Getting beyond liberal and conservative is part of the problem. Both have made errors and both have fallen upon success. Some of our greatest mistakes (Eisenhower overthrowing Mosadegh and installing the Shah in a CIA Coup proved a drastic mistake but seemed necessary to keep the Soviets away from the oil fields) were never realized for decades after they were made.
The left accepted slaughters under the soviets and the Chinese worse than the holocaust. Reagan was the end of a line of action that started with Truman. Like WWII the soviets were defeated by our superior economy more than our superior military. They were also a victim of their own internal ethnic strife like Yugoslavia.
But success is knowing what worked yesterday, and many of yesterday’s victories are our failures today.
Our economy and our diplomacy is not a small boat that can be turned around every 4 or 8 years. Reagan’s success was owed to Truman, and Nixon. His economic policies, and Bush the first’s resolution of the S&L crisis were more responsible for the booming 90’s than Clinton’s tax hikes.
But when everything is broken down into left and right and liberal and conservative – we lose a continuity that is so necessary to maintain a strong economy and a policy that is committed to defeating evil.
The supremacy of the individual, the rights of women and minorities, freedom of the press and religion, and property rights should be commonly American. They can not be promulgated by military might alone, but there are enemies to those uniquely American rights that only a strong military can face, and we learned that we can not wait until they come here to do it.
In spite of Bush’s many failures, I, like Lieberman, find greater fault with those who demonize the political opposition more than our enemies who preach a second holocaust while denying the first, and post snuff films (beheadings) on You tube.