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Bleak Future for Conservatism

Reader comment on item: What Is the Future of Conservatism in the Wake of the 2012 Election?

Submitted by Ali Baba (United States), Jan 12, 2013 at 00:48

I can't say that I agree with Dr Pipes' assessment. Conservatism, as a winning ticket, is on the wane. Yes there will always be individuals and even well backed groups espousing the core fundamentals of conservative thought. But as a movement capable of winning the popular vote in national elections, its unfeasible for many reasons. Unless the fundamental character of the present day conservative movement shifts drastically towards the left of course.

Firstly, conservatism is barely veiled corporatism. Wall street fat cats will make a killing regardless of which party controls the white house or Congress. However conservatives have a done a great job of alienating the majority of the electorate. Romney's fourty-seven percent comments may have been foolish, but they were an honest representation of where conservative priorities lie. In a society where a family of 4 with a household income of 100k is struggling, conservatives managed to alienate a lot people. Tax cuts for people who don't need them is every bit as much a "gift" as healthcare for people too poor to afford it.

Secondly the demographics are changing. White Christians make up an ever-shrinking percentage of the electorate and that trend will only continue. Conservatism is essentially politicized Christianity with its support for prayer in schools, Creationism as a science, and unabashed zionism. The overwhelming majority of non-white Americans live in urban areas. Because of their cosmopolitanism, urbanization facilitates the erosion of stereotypes, prejudice, and bigotry and the embrace of liberal ideals such as multiculturism, cultural relativism, and compassion for those who have a different or less fortunate way of life. This is why every single city in the United States is located in a blue county. Conservatism preaches victimhood (eg. the "war" on Christmas), fear mongering (Shariah law is taking over America), and self-righteous selfishness (the rich are more entitled to their salary than the poor).

Thirdly, conservatism, as it is now, cannot possibly reach out to those who aren't white and aren't Christian. How will the conservative reach out to gays by opposing gay marriage? How will the conservative reach out to young women by reducing their access to reproductive healthcare? How will the conservative reach out to Hispanics by questioning their immigration status and their contribution to America? How will conservatives reach out to blacks by refusing to allow any compensation for centuries of brutal exploitation?

In conclusion, conservatism's base are older, white people who regard the days of Strom Thurmond as the good ole days. A significantly larger percentage of the younger white voters were raised in the era of multiculturism and less unequal rights for women and minorities.

As Dr Pipes said, with all those negatives weighing him down, and with the most polished and eloquent Republican candidate in recent memory against him, Barack Obama still emerged victorious.

It probably won't be that close next time.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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