Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
The corollary to that statement here in the United States could be, “All that was necessary for the Democrats to triumph was for conservatives to do nothing.”
It’s fashionable to blame George W. Bush, the Republicans in Congress, and the out of touch, inside-the-beltway pundits for the ascendancy of Barack Obama and the left — and they certainly deserve the largest portion of the blame.
However, it’s worth taking the time to ask: what responsibility does the conservative movement — you, me, and all our conservative friends — have for this disaster?
Quite a bit actually.
We were too slow to challenge Republicans in D.C., including George Bush, when they veered from a conservative course. Yes, we complained, but not loudly enough and too late in the game.
We were also too complacent and too willing to stand pat on an out of date agenda. Consider the irony, for example, of conservatives using an income tax cut as a primary selling point for our domestic agenda when more than a third of the American public doesn’t pay income tax.
Along the same lines, we’ve been too content to advocate policies like the Fair Tax that couldn’t be gotten through Congress, or to merely poke holes in the Democratic agenda on issues like socialized medicine without truly pushing viable alternatives.
That’s not to say that there are no alternatives; giving a tax break to individuals instead of companies would cover far more people, would reduce health care costs, and would allow people to keep their health care when they lose their jobs. But most conservatives have little interest in pushing these sort of ideas.
However, the greatest flaw conservatives have is that when we get frustrated with the performance of the Republican Party, we have a tendency to pick up our ball and go home. “Well, if they do that, then I’m not giving any money, I’m not helping any campaigns this year, and I’m not voting.”
Do you know why Western societies, including ours, seem to always go leftward, despite the fact that liberal policies don’t work?