17 Nov
2011
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The Way of the Future?

As a conservative, you may hear from time to time that you need to modernize your views.  “Universal healthcare is ubiquitous in the developed world with one exception: America.”  “Of course the bank bailout was necessary.  Did you want the world economy to ‘collapse?'” “College has gotten too expensive.  In Europe, college is free.  Americans shouldn’t be in such college debt.”  In word, we could summarize this smarmy attitude as Follow Europe.

It’s interesting to consider these entreaties, which have been prevalent for at least a decade (see here Foreign Affairs article from 2001), in the light of recent events.

The Death of the Euro declares the U.K.’s Express.  Discussions of a “Euro breakup” at MarketWatch.  England’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair warning of “catastrophe” if the euro collapses.  German and French relations strained due to dangerous debt levels.

What caused this, exactly?  Why is Europe in such economic and political turmoil?  Simply put, Europe’s poorer countries (Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal) have been ripping off its richer countries (France, Germany), while Europe’s older generation has been looting from the younger generation.  Their central bank has been bankrolling these injustices for years by keeping borrowing costs artificially low.  Technocrats dwelling in Brussels have infiltrated most aspects of society, centralizing authority in a government to make their lives as leisurely as possible.  Now that giant Ponzi scheme is unraveling, falling prey to the same market forces that doomed socialism and communism.

While Europe loses one aspect of its stability at a time, we look from slightly behind.  America’s debt is rising massively, at the cost of the taxpayer and benefit of the bureaucrat.  Government spending has increased at its fastest peace time record, and the trajectory of debt is through the roof.  In the last several years, states have challenged federal authority in enforcing immigration laws by state means.  The federal government has presumed what one describe as “audacious” authority in health care, including assuming tremendously important personal decisions, and representing one-fifth of the nation’s economy.

We now know the wages to be wrought for behaving like Europe: chaos, instability, rioting, and austerity.  America yet has been lucky to escape European-like violence.  The “Occupiers” have not flourished into a legitimate political movement.  We are still, today, a center right country.

But things, political things, must change if this is to remain so.  We must shrink our government and abolish certain agencies.  We must begin to pay back our debt.  We must reign in our entitlement spending.  We must simplify the tax code.  We must keep a stable dollar.  Precisely to avoid further instability, and possibly widespread violence, we must endure the austerity willingly.  This is easier than it sounds because, in reality, we’re living in it right now.  To ease our economic woes, the government would have to do nothing but pull back.

There are many people in this country who want nothing more than a respectable, smart, and experienced man (or woman) as president, but are not adamant about the candidates’ core beliefs.  Many of these people are barely partisan.  To take the most obvious example, in Mitt Romney Republicans have an exceptionally fine person who has excelled academically, in business, and in politics.  I feel confident suggesting that Mitt Romney will leave this earth one day having accomplished more than 99.999% of all human beings in public life.  Yet he also instituted the most progressive healthcare system in the country – that is to say, retrogressive and injurious to individual liberty.  His policies were emulated by the Obama administration to craft Obamacare.  He has attacked other Republicans for daring to speak frankly about entitlement programs.  He has declined to denounce the bank bailout, and refuses to come down hard on Bernanke, distinguishing himself with the utterly milquetoast Jon Huntsman in this regard.

Formidable as Governor Romney may be, his track record and debate tactics suggest the mind of something other than a conservative.   To be sure, while Governor Romney is indeed an American technocrat (see his 59 prescriptions for a healthier job market) he is not a Brusellian technocrat; and, given the powers of the presidency he would not go as far and as fast as the Europeans.   But we need another mastermind – period – like we need a hole in our collective head.

The next president will have to confront and conquer a domestic and international economic crisis, not to mention a full cadre of complex international affairs, including a dangerously compromised Middle East.  America needs a principled leader who respects the Constitution and reminds citizens how our government is intended to act.  By virtue of his grave lapses in judgment on the economy and, generally, the role of government in a free society, Governor Romney does not deserve the conservative’s endorsement in the primary season.

DISCLAIMER: This post and the contents thereof are the views of only the author identified immediately above and do not necessarily represent the views of the New York Young Republican Club (the "NYYRC"), its officers or its members. The NYYRC expressly disclaims responsibility for the contents thereof and by its charter documents may not, and does not, endorse any candidate for any office, except in a general election.

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