Put Conservatism in the Crosshairs
The mantra of incompetence has been an unfortunate one. The incompetence frame assumes that there was a sound plan, and that the trouble has been in the execution. It turns public debate into a referendum on Bush’s management capabilities, and deflects a critique of the impact of his guiding philosophy. It also leaves open the possibility that voters will opt for another radically conservative president in 2008, so long as he or she can manage better. Bush will not be running again, so thinking, talking and joking about him being incompetent offers no lessons to draw from his presidency.
Incompetence obscures the real issue. Bush’s conservative philosophy is what has damaged this country and it is his philosophy of conservatism that must be rejected, whoever endorses it.
Conservatism itself is the villain that is harming our people, destroying our environment, and weakening our nation. Conservatives are undermining American values through legislation almost every day. This message applies to every conservative bill proposed to Congress. The issue that arises every day is which philosophy of governing should shape our country. It is the issue of our times. Unless conservative philosophy itself is discredited, Conservatives will continue their domination of public discourse, and with it, will continue their domination of politics.
2006 is certainly shaping up to be a rejection of Bush and Republicans. But to truly parallel 1994 and be a lasting realignment of American politics, the election must feature voters rejecting conservatism as well. Otherwise, conservatives will be able to rebound quickly once Bush is gone and the Republicans are out of power. Let's put conservatism in the crosshairs, shall we?