I am a conservative Republican. I became a conservative Republican at the age of 10 when I heard Ronald Reagan give "the speech" on behalf of Barry Goldwater on he eve of the 1964 election. In 1970 I appeared on NBC News holding a sign reading, "Sensible Students Support Spiro". In 1972 I was a College Republican helping Jesse Helms win his first election to the U.S. Senate. In 1974 I was a Republican election judge in the Woolen Gym precinct on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill, a lonely place to be a Republican that night. In 1976, I was helping Ronald Reagan come back from an unbroken string of primary defeats to win the North Carolina Presidential Primary, saving his candidacy not only for that year, but giving him the credibility to
come back and win in 1980. In 1980, I was actually on the ballot as a Republican legislative candidate running on the same ticket that sent Ronald Reagan to the White House, gave the U.S. Senate to the GOP for the first time since I had been in diapers, and helped Greensboro elect its first Republican Congressman in history. In 1982 I was parliamentarian to the North Carolina State Convention and served as Co-Chairman of the Committee that that year rewrote the Party's Plan of Organization. In 1983 I went to work as an attorney in the Reagan Administration, where I remained for three years until leaving politics and government service to enter seminary and ministry in the Presbyterian Church. In the debates that have gone on in the Presbyterian Church for these twenty years, I am known as a conservative.
George W. Bush is not a conservative. A conservative would not have exploited the nation's fear and loathing in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy to launch the specious "War on Terror", the ill-conceived and still unresolved war in Afghanistan, and the disastrous war in Iraq. This was the work of radical zealots. A real conservative would not have worked with Teddy Kennedy to muscle the "No Child Left Behind"
legislation through Congress, the worst Federal intrusion into the public schools since the 1960's, and this after two decades of running on a platform calling for the abolition of the Federal Department of Education. A real conservative would not have pushed through, by illegally breaking the rules of the Congress, an expansion of the Medicare program into prescription drug benefits, the biggest single boondoggle and entitlement program added to the government's budget since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.
A real conservative would not arrogate powers to himself as President that have no basis in the Constitution. A real conservative would not suspend the writ of habeas corpus, arrest and hold people without warrant, without sufficient evidence of criminal activity to bring charges in Court, and search their possessions and records, their correspondence and telephone conversations without a warrant or probable cause. A real conservative would not countenance members of his Government conducting interrogations by torture of its prisoners, and then try to obscure what he is doing with tendentious opinions from a corrupt Justice Department, and attempts to avoid the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts.
A real conservative is someone like Sam Ervin, who stood up to Richard Nixon, that pseudo-conservative who corrupted the White House in the 1970's (if anyone is interested, I voted for Schmitz in 1972), and stopped that President from trampling upon the rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution. A real conservative is someone who stands up to George W. Bush, today's pseudo-conservative, when he tries to do the same and even worse.
Senator Chuck Hagel is a real conservative. He voted against expanding the powers of the U.S. Department of Education. He voted against the unconscionable unfunded expansion of the Medicare program. He has been an early and constant critic of this President's war policies, from his reckless military adventures abroad to his contemptuous disregard of the Constitutional rights of Americans at home.
Chuck Hagel and Ron Paul are the two men who are stepping up today to save the nation from the calamitous policies of the Bush Administration and to save the Republican Party from its corrupt pseudo-conservative leadership. While Representative Paul has stood valiently for his principles for thirty years inside and outside the Congress, he has been relegated to the fringe of the Party. Senator Hagel, while remaining true to himself and his conservative principles, has always maintained the reputation of a mainstream Republican, certainly much more of a mainstream Republican than John McCain, Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney. If it were not for his stand against the war noone would question either his Republican or conservative credentials. And those who oppose him on the war issue are no true conservatives. As the Republican Party wakes up to the truth of the subterfuge, fraud, and even criminal warfare that has been carried out in its name, it will turn to Chuck Hagel to save it and even carry it to victory in 2008, an achievement that would be impossible except that the Party repudiates the policy of warmongering and war profiteering with which it has been saddled for more than five years.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Today we have a guest contribution. The following is from William Reid Dalton III. He articulates his views on conservatives and why Chuck Hagel is the conservative that he wants to see elected in 2008.