Conservatism alive and well

Patrick Gibbons

Following Barack Obama's election, there was total celebration on the Left. "The world will change," the "promise of America" will be fulfilled. Additional nonsensical rhetorical claims were made.

On the Right, there seems to be gloom, as if the country will self-destruct and the world will end.

Not to worry: Conservative ideals have not been ousted. In fact, conservative ideas of limited government are so strong, that progresives nationwide seem to think they came up with them.

Populist bloggers in Nevada, such as the Las Vegas Gleaner, disagree. In between swear words and sophomoric ramblings, the Gleaner offers this:

There might not seem much point anymore in making fun of conservatives – really, um, why bother?

But even if they were totally irrelevant, it would still be worth laughing at them if for no other reason than, well, just because.

Without much substance, or facts, the Gleaner proceeds to write off conservatives as ideologues, wing nuts, dogmatists and deregulatory free-market zealots.

The real world rarely squares up with opinions like this. Conservatives (and libertarians) still have a great deal emperical evidence backing up their "dogma." Let's look at the facts (and here are other facts, facts, facts, facts, facts and, for good measure, another set of facts):

  • "Change" president-elect Barack Obama is one of the leading champions of government accountability – a position he took after being convinced by his good friend, Sen. Tom Coburn – a Republican from Oklahoma.
  • Obama campaigned on a platform of tax cuts. And even his plan to increase taxes on the rich would move the top marginal tax rate from 35 percent to 39 percent – the same rate we had in 1987 under Reagan.
  • Barack Obama's campaign staff was even caught assuring Canadian dignitaries that he was not about to rip up NAFTA and eliminate our foreign trade agreements.
  • Obama isn't campaigning on nationalizing industries or burdening us with pre-Reagan governmental regulations like bringing back the Civil Aeronautics Board (whose main function was to prevent competition between airlines and ensure that prices remained high for consumers).

We can expect a slight move toward the left and more open talk about "wealth redistribution" (in reality only 20 percent of wealth redistrobution in America goes to the poor, and this will likely continue under Obama). Don't believe for a moment that change will be radical – especially after we just spent eight years under a big-government, pro-regulation, anti-trade administration.