If conservatives in our country are feeling overlooked, they have a right to it. They are overlooked, even though they make up the majority of citizens. The liberals in Washington DC have done such an effective job of framing political debate that it hasn’t been between liberals and conservatives for a long, long time. Instead, it has been a debate between liberals and moderates. I’m speaking generally, of course. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. (Whatever your thoughts may be on Ron Paul, at least he’s speaking honestly about the excessive size, scope, and cost of government.)
If the GOP would reclaim its conservative roots, take control of the reigns of political discourse, and refuse the liberal Democrat agenda that is so forcefully argued as supposedly “mainstream,” Republican victories could be guaranteed for years to come. Since most of us think of ourselves as right of center (and in the South this includes many Democrats), that means that most of us these days feel like the “red-headed stepchildren” who don’t quite fit in with the family.
Of course, lots of Republican candidates run on so-called “conservative” principles. That’s the rub, really. GOP candidates know that most of us are conservative, so they happpily adopt the label. But once they get into office their conservativism fades. Like the Greek mythological character Icarus, they fly into power with conservative wings but once elected they get too close to the sun, the wax of their wings melts away, and they become bland moderates.
Congressman Stephen Palazzo (MS-4) is a perfect example. It’s not difficult to find online videos of Palazzo touting his conservative credentials. In these videos he uses the word over and over and over. He beat Gene Taylor after ten terms because he convinced the people of South Mississippi that he’s most conservative than Taylor.
Honestly, I’m not so sure. The most recent correspondence from Palazzo’s office has me shaking my head in disbelief.
I recently sent an email to the representative expressing my concern about HR 3261, the nice-sounding bill called the “Stop Online Piracy Act.” (Even the name of the bill is intended to fool the public, but that’s a debate for later.) The bill will place such difficulties upon companies hosting websites that it’s bound to have a chilling effect upon free speech. International treaties and national laws already provide sufficient protection to prevent online piracy by requiring someone to remove any content that an owner discovers to be used without permission. The owner simply makes the demand and the site must remove the content. If there is contention or disagreement involved, that’s why we have courts.
My email to Congressman Palazzo expressed my fears for free speech if the more difficult requirements of the proposed law are enacted. In essence, because the policing requirements will be excessive, it is expected that online hosts will simply stop allowing certain types of posts–most surely putting a damper on political speech.
What was Mr. Palazzo’s reply to my grave concern? It may truly be the most sterile, non-commital commentary of all time. In a nutshell, it says “we’re still talking about this but we’ll keep your concerns in mind.”
This is not the reply of a conservative. This is the reply of a wishy-washy moderate who hopes to keep everyone happy. It exemplifies exactly what’s wrong with the majority of elected officials in the Republican Party.
Guys of gals of the GOP, for goodness sake, and for the sake of the surivival of our Republic, take a stand! Stop with the threats upon free speech. Put an end to the earmarks. Take a stand against excessive regulations that are overburdening us and destroying our economic vitality.
I’d like to see Speaker Boehner put the entire House GOP in a room where they would craft the most energetic, conservative, liberty-minded agenda the nation has seen in a hundred years. Our federal government is bleeding us dry and what it pirates from private citizens and businesses it funnels to those who can provide large voter blocks. It’s going to be the death of a nation.
I’m exhausted by bland. I’m tired of Speaker Boehner and I’m tired of Rep. Palazzo. I’m tired of politicians who tell me what they think I want to hear. I’m tired of wondering why we can’t do better. And on the horizon I’m not sure that I see much better coming my way in the 2012 presidential election.