If Mitt Romney is Bush Light, No Thanks

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I was amazed when I first discovered the variety of liberal issues that President Nixon gave birth to during his presidency. I had always assumed that he was a stalwart of liberty and a champion of the people, and as devoted to the constitution as any other president in history.

But then I grew up and could see what was really happening.

In the Republican Party, the majority have been and always will be of the Nixon / Ford / Bush I /  Dole / Bush II camp: compromisers and weenies unwilling to wield their power to bring the constitution back into force thus freeing the people from the monster of a government we have today.

The years of 2000-2006 were dominated by these republicans. The most traitorous among them are simply called RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). But to be truthful, if there is an (R) next to their name, assume it stands for RINO before assuming they would ever sign on to a tax cut or the abolition of a socialist program.

There is a minority that has only one toe in the Republican Party and that is the conservatives. Today, we’re actually pretty well represented in the House and Senate compared to past years. Our hey-day was in the early 80’s under Reagan (who bullied the republicans to behave like conservatives) and in the few short years after the Republican Revolution in 1994. The only time before then when we see a real conservative tinge to the federal government was under Calvin Coolidge in the Roaring 20’s.

The litmus test to determine if a Republican is a RINO or a conservative is simply this. Ask them what they think of unions. If they say, “Well, they’re ok, and I have union supporters I work with” then you’re dealing with a RINO. If they say, “Unions are an instrument of the communisty party and their leadership doesn’t represent their members and they’re abusing their power to corrupt the legislative process” then you may be getting somewhere.

As many conservatives have discovered, the core goals of any conservative can be summed up in the following key points:

  1. Dramatically limit the size of government at all levels through tax cuts that diminish revenue and by restricting spending to only constitutionally mandated programs such as defense.
  2. Attack the welfare state mentality by actively campaigning to destroy reliance on programs like Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, and unemployment, in addition to corporate and individual welfare and public health. (By public health, I mean the kind where we give free medical care to the poor at the taxpayer’s dollar.) Instead, replace these with private charity, starting with your own money.
  3. Propose solutions to problems that don’t involve legislating action or regulating behavior or imposing taxes. For instance, kids are using drugs, so let’s do something to stop that by privately funding a national campaign to educate kids about the dangers of drugs and building facilities to help kids to get off drugs or get addicted to something healthy. Or kids need schools so let’s build a private network of schools that educate poor and rich alike.
  4. Emphasize the importance of individual, God-given rights above even the Constitution. For instance, the courts can never limit our right to bear arms since it is a God-given right, never subject to legislation or interpretation by anyone. If we want to bear arms, we will bear arms and it’s pointless to try and stop us because someone (you or I) will end up getting hurt.
  5. Emphasize a society built on individual morality centered around family life. The true bedrock of our society is not our business or our governments, it’s not our charities or churches. The true bedrock is the day-to-day interactions in our families, and by keeping that healthy through morality, we keep the entire nation happy and healthy. Such a society cannot be brought about by government or businesses or even charities or churches, but only by individuals choosing the right.

On these counts, Mitt Romney, frankly, scares me. I don’t doubt that he wants to cut taxes, but I do doubt that he wants to limit revenue. I also don’t expect him ever to produce a budget that would cut the size of government by something like 20%. Nor would I expect him to come out and say, “Social Security is a fraud and a crime perpetuated by the government on her people. The time to end this injustice is now.”

However, on the other points, I believe he’ll be fairly good.

Because of my fears, I worry that electing Romney will lead to what we got with Bush II. Bush II, campaigning in 2000, nailed every conservative point on the head. In fact, he even came out and said he wanted to dismantle the Department of Education and reduce the size of government. Once elected, of course, he, like Nixon and all the others (save Ford, who was never elected), went veering off to the left.

The only two presidents of the 20th Century who got elected as a conservative and stayed conservative were Reagan and Coolidge. Both of these campaigned as some sort of super-conservative. Thus, when they, naturally, turned to the left in government, they still ended far to the right of everyone else.

For this reason, and this reason alone, I would rather throw my support behind a wild card like Sarah Palin. She campaigns like a super-Reagan on all the issues. Yes, the media hates her. Yes, she’s woefully under-experienced. And yes, there are things about her personal life that lead me to believe she would be a less-than-ideal role model. However, taken as a whole, we’d probably be better off with her than Romney.

Keep in mind, of course, that it’s 2009, and there’s a long way to go before 2012. My opinions on  “who” is subject to change.

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