once-reliable conservatives who won liberal praise by adopting liberal policies. Of a sudden, an erstwhile Neanderthal would be treated in the Washington Post as someone who was no longer “simplistic” and “shrill” but rather a figure who had “grown” and showed himself to be “nuanced.”Let's face it: It is tough to be a conservative in the current political and social environment. It is even tougher today than when Bethell created his award. It is tiring and relentless work to remain faithful to conservative principles. A conservative must stay on top of the facts all the time--and know where to find them since the leftist media will play fast and loose with those facts, even the most recent events quickly get rewritten. A conservative must have not only well-tuned analytical skills, but know history, economics, and even basic science (e.g., for dealing with the "global warming" hoax, or the anti-frack loons.) A conservative must withstand ceaseless liberal attacks, many of them personal, based on emotion and catch phrases, e.g., "You want children to die?" A conservative politician has it even harder: he, or, especially, she must live in an atmosphere heavily polluted by media, bureaucratic, Hollywood, and academic liberal biases. A woman, Latino, or black conservative will quickly find that liberal opponents are free to use the most vile misogynistic and racist terminology. A conservative's most carefully chosen and thought out words will get misreported, distorted, ridiculed, and dismissed. The Mau-Mauing, in short, is often highly personal , including attacks on family--e.g., Governor Palin's experience--and almost always non-stop--starts with the morning talk show and continues with the late night comics.
It takes a VERY thick hide and supreme self-confidence to resist this attack. It, therefore, is not surprising when conservatives or "moderate" Republicans crack under the assault. They will seek relief from the assault by trying to demonstrate in some dramatic way that, hey, they are not so right wing, that they do have pure hearts, that they do love puppies and children. This will lead them, for example, to support some big new government program--Presidents Nixon and Bush, for example, were guilty of this--or to stab another conservative in the back--the reaction, for example, by some GOPers to Senator Cruz's valiant stand on Obamacare.
We have seen many Republicans crack like this: to name a few, McCain, Graham, Christie, Rubio, and even the usually hard-as-nails Gingrich (e.g., hanging with Sharpton). They all felt a need for Bethell's "Strange New Respect Award." An intelligent man such as Rubio, for example, got pounded into supporting a bizarre immigration reform plan that would serve to create millions of new Democratic voters. McCain has been constant a seeker of the award, his attempts are just too numerous to record them all, but we note: his sabotage of Governor Palin; his support for the whacky immigration reform mentioned before; his backing of Obama's bizarre Libya and Syria policies; and now, of course, his failure to back defunding Obamacare and his attacks on Senator Cruz.
In my view, a conservative's default position must be to oppose all new government programs, regardless of how high-sounding they are, and constantly seek to eliminate or reduce existing programs. Any government program in the "socio-economic-humanitarian" realm will get taken over by liberals. Liberals in America are the party of government; one of the Democrats greatest source of votes and funds is government employees. Even programs aimed at essential functions such as national defense must be monitored fiercely for "mission creep." I think the average American would be stunned by how much of the Pentagon's budget goes to items with little or no relevance to national defense. First off there are way too many flag rank officers and senior civilians. Even worse, however, the Pentagon, for example, has programs and offices dedicated to environmental issues, a lavish and wasteful PX/Commissary system, diversity and EEO offices, and lawyers, lawyers, lawyers, my God, does the Pentagon have lawyers. The liberals, by the way, have targeted the military for a special and sustained assault. The armed forces, long just about the only conservative-dominated branch of the federal government, is under liberal attack to undermine that largely male conservatism. The heavy promotion of women; the insistence on the acceptance of gays; the insistence on political correctness in military education and programs that made the Ft. Hood shooting possible, etc.
I don't want to make this any longer. I just get more and more pessimistic about the future of our country as I see Republicans striving for that "Strange New Respect" from the liberals who are destroying the nation.