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Could An Obama Presidency Have A Silver Lining For Conservative Republicans?

December 7, 2008
Allan Wall
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Now that Barack Obama has been elected president, and is already behaving as if he were president (though he hasn’t been inaugurated or even rubber-stamped by the Electoral College) it’s time for conservative Republicans to take a good hard look at what they can accomplish or at least prevent from being accomplished in the next four years. Even more fundamentally, Republicans need to take an honest look at their party and its principles.

Certainly, I would have preferred that a politician with the philosophy of Barack Obama had never been elected. But barring any sort of unprecedented developments taking place before inauguration day, I’d say it’s highly likely that Barack Obama will be taking the oath of office on January 20th, 2009.

To borrow an expression from fourteenth-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, Republicans, especially conservative and constitutionally-oriented Republicans, need to make “a virtue of necessity.”

Believe it or not, there are advantages to having Barack Obama in the White House rather than a Republican of the George W. Bush / John McCain persuasion.

Our current president, though a Republican, is a conservative in name only. Bush is essentially a Big Government man, a multiculturalist, a globalist who doesn’t care much about the U.S. Constitution or the historical American nation. Yet during the past eight years, Republicans have gone to the mat again and again to defend him, though they should have known better. They have betrayed their own conservative principles and defended policies they would have attacked had they been espoused by Bill Clinton or another Democrat.

Take Rush Limbaugh for example. During the Clinton years, Limbaugh performed a valuable function, by pointing out Clinton hypocrisy and explaining conservative principles on his talk show. But after Bush became president, Limbaugh became a shill for the Republican administration. After Obama takes office, the quality of Limbaugh’s commentary is likely to improve. There’s something about being out of power that sharpens one’s intellect. As Bob Dylan said in “Like a Rolling Stone,” “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

The question is what direction will the GOP take in opposition ? It’s not enough to oppose bad policies of the Obama administration, necessary though that is. The Republican party must reform itself and return to its principles. It needs to become a limited government party again, rejecting the Big Government orientation of the Bush years. The party must hold up the Constitution as the law of the land, and stop pandering for votes from people who will never vote for the GOP anyway.

As liberal and statist as the Republican party has become in recent years, there is still a great deal of vitality at the grassroots. There are good things being accomplished by Republicans in various states. It’s the national level where the party has gone off the skids, nominating Big Government panderers such as Bush and McCain.

The number one issue though that the Republican Party must come to grips with is the demographic situation. Quite frankly, if present trends continue, English-speaking whites will become a minority by 2042. There is still time to reverse this trend, but not much. The truth of the matter is that most Third World immigrants are not going to vote for the Republicans, they don’t want limited government and they don’t care about the Constitution. For eight years we saw George W. Bush pander to Hispanics, but the majority of Hispanics never voted for Bush. McCain pandered to, and lost among Hispanics two to one.

The demographic situation must be dealt with or the Republican party (or any party or candidate favoring limited government) is going to lose on the national level. All Republicans ought to be fighting for an immigration moratorium. Not only must illegal immigration be stopped, legal immigration must be reduced to, at most, a couple hundred thousand entrants a year.

Difficult ? Yes, of course, but it’s not impossible. The alternative spells the end of the GOP as a national party. Some have already rejected the Republican party and favor the rise of a third party. Well, more power to ‘em, but the demographic reality is even worse for third parties, who can’t seem to gain much support outside their narrow bases as it is.

The ideal scenario is a revitalized Republican party leadership that understands the demographic realities, that fights for an immigration moratorium. Then they can to restore limited government and respect for the Constitution. But if they don’t stop the demographic transformation of the country, they might as well just forget about it.

If McCain had won, the leftward movement of the Republican party would be continuing. At least an Obama presidency may wake up more Americans as to the direction our country is heading. If Obama pushes American even farther to the left, than maybe, just maybe, Republicans can point it out to the public and wake up enough apathetic Americans to make a difference. I say “maybe”, of course. Maybe most Americans are too apathetic. If they don’t wake up there’s not much hope anyway.

But at least under a Big Government Democratic administration, it’s easier to motivate Republican opposition than under a Big Government Republican administration. Sad, but true, because a limited government conservative ought to be opposing socialism no matter which party is pushing it, and ought to be defending the Constitution regardless of which party is subverting it.

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