[From my pre-weblog of 12 April 1995]
There is supposed to be a sort of rip-tide of conservatism sucking the nation down at the moment—so we read in the papers anyway. A veritable conservative revolution is said to be in the works, with Newt Gingrich leading the charge and Rush Limbaugh sounding the bugle. Legions are prepared to reinvent government and create a virtual utopia. Yeah. Sure. I’ll believe it when I see it. So far what do we have to support this notion? Well, we have one slightly-used talk-show host, no different in essence from his predecessors Morton Downy Jr., William F. Buckley, or Paul Harvey. We have one skewed off-year election, characterized by record-low voter turnout, paper-thin victories by a party in the grips of a minority ideology, and all the uncertainties of recent redistricting. And we have an enraged and volatile public, ready to lash out at anything and everybody.
If the conservatives think they’ve tamed that tiger, they’re kidding themselves. When the people figure out that they’ve been conned—and this may not take long if the representatives in Congress continue to vote tax breaks for the rich at the expense of legitimate programs that benefit everybody—they are as likely to turn on them as anybody. Hell with it.