Friday, November 7, 2008

Our Job is to Re-Introduce Conservatism

The best way to build the party at the grassroots level is to rediscover what it is to be a Conservative. Let your conservative principles guide your voting and the rest will take care of itself. Well, almost.

Look at the candidates we send to Washington. Are they conservative? No. George W. Bush is only slightly more conservative than John McCain who is only slightly more conservative than President-Elect Barack Obama. Can we really be surprised at the outcome? Lindsey Graham was not even tested on his conservative principles this election because most of us don't know how to call him out on being a pseudo-socialist himself. Which is what every big-government Republican is.

Many of you might remember my anger at the sad bunch of candidates that spoke to us this past year while running for US Senate. McBride tried to sneak in like Ron Paul. Witherspoon, who I like as a person, was a one trick pony with immigration and couldn't do much more than read off a card when challenged. The other guys never came close.

We must first begin our journey to take back this country by re-defining Republicanism. That definition must mirror almost exactly conservatism. America had a choice this election, it could vote for a very liberal candidate or a moderately liberal candidate. There was no conservative choice.

Conservatism has been weighed down by to many hyphenated words. It has lost its meaning.

Christian – Conservative
Compassionate - Conservative
Social - Conservative
Security - Conservative
Fiscal - Conservative
Neo - Conservative

What about a CONSERVATIVE - Conservative? If you consider yourself any of those on that list you are something less than a Conservative and you my dear friend are what is wrong with the Republican party. Sorry, but the truth stings. That includes you Christian - Conservatives especially.

What is great about Conservatism is that you don't need to hyphenate! Conservatism is accepting of moral religions that teach restrain based values. Which Christianity most certainly is. There is no other ideology more compassionate than conservatism. What could be more empathetic than promoting individual success over subjugation and rentierism? Conservatism is the only socially responsible party that judges its successes not by how many people it helps but by how many people no longer need help. Conservatism understands that security comes first or every other effort is in vain. Conservatism requires fiscal restraint and knows that the only true way to restrain the Leviathan is by a planned and controlled scarcity of funds. In other words, the easier it is for the government to get the money the more it will spend, therefore access and use of the funds must be laborious to the Federal apparatus of governance. This is a heuristic. It is undisputable. Finally, the biggest canard of all that of "Neo" conservative or "New" conservative.

Neo suggests that the old conservatism didn't work. There is only one conservatism and it always works and it is timeless. There is no room for additions or deletions from strong conservative principles. Therefore as conservatives we reject the moniker of "Neo".

What are these principles of conservatism?

Number one we believe in a strong government. But, that government must protect individual freedom and there can be no individual freedom without the protection of individual property. Locke wrote of life, liberty and estate (property). Jefferson changed it in the Declaration of Independence to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." To be clear conservatives recognize that there can be no happiness without private ownership and legal protection of property.

Number two we believe in the strict adherence to laws. We are a country of laws. Laws are to be followed or amended. Never bended. This is not to say there is no room for interpretation, but just as God judges those harshest that take on the awesome responsibility of teaching the word of God so too must we judge those that take on the responsibility of adjudication and mediation of our laws. Our judges and lawmakers must show restraint and wisdom.

Number three we believe that the smallest form of government capable of performing a governmental service should do so. This means that the Federal government should rarely get involved in the minutia of our daily lives. Micro managing from Washington is the definition of Socialism and bureaucracy. By tackling issues on the most local level possible we waste less money and redistribute less wealth. And to this end we believe in Federalism. Federalism is not just an idea our founders had in mind at the creation of our Union of sovereign States; it is the only way to guarantee the existence of our Union. It is folly to think that a centralized system of government can control, lend, adjudicate, and mandate, collect, redistribute, enlist, and provide all that is needed to 50 states and 310 million citizens. We must restrict our federal branches of government to only those things listed in our Constitution and recognize that the other rights and powers are given to the State or the Individual. (Yet we send politicians to Washington to grow our federal government and shout to the heavens "...there ought to be a law.")

