"When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn't like it. "Compromise" was a dirty word to them and they wouldn't face the fact that we couldn't get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don't get it all, some said, don't take anything.
"I'd learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: 'I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.'
"If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that's what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it.
~~ Ronald Reagan, in his autobiography, An American Life
Neo-con, Paleo-Con, whatever. The idea, at least to my and President Reagan's mind, is to successfully implement those programs and ideals that we think would most benefit America. If we can't get a candidate that matches up 100% to our personal definition of what a Conservative is, the answer is not to withhold our vote but to take what we can get and then work with that "flawed" candidate to get the rest of what you want. The alternative is to allow someone who is 100% opposed to your point of view to be elected President of the United States. Does that really make any sense?
So, my question to FR is this:
What is a Conservative?
Who gets to decide this?
Which is more important: To lose utterly and suffer harmful ideological and electoral setbacks, or winning a partial victory and have the ability to advance Conservatism if only slightly? Why?
I am very interested to know what people think on this subject.
So, have at it...
What do you guys think?
It’s relative, it depends on which conservative you talk to.
You know what they say about opinions....everyone gots one.
Wasting all on the impossible make the rest that is probable moot. There is no one left to achieve it.
There is the way things are and the way things ought to be. Deal with the first, dream of the latter...
A Conservative is someone who believes in the value and power of the individual over the system.
Everything else we believe or do rolls right back to that core belief.
I am a Bushy.
“Which is more important: To lose utterly and suffer harmful ideological and electoral setbacks, or winning a partial victory and have the ability to advance Conservatism if only slightly? Why?”
This is a no-brainer ....
The first choice leaves you worse off, minimizes any possible input you may have in the future, and emboldens your opponants - there is no such thing as a “partial loss”
From my experience, it's defined by each individual. Since individuals rarely agree completely, there will always be some dispute regarding that definition.
Almost every thread addressing the election confirms that even here on Free Republic, there are wildly differing views of what it means to be a conservative.
Need to prempt..
"if it wasn't for all you damn neocons and RINOs we would even have these problems! Vote for the only "true conservative"* in the race, Ron Paul!"
Maybe that will help them out and save some bandwidth...
(please note the terms "True Conservative" and "True Conservatives" are a copyright of the Ron Paul campaign. Any use without express permission of the Ron Paul campaign is strictly prohibited)
Frankly, it doesn’t matter how one defines “conservative”. We should stand for the best policies, actions or inaction, without reference to the label. If someone wants to say that it is “liberal” to stand up for the unborn and against the moral decay of society, then damn, I guess I am a liberal. Call me what you want; what matters is doing the right thing.
I most confess that I voted for Bush without any reseverations, and clearly millions of others did the same. He came in on a solid wave of conservative support that included maybe ten million people who hadn’t voted in the 2000 election.
That’s why it has been so disappointing that Bush took that momentum, which had hillary waving Bibles around and talking about compromising on abortion for a month or so, and gradually started to throw it away.
No question, things would have been a lot worse if Jean Kerri and Breck Girl had been elected. But other than the two judicial appointments (after the Miers detour) Bush did surprisingly little for the base that turned out for him so powerfully. No permanent tax cuts. No sensible energy bill. Steady on Iraq, but allowing his advisers to set stupid rules of engagement, until he finally was forced to give it to Petraeus to pull out.
Sure, he was undermined by the RINOs on many of these things, but he weakly let them do it. He is a good man personally, but seems to lack understanding of what it means to take the hard decisions of a public leader—with the one exception of the War on Terror, which at least he stuck with come hell or high water, although seemingly content to do a half-way job of it.
Illegal immigration proved to be the last straw. We must continue to support him, because there is no alternative. But we also have to watch him, or he’ll do it again.
We do owe him a lot for his faithfulness to the inalienable right to life, one of the few areas where he has stood on his own principles and refused to be guided or turned by Rove & company. For that we can be very grateful.
I think single issue voters are harmful to the conservative movement. Granted, my first priority by a wide margin will be how the next POTUS can be expected to handle the WOT. Still, of nearly equal importance to me is that, if the next POTUS is elected to a second term, we could reasonably expect that he/she will be responsible for as many as 4 Supreme Court appointments. If SCOTUS gets stacked with a liberal majority, it will profoundly shape American culture for the next 50 years to the point of no return.
So, for me, the answer to the question is: A “real” conservative is one who’ll appoint constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court.
There are points to be made on both sides. While Bush was electable, he has certainly let us down and perhaps should have been put through the ringer more. Had the Internet been a force, perhaps Bob Dole wouldn’t have been annointed either (with disastrous consequence). You can hate our discussions here, but I suspect we will all be better off for having had them, though holding a grudge certainly has it’s drawbacks.
We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldnt make any sense at all. —Ronald Reagan
“A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.
I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.”
— Ronald Reagan, March 1, 1975
“Let us lay to rest, once and for all, the myth of a small group
of ideological purists trying to capture a majority.
Replace it with the reality of a majority trying to assert
its rights against the tyranny of powerful academics, fashionable
left-revolutionaries, some economic illiterates who happen to hold
elective office and the social engineers who dominate the dialogue
and set the format in political and social affairs. If there is any
ideological fanaticism in American political life, it is to be found
among the enemies of freedom on the left or right — those who would
sacrifice principle to theory, those who worship only the god of
political, social and economic abstractions, ignoring the realities of everyday life. They are not conservatives.”
Maybe it's time to coin a new term for republican conservatism to lessen the confusion. I lean towards paleo myself.
Or at least strip the label of conservative from globalist republicans, possibly the neocons, who aren't necessarily for smaller government, but are more for the elimination of our borders, culture, Constitution and national sovereignty.
Yes, the globalists have been hiding behind the republican party label long enough.
Can't hardly tell the players without a scorecard anymore. Check Wiki's variety:
Depends on who you ask, but the reality is, political leanings fall along a spectrum. Too far right or left, and you get a kook. Everyone falls somewhere in between the extremes.
He's right. We have to insist on someone who espouses the belief in individual liberty and personal responsibility first and foremost, but demanding all or nothing off of the conservative menu is stupid.
Kerry Cheney/Haliburton Ad Proven FalseI am very interested to know what people think on this subject.
Posted by BobbyK to Darkwolf377
On News/Activism 10/03/2004 7:21:03 PM CDT · 4 of 51
Shame on them little fact checkers.
As Rush is fond of saying, you’re never going to get a candidate who agrees with you on everything.
To expect one is remarkably myopic.
Problem is, we haven’t had a really good one since Reagan, and we are, as a base, incredibly hungry for conservative inspiration. The logical flaw we sometimes embrace is that, in order to be inspiring to conservatives, a candidate must be perfectly conservative. Likewise, I don’t think we currently have a candidate who is both inspiring and perfectly conservative - and that goes for the Fredheads, too.
I think I’d prefer the inspirational leader at this point, who can rally the support of the American people in doing the 80% that he agrees with me on, than a perfectly conservative leader who can’t get the support required to accomplish anything.