Dennis Prager nicely summed up the current political dilemma in the U.S. in a recent column titled “If On the Wrong Track, Why Go Left?” It’s a question many conservatives have.
During their years of holding power between 2001 and 2006, President George Bush and the Republican Congress did not exert much serious effort towards trying to win public support for conservative solutions to public policy problems. In 2005 there was a half-hearted effort to sell Social Security reform, but it didn’t last long. We all know what happened when it came to overall spending, and even the tax cuts they passed were temporary.
You can’t succeed if you don’t try, and if you’re a Republican who is going to govern more in line with Democrat principles, you are going to be blamed, not those faulty principles.
We’ve all heard the poll numbers – most Americans by far believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Prager writes that the blame falls on Republicans because people think Republicans had their way, so it’s time to let the Democrats have theirs.
Prager asks a series of questions regarding the economy –
“…why do most Americans believe the Democrats’ prescriptions are going to help? Why will a huge tax increase on all Americans earning over $200,000, on capital gains for all Americans and on social security (if Barack Obama is elected) help the economy?
When have tax increases ever helped an economy? Why will America almost alone among the industrialized democracies move in the direction of higher taxes? Are all these other countries that are lowering taxes harming their economies?”
Of course if more Republican members of Congress would have been doing their job to pitch GOP platform solutions to the public, more Americans would know the easy answer to those questions.
Prager also addresses the unpopularity of the War in Iraq. This is as much the Congress’ fault as it is the President’s. In a nutshell, limited war (not carpet bombing cities like we did in World War II) can take longer and can still be as terrible as total war. If leadership doesn’t properly explain the difference and the difficulties, they shouldn’t be surprised when public support is lost.
Prager writes that America is now winning the war, and then asks another series of good questions:
“Do most Americans really prefer Obama’s and the Democrats’ pledge to leave Iraq to the Republicans’ pledge to win this war? No matter how horrific, even potentially genocidal, the consequences would be to Iraqis? No matter how adversely it would affect potential U.S. allies who will no longer trust our commitments to them? And no matter how much it would weaken America’s domestic security, given an Islamist victory in Iraq?”
The political left and political right have different lists about which policies are taking us in the wrong direction, and Prager suggests that whichever list wins more backers will determine the future of the country. His column is worth reading. Click here to do so.