What Is Conservatism? Why Does It Matter?

March 3, 2011 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

We hear about “liberal” and “conservative” all the time, so; what is a “conservative?”  Conservative is a word with broad meaning.  At its heart, conservatism is a philosophy of limited government intervention in everyday life and liberty.  It is the freedom “to be,” or to fail trying.  Therefore, a Conservative is someone who, by nature, seeks these principles…and more

There are many conservatives who simply want to see fewer regulations on businesses so they can prosper.  There are some who want abortion outlawed, and that is all.  Some are concerned with the moral decay that is undeniably embedding its tentacles throughout our society.  Some are concerned with the acceptance of radical Islam and the introduction of Sharia Law into our society.  There are some who want unregulated gun ownership, and nothing more.  Some want only a couple of aspects – perhaps ones I have named, or some that I have not – while some want a combination of a few.  Still others value them all.

Personally, I’m a combination of all of the above; but my basic goal is personal liberty – most importantly the protection of all property rights.  I am of the school of thought of Frederic Bastiat; that the fruits of my labor, my talents, my efforts, my faculties, and my desires are ALL my property, and my property is my property; you are therefore entitled to the minimal portion of it required for basic government services, and that is all.  Anything beyond that, such as wealth redistribution, communistic equalization, and other utopian socialistic schemes, without my consent, is theft.  If I want my money given away, I’ll do that.  If not, I will not.  Doing so against my will is not benevolence or charity, it is theft.  Taking my money and giving it to someone/something which I find immoral, or otherwise abhor, is theft.  And theft is a gross violation of my personal liberty, because I put forth a physical effort, by way of my labor, with the intent of redeeming the expenditure thereof on a future pleasure.  When you take my certificate to be redeemed for a future pleasure (my money), it is theft, regardless of how “good” your intentions may be. 

So those are my views, but…why do I fight this fight?  After all, I’m only one man.

I fight because I see our liberties eroded daily.  According to regulations.gov, there are 24,573 NEW federal regulations passed in the last 365 days!!  That is over 67/day!  How can anyone possibly know if they’ve broken a law – especially someone starting a new small business – with that many regulations being passed, encroaching in our abilities to do simple transactions.  The “1099 form” monstrosity of the ObamaCare debacle is a perfect example.  Someone starting a business today would have likely never thought to account for such an absurdity (of having to fill out a tax receipt, or 1099 form, to every customer with whom they spend more than $600 annually); so they’d have broken the law – unintentionally – by virtue of making simple transactions.  And in the interest of full disclosure, this law doesn’t affect me at all (directly) because I’m not a business owner.  So why should I care?  I believe it’s inescapably important to remember what Martin Niemoeller said, as it appears in the Congressional Record, from October 1968:

When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.

What is important to realize is that nonsense like this affects us all, regardless, because it’s an encroachment on our liberties.  And at the end of the long train of effects, our economy is stifled.  And I want to pass on to my children an America freer than it was handed to me, freer even than was handed to my parents; an America where hard work, ingenuity, determination, and a free-spirit once again flourish and are encouraged.  That’s why I fight. 

In the end, I think the keys to economic stimulation are de-regulation, elimination of ALL business/payroll taxes, tort reform, and healthcare reform.  “Healthcare reform” does not constitute a government takeover, or government intervention.  Quite the contrary, as with most problems in this nation, it means getting government involvement back where it belongs.  We must remove federal restrictions on portability.  We should encourage businesses to offer high deductible insurance plans, coupled with health savings accounts (some are also known as flex spending accounts).  People need to be reconnected with the full cost and involvement of taking care of their health.  How much would car insurance cost if you only paid a small deductible for an oil change, a tire change, a paint job, an engine change, or a replacement of the transmission?  No dollar amount needed; you get the point!  I am a strong proponent of the Fair Tax for the reason of removing business/payroll taxes (among others).  I believe all taxes should be assessed at the point of sale. 

I believe that economically and socially, we are on the brink of cataclysmic destruction, from which there may be no recovery.  If we don’t fight for what’s right now, it may be too late.  You may or may not agree, but I don’t believe I’m wrong.  Manufacturing is nearly extinct in America, forced out by over-regulation, over-taxation, and policies that stifle intellectual expansion and profits.  Our national debt and promised entitlement spending is already over 50% of the federal budget, and looks to climb over 60% in the next decade; moral decay (we protect the rights of perverts, but not innocent children) is quickly leading to an absolute destruction of our society.  Regulations and limitations stifle new inventive growth.  Our education system is among the worst on the planet; perpetuated by the fact that we teach self esteem instead of history and logic.  Let’s not forget what the National Commission on Excellence in Education concluded in 1983, in A Nation at Risk:If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”  I truly fear it’s too late, but pray that it is not. 

Is there any hope?  Is there any way to sidestep this landmine?  Yes, I believe there is.  I like to say “it’s not hard, but it will be difficult.”  One of our imperative realities is that we must return to a fundamental following of the ways, words, and teachings of our Father God, and we must return to the center of our founding.  “Center?” you ask.  Yes, center. 

You see, the measuring stick our Founders used was not the “left, right, center” of today, but rather a slide-scale with tyranny on the left, anarchy on the right, and a strong debate as to where in the center was the correct placement of the new government?  The answer was a REPUBLIC, with the power residing with the people!  And my friends; that is conservatism! 

It is a perfect balance between no government and too much government; between over-regulation and zero-regulation.  It is accepting the fact that self-rule requires determination, education, perpetual involvement of a virtuous body politic, and personal responsibility.  It is proper self rule, and the government being held to its appropriate level of intervention; so that ingenuity can flourish, prosperity can happen, happiness can be realized, and liberty can be sustained. 

And why does it matter?  It matters because I believe it is our destiny, our responsibility, and our duty to sustain freedom for ourselves and our posterity, and because I truly believe that it’s God’s will for America.  God’s love is manifested through free will, self sacrifice, benevolence, hope, love, charity, and submission to His will.  Those qualities make for a virtuous people.  A virtuous people make for a body which can self govern.  It matters because we are God’s children, put in this place and this time for a reason.  I believe that reason is for the furthering of His kingdom and good works; because I don’t believe that He is done with us yet.  God help us if I am wrong!!


One Comment on What Is Conservatism? Why Does It Matter?

  1. Mark on Thu, 3rd Mar 2011 11:00 pm
  2. You are right in many things — especially we need to manufacture more. However we need to let the market decide things– the profit motive. If we need to go a few generations until our workers are willing to work cheaper than the Chinese, and Indian, and South East Asians, well, so be it.

    Eventually those billions of workers will want higher standards of living, and we can be ready in a few generations to underbid them, when that happens. When their workers start to want too much, that’s when we can become a manufacturing country again.

    However, you should look at Fairtax fine print.


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