I don’t often write about political issues, but I felt compelled to do so at this time. For my friends who have different political views than mine, I am sorry, I do not mean to offend you, and I readily acknowledge that you are as entitled to your opinions as I am mine.
What I want to talk about today is Conservatism, Party Politics and action.
Conservatism? Yes, I have been a conservative all of my life. I got my feet wet in politics when I was 15 years old. I lived in Louisiana, and I had an after school job. My boss was a very conservative Republican, and he and I often talked about the issues of the day. I found that I agreed with his thinking on most issues, and that is when I discovered that I was a conservative, and pretty quickly became a Republican myself.
Party Politics? Yes, as I said in the previous paragraph, at the age of 15 I realized that I was a Republican, and at that young age I got active in Party Politics and I worked for Dave Treen when ran for Governor of Louisiana. Living in Louisiana at that time, being a Republican was a lonely existence, because the State had been dominated by Democrats pretty much since the Civil War. But, my beliefs, even at that young age, were aligned with Republican principals, and I didn’t care if it was a lonely existence.
Action? Yes, because over the years as Republicans came to power in different ways, it seemed that when they got where they campaigned for, when they got in not much changed, and it disappointed me greatly. Yes, there was marginal change, but no big push to move toward the conservative values and policies that I believed in. So, it would be discouraging to work hard for a conservative candidate and when he was elected, he only made marginal change, if any at all.
The first time, in my political lifetime, that a conservative was elected to major office was when Ronald Reagan became President of the United States in 1981 (he was elected in 1980, but took office in 1981). I believe that Reagan made some decent change, but since the Legislative branch of our government was firmly in the hands of the Democrats, he was only able to get so much done. While overall, I was happy with Reagan’s term as our President, there are things I would have loved to have seen him accomplish, but he was unable to do so.
The next time that there was a major conservative power gain came in 1994 when the Republicans came out with the “Contract with America” and a huge class of Republicans were swept into office and took the majority in the House of Representatives. Rather than implementing conservative policies, they went in other directions and there was little conservative progress, despite the huge opportunity. Basically, it was a repeat in the early 2000’s when the Republicans took controls of the Presidency and both houses of the Legislature. Not much happened. Republicans espoused limited government, yet they didn’t decrease spending, or cut the size of the government. Oh, in some cases they decreased the rate of spending increases, but no real cuts in spending to be had.
I must admit that I became sickened with politics, and I no longer considered myself a Republican. Although not officially, I felt I was more of a Libertarian than anything else, but probably an Independent.
This past election, in November of 2010 saw another huge surge of Republican power at the Federal and State levels of government. While I was happy to see Republican gains, I really didn’t hold out much hope of anything actually happening.
This past week or so, I must admit, I felt almost gleeful when I saw some real action in Wisconsin. Newly elected Republican Governor, Scott Walker started doing some things that would change the whole equation! The end of Union rule over the Wisconsin State Government! Amazing. I believe that people should be treated fairly and that people should be afforded the right to earn a decent living. However, unions have gone too far, in my opinion, especially when dealing with Governments. Walker was advocating making the Union members actually start paying for some of their benefits. Walkers plan would cut the spending, and make the Wisconsin Government show a bit of financial responsibility.
It is not so much that the Union issue has been on my radar, or that I care all that much about the Union issues. But, what I am loving is seeing Conservatives come into power and actually do Conservative things! It started in Wisconsin, it is quickly spreading to Indiana, Ohio and other Midwestern States. My hope is that we will begin to see some bold actions by the Congress toward our Federal budget which is in a huge mess. It’s time for American politicians to wake up and smell the coffee… there is no money! It’s gone. The US is a financial house of cards right now, and it’s time to address the problem. If we wait much longer, it is likely to be too late.
Bravo, Scott Walker.