Conservatives should step back and take a good look across the political horizon. It hasn’t looked this bright in a lifetime. Last week’s elections opened a new day in American politics.
Since Republicans retained control of the House, Senate and White House in the 1928 elections–a victory soon reversed by the 1929 stock market crash–there have been only two brief periods when the party of smaller government controlled all the elected branches of the federal government. The GOP did it in the first two years of President Eisenhower’s first term. They did it again, tenuously, in parts of President George W. Bush’s first term.
But the Republican victory last Tuesday was decisive. Consider the results:
- George W. Bush won almost 60-million votes, more than any presidential candidate in U.S. history.
- Bush decisively defeated Democratic candidate John Kerry with a popular vote margin of more than 3.5-million votes.
- Bush won 30 of 50 states, taking many by more than 60% of the vote.
- Republicans increased their membership in the House of Representatives by four to control a 31-vote majority.
- Republicans increased their Senate majority by four and now have 55 senators.
- Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, who specialized in leading filibusters against well-qualified conservative judicial nominees, was soundly defeated in his home state of South Dakota by conservative Republican former Rep. John Thune.
Thune will not be the only new senator who is a solid and reliable conservative. Joining him in that category will be David Vitter of Louisiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Judging from his record in three self-limited terms in the House, Coburn could emerge as the successor to the great Jesse Helms as the conservative conscience of the Senate.
The American people clearly rejected John Kerry’s claims that he and the Democrats offered a better vision than George W. Bush and the Republicans on national security, the economy and cultural issues. But more than that, voters last week ratified a political realignment that began when Barry Goldwater sought the presidency in 1964 as the first candidate of the conservative movement. Ronald Reagan finally boosted conservatives into the White House in 1980, but Democrats controlled the House throughout his two terms. Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey led conservatives to control of the House in 1994, but the Democrats controlled the White House.
Now, thanks to the fundamentally conservative beliefs of the majority of voters, Republicans have been entrusted with simultaneous and uncontested control of the House, the Senate and the White House.
Take a good look. Then get to work. Let your representatives know you expect them to govern as they were elected–as good conservatives. The liberals have done much mischief over these past many years and its time to start undoing it.