Sunday, October 25, 2009

Principle Versus Expediency

The battle for the Republican Party rages on.
The forces of principle, the people who favor limited
government, are exchanging volleys with the forces of
expediency, those who support expansion of government
power in the marketplace as well as in other areas of our lives.

One particular shootout merits mention here, a matchup
between U.S. Representative Ron Paul (TX) and U.S. Senator
Lindsay Graham (SC). Rep. Paul, who blends conservative and
libertarian political views, wants to grow the economy rather
than the government. He wants "honest money" instead of
the increasingly plentiful fiat money rolling off Uncle Sam's
printing press at an ever-increasing speed. Rep. Paul
wants to lower taxes to allow taxpayers to have more
of their own money to spend on needed goods and services,
which in turn will stimulate those businesses that provide them,
thereby creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
Sen. Graham, meanwhile, favors more governmental involvement
in the quest to stimulate the economy. Being quite chummy
with the advocates of larger government, he has been quoted
in a story that was recently published by 
The Daily Bell ( as saying that
"(he was) not going to allow the Republican Party to be 
hijacked by Ron Paul". Graham thinks that the Republican
Party should back candidates "who can win" regardless
of whether their political philosophies square with that of
the "Principle" crowd. Principle, to Sen. Graham and his
followers, seems to be all well and good unless it gets in
the way of seemingly quick and easy political gain.

But this is precisely the kind of thinking which caused the
GOP to sell out its principles along with its base. It is also
why, after 32 years in the party, your beloved Peasant left 
after the 2006 debacle and has been a conservative independent
ever since. Those of us who came to the Republican Party
looking for an alternative to ever-growing, costly, inefficient
and paternalistic government were betrayed by many of those
whom we elected to Congress and the White House.
As a result, many among us either voted for Libertarian Party
or write-in candidates, stayed home, or even --- yes, some
disaffected conservatives really did this --- voted for Barack
Obama and other Democrats, thinking that they wouldn't be
any worse than moderate-liberal in political tone. I wonder
what they're thinking now! So the Democratic Party won
control of the House and the Senate in 2006, then gained the
White House in 2008, padding their majorities in the
chambers of Congress.

The lesson to be learned is this: the way for the Republican
Party to regain and maintain power is to return to the principles
of limited government which it had abandoned for political
expediency, and to regain the trust and support of its base,
even if its has to beg on bended knee for it, and the party
may well need to do so. Offering the same thing as the
opposition but in smaller portions is no true alternative,
and the people are smart enough to recognize that. If the
people don't receive a clear-cut alternative to the proponents
of Big Government, then what happened in the last two elections
will continue into the forseeable future; this will be a trend that
we as a nation might not survive long enough to successfully


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