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Republicans not always conservative


By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Fri, Jul 13th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

By Stan Gudmundson

If the political horse you have been riding has faltered and finally croaked, it is a classic technique to shoot at the other guy’s political horse rather than drawing attention to the rotting carcass you are still astride. This is the situation liberals today find themselves in. There is hardly a cotton-pickin’ thing they have created “for our own good” that they can point to that has been successful.

Oh, they’ll whine about the environment and civil rights and things of that nature, but those issues are bipartisan and conservatives can take pride in their support for much of the success in these areas. Liberals don’t own them, although they claim to.

What liberals can do though is lay claim to being sob sisters of the highest order. They do own that, and conservatives should never attempt to compete in that area. We will never out-sob the sob-sisters. Compassionate conservatives indeed.

Liberals, along with some others unfortunately, also take the label of Republican and attempt to connect it to conservatism and apply it to anyone, especially presidents, who were ever Republicans. It has to do with an ignorance of history or perhaps a willful disregard for the facts.

A writer for example called Nixon a conservative. The president Nixon most admired? Woodrow Wilson. That ought to give you hint. What Nixon did though was create the EPA and OSHA. Contrary to the advice of his economic advisors, he took us off the gold standard, instituted wage and price controls, and caused the devaluation of the dollar. Among other things, he wasn’t able to balance a budget, more than doubled Medicaid spending, spent less on defense than on social spending, and introduced “Earth Day.” Earth Day is the same date as Lenin’s birthday, isn’t it? Economist Milton Friedman said Nixon was the worst president of this lifetime.

Then there are the Bushies. Conservative? Not hardly. When Bush the first was elected after Reagan, his new administration made it very clear where they were going from the beginning. The word was “no conservative need apply” for any position in the new Bush administration.

Then there is Bush two. Republican yes, conservative no. He got a tax cut, but how many vetoes did you use to rein-in a profligate spending congress? Just twelve. Made Bill Clinton’s budgets look like Clinton was the conservative. He did that by increasing the budget by 104 percent during his tenure while Clinton’s only rose by 11 percent. He almost doubled our national debt. Bush increased discretionary spending by almost 50 percent and added 30 percent more federal subsidy programs. Total when he left office? 1,816. Remember when he nominated the very unqualified Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and then we got John Roberts? TARP, Bush said, “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system...to make sure the economy (didn’t) collapse.”

More? Lots more but the upshot of this is that these three were not conservatives and never were. Given what I have written, one could ask does this mean that I agree with the writer who is still astride and flogging the way-dead liberal horse? On one level yes. I would agree that all in all they were not terribly good presidents.

This same writer concludes they weren’t able presidents because they were conservative. The evidence however, shows that they weren’t all that great because they were not conservative. That is why many conservatives who will vote for Romney in November are very, very nervous about him. His conservative credentials are suspect, very much like Nixon’s and Bushy’s I and II were.

Why so nervous? Because it is the politics and policies of people like these three, along with the usual liberal suspects that have put us in a disastrous and dangerous position. In a very minor way, we can minimally excuse them because, as Senator Jim DeMint says of an article written by Jay Cost, “the stunning economic growth in the postwar era ‘liberated policy makers from having to make hard choices. The people could have guns, butter, and low taxes - all thanks to a private economy that seemed to grow regardless of what government did.’”

DeMint goes on to say that, “Today...the private economy is pinned under the jackboot of big government. There’s no more room for compromise...(Compromise has resulted in) almost always bigger more expensive government...The creation of our $15 trillion debt is the single most extreme action ever undertaken by the US government.”

We are in trouble. All of us to include liberals, libertarians, Democrats, Republicans, RINOs, and conservatives have to face reality. Our debt is now closer to $16 trillion or more, and we have unfunded liabilities of at least $99.4 trillion. In addition, we are adding more to those unfunded liabilities at a rate of about $10 trillion a year. Congressman Paul Ryan notes that, “This coming debt crisis is the most predictable crisis we’ve ever had in this county.”

In Greece there are 100 grandparents for every 42 grandchildren. Their demographic pyramid is upside down. It is inconceivable to believe that these 42 grandchildren have a decent future that includes supporting their grandparents as well as having promising careers and families of their own. Moreover, it is nothing short of immoral to consider it. And it is immoral for us as well as fiscally insane to spend so as to relegate our children and grandchildren to penury.

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10:02:47, Jul 17th 2012

Thomas Hobbes says:
In a reply to Stan Gudmunson, I just wanted to address a few things here. First of all, just to get it out of the way, your comment about Earth Day landing on Lenin’s birthday is completely childish. Way to mis-associate one event from a completely random happenstance. After all, Malcom X Day is the same day as Pol Pot’s birthday. I wonder what hidden evil brought that about.

Secondly, who is a conservative in your view, Stan? You went through a very small list of presidents to display that even some Republicans are not True Conservatives™. I agree with you on some parts, but am also curious as to how far you plan on going with this. Who would today’s Republican Party nominate as a True Conservative™? You took down Nixon, and the two Bushes, but what about the others? I’ll present the Republican presidents of our past and use similar points that you did to show just how “unconservative” Nixon and the Bushes were.

