Obama delivered. His presentation was smooth and confident. He stuck - roughly - to the topics presented and made his case.
McCain's presentation was choppy and erratic. Whatever momentum Sarah Palin gave the McCain campaign is spent. I don't believe that he said anything different tonight than we've heard a dozen times before - and he didn't even say it in a different way. It was the same old John McCain tonight. The same old McCain who is BEHIND in the polls already and fading. But he doesn't seem to realize it.
Reality is setting in at Saint Louis Conservative. Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. That fact has significant implications and should prompt the conservative movement into action. The sooner the better.
We have to put an end to conservative complacency. Conservatives haven't had a leader emerge since Ronald Reagan. In a previous post I asked if the appointment of Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court was the worst mistake that Ronald Reagan ever made. Allow me to answer that question now . . . it wasn't. Ronald Reagan's worst mistake was the selection of George H.W. Bush as his running mate instead of a true conservative. Picking Bush as his V.P. resulted in turning over the keys to the Republican party to a moderate after eight years of Reagan's leadership. Bush 41 begot Clinton who begot Bush 43 . . . next comes Obama. How would history have changed if Reagan had nominated Jack Kemp instead of Bush? We need leadership. Will it be coming from Alaska? Louisiana?
Maybe the next great conservative doesn't even hold an elected office yet. But it is time to focus on the grassroots levels of politics to develop such a leader (or leaders). We need conservative mayors and council members, state representatives and senators. Get to know who is running. Support the conservatives. Run yourself even.
We also have to retake the GOP or leave it. For years, the Republican Party has tried to be a "big tent" party where folks were welcomed in no matter what they believed in. Party membership these days requires only a preference for elephants over donkeys. You don't have to believe in lower taxes, smaller government, military strength, the right to life, or anything else for that matter. Just agree to vote with "our" block come election day and you're in. The party will support you. That must change. If the party doesn't stand for something, it shouldn't stand at all.
As long as conservatives remain in the GOP, we must prepare ourselves to be an opposition party once again. Historically, we're good at it. Principled opposition stopped the Hillary Clinton socialized medicine plan. Conservative opposition stopped the amnesty for illegal immigrants bill. We can't stop every bad thing the Democrats will propose but if attention is focused in Congress when it really matters, Republicans can remain a force to be reckoned with.
As pro-lifers, conservatives must realize that for our generation, we've lost the Supreme Court. With an Obama presidency, we cannot expect in our lifetimes to gain the votes to overturn Roe v. Wade. That "simple" solution is impossible. So the time is now to focus our energies in other venues . . . public opinion and potentially a constitutional amendment to protect the rights of unborn children. It is either that or give up the fight altogether. I'm not willing to do that. And the conservative movement can't be either.
Watch your wallet, endure the pain and prepare for midterm elections in 2010 and our next chance to regain the presidency . . . 2012.