Remember when the term "liberal" used to be whispered around political circles like a swear word? Conservatives would keep it in the campaign bag-o-tricks to pull out in an emergency. No longer. If this election has proved one thing is that public sentiment has turned away from the classical "conservative" point of view, and has trended more liberal. All the conservative movement has left is the abortion and gay marriage arguments. These two issues are of course important to many voters, but if that is all you can campaign on you end up with a campaign like John McCain's.
Remember when the conservative movement was the champion of fiscal responsibility? Well you have to go back to Clinton, a Democrat, to get a balanced budget and deficit reductions. Obviously it looks a little funny to be campaigning on fiscal responsibility when your guy in charge for the last eight years has overseen the largest expansion of the federal government since FDR.
Remember when the Neocon's hawkish attitude looked bold and aggressive. These guys were going to go above and beyond to protect America's freedoms and interests around the world. Now we have a world where more people dislike us then like us. We have managed to squander the goodwill of the world in eight short years. Looks like the Bush Doctrine was maybe not the best idea for protecting out interests LONG TERM. Sure we would secure the goal right now, but if 15 million people in the country hate us for it, has that really advanced our interests?
Remember when tax cuts and less regulation seemed like the be all, end all of economic theory? Not so much anymore. Wall Street has taught us that unregulated markets behave like they always have in our history, as a greed inducing orge of temporary profit followed by a massive collapse. Tax cuts are great, I mean who want to pay taxes...right? We have seen over the past few years that tax cuts for the wealthy DO NOT trickle down to the lower groups. If we want to stimulate the economy, how about trying from the bottom up?
On these three critical areas, it appears what has been orthodox conservative thought has been failing the American public for quite some time. The McCain campaign has tried the "liberal" label without much result. Now they are trying to go even further by throwing around the "socialist" label. My guess is that it won't work either. It may fire up the base to yell obscenities even louder at a McCain event, but the American people are looking past the insults and fear mongering to results, and that may just mean the death knell of the conservative movement as we know it today.
3 months ago