A brief forray into politics
Or not so brief, depending on your point of view. I've heard it said many times that there are two subjects one should not breach in polite conversation, politics and religion. And the more I think about it, the more I wonder what there is left to talk about. Sports and the weather? I could talk about my children, but if I really get into their day, both my views on religion and politics are likely to be exposed. And really, what two topics are more important to discuss? Both wrestle with fundamental issues of who we are and what we want the future to look like.
POL'ITICS, n. The science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals. Politics, as a science or an art, is a subject of vast extent and importance.
I have, for most of my politically aware life, considered myself a Republican. Ronald Reagan, or at least what I knew of him, was the epitome of what it was to be a Republican. (One thing I never understood was the phenomenon of the Reagan Democrats...the two seemed like polar opposites to me). I knew that my party loyalty was on shaky ground during George W. Bush's campaign against Al Gore. His self-characterization as a "compassionate conservative" concerned me.

First, it validated the misconception that conservatives are not compassionate. Even though "conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure" according to a new book by Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks.

Second, it left me with the sneaking suspicion that he would spend money on everything, not just the traditional Republican issues. Which proved to be right. We went from trying to do away with the Department of Education under Reagan to bringing every local school in the United States under its authority in a few short years. Our spending has increased continually, and the influence of our central government in our private lives has grown steadily.

It seems to me that the Republican party stands for little of what it once stood for. And I cannot believe I am saying this, but for once I agree with Senator McCain.
"Conservatives came to office to reduce the size of government and enlarge the sphere of free and private initiative," said Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona. "But lately, we have increased government in order to stay in office."
At least I'm not alone in this. In a poll by CNN, 54% of adults polled said they thought that government was trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Only 37% thought that the government should do more. I've believed for a long time that we need a strong leader like John Adams, or Abraham Lincoln...or perhaps even John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan...who was concerned more about our nations principles and was willing to truly engage the American people in national debate rather than campaigning on slogans and oft-repeated phrases that have little meaning and provide no actual vision. If this poll is even close to representative of the views of Americans, it shouldn't be all that hard.

Hat tip: Kudlow's Money Politic$

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