By Daniel Bein
Chuck Baldwin has a great article up at Renew America in which he argues that it was not Barack Obama who destroyed conservatism, but John McCain and George W. Bush. Baldwin couldn't be more right, and conservatives who thought a McCain victory would be preferable to an Obama couldn't have been more wrong. I understand the argument that Obama having a Democratic congress being bad news, but that simply is not enough to justify the quintessential neocon becoming George W. Bush's successor. This would have validated everything the neocons have done and given them the seal of approval of the American people.
As Baldwin points out, it was Bush and McCain who damaged the term "conservative" beyond repair-- they have destroyed it. Unfortunately those who wish to preserve the term as something to describe the small-government conservatism of men like Russel Kirk and Robert Taft will be fighting a losing battle.
This is not the work of men like Obama, who will deliver on their promises to enlarge government overseas and at home. This is the legacy of Bush and McCain, who have posed as small government conservatives, and all the while have done nothing but enlarge government and speed the conversion of the American Republic to the (already crumbling) American Empire. All who call themselves conservatives, but supported Bush even after the disastrous nature of his inventions became apparent share the blame. No matter how liberal Obama is, it is not he who is guilty of such treachery, and he is not the one who dealt the death blow.
With all the damage that Bush, McCain and the rest of the neocons have done to American conservatism and American prosperity, we should be thankful that Obama defeated McCain. A McCain victory would have rewarded the ego driven stupidity of the neoconservatives and given them the go ahead to continue destroying what better men have sought to build. Instead Barack Obama's win has repudiate the villains who so richly deserved it. Now conservatives are at a crossroads. Perhaps this is an opportunity for Ron Paul Republicans to take over the party- or perhaps, as Baldwin suggests, it is time for something new to emerge.
With the Republican party ripe for a take-over, perhaps the Democrats will be next. They were elected in 2006 to end the war, and didn't. They have won the presidency and a majority in both houses for the same reason, and once again they will not end the wars they were elected to end. Perhaps this will erode confidence in the Democratic Party as the saviors of America to the point that a Republican party firmly planted on the small government/anti war right will be able to oust them. Or perhaps the Democrats can be taken over by their populist wing. (I can see how this point contradicts my previous posts-- perhaps my predictions are all a bit premature, as I'm already altering them).
Hopefully, the election of Barack Obama will expose the Democratic wing of the war party for what they truly are the way Bush exposed the Republicans. Either way, it has stopped the scoundrels who killed conservatism from picking the pockets of its corpse.