Submitted by D.R. Tucker on Fri, 01/22/2010 - 04:16
Scott Brown’s victory happened for a reason.
Massachusetts progressives were shell-shocked last Tuesday when it was announced that Martha Coakley had conceded the US Senate election to Brown. It’s been a couple of days, and it still hasn’t sunk in for them.
Progressives across the country know that Brown’s victory poses long-term problems for the left. Forget about what it portends for the 2010 midterms and the 2012 Presidential election. Brown’s win horrifies the left because he has weakened the power of progressive stereotyping.
Progressive bloggers and Democratic apparatchiks threw everything they could at Brown—and none of it stuck. He was accused of misogyny, homophobia, and obedience to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh—and a majority of voters in the country’s bluest state failed to buy any of it.
Brown’s victory proves that the old insults don’t work anymore. If you’re a Republican candidate who focuses on real issues, your ideological adversaries will be reduced to branding you a teabagging extremist instead of developing substantive responses to your ideas. If you connect with the voters, your ideological adversaries will find themselves compelled to demonize those voters.
If Barack Obama’s 2008 victory represented the shattering of old racial barriers, Brown’s victory represents the shattering of old ideological barriers. Thanks to Brown, blue-state conservatives and Republicans can now live their lives openly, unafraid of idiotic insults and scurrilous smears.
There was a collective sigh of relief from the blue-state right on Tuesday night. For years, conservatives and Republicans in overwhelmingly Democratic states had to live their lives in fear and shame, having been convicted without trial on charges of ignorance and intolerance. They suffered in silence, realizing that they could not convince ideologically rigid progressives that they too, believed in equality, fairness and diversity, disagreeing only on the manner through which such goals should be achieved.
Now, in the wake of Brown’s victory, they can finally live in peace and freedom, acknowledging their true selves and affirming their true identities. They can finally march down the street in a parade of patriotic pride.
Brown will forever be a hero to blue-state conservatives. He embodies what conservatism actually is: upbeat, hopeful, forward-thinking, energetic. For too long, progressive activists and Democratic strategists have raised the specter of sulking, snarling, scowling Southern conservatives as a means of scaring people away from conservative and Republican ideas; they will no longer be able to get away with such attacks. Brown has demonstrated that an optimistic person from any part of the country can find merit in the right’s core philosophy.
Brown connected with the young, with suburbanites, with people who had long since checked out of politics. He had a compelling message that he delivered with skill—and he defeated Coakley by sheer force of will.
There are millions of “Scott Brown Republicans” in this country. They embrace conservatism because they recognize that the right’s core principles, when adhered to, result in true prosperity and true progress. They know that income tax reduction creates the rising tide that lifts all boats. They know that sometimes, those who defend us must go the extra mile in order to guarantee our safety. They know that government is necessary, but its size, scope and power must always have clear limits. They know that judges who idealize the Constitution are preferable to judges who ignore it. Above all, they know that America is, was, and will always be the last, best hope of mankind.
“Scott Brown conservatism” is what this country needs, what this country wants, what this country must have. “Scott Brown conservatism” is the sort of clean conservatism that can attract rather than repel, that can heal rather than wound, that can rebuild rather than destroy. “Scott Brown conservatism” is real compassionate conservatism, as opposed to the hyped-up hooey of ten years ago.
“Scott Brown conservatism” doesn’t care who or what you are, not even what party you belong to, so long as you love the Constitution and the freedoms and principles that august document stands for. “Scott Brown conservatism” is more than just “conservatism that can win again”—heck, it already has won, and will continue to win in the future.
Scott Brown’s victory happened for a reason. “Scott Brown conservatism” exists for the reason—to renew America, to protect and preserve this country’s greatness, and to add just a little more light to the shining city on a hill.