Wednesday, January 4, 2012

conservatives have nothing to fear but fear itself

This is an amplification of a comment I made on the OzConservative blog recently.

One thing that really intrigues me about the leadership of the conservative parties is - what exactly are they afraid of? If you were a conservative leader and you came out for genuinely conservative policies you’d lose the votes of the tree-huggers, of the Marxist feminists, of the extremists in the gay lobby, of left-wing university lecturers, of vegan activists, of the climate change loonies and the mung bean-munchers in the inner cities. But those people are not going to vote for a conservative party anyway. You’d lose the support of the left-wing media. But the left-wing media are never going to support a conservative party anyway. So in reality you’d lose nothing.

The only voters who matter are the swinging voters and they’ll vote for anyone who brings economic prosperity, security and law and order.

So in reality there’s nothing to be afraid if. It’s obvious that the leaderships of conservative parties everywhere are afraid of phantoms, of illusions.

Look at the conservative leaders who have been hugely successful electorally over the past forty years - Margaret Thatcher in Britain, Ronald Reagan in the US, John Howard in Australia. All of them terrified the “moderates” in their own parties. All of them went on to win multiple elections with huge majorities. The electorate wasn’t terrified of their genuinely conservative stance.

As Margaret Thatcher so succinctly put it, “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.”

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