Sunday, August 3, 2008

Youth Against 'Hope'

My latest article at The American Spectator:
Support among younger voters and academics is Obama's greatest political strength. One poll last month showed the Democrat with a 12-point advantage among registered voters under 30, while Gallup reported Obama leading 54 percent to 39 percent among those with postgraduate degrees.
Despite such evidence of rampant Hope within academia, conservative activism on American campuses continues, as evidenced by the more than 400 students who are gathering in the nation's capital this week for the Young America's Foundation 30th annual National Conservative Student Conference.
YAF spokesman Jason Mattera says Obama's popularity among students is partly due to the idealism of youth who are "most susceptible to Obama's pie-in-the sky promises," having had little experience with "bloated federal bureaucracy" and its consequences. ...
YAF is dedicated to promoting another youth hero: Ronald Reagan.
Read the whole thing. A major reason the "Eggheads for Obama" factor is such a serious problem for the GOP this year is because the Bush administration, Republican leaders in Congress and the McCain campaign have so utterly abandoned the kind of limited-government principles Ronald Reagan stood for.

A Republican Party that doesn't stand firm on limited government -- and, from No Child Left Behind to Medicare Part D to nationalizing airport security, the Bush administration has completely repudiated Reaganism -- is ultimately doomed. You can't beat something with nothing, and a GOP that doesn't stand for anything can't hope to compete by offering a watered-down "me-too" version of the same big-government philosophy as the Democrats.

This is especially true on college campuses, where conservative students nowadays find themselves mocked for the indefensible idiocies of the Bush administration, and are at pains to point out that George W. Bush is not a conservative (a subject that former Reagan administration official Bruce Bartlett wrote a whole book about).

The non-conservatism -- indeed, the anti-conservatism -- of Bush is a major reason so many young conservatives supported the Ron Paul campaign this year. And, given the even-less-conservative deviationism of Crazy Cousin John, the disaffection of youth from the GOP is likely to get worse before it gets better, regardless of who wins in November.


  1. "... so utterly abandoned the kind of limited-government principles Ronald Reagan stood for ..."

    Look I love Reagan, but if you're going to make a persuasive case you really should avoid mythmaking. Big government got bigger during the Reagan-Bush years.

    I'm sure even Ron Paul would agree...

  2. I’m not sure what new major entitlement programs Reagan signed into law, but Bush has done so and I’m sure McCain supported those programs.

    If you actually look at the real numbers, you will find that federal spending grew more slowly under Reagan than any President since Eisenhower. This is especially the case if military spending is taken out of the picture. There was a slow down of federal government spending under Clinton, but this was due to the Republicans in Congress.

    In Reagan’s farewell address, he lamented the fact he wasn’t able to do more to reduce the size of the federal government. One of the reasons for this of course was the deep recession that took place in the first two years of his first term, caused in large part by sky high interest rates. This prevented Reagan from keeping his working majority in the House, and made arguing for smaller government less effective.

    The fact that Neocons praise figures such as FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ should tell us that they have little to no interest in reducing the size of the federal government.

    Like all good leftists, I see that American-neocon includes the Bush I administration along with Reagan’s two terms. The real myth is that the Neocons loved Reagan when he was in office. While the Neocons liked Reagan more once he obtained power (funny how that happens), they still took shots at him during his time in office, mainly for not being more interventionist of course.