JoT then made the following comment:
"when conservatives and liberals disagreed about something 50 or 100 years ago, but they agree about it now, it was always the liberals whose side won out."
Conservative economic theory has triumphed. The idea that capital should flow without restriction across national borders, and that capitalism, as a social organizing force, is the best tool for the spread of liberty and happiness has clearly beaten the liberal social schemes of socialism and communism.
Conservative belief in state's rights has kept the federal system of the US alive, even though liberal New Dealers tried to tear it down and replace it with a highly centralized government. So long as the states have the right to impose taxes and grant their citizens rights above and beyond those conveyed by the national constitution, federalism will remain the most important force in the government. In fact, in 2000, we saw the ultimate expression of Federalism, as the states, not the people, elected a President.
Conservative belief in the idea that the people should defend themselves (a well regulated militia) has been successfully expressed in the rejection of gun control as a national political objective of the Democratic party, and, in a related development, the all-volunteer armed forces. (No Republican has ever instituted a draft).
The liberals have led on the issues of human rights (racial and gender), and on the need for government regulation of raw capitalism (the New Deal), but interestingly the Democratic party was as much of a foe to both as the Republican party until after the battle was mostly won. And the liberal constituency certainly hasn't "always" won.
The question that faces liberals and conservatives now is "what party do I support?"
If you are a "liberal" how do you feel about the Democratic party's continued resistance to charter schools, support for NAFTA, a litmus test for judicial appointments and the support for the continuation of racial preferences in education?
If you are a "conservative" how do you reconcile the Republican support for an expanded Medicare drug benefit, or tariffs on steel imports, a budget deficit without parallel cuts in discretionary spending, or the military interventions in Haiti and Liberia?
If you are a liberal, but church-going black or hispanic American, how do you square your support of the Democratic party with an obvious distaste on the part of large constituencies in that party for religious practice or belief?
If you are a libertarian/conservative, how do you reconcile your Republican votes with a party that continues to exhibit irrational prejudices against homosexuals and the harmless use by adults of erotica and recreational drugs?
I believe (as originally stated) that eventually the parties will move closer to honesty espousing their belief in the evil/good innate human character, then square up their policies with that belief system, which will reduce some of the irrationalities.
-Ryan S. Dancey