American Thinker – The Failed Party

Posted on Mon 10/22/2007 by


donkeykick Definitely worth reading in it’s entirety.

(American Thinker) Today, one argument goes that liberals need a big, new idea to reinvent themselves and, thereby, recapture the Democratic Party for the rank and file, which isn’t as left-leaning as the techno-thugs that Professor Ceaser mentions.  And while the party’s mainstream may not be as left-leaning, today‘s Democrats are further left than a generation ago — most definitely further left than Democrats of 1960s vintage.  A simple explanation is that many of today’s Democrats, in party leadership positions and in the rank and file, were student radicals or leftist sympathizers in their youth.  And most contemporary Democrats are philosophically attuned to a greater role for government in society.  Some variant of socialized medicine is all the rage among Democrats, despite its failures elsewhere, and despite the failure of big government programs here at home (the looming collapse of Social Security, for example). 

Professor Ceaser cites Paul Starr, who argues that no re-invention of liberalism is necessary. “[Liberals] have only to reclaim the idea of American greatness as their own.”  Rediscovering their old values and standing up to the cultural left is Professor Starr’s prescription. But here, again, liberalism’s failure is not only philosophical, but practical.  What exactly would it mean to resurrect the old liberalism?  Dusting off FDR’s alphabet agencies (CCC, WPA, and so on)?  Bulldozing more inner-city neighborhoods to erect public housing projects, as was done during the Johnson presidency?  Pouring more taxpayer money into antipoverty programs? Dumping more tax dollars into nonperforming public schools?  Or raising taxes — yet again — to prop up Social Security?

a927_thumb I can’t exactly envision the dKOS kids, MoveOn.Org, or Media Matters, buying into the “idea of American greatness” after all everything they stand for is anti-American, Internationalism.

Liberalism is a spent force today, not only because of a philosophical undoing, but because it has been tried, tested and failed in critical ways and at critical times over four decades in social, economic and national security matters.  It is conservative ideas in practice that have reinvigorated and sustained our economy for two decades, reduced welfare dependency and put criminals behind bars, for example.  And it is the conservative embrace of American greatness that permits the nation to confront and defeat its enemies.  Conservatives are generating original ideas for societal renewal and transformation, and those ideas center on moving the nation away from the outmoded big government/welfare state model created by liberals in the last century to a society where choice, initiative, responsibility and hard work are rewarded, not penalized.

The future of the nation will not be decided by a renewed liberalism, but by a principled, dynamic conservatism.