Liberalism vs. Conservatism (Apocalypse vs. Hope)

When liberalism is allowed to cast its shadow across this great land, the world is a darker place for it. And this is because the heart of liberalism pumps the blood of despair through the people. In fact, liberal policies are so bad that those who wish to apply them actually need a crisis to justify their implementation.

Don’t we all remember what White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said in January 2009?—“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.”

No wonder liberals like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) have spent the last two or three years harping about the bleakness of our economic, medical, and financial prospects. For in so doing, they were helping nurture the climate of crisis that opened the door to “hope and change” Obama-style.

Cartoon courtesy of Brett Noel

Conversely, conservatism is hopeful. While liberals demean America, as a means to rousing up support for changing it, conservatives stand strong in the belief that our best days lie before us.

Yes, even in the midst of Obama’s merciless war against this country from within, we conservatives still hold to President Ronald Reagan’s conviction that the United States has “a rendezvous with destiny” and, with the Mayflower’s Pilgrims, we confess that this land is to be “a shining city on a hill.”

But liberals don’t want a shining city on a hill. Rather, they want a country that knows its place in the world: a country that won’t be militarily dominant on the one hand, nor humanitarianly weak on the other. Thus, as under Obama, we fight the war on terror from a position of weakness instead of the position of strength we enjoyed under Reagan, and we go out of our way to tolerate the intolerable in order to show the world that we love everybody.

This dichotomy between liberalism and conservatism was crystal clear in the debate over whether the 13 colonies ought to cast off the yoke of King George III’s tyranny and declare independence or cower down to the monarch and remain his loyal, albeit much debased, subjects.

In 1776, John Dickinson of Pennsylvania stood before the Continental Congress and argued that we were not ready to be free, that the pursuit of freedom could actually destroy us. John Adams, a conservative, stood in response to Dickinson and said: “Although my colleague sees apocalypse, I see hope.”

Adams then went on to detail the value of freedom over even our own lives, and outlined the hope that could be ours in possessing not just a country, but a “free country.”

Every time I think of the exchange between Dickinson and Adams I am reminded of the way apocalypse and hope were contrasted when Reagan poured out his optimism on America during the dark days of the Carter Administration. Carter had availed himself of the tactic of crisis politics and raised taxes on individuals, passed a windfall-profits tax on oil companies, and wasted billions upon billions of taxpayer funds on subsidies for public transportation and a wonder fuel called “gasohol.”

As a result of these and other aspects of Carter’s financial wizardry, the tax rate on the upper tax bracket was approximately 70%, gasoline was in such short supply that it had to be rationed, and inflation got so bad that a new word was created to describe it: “stagflation.”

Add to this the way Carter decimated our military and the fact that Iran held 53 U.S. hostages for 444 days and it’s little wonder that even the most proud of Americans began to feel lackadaisical about their country. (I do not think I go too far in saying our nation appeared to have reached the point of military impotency.)

Then came Reagan: the Great Communicator who told us that the fact that we were Americans was in itself a reason for us to believe in better days. He reminded us of “American Exceptionalism” and eschewed Carter’s liberal policies by saying: “Government is not the solution, government is the problem.”

During his presidential campaign against Carter, Reagan looked at the America people and said: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job, a depression is when you lose your job, and a recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.” At that moment, hope overtook apocalypse.

Reagan had unleashed the forces of conservatism on the darkness of liberal tendencies, and the American people reacted by choosing Reagan’s strength over Carter’s weakness.

As I type this I can’t help but think that we have this same kind of opportunity again in November 2010. Against the backdrop of Obama’s tendency toward crisis, his economic foolishness, and his military weakness, we can choose strength and hope over weakness and apocalypse by supporting the conservatives in the Republican Party who are set to trounce their Democrat rivals.

Reagan was right: We have “a rendezvous with destiny.” And even Obama can’t change that.