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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Editorial

George Bush campaigned on a compassionate conservative platform in 2000. Since then, Bush has proved to be neither compassionate, nor conservative. Bush has been accused by critics of pandering to big business, acquiescing to the religious right, and storming into a war with reckless abandon. Bush’s choice of language is usually misleading rather than enlightening. Recently, die hard conservatives have been taking issue with the fact Bush, who has accrued record setting budget deficits calls himself a conservative.

The New York Times Public Editor published a series of letters from conservatives around the country who objected to the NYTimes’ coverage of conservatives and conservatism. The letter writers claimed that in the past few years, conservatism has been unfairly linked with the religious right. Herb Berkowitz, vice president of communications for the Heritage Foundation for 25 years, wrote You place too much emphasis on the religious right, which occupies just one (albeit large and influential) corner of the conservative universe.”

It seems that with the Bush Administration’s recent plummet in the polls, Republicans have begun to change their alliances. ‘No, not me,’ they seem to be saying. In an article for The New Republic dated, July 11, 2005, Jonathan Chait wrote, “Conservatives recognize the administration’s failures to abide by its professed principles, especially on the growth of government, but this recognition seems not to temper their ideological triumphalism. They seem to spend half their time complaining about Bush’s ideological infidelity and the other half celebrating their unambiguous victory in the war of ideas.”

The recent Capitol Hill brawl over immigration legislation has brought more attention to Bush’s idealogical dispute with his conservative and religious base. Conservatives support tough new anti-immigration laws because they believe in preserving jobs for American workers. Bush splits with his party on this issue. Bush is a rancher from Texas which may give him more first hand knowledge of the vital role that immigrants play in our economy. For conservatives, this is one more step that Bush has taken away from the core ideals of conservatism.

The Republicans must be confused. The religious right and fiscal conservatives had a shotgun wedding to rush the democrats in 2004. Now the conservatives are crying foul, saying that Bush has strayed from the party line. Perhaps the conservatives who swallowed the empty promises that put Bush in the White House ought to reexamine their own credentials for candidacy. After all, nominating a recovering alcoholic, born again Christian, alleged cocaine user, and business failure does not seem like a very conservative move. No, electing Bush was a hope and prayer that never paid out, and it is not surprising that Conservatives are jumping ship.