November 2009's off year elections have kicked off what promises to be a fascinating and intense time of campaigning. These may be the most important congressional elections of our time because the result will in one way or another change our nation.
A fork in the road lies ahead. In one direction lies government control, muffled prosperity, and less freedom. The other points to the shrinking of government and the burdens it places upon all of us. The middle ground of the way it is now is no longer acceptable.
The Republican Party is struggling to catch up to the libertarian uprising created by Obama and Pelosi's plan to Eurosocialize America. Party officials reflect the past sentiments of the vast majority of party members in days past. I remember only a couple of years ago hearing a current GOP county chair saying that Republicans simply do not protest. We are the respectable party arguing with reason. Then came a political season driven by left wingers who want to impose massive changes that defy reason. Libertarian conservatives got frustrated and decided to fight the left with their own tried and true medicine of protest and mass action.
In some areas there is a gap between the "conservative" movement and the GOP organization. But what is conservatism? Libertarians want action on economic issues, but oppose social conservative positions on marriage and family and some traditional ideas on foreign policy. Social conservatives are wary of libertarianism. Traditional conservatives want a strong foreign policy and prosperous economy and are willing to give on a few principles to achieve that. All of these groups want the Republican Party to support their brand of conservatism and accuse it of selling out if they do not. Navigating through this ideological minefield is a difficult task for party officials. Sometimes they make good decisions, other times very poor ones (such as the NY 23 nominee.)
Conservatism is a vibrant and dynamic movement and each shade of the movement has a slightly different version of what they want America to be. It is important to remember that the differences between shades of conservatism are relatively much smaller than differences between almost any Republican and left wingers. Many independents and Democrats are closer to the general position of conservatives right now than their own party leaders.
That all being said, the most vibrant and energetic element in the freedom loving right is the libertarian conservative. Their calls for change, cut taxes and keep the government out of individuals' lives as much as possible, contrast powerfully with left wing policies that affect freedom of choice. By focusing on economic and personal freedoms, the GOP can endear itself to the libertarian movement and help take back America from those who want it to be Europe.