I just found out that my finally embracing my conservativism and walking away from the democratic party is *sniffle* not enough. It turns out that although I loathe what is happening in DC, think this president and his administration is deeply divisive and even more radical than many seem to see, and want all this tax and spend madness and rapid government expansion to stop stop stop, I’m not welcome amongst other conservatives *sob*. I can say all day long that I am opposed to cap and tax, that I am and have all along been opposed to a government takeover of our health care system, and that I am offended by the PC brigade and their attempts to remove God, and lately the American flag!, from America society. And still, I’m not conservative enough.
The “victory” for the Conservative Party in New York’s 23rd district is a bit of an eye opener for conservatives like me who aren’t socially conservative. Those of us who, like Scozzafava, support gay marriage and who are pro-choice seem to be getting the same push that she got. Granted, she was pretty liberal, way more so than I am, in that she supported the bailouts and the stimulus, and seemed to think raising taxes was a wondermous idea. But the message that trickles down to we newly-minted conservatives who still cling to those socially liberal views that pushed us into the Democratic Party to begin with is that we are not conservative enough to be welcomed by or to stand beside our fellow patriots and work to remove the current Congress and president.
I’m not sure that’s a smooth move on the part of the “true” and bestest conservatives, apparently the Tea Party movement. Now, I’ve supported the Tea Party movement all along, and one of the things that I liked about it was that it professed to be open to anyone who didn’t like what was going on in Washington. “Taxed Enough Already” didn’t seem to trumpet “Required: Orthodox Conservative Values.” Now, though, the message going out is that it’s not open to any and everyone who opposes expanding federal power and control and who is opposed to raising taxes on any and everything, it’s a closed club for only those who pass the conservative test, who are orthodox conservatives straight down the line.
At the risk of stating the obvious, few few few people in America are that conservative. When people identify as conservative in polls, they are not saying they are fundamentalist Christians who oppose abortion and gay marriage. They are, mostly, like me. People who are aghast at what BO and his traitorous horde are doing to our country, to our economy, to our freedoms. They’re probably opposed to raising taxes (though many may not truly understand the disastrous repercussions of raising them for big business and the wealthiest among us) , they’re probably vaguely opposed to cap and tax (again, perhaps not fully understanding the implications), and they’re definitely opposed to big government.
If support for abortion and/or gay marriage is your litmus test for a “true” conservative, you’re going to be in a world of hurt when it comes to getting enough votes to make a difference either next year or in 2012. This move to alienate self-identified conservatives who aren’t walking in lock-step with the far right is going to do one thing and help one person only. Dems will win, BO will stay in office. If you take nothing else from his campaign and win, understand that his message of unity and reaching out across races, genders, and political aisles played the largest part in his success. If he had run as the far left radical that he is, he wouldn’t have gotten very far; indeed, he likely never would have made it to the Illinois state senate. Likewise, only the smallest minority of people are far right conservatives (fewer even than those on the far left), and you can’t make any change or improvements with such small numbers. Take a page that worked out of BO’s playbook and be a bit more inclusive of people who are ticked off, motivated to facilitate change in Washington, but who may not share your core socially conservative values. Doing otherwise will silence a great many of us who have been making noise and offering our support.