Much has been said
about the Bush administration’s handling of sensitive issues to conservatives
like illegal immigration and entitlement spending. The criticism is both
broad and intense, coming from traditional allies and longtime foes. Though
the criticism coming from opponents is severely hypocritical, it scars no
Conservatives are consistent in their disparagement of excessive government
spending and amnesty programs for illegal immigrants. This, however, leaves
no one to thoroughly explain Bush’s policy strategy because his adversaries
stringently attack for the sake of power regardless of policy. Though I don’t
personally condone the liberal approach of the current administration’s handling
of these specific policies, I do understand the strategy involved.
As conservatives, we must force ourselves to look at the big picture. Our
country faces a crippling moral dilemma; the tort system cost our economy
an estimated $233 billion in 2003; we desperately need a national energy
policy; we need to continue reducing the overwhelming tax burden in our country;
our intelligence gathering methods must be vastly overhauled and improved;
it is critical that the defense of this country continue to be improved and
grow; and we must continue to fight the war on terrorism as we currently
are or we will find ourselves in the same war on our soil in coming years.
This is a minor explanation of what the macro picture currently looks like.
We can safely assume atheists will continue to embrace – and even encourage
– the degradation of morality and religion in this country; trial attorneys
will never propose tort reform; environmentalists will not support any realistic
energy policy; those dependent on government subsidies will fight any tax
cut; and liberal anti-military, anti-intelligence, anti-war, special interests-appeasing
politicians will put our country at great risk if left in charge of such
issues. These people are Democrats and for this reason alone it is critical
that Republicans maintain control of Congress and the White House. Fortunately,
this isn’t where supporting the Bush administration ends.
President Bush and company have trademarked setting traps for Democrats.
He trapped Democrats into supporting the war by initiating the debate just
before elections and trapped Democrats into making the capture of Saddam
Hussein an issue. He trapped Democrats into opposing an entitlement to seniors
and he, not Howard Dean, forced the Democrats further to the left. Bush has
taken Democrats’ issues from them and set the stage for an election based
primarily on national security – not a Democrat strong suit.
So we come to Bush’s base supporters. Needless to say, we are not happy –
but we must be smart. I pose the following questions to ponder: (1) Will
excessive government spending and entitlement programs ever be reformed with
Democrats in office and (2) Does politics end when Bush’s term ends? The
answer to both is obviously no. The end goal is to place Republicans in Congress
strategically to outlast Bush. Bush has been accused by allies of repeating
his father’s mistakes. I strongly caution against trying to use a slight
majority in Congress to overhaul our country in one term – we’ve seen what
that brings before.
Our country faces a number of critical issues we must address in coming years.
The easiest to fix is (a) excessive government spending and (b) illegal immigration
– if, and only if, Republicans are in office. Excessive government spending
can be weaned down over time with a Republican majority in Congress (and
it will in due time). Illegal immigration can be solved with technology,
a slight bump in spending, and a determined Republican president. Neither,
however, can be fixed unless steps are taken to regain a firm control of
Congress and overall politics.
Do I agree with amnesty or excessive spending? No; quite the contrary. But
I disagree with – and to a great extent, fear – the radical agenda of the
left. It will, and has already begun to, destroy this country. It is critical
we take control and if a bump to the National Endowment for the Arts silences
a few artists, amnesty shuts a few radical Hispanic groups up, and a prescription
entitlement makes a few seniors happy, so be it. These policies may not make
an overwhelming difference in polls or make many people vote for Bush who
wouldn’t have otherwise, but they change the image of Republicans and set
the stage for a long-term Republican takeover.
Right or wrong, that is the Bush strategy. Choosing not to vote for him on
these specifics simply counts as a vote for his opponents. He may be taking
his voter base for granted; however, he may just be assuming we’re smart
enough to figure out what is going on. Politics will outlast President Bush;
he simply hopes it is politics dominated by Republicans who can eventually
take on the issues we are forced to swallow at present.
Raymond Green's website is SupportNoSpin.com.