Watching the election through the past few months, I could not help but feel a sense of hopelessness. Many applauded the selection of Senator McCain as being a uniting force for the country, as he is a maverick who is willing to cross party lines. I saw him for what he was, not a true conservative in any sense of the word, and someone who is willing to put his political aspirations ahead of the party.
This was a problem for me, as well as many other conservatives, as we did not have a rallying point to get behind. But, I held out hope that he would still win, based on his moderate stances on many issues. I figured a moderate McCain is better than the alternative.
Then came Sarah Palin, the conservative uniter that we had all been waiting for. But, was she really? I applauded the pick initially, but as I learned more about her I realized that she would never garner the support needed to truly unite the ticket, as well as the nation. Her apparent lack of knowledge on many issues made a mockery of our ticket, as being conservative was quickly equated with being merely simple in mind and policy. I have nothing against Palin, but I do not believe she was ready for such a task.
The overwhelming disdain for President Bush did not help the cause. What was worked so hard for was destroyed so easily. The Republican Revolution, following the Reagan Presidency was a clear mandate from America to shrink government and become fiscally responsible. It also spawned great leaders such as Newt Gingrich, as well as Reagan. But these values were quickly perverted and took a backseat to socially conservative values as President G.W. Bush took office. This being said, the events surrounding 9/11 didn't help the cause, as we waged wars that stretched our budget. I do think, though, that history will be far kinder to him than the present perceptions.
Now, though, the party lays in shambles as we do not have an identity. This must be recaptured if there is any hope for America to go back to what she was founded on, personal freedom and small government. This country was founded on the belief that high taxes are death.
It is going to take time to recapture the core conservative values of low taxes, small government, protection of individual liberties, accountability, etc., but I believe that a grassroots movement can help throw out the big government liberals, who are posing as conservatives, as well as bring these values back to the forefront in the coming years. It will take a new kind of political warfare in these changing times, though.
We are in a dark time, but giving up is not an option that any American was ever given. We must persevere if there is any hope for this country. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
This is one of those times.