Barack Obama and Joe Biden made history yesterday. There is no doubt that the Democratic wins have changed the political landscape. At least from a perception viewpoint, our country has ideologically “changed.” But you really need to dig a little deeper.
The Obama-Biden win was no landslide, far from it. While the Democrats won some new seats in the Congress, it was no wave. With an enemy looking to destroy America, tough economic times, and an unpopular Republican President, the Democratic wins are somewhat unremarkable.
In spite of the unrelenting onslaught by the liberal left establishment and the other revenge-seeking Republican and conservative haters, John McCain and Sarah Palin fought the good fight. The results prove it. The Democrats should have done much better. McCain, and especially Palin, remind us that America is still, and will remain, a center-right country.
For Republicans, a well-earned reality check and opportunity. If Republicans claim the mantle of conservativism, then live it. Talking conservative, but governing as liberals, is not an option for our new party. May we relegate common-sense conservatism to the ash bin of political gimmicks, a bin that, ironically, will be used by the new Democrats to lead our country for the next four years.
I found a political silver-lining in South Florida, in my former hometown of Miami, Florida. Three Cuban-American Members of Congress came under a fierce and well-funded attack by the left. Waving the “change” talisman, the three Democratic challengers argued that a new generation of voters wanted people in Congress that, among other things, would support engagement, without conditions, with the likes of Communist Cuba. All of the Democratic challengers lost.
If there was a message in South Florida it was that the new generation wants more attention focused on lowering taxes and getting governments out of its lives. If people were upset about resolving the Cuba matter, it was more because the Bush Administration did little to deliver on that promise in eight years. People want an honorable win against Cuban Communism, not appeasement and unrestricted engagement as, we expect, the Democrats will offer in the weeks and months ahead.
Congressional Republicans could be the new loyal opposition. The Party that rejects government bail outs of private companies and allows the markets and free enterprise to correct problems. The Party that rejects appeasement with dictators, and advocates peace through strength. Republicans can be the Party of personal responsibility, not the facilitators of collectivism-a flawed ideology.
Republicans can never out-Democrat a Democrat; if you do, you will eventually lose. Theses elections have cleared the ideological divide in our country between the two political parties. The Democrats are the left, Republicans the right. The mushy center is no more and we have the key Congressional Republican loses to prove it.
It is time to remind Americans of all political persuasions what it means to be a conservative, and not be ashamed to do so. It is not some stuffy ideology or backward manner of thinking. It is the ideology that made the free world great. When Republicans run and lead on true conservative ideas, it wins. That was the case in 1994. Anything less, well, look at the electoral map of 2008.