Smoky Mountains Sunrise

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Problem with Conservatives

This is well worth a read. The TEA parties that have taken place and will be held across America are a great sign that Americans want a restoration of freedom. What is needed is for the Republican Party to present a clear agenda, as they did in the Contract with America in 1994, for a restoration of the principles and freedoms that flow from the classical liberalism on which the nation was founded. In sum, it means America's return to Constitutional government.

From NY Conservative Examiner
By Todd Keister

By any measure, modern conservatism is suffering. The Republican Party, long the home of America’s conservatives, has become little more than a watered-down version of the socialist Democrat Party, and has been turned out of office from the congress and White House, to the state houses and governor’s mansions across the country.

Commentators have proclaimed the death of conservatism, and the Republican Party apparatus continues to helplessly grope in the darkness for a plan to regain lost power and influence. Endless articles have been written about the “future direction” of the party; some see a move toward conservatism as the solution, while others seek to increase the size of the party by offering Democrat-like goodies and giveaways to targeted demographic groups.

The problem for conservatives is partly one of nomenclature and partly one of confusing Republican Party politics with the ideology of what conservatives believe in. “Conservative” is in truth a relative term and not an ideology; it refers to someone who favors the established order of things, instituting change slowly and deliberately, and maintaining his county’s traditions and values. This can have a very different meaning depending upon place and time. A conservative German in 1918 favored the overthrow of the newly-established democratic republican government and either a return to monarchy, or establishment of a dictatorship. A conservative Russian would have favored either absolute monarchy or communist dictatorship depending upon whether it was 1918 or 1993.

Both conservatives and liberals in the modern United States are labeled incorrectly. Modern American conservatives are actually classical liberals, meaning they favor limited self-government, individual rights over collective rights, equality before the law, and liberty over equality of outcomes. Today’s so-called liberals are anything but; they favor the state over the individual, equality of outcomes over liberty, collectivism, and state control of every aspect of life from vehicle gas mileage to the amount of water a toilet can use per flush and what kind of light bulb a citizen may burn in his own home. In other words, they are socialists.

American conservatives could once have been properly called so; they believed in “conserving” the America that was built upon the ideals of classical liberalism. They stood for the maintenance of America’s great governmental and societal institutions; a strictly limited federal government, free markets, free citizens, and Judeo-Christian values.

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