Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bloody Well Said Again

Last month I wrote favorably about some remarks Mark Steyn made on the radio.  In the 20 or so minutes I heard him today, he was on fire again.


Within seconds of me turning on the radio, he was saying that the politicians who are effective are not the ones who “move to the middle” – rather, they are the ones who move the middle closer to them.  I’ve never heard anyone make that point with such succinct clarity, even though its truth is obvious to anyone who knows history (after all, America never seriously entertained the idea of an active and far-reaching government until FDR, but after FDR was elected it virtually abandoned the notion of hands-off government until Reagan ascended a half-century later).


Steyn then went on to talk about something many of us have been saying for years:  That contrary to what the MSM would have you believe, the Republican Party is far more diverse than the Democrat Party.  But he made that point a bit differently – and a lot better – than most of us do. 


We often get caught up pointing out that the abortion issue proves Republicans are the tolerant ones, because our many pro-choice members are open about their position while the miniscule number of pro-life Democrats get muzzled and marginalized by their own party.  Or, we get caught up mentioning that contrary to what Democrats say on the stump, theirs is the “party of the rich” because the ostentatiously wealthy tend to be Democrats.


Though those things are true, what Steyn brought up was more consequential.  He pointed out that whereas the various Republican constituencies quibble about important matters like whether X is allowed by the Constitution or Y is a proper use of the military, all of the Democrat constituencies – no matter what their “bugaboo” issues may be – subscribe to the steroidal belief that the proper way to achieve their goals is to wield government power and spend other people’s money.  Hence, it is the Republicans who have a truly “big tent.”


Those of us who inhabit the right side of the political spectrum have all entertained these thoughts, even if they come to us in different words, and we all know that overcoming the current administration’s deceptive aggression will be an uphill climb.  To make that climb a success, we must remember the way Steyn described our situation when we sit down to strategize.

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