Number four we believe in individual responsibility. This most important principle of conservatism is the most misunderstood and mistreated. We are willing to forget this tenet easiest when our comfort is pressed or our bias challenged or our morals questioned. Individual responsibility is the belief that we are to provide first for ourselves and our families so that we do not become a burden to society. Also this is the belief we are to be patient and tolerant of those individuals who look and act in ways other than our own. This includes religious, sexual, cultural and other practices we might find strange or different or even vile. (When “Christian - Conservatives” tried to take over the Republican party they did much damage to the reputation of conservatism. Forgetting the other principles of conservatism they lobbied for a federal law on abortion and gay marriage. These are State’s issues and can be voted one way or the other on that level. The Constitution should not be used to promote a political agenda or religious ideology. Remember, no one ideology or party stays in power. And if Conservatives do damage to the Constitution or look hypocritical in the face of these issues then what consequence must we suffer when liberals are at the helm?)

Number five we believe in Smart Power internationally. This is a mixture of soft power (diplomacy) and hard power to promote our international agenda and protect us here at home. There are many liberals that suggest the same. Where the difference lies is in the belief that you must first establish a hard power position for soft power to work. Soft power alone will never accomplish anything in the face of tyranny, despotism and extremism. The worst the world has to offer will not succumb to diplomacy or carrots only. The threat of the stick or the use of the stick will bring them to the negotiating table so diplomats can then have their turn.

Finally and humbly number six we conservatives believe without question in American Exceptionalism. There is no other country like ours. There has never been a country like ours. Our defense of freedom both internationally and individually is not equaled anywhere. We are not perfect and have many faults but we recognize that freedom is the indivisible variable in our every success. So far, other countries have tried to emulate or approximate our systems and achievements with only some success. Some are closer than others and some reject the very notion of us and work to undermine us. Our exceptionalism is never more on display than when we are under pressure and under fire. Conservatives reject the exploitation of our exceptionalism for ends other than the protection of our freedom and the cautious and deliberate expansion of the cause of freedom to which America has no monopoly.

Given the above, where do you see our nation?

What we have is Republican and Democrat alike voting everyday to expand the scope and control of government. Republicans might want tighter controls, and more oversight on spending… but they still want the spending. Republicans might want to see people off welfare, but they concede to liberals that the Federal government should be in the welfare business. Most Republicans are barely recognizable as Republicans, much less as conservatives.

The problem is that we still elect the same people every year. And what is also true, is that the Republican National Committee still promotes the same candidates every year. Was the RNC behind anyone running against Lindsey Graham? Why because he was an incumbent? That is the worst of all excuses. The devil you know is the choice of the weak and lazy. Were they working hard to find an alternative to John Spratt? The RNC is run by Big Government Republicans. These Big Government Republicans are the mark we need to be aiming for. With a few exceptions like Jim DeMint, the motto should be “if you were in in 2008 you are out in 2010.” It is time for a “throw the bums out” strategy that puts real conservatism in office to combat liberalism/socialism run wild.

That strategy must consist of an education plan that reminds and informs America what a conservative is. John McCain does damage to the cause when he calls himself a conservative. He is not. He is a good man, possibly even a moral man, but he is not a conservative. We must take these six principles of conservatism and debate them refine them and communicate them to those who have ears to hear. You ask for grassroots? This education must be grassroots.

As important, Republicans in office like Jim DeMint and a few others that actually vote in a conservative fashion must be rallied behind. Because the minute we see an ounce of success the liberal machine will go to its old play book and brand us as heartless old white guys that want kill senior citizens, starve school children and engage in international adventurism. We must have our responses at the ready to help those brave conservatives already in the fight.

What we do now is what will make the difference in 2010. What we do now is what will protect the 2nd Amendment, stave off socialism and protect us from our enemies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're in for a long ride.