Americans suffer from long-term memory loss. Their short term works just fine. It’s every four to eight years, when the changing of the guard occurs in Washington D.C., that they seem to forget what they learned from their own party. When the other “side” returns to power they are once again happy to cling to their partisan beliefs and take comfort in their partisan news sources.
Point in case: the conservatives.
During the eight years of the Bush administration, many conservatives learned a lesson. The scales fell of their eyes, so to speak.
After 9/11, many conservatives, caught up in the fervor of patriotism and the fear of terrorism, supported George W. Bush. When he stood at ground zero and spoke through his megaphone, they listened. But as the war on terror escalated, along with the war on domestic terror, many on the right began to have their doubts.
The PATRIOT Act, Military Commissions Act and renewal of FISA were just some of the actions by the Republicans and Bush that began to raise red flags for many conservatives. Even FOX News lost much of its likeability with its war trumpeting, support for the PATRIOT Act and belittling of 9-11 “truthers” and Ron Paul supporters. Many on the right began to realize that the two-party system was, in reality, a one-party system. Their long held beliefs that the Republican Party was the party of small government and liberty were shattered.
And when Bush bailed out the banking industry, simultaneously increasing the national debt and federal government power, conservatives appeared to have had enough.
But nine months into the leftist Obama administration and conservatives are once again tuning into FOX News — confident this time, Beck and Hannity are on their side.
It’s as if conservatives are betrayed “lovers” who swore never to go back to the party they loved after being cheated on. But after professing its undying love and promising to be faithful, the Republican Party/FOX News machine has once again wooed many conservatives.
Conservatives now are more concerned with ACORN and socialism than they are the permanent threats to their civil liberties George W. Bush created. They have forgotten their brief, anti-war sympathies and traded them in for a watchful, ready eye on Iran.
Perhaps conservatives and liberals will never permanently reject the parties supposedly representing them. Maybe it’s human nature to want to believe in ideological differences and take sides. If four to eight years is all it takes for partisans to forget the atrocities committed by their own party, perhaps a one-party system is what they deserve.