Over the weekend, Germany continued the recent trend of western democracies, electing conservative government. In fact, not only did the German people hand Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrat party (CDU) a sweeping victory, they did so in historic fashion. This was the largest victory by any single German party since 1957, when the CDU won a majority of seats under the leadership of Konrad Adenauer. In Germany’s multiparty system, it is extremely difficult for any one party to win an outright majority of the votes. Usually the party that wins the most votes is forced to join in a partnership with a smaller party to form a ruling coalition. The CDU is very close to outright majority, and if they do indeed need to form a coalition, will likely have their pick of smaller parties to choose from.
We’d be fooling ourselves if we thought of most European (and Australian) conservatives as conservatives from an American perspective – they are not. True conservatives in these nations often lack a voice in government because their culture has shifted so far to the left, both politically and socially. It is one reason why the move to defund Obamacare is so important. If we allow Obamacare to become part of the fabric of law, it will be almost impossible to ever rid ourselves of it. Much like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other government funded welfare programs that were once hated by conservatives, but are now embraced as important parts of our social structure. If Obamacare is allowed to be funded, it is very likely we will never again see true American conservatism. Consider that British conservatives were once against their own socialized healthcare program (the National Health Service or NHS), yet now support it along with their liberal counterparts.
Just look at what Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the British conservatives, said about the NHS back in 2009. “Just look at all the support which the NHS has received on Twitter over the last couple of days. It is a reminder — if one were needed — of how proud we in Britain are of the NHS. Millions of people are grateful for the care they have received from the NHS – including my own family. One of the wonderful things about living in this country is that the moment you’re injured or fall ill — no matter who you are, where you are from, or how much money you’ve got — you know that the NHS will look after you.” There are some conservatives still fighting against socialism in Britain, but when the leader of their party speaks out so boldly for it… it says a lot about the state of conservatism in the country.
While the conservatives in Britain, Australia, Norway and Germany may not be the kinds of conservatives we could vote for, there is reason to be optimistic about their victories. The world is waking up to the backwards nature of socialism, and the counter-intuitive decisions that socialism forces people to make. It speaks volumes that Germany, probably the most conservative mainland European nation, has navigated the economic collapse of the last 5-6 years most effectively. Germany is the economic engine of Europe, and the German people have supported Chancellor Merkel’s conservative economic policies throughout her administration. “Surveys show Mrs Merkel’s cautious handling of the eurozone crisis is strongly endorsed by the German public. After eight years in power, her approval ratings still regularly top 60 per cent.”
Germany has built its stability on economic conservatism – choosing less spending, lower taxes, fewer welfare projects, and more freedom for businesses to operate in a productive manner. And unlike the United States, Germany has been able to keep its pristine triple-A credit rating through stagnant economic times. Meanwhile, the liberal policies of Greece, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal have delivered those nations into dire economic straits.
Hopefully, the recent trend towards conservatism bodes well for us here in the United States. Will our people take notice of the disastrous effects of the liberal policies of President Obama (and yes, some of President Bush’s liberal policies as well)? Or will they blind themselves to the harmful nature of liberal economic policies and cast their votes for the Democrats again in 2014 and 2016?
I am cautiously optimistic that we conservatives will continue to win seats in the House and Senate in 2014, and that in 2016 the American people will be ready to see if conservatism can turn around our still failing economy.