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June 5, 2012
Wisconsin and the Frustrations of Polarization
At the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne frets that a close election in Wisconsin is indicative at the national level of an evenly split electorate where nothing much happens to move the ball, legislatively. Dionne wants to move the ball to the left, of course.
For conservatives, stasis is better than what Dionne wants. Better government be frustrated than allowed to aggrandize itself (or be aggrandized by America's Big Government party, the Democrats).
As a matter of fact, Americans witnessed what happens when voters tilted to the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Democrats got control of Congress for four years and then the presidency. The folly of ObamaCare, enormous federal debt, a floundering economy, and attempted encroachments on religious freedom - you know the list.
Of course, conservatives want an end to Washington's legislative logjam, too, but in the direction of less government and free markets. That's a prospect that, naturally, doesn't appeal to Dionne.
Dionne accuses Governor Scott Walker and conservatives of a winner-take-all approach to politics. Well, golly, winning is what politics is all about. If a party doesn't win, it doesn't govern, but is governed. Liberal icon FDR wasn't about winning it all for his Democrats. Nope, FDR didn't want strong governing majorities to fundamentally restructure America along liberal lines.
And that's what really scares Dionne and other liberals. Conservatives are increasingly concluding that what ails the nation requires fundamental reform away from big government liberalism. Not tinkering, mind you, but a rebuilding of government and a reorienting of its relationship to the people.
For conservatives, it is all or nothing, lest liberals be permitted to drive the nation to disaster. Conservatives aim to change the nation's fundamentals to prevent a terrible crash. The nation can't long sustain an ever-expanding national government that meddles increasingly with free markets and spends with abandon. The top-heavy entitlement state's only future is failure.
A crash is all but certain if President Obama isn't given the heave-ho this November and Republicans aren't given control of Congress.
In Wisconsin, Scott Walker has dared to challenge the prevailing liberal governing philosophy and has initiated modest reforms that will, in time, lead to greater reforms. Walker is showing the way to Republicans in other states. Walker is giving Mitt Romney a blue print for challenging liberal welfare statism in Washington, should Romney win in the autumn.
That broader consensus may be forged by implementing policies that return government to its proper smaller role in society; that respects free markets, so as to create prosperity; that tends public finances responsibly; and that leaves Americans to pursue happiness as they see fit.
Those aren't original thoughts. The Founders are the originators.
The nation doesn't need further excursions into creative, evolving statist doctrines and practices. Liberal doctrines and practices long in place are rotting the nation.
It's time to follow the road back to the Founders' vision.
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