posted by Dylan Hales
This is a link to a recent youtube by The Southern Avenger that touches on a lot of the same themes I talked about it the piece I wrote about William Buckley for this blog.
Expanding on this theme a little, ere is an interesting comparison for modern day conservatives to think about.
In the Utah Republican Primary this year, nearly 90 percent of the vote went to the supposed standard bearer of modern day conservatism within the GOP, Mitt Romney. This of course was the assumed result in Utah, because Romney is a Mormon and the state of Utah has long been the Zion for the Church of Latter Day Saints.
While there is no question that identity politics have played a huge role in this campaign on both sides of the aisle, it is interesting to note that it wasn't all that long ago when the state of Utah elected as its governor the iconoclastic, authentic conservative Bracken Lee. Bracken Lee was a two term chief executive of Utah despite the fact that he was not at any point in his adult life a practicing Mormon. Lee campaigned heavily in the state as a skeptic of the state's liquor monopoly and was well known in his previous role as mayor of the city of Price as someone largely willing to allow other "social crimes" to fall into a state of salutary neglect (i.e. non-enforcement). His major claim to fame was his contempt for the income tax and he was at one point an active tax resistor while in the Governor's mansion (one of the primary reasons Lee said he was resisting the federal income tax? His belief that foreign aid was wasteful and unconstitutional!).
The question then is this? What happened? Even in the semi-separatist Mormon state of Utah, in the pre-National Review, pre-neocon, pre-Beltway conservatism days, a free market, anti-social engineering, non-religious, anti-UN, federal tax resistor could be elected to the highest office in the state twice, and serve as mayor of the state's capital city after that.
Contrast the record of Bracken Lee with Mitt Romney. It should be an embarrassment for conservatives to claim Romney as one of their own. Romney wants to expand NATO and international aid. His claim to fame as Governor was his compulsory health care system that forces the public to buy a private product, a collectivist position that takes the worst from Fascism and Communism and fuses them. The man has never taken a principled stand on anything, especially social issues where he has flipped often (see his view on gay rights, abortion, immigration, et.).
If Mitt Romney is the new flagship brand for conservatism in America, we are worse shape then even our biggest pessimists are letting on. The people of Utah may have voted in huge numbers for a fellow Mormon, but they didn't vote for a fellow conservative, and the end result of voting patterns like this will be more taxes, more government and more wars.