2008/06/20

The failure of Goldwater-Reagan conservatism

I agree with Jonathan Lasts' assertion ("Bush isn't evil or stupid, just a bad manager" Jun 20) that President Bush cannot be both evil and stupid. That's like saying "We can't swim in that lake because it's polluted and it's full of fish." I come down on the side that says Bush is evil, but I explain Bush's failure by saying that the Republican conservatism of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan is a deeply flawed philosophy.
The flooding problems of the Midwest (And the collapse of the I35W bridge over the Mississippi in Minnesota, Katrina-New Orleans and the wildfires of California) can be explained in the words of Grover Norquist "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." The two goals of maintaining the infrastructure of modern industrial society and keeping government small and cheap are utterly incompatible and mutually contradictory
Like Communism in Russia, the flawed ideas of Republican conservatism have been implemented without any concern for the human cost of doing so. What we're witnessing now is the utter bankruptcy of that philosophy. Hopefully, Barack Obama can act as Franklin D. Roosevelt did and save capitalism from its own excesses.

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