Conservatives: We Didn’t Just Lose a Race. We Lost Our Bearings.

It is not exactly a blinding insight to note that the Republican Party has lost its way. The election of Barack Obama was simply the result of an intellectual decline that began with the start of President Bush‘s reelection campaign in the summer of 2003 and continued unabated, culminating in Gov. Sarah Palin‘s unabashed appeals this year to resentful, blue-collar Republican culture warriors.

By Dov S. Zakheim
The Washington Post
Palin’s error, John McCain‘s error and the GOP‘s error was to assume that a shrinking slice of the U.S. population could constitute an increasingly large and influential faction of the party. There are simply too few culturally conservative whites to sustain a national political party. At most, that community can contribute to a larger coalition; it cannot constitute that coalition on its own.

How did we lose our bearings so badly? In late 1998, when I joined then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s foreign policy team (famously dubbed the “Vulcans”), I was going to work for a man who stood for five key principles that many of us thought would underpin a national Republican majority for decades to come. Last week’s failure stemmed from my party’s failure to hew to these values.

The first and best-known of these was “compassionate conservatism,” exemplified by the insistence that no child be left behind in poverty and despair — a reflection of President Bush’s determination to improve the lot of underprivileged Americans, especially minorities.

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One Response to “Conservatives: We Didn’t Just Lose a Race. We Lost Our Bearings.”

  1. Silver Fox Says:

    The republicans lost their authentic conservative bearings back in the 1990s when Newt Gingrich stepped down and the neocons took over the party and got George W. Bush elected. 2006 was a big red flag but the blind, arrogant republicans continued to be “democrat light” in policies, especially pork barrell spending. Under the watch of both major parties, our economy has drastically declined. Neocons are so interventionist and are so into nation building, that the have never met a war the did not like. Traditional conservatives are more islolationist and only go into war as a last, neccessary resort.

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