A popular media myth these days is that most voters want to see the two main parties move more toward the political center, and that the partisan bickering which has always existed between them will come to a screeching halt once the voice of America's "moderate majority" has finally been heard. Aside from the fact that one would have to be as naive as a 2-year old to believe such tripe, I think it's fair to point out that compromise, while being far less noisy and time-consuming than fighting, is also less productive in the long run, at least most of the time.
Nothing settles an issue like a good, old-fashioned brawl that leaves one of the two scrappers bloodied and whimpering in the gutter. Fighting is what politics is all about, because most people have strong opinions as to the way any given problem should be solved, and they are not interested in half-measures. If you doubt that contention, try winning an election by telling voters that everyone's opinions are equally valid, and if elected you won't take a strong stand on anything.
Compromise is what has led our government to create border security legislation that's incapable of actually securing our borders. It is responsible for unbridled federal spending 2, a monstrously complex tax code 3, the confirmation of activist judges 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and campaign finance reform laws that not only fail to keep big money out of politics, but infringe upon the free speech rights of every American 9.
I don't know about you, but these aren't the kinds of things I'm willing to compromise on. After all, is protecting our sovereignty really too much to ask of our government? How about choosing federal judges who behave like impartial arbiters of justice instead of advocates for political causes? Is it not possible to devise a tax system that ordinary taxpayers can understand without seeking legal counsel?
As a conservative, I don't want to reach middle ground with liberals, because LIBERALS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS WRONG! I don't want to compromise on tax cuts, because that means eliminating some of them, and ALL TAX CUTS ARE GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY 10, 11! I don't want to play 'let's make a deal' with leftists over college admissions or employment quotas, because AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM!
I'm sure a lot of "moderates" out there will disagree with me, but those who do need to explain what they think the majority of Americans will gain from abandoning their core values, other than the mere appearance of progress. I for one would like to see some REAL progress for a change, and I'd rather not sell out everything I believe in just so my political opponents will think of me as fair-minded. Frankly, I don't give half a load of crap what liberals think of me, and I'm starting to care even less about the opinions of ideological fence-straddlers.
If the leaders of the GOP think that moving the party to the middle of the road is going to give them back their majority status in Congress, they're in for a rude awakening in 2008. For every "moderate" they bring into the fold, they can kiss two conservatives good-bye, and for every John McCain 9, 12 they support, they can count on a couple more Nancy Pelosis 13 gaining positions of power in our government.
The Democrats didn't win this last election because they're more popular now than they were two years ago, they won it because Republicans are LESS popular, and the Grand Old Party is going to keep losing ground until its leadership adopts a truly conservative agenda. George W. Bush has proved that he is unwilling to advance such an agenda, and his most recent calls for a new tone in Washington D.C. make him look both weak-kneed and foolish. Still, I guess now the President will be able to get his amnesty-for-illegal-aliens program 14 passed into law, so at least we've got that to look forward to in the coming year.
Oh, and one last thing... dumping Don Rumsfeld 15 the day after the Republicans lost control of Congress was maybe the dumbest political move I've ever seen in my life! Thanks George, we really needed THAT little morale booster on top of all those paper-thin midterm election defeats. I have a feeling Al-Qaeda will soon be thanking you as well, in their own special way.
1. - http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=24347&catcode=13
2. - http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_pigbook2006
3. - http://www.fourmilab.ch/uscode/26usc/www/contents.html
4. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg
5 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Breyer
6. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Souter
7. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paul_Stevens
8. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Kennedy
9. - http://www.straighttalkamerica.com/Documents/CFR2001.pdf
10 - http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20060822-091852-5272r.htm
11. - http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0610120205oct12,0,4916061.story?coll=chi-business-hed
12. - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/24/AR2006092400952.html?nav=rss_politics
13 - http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=25180
14. - http://www.washtimes.com/national/20061109-124147-5586r.htm
15. - http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/15966532.htm
By Edward L. Daley
Owner of the Daley Times-Post