Skip to comments.Defining My Conservatism
Posted on 08/08/2011 11:16:44 AM PDT by mhutcheson
I identify myself politically as a (independent) conservative. While there are certainly extremists and radicals in every political affiliation they are, without exception, in the minority. However, the mainstream media, politically correct bloggers, certain minority groups and the liberal left in general have been largely successful in defining and portraying (for various self-serving and chiefly political reasons) all conservatives as right-wing religious fanatics, hate-filled homophobes, xenophobes, misogynists, racists and warmongers. Unfortunately, this view seems to be widely believed, at least generally, among non-conservatives. Therefore, and since I fall into none of those categories listed, I wish to clarify and express what conservatism means to me so that those who wish to discuss it or other related issues with me can do so in an informed, intelligent manner.
The conservatism I embrace, and which is embraced by most conservatives I know, can be defined by a very limited but crucial set of principles. First and foremost among these is the principle of a limited federal government operating strictly under the authority and strictly within the confines enumerated to it by the States under the United States constitution, and as set forth clearly by the Founding Fathers, thereby conserving the original intent and purpose of that precious document. U.S. citizens, while on American soil, are subject to no other laws, including the religious laws of any religion, or the laws of any other nation or group of nations.
Secondly, that all legal United States citizens should be treated and protected equally under the laws of the constitution. By extrapolation this means conversely that no citizen or group should be given special or different rights or preferential treatment under the laws; no one should be either discriminated against or discriminated for. Equality under the law is to mean equality of opportunity and standards, not equality of outcome. No one should be given special privileges, advantages or set-asides for being white, black, Hispanic, female, homosexual, Christian, Muslim, etc. True conservatives do not categorize and separate people this way; we see and treat all citizens simply as Americans, equal under the laws of the constitution. This also means that Congress should enact no laws from which its members exempt themselves; for they are no better than us.
Thirdly, that the United States is a sovereign nation and as such our government has a legal and moral obligation to protect our borders from the invasion of illegal immigration from other nations; we have the perfect right and the legal and moral authority to select and choose who we allow to enter into this country and to whom we grant the privilege of citizenship. Immigration should be limited and for the most part we should allow only the best and brightest applicants to attain citizenship, not simply open the floodgates for the uneducated, unskilled, and poverty-stricken of all nations, which Balkanizes our nation and will inevitably transform us into a third world country; we should rather seek to add to the strength and stability of our nation by admitting only those who have something to offer and who wish to integrate fully and become Americans by adhering to the legal processes and requirements which we set forth. This includes conserving our cultural and political heritage, and English as our official language. Illegal aliens, including the 33% of felons in U.S. federal prisons, should be repatriated to their countries of citizenship; illegal aliens and other non-citizens (including terror suspects) do not have citizens rights under the U.S. constitution, and should not be given social benefits.
Next, that the rights guaranteed under the constitution, including the rights to property, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, should not be infringed by other citizens or by the government; that citizens have the right to keep and enjoy the fruits of their labors and the wealth they attain; that confiscation and redistribution of wealth is wrong; that no one has a legal or moral right to any portion of anothers life or property which he does not wish to freely give; that compassion and charity at the point of the (governments) gun is still theft; that taxation should be limited and equal across the board, not progressive to punish and discourage ambition and achievement; that taxes should be used only for constitutionally justifiable purposes; that individual liberty and individual responsibility go hand in hand; that government plunder, waste, abuse and fraud must be stopped; that everyone, including government officials, should be held fully accountable for their actions.
Next, that the armed forces of the United Stated should be used discriminately but uncompromisingly to protect the vital interests of the United States and its citizens both domestically and abroad; and that the term vital interests should be clearly, narrowly and conservatively defined (in other words, very limited in scope).
Next, that the press should not attempt to advance any agenda; should report news accurately and without bias; and hold all public officials to the same standards and scrutiny, regardless of party affiliation.
Finally, that the powers delegated to the Federal government by the States under the constitution may be withdrawn at any such time as the People determine that their rights have been violated or those powers have been abused by the federal government for their oppression; that the States were, and remain, sovereign.
These seven simple principles encapsulate my political philosophy of conservatism.
I like your essay and can support it wholeheartedly. It does leave some areas open for discussion. Under your benevolent leadership, would pre-born babies still be killed and, if not, what part of your Statement of Principles would bring an end to that? Further, would our military be subject to acceptance of open homosexuality by others in the ranks and, if not, which Principle would apply to disallow such military service?
On the limited government front, what areas qualify for immediate shut-down and what areas deserve a phase-out? How do you re-balance the three arms of government to resemble the Constitutional model of 1789?
Just a few questions that jumped into my mind, answer if you wish, ignore me if you wish.
Hello Friend; thanks for reading and commenting. You pose some interesting questions, one of them difficult. The abortion issue is obviously the most difficult and contentious issue, so I’ll address that first. While no one I know is ‘pro abortion’(though some are certainly pro-choice) and everyone I know believes that reducing the number of abortions in our country is a laudable goal, and while I. and everyone I know except perhaps the most insane among us are strongly, vehemently opposed to late term abortion for reasons which should be obvious to anyone,... the bottom line is that I agree with Judge Robert Bork that the choice question should be left to the States where it properly belongs.
As to gays in the armed forces (why in gods name did the media start calling it the military? Military is an adjective, not a noun; you can have a military plan, a military jeep, a military option, a military mission or a military spouse, but you cant have a military, any more than you can have a red, and you cant be in the military any more than you can be in the comfortable; jeez, sorry, but this is a pet peeve; lets resume giving our soldiers the respect they deserve; help me reverse this trend and call our armed forces the armed forces ) this is not an easy question either, but presently I oppose openly gay military service. As you probably know, there are no absolute rights, even those in the first amendment, and there are exceptions to all. I feel that DADT was probably the best workable solution, though not perfect, and I certainly empathize with those many fine and patriotic gay Americans who have served or wish to serve; But for me, national security and the cohesiveness of our combat units trumps the equal rights of gays to openly serve, as long as the generals on the ground make the case that it is a disruptive factor. I also adamantly oppose women in combat and the gender mixing of the armed forces in general. The countless pregnancies, scandals, rapes, accidents, some deaths, and other detrimental results are obvious reasons why, and I hope that one day the ranks are sparated again into the WACs and the Regulars. As Eomer said to Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings, War is the province of men. This may not be politically correct, but it is a fact.
Finally, immediate cuts? That’s easy: all the unelected ‘czars’, Departments of Commerce, HUD, Agriculture, Energy, Education, EPA, and the IRS.
The best way to return to 1789, and incidentally to de-fang the oppressive Federal government monster, would be to strictly enforce the tenth amendment, as several states are attempting to do now regarding Democrat-Care and immigration.
I’m good with your pet peeve on language as I certainly have my own pet peeves in that regard. However, even though I have served in the armed forces, I had never considered “military” as simply an adjective. I learned something there.
I agree about the States being a good place to resolve the murder of the unborn since murder is essentially the province of the states.
Your treatise on DADT being imperfect seems on the mark and I especially agree on Eomer’s comment. In my time on active duty, I only had one soldier that I had any suspicion of being gay but I never had any evidence that could have led to a UCMJ charge. Outside of being busted out of his military specialty for using pot, he became a good clerk.
Thanks for your thoughts on priorities. You and I certainly agree on the “czars” being at the head of the list.
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