America Loves Conservatism
So where are we politically as a country right now? After the 2008 election, people were talking about a liberal realignment in America. Conservatism had died under Bush, and now it was time for liberals to bring us to a utopia filled with unicorns and rainbows.
Some claimed we were still a center-right country, but they were mocked for ignoring reality and told they would not get to pet the unicorns. And while conservatives licked their wounds, all the elites wrote out their complicated plans for how the Republicans could forge a comeback, which involved being more open and accepting and less angry at liberalism. You know, being a bunch of sissies.
Conservatives, as stubborn as they are, continued being angry and yelling a lot in the form of tea parties. That, apparently, was the winning strategy. As seen in Virginia and New Jersey and in the still unbelievable victory in Massachusetts, conservatism is back in record time, and liberalism is back in fear of destruction. The only reason those who said we were still a center-right country were wrong was because they put the word "center" in there. So what's going on here? Does America really love conservatism that much? Or does it just intensely hate liberalism?
Now, Americans do love conservatism. That's pretty indisputable. They like freedom, guns, keeping their own money, the rule of law, individualism, and killing bad foreigners. One of the reasons Fox News destroys the other news stations in the ratings is that it's going for the big conservative slice of the pie while all the others are competing over the little liberal slice -- like rats fighting over scraps that fall from the table. Annoying, obnoxious rats. Really, how many people could there possibly be who don't find Keith Olbermann to be a cartoonish joke?
Now some people interpreted 2008 as a repudiation of conservatism, but that's pretty silly in hindsight. People were tired of Bush and Republicans mucking around, but it wasn't like it was their conservatism that made people angry. There weren't people taking to the streets yelling, "Stop cutting our taxes! And bring us bigger government!" Well, maybe some hippies did that, but no one ever listens to them.
Also, people were tired of the wars, but it wasn't the conservative part of the wars -- the smashing our enemies -- that people didn't like. Approval was huge for the initial parts of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars where the Taliban and Saddam were overthrown. What people didn't like was that we stuck around to rebuild things -- the more left-leaning nation-building stuff. That's why it was so odd that liberals turned against it so much, basically saying to the Afghanis and Iraqis, "Screw you! You're on your own!" That's supposed to be the conservative mantra.
So basically in 2008 you had people tiring of the Republicans, who weren't exactly acting like the torchbearers of conservatism, and electing Obama for a change, hoping all his empty rhetoric meant he'd just sit around and be smiley, and they'd have a break from all the bickering and the whiny hippies. But Obama went liberal, and, as is quite obvious now, people hated that. Hated that. Hated. Did not like. Thus you had the quickest change in the public's opinion of the president's competence since William Henry Harrison dropped dead thirty-two days in. Liberals just came in and started going crazy, demanding everyone's money and spending it on whatever they wanted -- they were like muggers but much, much more patronizing -- and it fired up the public's anger in record time.
Americans hate being pushed around in the form of government expansion or a bunch of liberal elites spending hundreds of billions of dollars when it's quite obvious none of them have the economic know-how to run a hot dog stand. And that's Americans everywhere -- even in Massachusetts! The recent election made that inarguable; the number one complaint of those voting Republican was the Democrats' health care takeover. Democrats worked hard toward achieving that holy grail of liberalism, and it got them the most stunning defeat since … well, ever.
So America loves conservatism and hates liberalism, but which has been the greater factor recently? The two do seem pretty intertwined, because a big part of conservatism is hating useless people who are convinced they should run everything, i.e., liberals. Still, if I had to pick one as the more powerful force in politics, it would be hatred of liberalism. While everyone hates patronizing dimwits who would spend their money and push them around, most people don't care enough to join a political movement and wax on philosophically about the principles of conservatism. Then again, not caring is actually kinda conservative. Still, it's not like you can build a consistent movement out of that and keep people interested when they have their own lives to deal with.
The best strategy to keep the public engaged is to expose liberals for what they want to do. Liberals will always try to hide it, but if people see clearly what liberals’ goals are, they're going to hate those and want to smash them. That will always be true while America is still around. Unfortunately, as we now see, the easiest way to do that is to put liberals in charge.