The Norman Transcript

Columns

December 8, 2012

In defense of conservatism

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Perhaps one can find some humor in the dictionary definition of conservative as “moderately cautious.” Its synonyms — reasonable, temperate and judicious – are descriptors that most would normally appreciate. But for us on the right, the term “moderate” is decidedly negative and misdirected at reality-based conservatives who dare question the ideological. 

Even with a consistent record of cutting taxes and spending, this conservative economist was dinged for questioning a study by Arduin, Laffer and Moore and even jabbed in a Wall Street Journal editorial for issuing a “bogus” opposing report.

Of course, no such report existed and the editorial was written by Stephen Moore, who along with Laffer was being paid by OCPA for services rendered. Seemingly forgotten was that our policy positions are in alignment much more often than not.

Recently, the Oklahoman urged “caution in cutting the income tax without offsets,” siding with the more “moderate voices.” Their use of the M-word may be correct according to Webster’s. But in politics such characterization scores a win for the agenda-driven ideologues who seek to redefine conservatism, which begs the question: moderate compared to what?

Ronald Reagan, the deserved standard bearer of conservative principles, would no doubt be attacked in today’s political climate since he failed the revenue-neutral test by signing several tax increases.

The fact that he greatly lowered income tax rates overall and shrunk the highest marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent would not be good enough.

When reminded of this inconvenient fact, Republican Senator Jon Kyl said, “Reagan was in a situation where he had to compromise in order to get some things done.” Gee, with the pending fiscal cliff and three years with no federal budget, I guess we’re not there yet.

Though the 100-percent litmus test currently shows little sign of abatement, with principled statesmen like Coburn reclaiming the real(ist) definition of conservatism, perhaps soon we will be able to focus our energy on the 99-percent where conservatives agree rather than the 1-percent where we do not.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matt Lauer is so last century

    How about we rename “The Today Show” the “Yesterday Show” since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953? Isn’t what Lauer asked GM CEO Mary Barra about whether she’ll do “well” at being simultaneously an executive and a mom about, oh, 30 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Religion’s role shrinking

    Surveying the response to last month’s Hobby Lobby decision, I was struck by a comment from progressive Massachusetts senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren....

    July 12, 2014