It is obvious that I have been harping on interventionism and the war quite a bit lately and I had resolved to cool it for awhile to concentrate on some other issues. That is, until I read Pat Buchanan's column for today, May 30, but more importantly, it was the comments which set me off: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=26753.
I have resisted to jump on this mantra that the Republican Party and conservative movement have been shaved down to nothing but enthusiasm for our involvement in Iraq. I wanted to think that conservatives out there still cared about things like taxes, the size of the government, and restricting illegal immigration.
What I have found, if the user comments suggest anything, is that Republicans do not care any longer about anything besides the war, and a discredited war and rationale at that.
I believe that George W. Bush has become an idol not only to himself but to the people who still support him. What else can explain such a devoted following? I myself once supported this war, even if only mildly, but I have since changed my mind. As Barry Goldwater is quoted as saying, Don't I reserve the right to be smarter than I used to be?
These Bush diehards strongly resemble Clinton apologists who defended their man no matter what embarrassing thing he had just been convicted of. How could Bush have known what would happen in Iraq? He did what he thought was best! How can you criticize our president when we are at war? just to name a few. But how is this any different from people who defended Clinton because "he only lied about a personal matter"? Besides, President Bush is 61 years old and a big boy now. Let him defend himself.
Additionally, Bush and democratism have become religions unto themselves. The chief article of faith is no longer the sinner's justification by the saving grace of Jesus Christ on account of one's faith, but on how enthusiastic they support pre-emptive war which discards the centuries old theory of Just War: http://www.iep.utm.edu/j/justwar.htm and http://www.justwartheory.com/. How sad is it, then, that so many Christians have abandoned their faith in Christ for faith in the supposedly infallible President Bush.
There will be voices out there, "But we conservatives disagree with Bush -- on things like illegal immigration and government spending." Fair point, Bush can jeopardize the national security of the nation because he has blatantly refused to defend our borders but he is lauded because he wages war 6000 miles away and against a country that did not attack us. Waging an offensive war and refusing to defend the nation's borders are both recantations of conservative doctrine.
"History will vindicate Bush. He'll be viewed like Harry Truman is now," many are resorting to parroting. The only reason Bush defenders are left to this is because that is their last hope. Bush has proven himself incompetent in the present and his only hope for vindication is that the future will look beyond his shortcomings. Bush has thrown in all of his chips on Iraq which must somehow stabilize itself to show that Bush was not a foolish man for invading a country that did not attack us. If Iraq remains in anarchy or ends up becoming a province of Iran, the whole enterprise will officially have been a failure.
So why has Republican Party fidelity been reduced to support for the war? Bush has abandoned all other conservative principles which people tepidly criticize, but not an aggressive war. Again, why? I am not entirely sure, but I do know this: the Republican Party once stood for prudence in military affairs and could be counted on to protect the nation. Not under Bush.
I resent the casting out of principled conservatives over one issue. It happened to Pat Buchanan in years past and it happened more recently to Ron Paul. If membership in the GOP and conservative movement means unwavering support for war and nothing else, count me out. Conservatives have a historic principle of non-interventionism and the avoidance of "pre-emptive" or aggressive wars.
As that otherwise superfluous gasbag Nietzsche said, "Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies."