Yesterday Jeb Bush strongly suggested that the GOP was too rigid ideologically and that the party needed to be more flexible to attract a larger block of voters, and while I disagree with Bush, I want to thank him for bringing this subject up because I believe it is a win for conversatives to have this conversation.
First of all, I agree with Amazona when she says that ideology is the foundation of any individual and/or party platform. Ideology drives policy, so if you understand their ideology, you will know and understand the policies they will promote. The ideology that is at the core of the tea party and most conservatives is that of a more constitutionally based government at both the federal and state level, and that is an ideological belief that should always be rIgid.
The decentralized outline for government that is found in the Constitution is, to parapharase Churchhill; “….is not the best form of government but it is the best so far”, and the same can be said about free enterprise. It may not be the best economic platform, but it is the best so far. Capitalism, for all it’s faults, is the most effective economical system ever, in terms of creating more wealth for more people and for creating a higher standard of living for everyone. And contrary to liberal thought, conservatives do want to provide safety nets for those in need, but we want it administered at a local level where it can be more effective, efficient, and help more people.
The good news is that I think the voters are starting to figure that out with the 2010 elections, and then again in Wisconsin. So let’s continue this conversation, and if you are a liberal, please tell me where I am wrong.
UPDATE, by Matt Margolis: I would like to take this opportunity to go on the record saying that I think Jeb Bush was right.. to a degree.
Sorry Cluster, but I have to weigh in.
Yes, I agree with Jeb. But, I see this as a problem with both the major parties, and a problem that starts not with elected officials, but with the voters… Let’s be honest about what’s been happening in recent years. The internet has empowered the extremes on the left and the right by giving them a venue to build an audience and influence. This naturally will result in the ability for these groups to influence people in power.
In recent years we’ve seen elected Democrats and Republicans lose primary battles because they weren’t liberal or conservative enough. Joe Lieberman went from being his party’s Vice Presidential nominee to be booted out. In 2010, Christine O’Donnell beat the more moderate, but more electable Republican Mike Castle, only to lose a winnable U.S. Senate seat in the general election.
This past year, we saw every single candidate in the Republican presidential primary labeled a RINO by supporters of a different candidate. So, yes, I believe that Ronald Reagan would never have made it through this year’s primary, because he was a former Democrat.
Barack Obama, the most extreme left-winger to occupy the White House, isn’t considered liberal enough by left-wing bloggers, and hasn’t exactly won praises from them.
So, let’s be honest about what’s going on, and who’s to blame. We, as bloggers and activists, are criticizing our leaders for compromising or for merely for working with the other side just to get things done. We’ll dissect a voting record to find a few black marks just to feel justified in opposing a decent public servant of our party. Let’s wake up.