from Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish, Conservatism Isn’t Dead:
If conservatives want to win elections, their platform is going to have to be populist and realistic. That means small government, but the cuts have to start with the left’s sacred cows, rather than expecting the bulk of the Republican electorate to suck it up for the greater good. I would love to see a conservative candidate announce a plan to stop plowing more money into failed Democratic cities instead of announcing yet another bright scheme to slash the military or Medicare.
Likewise the “exporting Democracy” school of conservatives were thoroughly discredited by the Arab Spring. Their agenda is mainstream among the establishment, but conservatives need a sensible realistic foreign policy approach that avoids the extremes of nation building and isolationism, that puts national interests first while at the same time recognizing that we are a world power.
Americans have no interest in fighting wars for futile missions to build democracy. But neither are they willing to sit around and watch a group like ISIS take off. What is needed is an approach that emphasizes decisive military intervention against enemies without regard for collateral damage while minimizing American casualties. We should sharply slash much of our foreign aid budget and look at what actually builds influence and what doesn’t. Foreign aid should be closely interlinked with our economic interests, the way that it is in China, and our international interests. We are not a charity.
The Republican Party in general suffers from an inability to communicate its agenda in ways that people can understand. Conservatives are not immune from this problem. During the Obama years, they compensated by doubling down on opposition. But they haven’t produced a positive, coherent agenda that appeals to people. And they haven’t bridged the gap with ordinary people.