My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, September 23, 2005

Republican Amnesia...

Does Bush and the Republicans have any conservative principles?
President Bush's Sept. 15 speech from New Orleans, while graceful and touching, contained no hint of humility about the reach of federal power or the capacity of government to get things done. "We'll not just rebuild," he declared, "we'll build higher and better."

This is not a conservative perspective. The people of the region need immediate help and comfort, but why must we rush headlong into a rebuilding program, particularly one funded and controlled from Washington? The president pronounced that "Americans have never left our destiny to the whims of nature, and we will not start now." That sort of hubris can get you into trouble. Governments don't know how to build cities. Besides, one might have thought that Katrina had just taught a bitter lesson about thumbing one's nose at nature. Would it really be unthinkable for Baton Rouge to take New Orleans' place as the most important city in Louisiana?

Finally, there is the Democrats' favorite topic -- the perennial matter of race. Suddenly, Republicans seem to have suffered an attack of amnesia. The president attributes poverty in New Orleans to a history of racial discrimination and proposes, as Stephen Moore coined it in The Wall Street Journal, a "GOP New Deal."

In truth, as conservatives have patiently argued for 25 years, poverty in America today is primarily a matter of culture, not race. It is the result of family disintegration above all. Republicans have reduced poverty in America dramatically -- especially that of black children -- by welfare reform. There is more to be done on that front, but not by adopting the liberals' mantra about racism.

Republicans seem to be forgetting not just their principles but their own past successes -- and that is an invitation to failure.