Subscribe to the RSS Newsfeed

Subscribe to our RSS Newsfeed

Political Blogs, News & Views

Discussing America’s political direction with balanced perspective


In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right

Scott Bannon Posted by Scott Bannon

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our free RSS newsfeed. Thank you for visiting!

But is he conservative or liberal?

Barry Goldwater

President Clinton recently made a comment which has enraged some neo-cons in America. He said that the “Democratic Party has become the liberal and conservative party in America.” The President then followed that statement with several examples of support which haven’t made the sound-bite cuts with a lot of the media that’s covered the story or the highly charged and partisan talk radio commentary.

While it may seem an oxymoron, there is a candid truth in what the President has said when looked upon with an open mind. I decided to write about this topic because I believe that the party shifts over the past 40 years have been bad overall for the nation. In my opinion, they’ve allowed the fringe ideologies of vocal minorities to dominate government and policy for the majority, and stunted our social growth. All with the approval of the majority. An approval they gained by being divisive. By forcing the majority who live in the middle to pick partisan sides rather than picking on issues. They–the far left and far right–have worked in concert to polarize our nation to the point of parallelization. I believe, and have written many times, that America works best with two strong opposing parties forced to compromise. It stabilizes our course in the middle and serves to protect the interests of all most equally. Unfortunately, we’ve seen very little of that since the 1980′s and almost none at all in the last decade.

And what have we–the American people–reaped from this polarized atmosphere? Can we name one notable advance on any front in the last decade for the great America? Recently in a public address, President Bush said of Democrats, “The party of F.D.R. and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run.”

That’s a classic example of this polarization. Where the ideas of the opposition are attacked first rather than pondered or credited with any value at all. An equal example was my own knee-jerk reaction, which was to say that someone should remind President Bush that F.D.R. and Truman defeated the Nazis and Japan in just a bit over 3 years, we’ve been in this quagmire of Iraq nearly that long now and are in worse strategic shape with each month that passes. Perhaps he should welcome a little input from the party of F.D.R. and Truman rather than dismissing it with such arrogance?

Of-course, and sadly, neither Bush’s rhetoric nor my response to it would serve any good for the nation.

In the early 1960′s there was a revival of the Conservative movement in America, led by Senator (and Republican candidate for President in 1964) Barry Goldwater[R-AZ]. Despite Goldwater’s defeat to Johnson in the ’64 run for the White House, many historians and political operatives have credited Goldwater with paving the path which ultimately led to Reagan’s victory in 1980.

I did–and still do–hold a lot of respect for the Conservative Republican platform Goldwater stood for. High on State’s Rights, opposed to increasing the role of the federal government and supporting smaller government at the federal level. A strong military (not an over-funding of government contracts to line the pockets of party supporters, but an actual strong military). Being fiscally wise. The conservation of natural resources. A clear division between Church and State.

These were core values of the Conservative ideology in the 1960′s. What’s funny–and Goldwater predicted this himself when he saw the far religious right overtaking the Republican party under the Reagan administration–is that by today’s standards Goldwater would be labeled a liberal and most likely be a registered Democrat. In-fact, prior to his death in 1998, he had endorsed Democratic candidates over Republicans, likely because he still believed in the same ideology and platform he had decades before, and it was better represented among some Democratic candidates than Republicans.

The same is true of Richard Nixon. By today’s polarized standards he also would be labeled a liberal. I believe that neither of these men could win a small Town Council seat running as Conservative Republicans in red state America today.

Their respectable party was hijacked by the far religious right in the 1980′s. A vocal minority with power and money to influence elections. The worst shame of it in my eyes, is how easily the party allowed itself to be overrun and in a display of gross defeatism has welcomed its conquerors with open arms.

Unfortunately, the Democratic party has had the same sort of minority hijacking. The most well known members of the party have embraced the vocal minority of the far left, who bring influence and money to the table, and allowed the party as a whole to be painted as nearly Communist Socialist in nature.

Somewhere between these two extremes lives most of America. The so-called middle ground. I still believe that the middle is most or best represented by Democratic candidates. Not because I’m blind or oblivious to the far left’s influence on the Democratic party, but because I’ve seen far more individual Democrats stand in defiance to the vocal minority pressures than I have Republicans–and continue fighting for middle America where equality and personal liberties are more than just quaint slogans of nostalgia.

I still believe in and respect the true Conservative ideology, I just don’t see it represented by the vast majority of neo-Con Republicans holding offices today. I want States Rights to mean something. I want a limited federal government role in American society and individual American’s affairs. I want a strong military (without unchecked government contracts for campaign supporters). I want to conserve our natural resources. I want fiscal responsibility and I want a clear division between Church and State with protections for both from one another.

If Republicans still subscribed to any of these ideas I might just be a registered Republican, or at-least support more Republican candidates. But in today’s America these ideas are all far more represented by members of the Democratic party. The party of F.D.R. and Truman. The party which, as President Clinton accurately summarized, now represents both liberal and conservative America best.

Image source:

Technorati Tags: Barry Goldwater, President Clinton

Popular Writings

  1. One Response to “In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right”

  2. By Political Commentary | Reply to article

    Clinton has a point.. at any rate, the lines between the parties has become blurred at best.. the Dems lately have been the champions of both sides of the coin.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.