Abraham Lincoln: a Republican. I’m sure he would not be voted into office by today’s True Conservatives™ (let alone by the GOP itself) because he was not conservative in the modern sense. After all, he felt that the federal government trumped that of the states’. He also openly supported union-like labor organizations. He believed in free immigration. Most of all, he felt that corporate interests in politics would corrupt the system, and monopolies were dangerous.

Grant signed a congressional civil rights act. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was an attempt to rid discrimination in the private sector. This would later be struck down because the Supreme Court and conservatives would hail it as a victory for freedom of personal choice. Would the modern day Tea Party be any different?

Hayes vetoed the Chinese Exclusion Act which was meant to eliminate the possibility of further Chinese immigration. The “keep America for Americans” attitude of today with our Mexican neighbors was very similar to the attitude against Chinese back then. Any True Conservative™ would be for such an act.

To keep the millions of dollars the federal government had in surplus at the time, Chester Arthur opposed lowering taxes. He also vetoed a bill which would have prevented Chinese immigration. In 1883, during his State of the Union Address, Arthur did what President Obama did in his 2010 Address. He rebuked the Supreme Courts ruling (something that Obama was highly criticized for by today’s True Conservatives™) on their decision to strike down the Civil Rights Act of 1875.

William McKinley, prior to his assassination, was the author of the McKinley Act, which raised taxes. He was also a strong supporter of civil rights for African Americans and showed it by appointing more African Americans to federal positions than any other president before him. Have you seen modern Conservative ads? What is the ratio of Caucasian and non-Caucasians in those ads? Of course, ads can be, and usually are, misleading. So instead, replay all of the videos that show crowds of supporters for conservative presidential nominees. That will give you a more accurate representation of the difference.

We’ll go to Teddy Roosevelt next. He was conservative on some issues (big game hunting and South American imperialism) but also would have been below the bar for most True Conservatives™. He fought against monopolies and the power large corporations had in government. He created the U.S. Park System which was a huge leap for environmental policy. He placed federal regulations on food and drugs. Lo and behold, in 1911 he proposed a system for universal healthcare for the U.S. of A.

Taft initiated income taxes for corporations and he also supported the 16th Amendment, which dealt with income taxes imposed only on the wealthiest Americans. You see, the GOP was a party that didn’t worry about higher taxes so much as they worried about a large deficit. Imagine a world!

Harding was quite conservative, although he did lay some of the ground work (Shepherd-Towney Maternity Act) for FDR’s New Deal programs.

Coolidge supported worker representation on corporate boards.

Hoover was not a laissez faire capitalist. He favored the separation of church and state (modern conservatives seem to want the Bible in everything, be it schools, courthouses, or hotel rooms). He often favored commissions to preserve land and disallow it from being privately owned.

I don’t think I have to talk about Eisenhower much. He was more progressive than President Obama is now.

Ford wasn’t even elected, but his wife (usually the president is judged by their counterparts) declared Roe v. Wade a “great decision”.

Reagan would not be elected by today’s True Conservatives™ because he legalized abortion as a California governor two years before Roe v. Wade. He raised taxes and even had the top marginal tax rate at 50%. Compare that to today’s 33% (with True Conservatives™ calling for it lowered). He also opposed loopholes for tax cheaters and their offshore accounts.

Since you’ve already covered Nixon and Bushes, I figure that’s good enough for me.

The point of all this? To show that there has *never* been a True Conservative™ president in the history of America. The fact that these former GOP presidents wouldn’t have gotten modern day True Conservative™ votes shows that what you call conservative (and I call True Conservative™) has never existed until very recently. The radical right is very new and very white, and most often, very male, and quite Christian. (I’m not saying there isn’t a radical left.)

Near the end of your spiel, you quote Paul Ryan: “This coming debt crisis is the most predictable crisis we’ve ever had in this county.” And do you think lowering taxes on the very rich is the best way to generate income for America? Find me a correlation in the past where that has proven to be a successful tactic.

And your last paragraph mentions Greece and how its crisis appears to be generated by the lack of new people to support the aging population. In a world where food can’t be distributed easily enough to eradicate hunger; the environment cannot be protected enough to keep our shrinking supplies of fresh water from contamination; it’s cheaper to risk people’s lives and get sued instead of abiding by federal regulations and pay to keep our citizens safe… you think adding more people to this world would generate a positive change? It’s a question of whether or not you understand the impact humans have on the environment and civilization itself.

If you call yourself a conservative, Stan Gudmunson, and these presidents you listed weren’t really conservative, then you sir, are a part of this new breed of extremists who care little for others in hopes for big personal gains. If you don’t find yourself to be a conservative, and still agree that these presidents you listed are no where near the modern day equivalent of conservatism, then I tip my hat to you sir for a fantastic observation. I would love a reply to these thoughts. Good day.