It isn’t the end of the world for conservatives and truly Libertarian-leaning Republicans no matter how dire the re-election of President Barack Obama seems; but it is time for the neocon, moral-crusading wing of the GOP to be put to pasture if the Party will survive.
Because he used her as a campaign prop and then backed away from her principles, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan brought Ayn Rand, the mother of Objectivism, postmortem fame in headlines throughout the 2012 Presidential election season. So, it is befitting to revisit her ideas and understanding why the modern Republican Presidential ticket doesn’t embody the “conservative” spirit to which it always lays claim.
In the January 1962 edition of “The Objectivist Newsletter” Rand writes:
It is generally understood that those who support the “conservatives,” expect them to uphold the system which has been camouflaged by the loose term of “the American way of life.” The moral treason of the “conservative” leaders lies in the fact that they are hiding behind that camouflage: they do not have the courage to admit that the American way of life was capitalism, that that was the politico-economic system born and established in the United States, the system which, in one brief century, achieved a level of freedom, of progress, of prosperity, of human happiness, unmatched in all the other systems and centuries combined—and that that is the system which they are now allowing to perish by silent default.
Meaning, the President of the United States doesn’t create jobs, prevent abortions or un-Biblical marriages, issue opinions on any variety of moral social issues and certainly has no hand in “making America great.” The President serves to push the government out of the way in order for the American people to do these things, and they will. Government must get out of the way, and Republicans must first lay aside their moral ascriptions to allow for a candidate only interested in the “conservatism” of government as it relates to how it carries out its Constitutionally allowed activities if they ever expect to present to the American people a candidate who can win.
Barack Obama certainly isn’t going to get government out of the way. But, given the current political landscape and vitriol coming from fiscal conservatives in government, he may not have much of a chance to push socialistic financial agendas. That is where Republicans have the most chance of regaining power of the Nation’s highest office.
Regardless of moral views, imposition of religious moral standards across vast swaths of a society is a historically impossible idea. The moral pandering of fellow Republican politicians — here’s to you, Todd Akin and Richard Murdoch — likely cost Romney a valuable chunk of the electorate. Candidates who would otherwise have an easy case of pushing sound monetary policies to a populace already hurting from liberal financial initiatives and witnessing the European failures in long-term adherence to them lose elections because rather than talk about what government should not do to improve the economy they are discussing what it should do to prevent personal liberties.
No American is forced to have an abortion or be homosexual, just as no American is forced to attend church or believe in traditional family values. But we all (or, at least, the vast majority of us) are forced to pay taxes at some point. We all need the ability to provide for ourselves and (again, at least the majority) want the opportunity to do so.
So, Republicans, it is time to do what you are good at and push sound financial policy on the National scale. If there is a social battle to be won, it may be better fought on the community level.
The army of young Ron Paul supporters (largely extremely fiscally conservative and socially liberal) was shunned by the GOP this time around. And Paul has probably seen his last political crusade, but imagine the campaign they could help build to revive America’s “conservative” Party for similar candidates over the course of the next infuriating two and four years.