The End of Greed Conservatism

One striking truth to emerge from the Group of 20 meeting is the growing triumph, among global conservatives, of an enlightened form of conservatism and the isolation, defeat and coming end of the Republican style of greed-based conservatism. Compare Harper of Canada, Merkel of Germany and Sarkozy of France with Republicans in Congress, Palin of Alaska and Jindal of Louisana.

Harper, Merkel and Sarkozy are conservatives, from conservative parties, with conservative philosophies. Yet they all favor strong new regulation to prevent the greed rampages that have gripped Wall Street. They all favor strong forms of national health insurance. They all favor major new action to combat global warming. They all favor a strong safety net to help the poor.

Conservatives Harper, Merkel and Sarkozy may not favor as much economic stimulus as President Obama, but they have already enacted significant economic growth and stimulus policies. Their views are totally divorced from the reactionary Party of No that comprises what is left of the Republican Party today. They are the true conservatives who believe, as Obama and most Democrats do, in enlightened self-interest and creative capitalism.

There is much I do not agree with from Harper, Merkel and Sarkozy, but there is also a very legitimate commitment to true capitalism. What Republicans are left with here is not capitalism but a greed economy in which the creation of individual wealth is divorced from the creation of products, services and wealth for the nation. Republicans here are ruled by ancient and corrupted concepts of laissez-faire and Darwinian greed leading to the corruptions and crises that plague us today.

When Cantor, McCain, Palin and other voices of the tired remains of the Republican Party accuse Obama of "socialism,” they are not attacking the left, they are attacking basic notions that most conservatives around the world support. It is conservatives Sarkozy and Merkel who favor hyper-regulation of corrupt markets. It is conservatives Sarkozy and Merkel, not Obama, who favor the strongest government intervention to regulate markets.

Most worldwide conservatives support economic growth policies. They support regulation of markets. They support action on global warming. They support national healthcare. They support the safety net for the poor. They do not support the current Republican doctrines of runaway greed, denial of global warming, the use of torture, or unfair healthcare policies.

History will show that George W. Bush destroyed modern conservatism in America. He was not a conservative, nor are those Republicans who call themselves conservatives but are not. Bush led the nation, with huge Republican support, to a centralized national government statism, leading to huge inequities that corrupted capitalism into something that is not capitalism, creating massive deficits and the seeds that grew into our current crisis today.

Republicans in Congress became supplicant to Bush. A right-wing base dominates that party in ways that have nothing to do with real conservatism, and in fact have violated cardinal rules of conservatism and cardinal values that have long constituted Americanism.

Modern Republicans are a brain-dead party, the Party of No, the Party of Yesterday, the discredited party that has done the most to cause our crisis. They try every day to keep alive the dead hand of discredited ideas that have been rejected by American voters and long ago abandoned by true conservatives around the world.

We are witnessing today the slow and ugly death of greed-based conservatism. The road of Cantor, Palin and Jindal is the Bridge to Nowhere and the death knell of the Republican Party. Conservatives around the world have learned this, and until the Republicans learn this, they will be in the death grip of the far right, chained to the dead hand of the past, destined to disappear into the fringe.