Why We Always Lose, and the Need for 21st Century Conservatives

Ever since the 1930s, or perhaps the times of Woodrow Wilson and the progressives, we’ve ceased to function as a constitutional republic governed by our founding laws.  Instead we have transitioned into a pure democracy government by majority rule.  The tyrannical rule of a majority of the political class, in conjunction with the lack of courage from those who claim to represent We the People, has bequeathed us with a losing equation for almost a century.


There is an imbalance of power inherent in the political system of any pure democracy, in that the forces of tyranny have a built-in advantage over the defenders of freedom. It takes but one legislative or administrative victory for statism to succeed in guiding society on an indelible path towards socialism.  As long as the media and societal institutions manipulate 51% of the population to elect 51% majorities for any big government proposal, they secure a permanent victory.  The forces of freedom are never strong enough to overturn a government intervention once the dependency takes root.

On the other hand, we don’t have the ability to perpetuate the lack of government intervention.  Even if we succeed in blocking a proposal, they will try a second, third, or fourth time until they are successful.  Hence, when liberals failed to institute a government takeover of healthcare in 1993, they tried again the next time they won unfettered power, and achieved their dream.  If our approach to governance is to consummate liberal programs into law when we have a seat at the table, we will never slow the inexorable slide into socialism.

We have approximately 77 welfare programs, and the best we can do is offer some minor tweaks.

We have government-run healthcare for seniors and complete federal control over our retirement, yet those two failed programs have become untouchable.


We have officious federal involvement in agriculture, housing, education, energy, and local transportation, yet all we can do is nibble around the edges.

We stand today at the precipice of enacting the worst government program ever.  We have two choices: we can continue funding Obamacare, only to find ourselves discussing modest tweaks to the law in 10 years from now – not unlike the way we are forced to approach Medicare now.  Or we can end the cycle of big government by forcing a fight to the death over this cancer to our country before it take effect.  It is that simple.  There are no other options.  Anyone who opposes the defund effort before the law takes effect is essentially admitting that Obamacare will become enshrined into the welfare state forever.

Some figures in the beltway conservative intelligentsia are scoffing at the idea, asserting that we will have better opportunities to get rid of Obamacare.  Others ask why we are not pushing budget brinkmanship over other conservative policy priorities if we think it will work with Obamacare.  These people are overlooking several factors:

  • Timing: Social Security and Medicaid have been around for years.  The ship already sailed on those programs.  We can and should push for reforms when we obtain more power in Washington, but they are not nearly as pressing as Obamacare.  The exchanges will open in October; if we don’t have this fight now, we will never get rid of the law.  The least we can do is prevent a new program from taking root.
  • Public opinion: Unfortunately, much of the welfare state is quite popular, a testament to the success of dependency-driven policies – something we are trying to preempt with Obamacare.  We can’t force brinkmanship over Medicare reform.  Obamacare, on the other hand, is an electoral albatross for Democrats.  If they want to shut down the government in order to throw people off their insurance and chase doctors out of the field, let them have at it.
  • 2014 Landscape: To begin with, we never lost anything as a result of the ’95 government shutdowns.  We gained seats in the Senate in ’96, and I don’t think anyone can suggest that Bob Dole lost the presidential election because of the shutdowns.  The battle for the Senate next year will be fought unprecedentedly on red state territory – Alaska, South Dakota, Montana, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas.  Republicans are favored to retain or expand control over the House due to redistricting and the clustered nature of the modern-day Democrat coalition.  Moreover, Obama’s ubiquitous unpopularity with white voters will exacerbate that problem in a mid-term election turnout.  We should welcome a fight over Obamacare in any state, certainly in red states and districts.

The battle over Obamacare is shaping up to be the Waterloo for the GOP establishment.  The Republican Party of the 20th century has largely failed us.  They have given in to the ineluctable self-perpetuating cycle of government.  There are a number of 21st century conservatives waiting in the wings to pick up the shambles left behind by the failed party of the past.  They will ignore us at their own risk.

Cross-posted from The Madison Project


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