I'll say it if nobody else will: we on the Right have no clue how to win a peace.
How do I mean? I mean that when it comes to political wars, mostly mid-term elections, we can talk a big talk and, seemingly, walk a big walk. We can win elections...and then do nothing with them (best case scenario). It is the same here in America as in Britain to our Tory brothers and sisters.
Why do I think we lost the last election? In a nutshell, we lost because we are adrift. We have fallen, so to speak, into a lie and a folly. That folly and lie is near-akin to the lie propagated by our adversaries for over fifty years that seemingly won't die. And it is this: that all human problems can be solved by either A) more "liberty," more "freedom," and more "stuff"; or B) that a new government program or initiative can bring about more happiness...by giving away more stuff and services.
This is the false dilemma that the GOP (and conservatives in general) are facing: become little more than liberals in all but name or go hard right and become a wholly "libertarian" party.
Here's the rub for my free-market friends and my big-government buddies: both capitalism and socialism are unhealthy in their unrestricted forms as we see them today. They both have the same ending: collectivization, either by the all-encompassing state or by a small number of ultra-massive corporations who set the prices and distribution of all goods and services. We on the Right lost the last election because we fell into the overriding folly of current political discourse: that all things in life must be discussed and addressed in material terms, that everything can be bought at a price, and that material wealth resolves all problems.
And this is just in regards to the economy. Don't get me started on the cultural and social problems.
Our plight, as it were, is that once in power, we continue on with the same old policies of our predecessors or enact policies even more damaging.
The issue is thus: the libertarians are so secular and so materially-minded that to elect them would only hasten the collapse of the GOP. And to become liberals in all but name...well, we know how that turns out.
What is being drowned out is, essentially, the conservative "Third Way": the so-called "Crunchy-Conservatives" that Rod Dreher speaks of in his book of the same name. And this could be their moment.
The GOP drifts without direction, arguing against itself on which direction to take, all the while the Left marches past closer and closer to the cliff at the "end of the world" (as in the flat-earth concept) with their social-democratic utopianism. And to many Americans, the choice between the ineffectual and divided GOP, the party of Big Business and Foreign Intervention and Legislative Morality on the one hand, and the Democrats, the party of Big Government, Judicial-Activist Fiat, and Obamacare is a turn-off. Conservatives who would vote for the GOP don't because they see it as becoming the bipolar clone of the Democratic Party. Its platform of Low Taxes and Small Government, while appealing, fail to address the mess of problems that America faces.
If there was ever a time for the Third-Way Conservatives to exert influence, NOW is the time. Their answers, while probably unpopular with many, will appeal to the majority of thinking persons in the country. It's time for the radical answers (which are actually more conservative than the current answers of the GOP) of conservatism to ascend. A humane economy, the restoration of true justice and natural law, a return to a real understanding on politics and its limits, a smart and less-strong arm foreign policy, the return of federal power to within its proper jurisdiction...I could go on and on. It's a shame that few if any conservatives are seeking out these kinds of answers.
The old answers don't cut it anymore. Time to think outside the box and return to first principles.