American Conservatism: A Beautiful Failure
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"The Double-Edged Sword Of Party Politics" by, Jeremiah Bannister
The crux of the matter here that would be worthy of further consideration is that of Conservatives relationship to any political party. In my estimation it is a two edged sword. If you stand outside off of the dance floor you may not be asked to dance. Yet if you go and dance alone (or act as if you are dancing with another) you may look like the village idiot. When an ideology (and one as difficult to define as it is to unite) lays to rest in a Party that is not defined by its ideas, values, or existence then what seems to be the case (as far as history may reveal) is that the ideology and its constituency become tools of the organization or party. The black democrats and Christian right republicans are classic examples of such constituencies. The conservative movement seems to also have fallen victim to this tendency.
Another case in point, as ironic as it is appropriate, is Pat Buchannan. He has been ignored, smothered, ridiculed, mocked, and left out to dry by the Republican Party. The same of course could be said about his policies! Yet he returns to the hand that beats him! Listening to him and others that speak so publicly about their hatred for the administration and what they are doing to America reminds me of women with “battered wife syndrome.” These women call 911 begging the police to save them from their husbands and when the authorities arrive they start assaulting them insisting, “That is my husband; get your hands off of him! I love my husband, he really didn’t mean it. He can change.” This sort of reaction is as predictable as it is sad. The same can be said of Conservatives and Party politics.
So whether we stay or go both have their sting. The answer may best be found by reviewing the progress (whether in policy or restraint on radical leftist policies) since our formal founding. Those who have stayed are ignored. Those who leave are marginalized (at least those who run to third parties). Either way we have been ignored for a long, long time. Maybe we ought to take a cue from the Neoconservatives who abandoned their party and soon afterward found prominence in Administrations? Maybe a case should be made for abstention? Any way we go, maybe those in Cardinal College can assist us in finding a conclusion.