Conservatism Is Alive And Well

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - November 12, 2008

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The results of Election Day 2008 were disappointing to me.

That said, there is no doubt that Democrats, their candidates and issues should be congratulated for such sweeping victories. I am a firm believer in our constitutional process and, as they say, the voters have spoken.

Why did the Democrats fare so well?

Nationally, the reason can be summed up with in one word - Bush. There is a palpable hatred of George W. Bush by many in America. That disdain is fomented in biased news coverage, entertainment programs and public discourse. It seems everything wrong in the world is set at the feet of George Bush and, with a steady diet of ridicule, mockery and outright denigration, the conclusion that President Bush is the anti-Christ is inevitable.

There is no doubt that Bush and his administration made mistakes. I don’t disagree with the war in Iraq, but the execution of the war by Rumsfeld and others was abysmal.

But the hatred of Bush existed before our entry into Iraq. The election of 2000 is perpetuated by the left as a stolen election. To this day, there is a belief that President Bush serves without authority.

Detractors don’t let pesky little things like constitutional due process or re-election in 2004 get in the way of their “opinion” that 2000 was invalid. Bush-bashing began in earnest before his inauguration and continues today.

The bashing was not mitigated by the fact Bush was handed a faltering economy at the end of the Clinton administration. Bush dealt with the scandalous corporate meltdown with the likes of Enron and WorldCom. These massive failures tested the confidence of our corporate culture. Bush lorded over the recovery of the corporate institution and did so successfully. There was no prolonged crisis and true panic was averted.

Of course, the attack of 9-11 was an unprecedented experience for any president. Pearl Harbor was an attack by an enemy that had a country and a uniform. Sept. 11 was an attack by terrorists with no allegiance to anything other than a bastardized religious belief system. The paramount responsibility of a president is to ensure national security. The truth is there has not been another attack on the U.S. on our own soil despite numerous attempts. This is a fact bashers ignore.

Barack Obama and fellow Democrats did an extraordinary job of vilifying John McCain by lumping him with President Bush.

The dissatisfaction with Bush carried over to McCain. Throw in a complicit media and the expenditure of record campaign dollars driving home this primary message and the results are no surprise. Simply because Obama’s contention that McCain was a second-generation President Bush does not mean it’s true.

But the McCain campaign failed virtually on all fronts to launch an effort to keep up with the well-orchestrated Obama camp. Let’s face it. McCain got outspent, outmessaged and out-maneuvered by Obama.

But the Democrat victory is a win over Republicans and not conservatism.

Republicans, like Democrats, are members of a political party. A political organization does not define a belief system. Conservatives believe in less governmental regulation and intrusion, empowering of individuals via less taxation and a strong common defense. These ideals are not necessarily embraced by all Republicans, but are core values for conservatives. Ancillary social issues can contribute to the conservative resume, but without core principles, you develop hyphenated conservatism.

An example that conservatism is alive and well: California is a liberal state that handily delivers electoral votes for Democrats, and while Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Republican virtually all major offices are populated with Democrats. Proposition 8 banning gay marriage was passed by California voters on Nov. 4. Clearly a conservative issue, this is the second time a gay marriage ban has been affirmed by the electorate. Despite voting for Democrat politicians, when asked to consider a liberal or conservative social policy, the majority chose the latter. The same dynamic was apparent at work in other states, too.

Barack Obama is an articulate, well-educated and passionate individual with a compelling life story. I applaud his dedication, purpose and accomplishment. I will support President Obama as he is indeed my president too. However, that support is tempered with opinions and discussions when disagreements arise.

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