Below The Beltway

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

Why The Republicans Deserve To Lose, And Lose Big

by @ 1:52 pm on October 22, 2008. Filed under 2008 Election, John McCain, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin

Over at Reason, Radley Balko strikes a tone that I’ve been hitting on a lot myself lately:

I grew up in a particularly conservative part of the already conservative state of Indiana. I voted for Bob Dole in 1996 and George Bush in 2000, generally because—though I’m not a conservative (I’m a libertarian)—I’d always thought the GOP was the party of limited government. By 2002, I was less sure of that. And by 2004, I was so fed up with the party that I did what I thought I’d never do—vote for an unabashed leftist for president.

Since then, “fed up” has soured to “given up.” The Republican Party has exiled its Goldwater-Reagan wing and given up all pretense of any allegiance to limited government. In the last eight years, the GOP has given us a monstrous new federal bureaucracy in the Department of Homeland Security. In the prescription drug benefit, it’s given us the largest new federal entitlement since the Johnson administration. Federal spending—even on items not related to war or national security—has soared. And we now get to watch as the party that’s supposed to be “free market” nationalizes huge chunks of the economy’s financial sector.

I’m in pretty much the same boat as Balko.

While I voted Libertarian in every Presidential election before that, in 2000, and again in 2004, I voted for the Republican candidate because I fell for the line that the Republicans were the party of limited government and free markets.

I was wrong about that one, boy was I wrong about that one.

And while, like Balko, I don’t look forward to the leftward tilt that American politics is likely to take in the early years of an Obama Administration, I also don’t see the point in handing the White House once again to a Republican Party that has utterly failed to live up to its principles and, in the process, has tarnished the reputation of free market ideas in the minds of a public that doesn’t know better.

Which is why there may be a silver lining in the dark clouds currently hovering over the GOP:

A humiliated, decimated GOP that rejuvenates and rebuilds around the principles of limited government, free markets, and rugged individualism is really the only chance for voters to possibly get a real choice in federal elections down the road.

There’s no guarantee that that’s what will happen, but it’s a fight worth fighting, and it’s a fight that can’t possibly be won if John McCain somehow manages to win the White House.

3 Responses to “Why The Republicans Deserve To Lose, And Lose Big”

  1. He posted this on the Fox News Website, too. Check out the Agitator to see some of the emails he received. Funniest one he got had no message body, just a subject line:

    Your an Idiot

  2. Jason says:

    For my friends, the Republican party has become the party that wants to stop them from playing internet poker.

  3. [...] Doug Mataconis on Below the Beltway points out that electing Democrats may be the only way to save us from socialism, since the current Republican party has “tarnished the reputation of free market ideas in the minds of a public that doesn’t know better”. In the same way that “only Nixon could go to China”, only a Republican president (like Bush or McCain) could nationalize our financial system. [...]

[Below The Beltway is proudly powered by WordPress.]