Montag, Januar 19, 2009

Powell & The Real Message...

Colin Powell is a man who deserves respect. He dedicated decades of his life to his country, both in the military and as a political appointee at the State Department.

He writes in the WSJ here.

His message is that service  to your country is an honorable thing, something that everyone can perform, and you don't have to do it on the front lines. Mentoring, volunteering, all can play a role.

He's right.

But what is the real message that Powell is also sending?


While government has a role to play in restoring the American dream at home and rekindling the dream that is America abroad, there are limits to its ability to restore our sense of purpose as a nation.

This is why Powell, for all his foibles, is still a Republican, and not one in name only.

The real message is that no matter what the Democratic Party says, no matter what the pundits pontificate, no matter what the rabble claims, government is not the answer.

That's the real message: government is not the answer.

The problem, of course, is that government doesn't believe this. The next few years will show this: we'll see the debt balloon, we'll see major expansion of both government spending and a major expansion of entitlements - the greatest error of the Obama presidency will be the attempt to create a health insurance system that will end up creating entitlements to health care that will effectively put the country in an economic strait jacket if not modified - that will need to be changed and rolled back in order to save the country from a permanent and onerous tax burden that will effectively kill economic expansion for decades.

This is where the Republican Party should be reborn: a return to Reaganesque politics of small government and greater control over spending. The Democratic Party, after achieving the trifecta of American politics (House, Senate and the Presidency), will try to realize their misbegotten goals and will do what Democrats always do: ignore economics and fall flat on their collective faces when it comes time to pay the bills. The War on Poverty failed abjectly; the "Moral Equivalent of War" or MEoW of Carter failed abjectly; health care reform under Clinton failed abjectly; the welfare state had to be repealed (with Clinton led there by a Republican Congress) before the economic boom of the 1990s and in the first years of this century could take off.

Republicans should concentrate on three things: grass roots, governorships and taking the high road of loyal opposition and call for a mea culpa by the party for the error of their ways. The corruption and big-spending habits - odd, how those two go hand-in-hand - should be replaced by a clear dedication of opposing pork, of making earmarks and corruption of the Democratic Party the core theme of the next 2 years. A new "Contract With America" would help, but only if it is actually kept. America, despite what the Democratic pundits think (and they are going to be severely disappointed with Obama because he won't dance to their tune), is and remains fundamentally a conservative country, with a deep and abiding interest in the American Dream of following your own path to success and prosperity.

That's the real message in Powell's article.

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