Copyright 1989, 1997, 2015 by Jim Hull

(Please cite the author if you quote from this work)


Now that communism is down the drain, I've been thinking up new activities for conservatives, to keep them occupied. After all, without that resolute enemy to battle anymore, warhawks are at loose ends. The devil has work for idle hands, so let's jump into the breach with a stitch in time, and all that:

1. Terrorists. They're dedicated, and they won't listen to your reasoned pleas. They mean to fight, and a fight they'll have if ex-red bashers get cracking. Suppose we take all the energy once directed at the Soviets and aim it at terrorism? We could have bomb-proofed federal buildings, well-guarded water supplies, power grids impervious to knockout blows, safe airliners - all for a fraction of the cost of the Cold War. We spend around $7 billion on anti-terrorism today. That's about two percent of the defense budget. Go for it, conservatives!

2. Trade with the eastern bloc. Wanted: veteran free marketeers for import-export businesses with struggling ex-Warsaw Pact nations. They need our expertise just now, and who better than capitalists to show them the ropes? Besides, there are about three hundred million people east of that rusted-out Iron Curtain who have never seen a DVD changer (heck, neither have I) or a car phone. If that doesn't make dollar signs ring up in free marketers' heads, what will? Just get past the racketeers and the confused bureaucrats, and you'll make a mint.

3. Pollution. You'd think this is a job for liberal environmentalists, but it's not. People may feel guilty about the ecological damage done by their high-tech lifestyle, yet they'll only go so far in giving it up. Why else the persistent clouds of filth over our cities? Why else the international squabbles over polution limits? No, the solutions lie with ingenious people who develop clean alternatives so we can still enjoy industrial products. The first who invent such improvements will have wealthy descendants for generations. Invent the cheap replacements for those products - cars, coal-fired plants, auto air conditioners - that belch greenhouse gases, and you will never quite know how rich you've become, you'll have so much dough. What better challenge for conservatives?

4. Weapons treaties. If Yeltsin is serious - but he's drunk so often, we can't tell - we have the opportunity of our lives to end the nuclear threat. Yet how do we make sure arms reduction agreements won't place us in danger if less-scrupulous leaders take over the Kremlin? Well, it took a conservative, Richard Nixon, to reopen contact with Red China. And it took conservative Ronald Reagan to embrace Gorbachov. Conservatives have the credentials and the caution to serve us well in the arms control process. Let's keep moving!

5. Deficit reduction. There are hundreds of billions of dollars in potential arms cuts we can make, given the thaw between us and the Soviets. Conservatives: here's your big chance to keep the liberals from spending all that money on dubious social experiments! Wrest that cash away and use it to reduce the deficit. What finer calling for the right wing than to reduce that overgrown debt? So far you've done pretty well, but there's a lot left to do: Balanced budget amendment! IRS overhaul! Flat tax! It's the prudent, conservative thing to do, and it'll keep them busy for years to come.

6. The moon. That empty rock just begs to be used - and no "environment" to worry about! So dig in: research, communications, mining, technology, interplanetary travel, the opportunities are endless. To do it right we need bold entrepreneurs with a lot of vision and a little greed. Private launch companies, unfettered by costly government restrictions, are already tooling up. I'm told you can launch for one-tenth NASA's costs, by using off-the-shelf parts and rockets. What are you guys waiting for?

7. The planets. First Mars, then the asteroids, then who knows? Maybe the moons of Jupiter. There'll be lots of room for daring people on this venture. Of course,before long the space colonies will chafe at Earth's restraints. Revolutions will ignite. There might even be a battle or two before it's all sorted out. (That's guaranteed to keep old warhawks amused!) Meanwhile, people as a whole will benefit enormously from this new phase in human advancement.

That's just a starter list. I've picked projects we can all get behind. I've avoided touchy topics like abortion and school prayer. No doubt there are other great goals for the new century, challenges suited to the talents of conservatives, tasks to keep them busy and out of trouble. But what I've listed can help get the ball rolling. Communism is a moot topic now, so conservatives will no longer be arguing about it with liberals.

That means liberals, too, will have a lot of time on their hands.

Uh-oh... how do we keep them out of mischief?


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