuckling over Reagan since he only started "small" wars that could be easily managed and even Reagan was aware of the dangers of occupation in the Middle East.

I believe this is why a social narrative of single hot button issues based in morality were culminated domestically so as to provide diversion while attempting to engage in global hegemony.



Funny thing is harborlady, I see the Democratic Party in a similar situation. Much of the democratic party has migrated more towards the middle in my opinion as when we look to how it treats its more liberal ideologues such as Dennis Kucinich and even John Edwards. Traditional liberal issues are rarely at the forefront of Democrats talking points anymore. It has been a good long while since I heard much about issues like poverty, drug laws, etc... The contemporary Democratic Party resembles something more like the Republican Party of 1983.

I very seldom agree with anyone's post completely. This is the exception. I agree 100% with everything you have written in this post.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:41 PM
 
11,961 posts, read 12,788,547 times
Reputation: 2772
Quote:
Originally Posted by TnHilltopper View Post
Funny thing is harborlady, I see the Democratic Party in a similar situation. Much of the democratic party has migrated more towards the middle in my opinion as when we look to how it treats its more liberal ideologues such as Dennis Kucinich and even John Edwards. Traditional liberal issues are rarely at the forefront of Democrats talking points anymore. It has been a good long while since I heard much about issues like poverty, drug laws, etc... The contemporary Democratic Party resembles something more like the Republican Party of 1983.
Dems are adopting centrism more and more, even Obama post election... his feet trend that way. I'm almost thinking anyone running for president should divorce themselves from any party affiliation at all since they're tasked with balancing the scales for all and preserving diversity. Their long standing beliefs jiving with voting records and current thinking should be enough of a resume for voters to mull over.

Any of the republicans notice that Bill Clinton studied under the Nixon admin.? I think his position on many issues were in keeping with the majority crossing party lines, and his unspoken admission of the generational welfare system being a failed experiment by opening doors for state run controls... the bold move didn't get the press time discussion that infidelity received, that's for sure. Social liberals were more than a little displeased.

This past election primary John Edwards was received as elitist and rejected. Where are the merit presentations of ideas when the debate time is obsessed with "the white guy, the black guy and the woman" or "the mormon, the used to be libertarian, and the familiar white guy"? What a disappointment.
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