We’re governed by conservatives (NOT)
Conservatives and Republicans aren’t nay-saying Neanderthals, as progressives and pundits paint them, though there is much to say nay about. Thank the wisdom of our nation’s founders for nay staying significant.
Though the nation leans conservative, it often chooses center-left leaders. The current ascendancy of Democrats shows that, but Republicans often prove less than stellar examples of old line conservatism when they get their turns.
An opportunity for pertinent nay-saying looms, and Nevada will figure prominently in that chance, as we’ll get into later.
True conservatives haven’t really held sway nationally in my lifetime. This includes Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman, the presidents closest to conservative in each party.
Truman, who had conservative impulses, labored in the shadow of FDR and still kept the federal spending tap gushing.
President Dwight Eisenhower bequeathed the nation both the expensive National Defense Interstate Highway System, which defends nothing, and Richard Nixon, a fellow pretend conservative whose word was as good as a defaulting junk bond.
Between Ike and Tricky Dick, we had the Kennedy-Johnson era with JFK’s enhanced incursion in Vietnam and LBJ’s escalation there. A joke back then: “They told me if I voted in 1964 for Barry Goldwater rather than of LBJ, there would be 500,000 troops in Vietnam by 1967. I did and, sure enough, there were.”
LBJ gave us guns and butter—overspending, underachievement.
Tricky Dick hated the Red Chinese before kissing them through Henry Kissinger. RMN gave us peace with honor (NOT). He devalued the currency, used wage and price controls and trashed the Constitution via Watergate.
President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon and gave us WIN buttons (Whip Inflation Now).
Jimmy Carter was held hostage by Iran on the international front; domestically, he was caught malingering over malaise and acknowledged lust in his heart.
Reagan belied his conservative credentials by trying a reprise of LBJ’s guns and butter. (Did our government get smaller while he faced down Communism?) His Iran-Contra fiasco was another assault on constitutional principles, unwitting or not.
George Bush the First offered no new taxes in words (but NOT in deed). President William Jefferson Clinton tried to give us Hillary-care and did bequeath us his attitude of who cares if kids have a role model defining non-sex as non-coitus un-interruptus.
George Bush the Second promised no new nation-building (NOT), thus emulating his dad’s dance on taxes. He didn’t curb federal spending, left no child behind (unless you count the eight ball), and threw a phony TARP over economic wreckage at the end.
President Barack Obama hoped us into change that produced Keynesian nostrums, treating economic pneumonia like a head cold. At the same time, he let old left-wing congressional colleagues handle problems they don’t comprehend and can’t fix.
Net, net—small change, big money.
Our government has checks and balances, including the ultimate check via periodic elections. This nation’s founders set up a system to promote failure short term in service to longer term success. Founders tried to keep majority leaders from riding roughshod over minority interests, just as they spurned the Divine Right of Kings.
Conservatives say nay, but NOT to retain Neanderthal rules. That makes sure that change, which is inevitable, isn’t abrupt, disdainful of minority wishes or an agent of societal disequilibrium.
Nevadans are about to have a say on this very matter.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid was a leading yea-sayer regarding his party’s economic stimulus and health-care changes. He soon faces voters. Many Nevada voters are conservative, presidents notwithstanding; now we’ll see if Reid & Co. survive.