I was talking politics at today with a friend from overseas. He is pretty well versed in current political topics, although lacking a bit in his knowledge of US history (which is allowed, since he is not from the US.) He told me he identified himself as liberal. After giving him a hard time about that, I told him I was conservative. He replied with, "Oh, so you like Romney?" I said "No… not really." He asked why. I said, "Because Romney is not a conservative. He's a Republican."
Needless to say, this confused the poor guy, and he asked what the difference was. We started talking about what real conservative values were (low government control, low taxes, low spending, and minimum government handouts). After I explained all of this, he looked at me and said:
"Wow… it sounds like none of the Republican candidates are actually conservative."
I stood there, shocked. I knew this, of course, because I have been following politics in this country for years. But here is this guy from Iceland who just came over here and after a few short minutes of learning about what the Republican party is supposed to stand for – he gets it. He gets what the vast majority of people who vote Republican today don’t get - the fact that our party is no longer conservative. We haven't just swayed a little from our conservative roots – we have left them in the dust. Republican candidates talk about lower taxes, less spending, and less government control – but the minute they get into office, none of that actually happens.
As citizens, we watch the news every day and have become numb to this fact. We no longer expect Republicans to actually be conservative. My question is: Why not? Why does it take someone from another country to come over here and point out the obvious? Why are we okay with the fact that our representatives no longer follow the conservative values that our party was based on? And when are we going to stop putting up with it?
The next thing he said was even more interesting. After I explained to him what true conservative values were, the man who started out the conversation saying he was a liberal, said:
"If that is what true conservative values are, I would totally vote conservative."
Think about that. How many people who believe in lower taxes, personal responsibility, and less government control are staying home on Election Day because they feel that none of the candidates represent them? Why aren't true conservatives running in our elections? Personally, I am tired of the same old politicians who put an "-R" after their name and don’t stand for the basic tenants of conservatism. The ones that get close end up alienating voters because they start bringing in their personal stances on morality, religion, gay marriage, and a variety of other things that don’t matter to the core conservative ideal. To all potential republican candidates out there: Focus on the things that matter. Lower taxes, less regulation, and personal responsibility. Try being a conservative for once – you might be surprised where it gets you.
And to all the true conservative voters out there: Stop voting for who you think has the "best chance to win." Vote for the person who truly represents you. Many true conservatives are looked over in primaries in favor of the person who people think has the best chance of beating the Democratic nominee. It turns out that maybe the public doesn't want a tax-and-spend Republican – maybe they want a true conservative. Wouldn't that be a breath of fresh air?