“The popular media narrative is that this country has shifted away from conservative ideals, as evidenced by the last two presidential elections. That’s what they think. That might be true if Republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 and 2012.”
Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) drew applause with that line, as he spoke at last week’s “Conservative Political Action Conference’ (“CPAC”) in Maryland. And if there’s any sure-fire way to draw applause from a conservative audience in 2013, taking a swipe at both the media and the Republican Party is probably a good strategy.
Yet if there is somehow a false narrative in “the media” about America abandoning conservative ideals, it may also be true that the notion of America adhering to some set of conservative ideals is, perhaps, a bit of a false narrative as well. Implicit in Perry’s message is the assumption that, if only a “truly conservative” presidential candidate had appeared at the top of the ballot in the 2012 presidential election, then the outcome of the election would have been quite different, and our nation’s public policy would therefore look very different. And there is no doubt some grain of truth to his claim – neither fiscal conservatives nor social conservatives had any particular affinity for Mitt Romney, and this was probably part of what led to the lackluster voter turnout.
Yet evidence suggests that, even in heavily Republican regions of the country, very left-leaning, socialistic, Obama-styled public policy ideas are nonetheless thriving. Voters in these regions may give lots of lip service to things like the sanctity of life and traditional marriage, but the ideals of limited government and fiscal conservatism seem to have been abandoned in favor of President Obama’s explosive growth of social welfare programs. This would seem to refute Governor Perry’s assumptions about our country – and it should be alarming to all Americans.
Consider, for example, the predominantly Republican state of Arkansas (a state that Romney won in 2012). The state’s Governor, Mike Beebe, and U.S. Senator Mark Pryor are both Democrats. But Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr, U.S. Senator John Boozman, all four of the state’s U.S. House members and the majorities in both the state House of Representatives and State Senate, all belong in the Republican category.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.