Zoo Station

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The challenge facing conservatism

Posted by Chance on April 23, 2009

Dan made a good point in the last post about how the right present their case against big government, taxes, and the like.  The biggest challenge conservatives will have to face is making their case in the economic area. As Dan pointed out, and even I have before, conservatives can appear to be all about “wanting what’s mine.”  Now, that attitude sucks in life outside of governmental policy, but I don’t think it is completely unjustifiable when it comes to taxes and government spending.  Nevertheless, the attitude will not win converts.

I have been an economic conservative since I remember because the the whole romantic notion of America being the land of opportunity.  I believe that a free market appears to have more “risk” than, say, a tightly controlled economy, but I believe the results are better.  By having a free market, it makes it easier for the average Joe or Jane or Sanjay or whoever to get up and start a business.  Tied to that idea are those of smaller government and less taxes; a government that has less involvement in people’s lives.  People need to realize that economic freedom is worth something.  Economic freedom doesn’t bring about a world where only the rich get richer, but where the average person can flourish.

This is something that conservatives really need to sell from here on out.  They need to focus on the idea that a smaller government makes it easier for the average person to live their lives.  These are things Reagan focused on.  Yes, Reagan still spend a lot of money and didn’t balance the budget, some huge mistakes in his presidency.  But if a conservative can step up where he didn’t in those areas and preach the same message he did, that will help their successes.

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