October 13, 2008
Whom should Takimag endorse in ‘08? Well, much like last time around, we’re faced with a choice between, on the one hand, Sen. Charybdis?John McCain, a decent man who’s far too socialistically inclined on the home front and far too full of the milk of neocon blindness in foreign affairs?and, on the other, Sen. Scylla?Barack Obama, the “antiwar candidate” who isn?t and whose only establishment-rocking measures are likely to be invitations to all his leftist and race-baiting friends to come to Washington. Though choosing a principled third-party candidate is still an option, perhaps it’d be better to follow Eric Margolis and endorse a Republican?Dwight Eisenhower:
The Canadian and U.S. election races look like passengers fighting over deck chairs on the sinking Titanic. The terrifying financial panic that has engulfed the entire globe seems to make all other human pursuits seem trivial.
But let’s not forget an important political dimension to this crisis. The disaster would not have erupted had small “c” conservative economic and moral principles been followed.
Unfortunately, neither Canada nor the U.S. has a genuine moderate conservative political party, only power seekers and agents of special interests who masquerade as conservatives.
America’s Republicans long ago deserted the conservative political, economic and foreign policies of the greatest true conservative president, Dwight Eisenhower. ‘Ike’ believed in small government, avoiding foreign wars and entanglements, a non-aggressive foreign policy, low taxes, restrained government spending and keeping government out of the social domain.
This greatest modern American president called for nuclear disarmament and rightly warned his nation of the dangers of what he called “the military industrial complex.” Half a century later, I still like Ike—and am proud to call myself an “Eisenhower Republican.”
Equally important, traditional conservative principles demand hard work, thrift and saving. One does not buy anything until saved-up cash is available. Governments spend only what they collect in taxes, not future generations’ money known as “deficit spending.” While necessary for long-term investment, borrowing must be strictly limited and tightly supervised.
Today’s Republicans call themselves “conservatives” but are nothing of the kind. Under President George W. Bush, government size, spending and deficits have become gargantuan. “Conservative” in the U.S. has become synonymous with social dogmatism of the religious hard right and rural crassness and ignorance. Now, thanks to their “rescue package,” Republicans (and Democrats) seem well on their way to socialism.
Under Bush, the U.S. has become a swaggering imperial power locked in two lost wars abroad. The president’s only real conservative act was to cut taxes. But even this was folly when Washington was pouring $1 trillion into foreign colonial adventures—almost all borrowed from China and Japan.
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