(These comments were written several days before Election Day, November 4, 2008)
No American can miss the fact that crises and calamities have converged on this country during this election year. The presidential election campaign has been long and tumultuous and full of the unexpected. The impression that the year of 2008 and the elections at every level will mark some kind of turning point in the nation’s history seems to have been made on the minds of most voters of every political persuasion. Many aspects of the national contest seem to be essentially the same as in other recent election years. The Democrats are as solidly “liberal” in their proposals and appeals as they have been for fifty years. The Republicans are trying to project the conservative image they have sought to project since Reagan, although again this year, the top of the ticket adopted the more centrist flavor that the Bush campaigns tried to maintain. Although the polls have indicated that this left/right battle has been “close” as Election Day draws near, and though the candidates have treated the conflict as a tough fight, the truth is that 2008 ought to be a conservative year that would give the advocates of constitutional restraints and traditional values an historic victory from top to bottom. It is curious that the outcome of the election is in doubt, and even stranger that many expect the country to take a sharp turn to the left!
The most notable crisis of 2008, of course, has been the financial crisis. The liberals have spun the situation to convince people that it happened because of free-market principles and policies. But nothing farther from the truth could be said. This financial earthquake was the predictable result of many years of socialistic programs that were not only constitutionally but also economically unsound! The saga of Fannie and Freddie actually began in the New Deal, worsened with the Great Society, and developed under Carter and Clinton. The impending disaster was predicted by conservative economists back in the ‘90s and addressed in Congress under George W. Bush, but the warnings were not heeded by liberal lawmakers who wanted to guarantee homeownership to the voting poor. These facts are documented and cannot be denied. The collapse of our financial house-of-cards provides proof that liberal-instigated socialism doesn’t work. Socialism has caused the economic decline of many once-strong nations. It is a flawed theory based on false principles, and it always eventually fails. In 2008, we have the evidence we need to prove that liberalism doesn’t work. It ought to be a conservative year!
This year brought us the worst results so far of our dependence on foreign oil. The rising price of oil drove up the prices of gasoline and other fuels, and these drove up the cost of almost everything else. The liberal answer to this crisis has been the foolish old appeal to conserve and to try other kinds of fuel. Americans have been scolded, as they were in the Carter years, for living too high and using too much, and are told to live simpler, more frugal lives. While admonitions to scrimp and conserve may be worthwhile in some ways, they do not begin to point the way to energy independence. The truth is that the oil crisis was caused by liberal policies, and not by the depletion or overuse of oil. Unnecessary and excessive federal restrictions on oil exploration and drilling in our own country caused the crisis! When environmental regulations made buying oil from the Middle East more economical for the oil companies than extracting it from our own ground, the stage was set for our current problem. Liberals object to the easing of these restrictions with the argument that the benefits of new drilling will not be realized for perhaps a decade, but this argument opens the door for conservatives to cry that these steps should have been taken ten years ago! The consequences of liberalism are what plague us in 2008, and it should be a conservative year.
It would not be hard to argue that the War on Terror (along with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) resulted from liberal policies. The backward and antiquated ideas of Islamic extremism would never have had an impact on most of the world, and certainly not on the United States, had not the sheiks of Arabia been enriched by the oil-trade generated by our unwise environmental policies. In this way, Osama bin Laden and 9/11 can be blamed on liberalism.
Then there is the radicalism of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. We noticed that the pastor seemed outraged by the criticism was leveled at his sermons and remarks, insisting that his Black Liberation Theology is a respectable point of view among the theologically-correct. Much more than ammunition for Republican attacks on Senator Obama, the Jeremiah Wright controversy represented one of the most revealing exposures of America’s Religious Left to date. This man’s theological persuasion is indeed respectable in liberal church circles, such as the National and World Councils of Churches. Millions of people are members of such churches without knowing the political doctrines their preachers were taught in seminary. Wright’s church is part of a mainline denomination, not a lunatic-fringe cult. The leadership of the United Church of Christ still defends his sermons and beliefs. For the first time in years, the people got a chance to see just how far to the left their churches have gone. The Religious Left has had a profound influence on the nation’s political and cultural direction for more than seventy years, but most church members never noticed. The “social gospel” of the big denominational bodies and their cooperative councils has always lobbied for socialism, and also treated several forms of Christianized Marxism with surprising respect. The image and voice of Rev. Wright could have set religious liberalism back many years. Even religiously, this should have been a conservative year.
But nobody thinks that 2008 will be the year of conquest for American conservatism. It should have been and could have been, except for one problem. The networks and associations to which political, cultural, and religious conservatives in this country have connected themselves endured the year under extremely weak leadership. The conservatism of the president is weak. The conservatism of the Republican presidential nominee has been weak, vacillating, and compromised. Conservatives in power have been so deeply committed to their own liberal agendas that their voices were muffled or silent when they should have been raised loud and clear.
Early in the year, conservative Republicans were having trouble getting excited about any of the candidates that were seeking their party’s nomination to be president. Then, at the last minute, Governor Palin came out of nowhere saying what so many wanted somebody to say for so long, and the party’s base went wild! Unfortunately for the causes of freedom and sound thinking, the leaders conservatives were following dropped the ball this year. They should have traced the blame for the crises to their true cause: socialistic “liberalism.” They should have exposed the establishment power-brokers for the radicals they were shown to be this year. They should have stood up against the huge expansion of federal power that was imposed on the country by both parties as the election drew near. There was an amazing opportunity for the nation to be brought again to the proven principles on which she was established, the principles called “conservatism,” but those who could have used that opportunity simply haven’t done it. May we recognize before it’s too late that 2008 was a conservative year, and even if the cause of truth suffers defeat before the year is gone, may the meaning of the events of the year be taught with clarity next year so that the people might eventually right the wrongs that are being done.
“Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.”