Byline: Kate Obenshain, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The victor in the 2008 election was surely not conservatism. It was Peggy Joseph, caught on NBC at an Obama rally the week before the vote, saying if Barack Obama were elected I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. If I help him, he's going to help me. The stark, socialistic concept that government's job is to take care of us, to take money from some to give it to others won the day.
Conservatism - the notion that government's powers should be limited so that individuals can be unleashed from its oppressive, unnatural constraints to fulfill their potential - lost, no doubt about it. Individual responsibility and initiative, and freedom, itself, lost.
Not only was one election lost, but others down the road promise to go the way of this one as more and more citizens, such as Mrs. Joseph, become dependent on the pernicious, paralyzing beneficence of government. The impact of that victory will be damaging to conservatism, but it will not be fatal. Contrary to popular (liberal) belief, conservatism itself is far from dead. It is woven into the very fabric of our nation, as surely as the words penned by our Founding Fathers are still etched on the parchment beneath a glass case in Washington.
There is an -ism, however, that was dealt a fatal blow over the course of this election: feminism. I am not referring to a generic feminism, or equity feminism, to which all but the most Neanderthal of us subscribe: that women should have equal legal and civil rights as men, which, by the way, is guaranteed by law. I am talking about the death of radical (gender) feminism: the movement that seeks to abolish traditional gender roles and grant civil and legal preferences to women.
The initial hit came early on, from one of radical feminism's own, Hillary Clinton, whose behavior at every turn seemed to confirm the stereotypes of traditional gender roles that the radical feminist movement sought to obliterate. She cried when the going got tough; she was fickle over issues such as the war on terror and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants; she even softened her pro-abortion stance and came out against gay marriage. To top it all off, she claimed her qualifications for the job came from being the wife of the former president. Mercy. The resulting hue and cry from the feminists? Nil. They were right there with her. It was enough to them that a liberal woman was running for president. They were willing to engage in any hypocrisy necessary to get her to the top.
Then along comes Sarah Palin: to deliver, not intentionally or by frontal assault - but by her very existence - the fatal …