Skip to comments.Unified Theory of Conservatism: Constitutional Ethics for a Small Government
Posted on 01/09/2012 8:29:48 PM PST by hocndoc
There's no conflict between the three legs of Conservatism, in spite of the confusion surrounding contraception and homosexual rights we witnessed during the New Hampshire debates. Social issues such as the right to life and traditional marriage are equally compatible with small government and States' rights as National security and fiscal responsibility, just as the Declaration of Independence is compatible with the10th Amendment to the US Constitution. Conservatives agree that the best government governs least, but we don't forget that there is a proper role for even the Federal government.
After all, the Constitution is based on the existence of inalienable rights endowed by our Creator as outlined in the Declaration of Independence: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Preamble to the Bill of Rights explains the States' desire to ensure Constitutional limits on the Federal Government, using the least force and intervention possible to prevent or punish the infringement of our inalienable rights.
Liberals and Libertarians accuse Conservatives who advocate for social issues and national security of abandoning both the Constitution and the ideal of a small Federal government that is as inconsequential in our lives as possible. There are even some in the Tea Party willing to sacrifice these issues in order to form a coalition with the Libertarians to cut spending and lower taxes.
Unfortunately, the Left, Right and middle all manage to stir up not only the divide between Libertarians and Conservatives. They would also exaggerate conflict between socially conservative Catholics and Evangelicals who agree on the definition of marriage and that life begins at conception, but disagree on whether or not true contraception is ethical.
Abortion, medicine and research which result in the destruction of embryos or fetuses infringe on the right to life by causing the death of a human being. (See Why Ethics.) In contrast, true contraception prevents conception without endangering any human life. Therefore, unlike abortion, it does not infringe the right to life.
Marriage as a public institution is not merely a means to insurance and legal benefits. The definition of marriage predates the Constitution and goes far beyond culture, religion or National boundaries. Marriage affects the stability of the family and the well-being of both children and the husband and wife. (Theres strong research supporting the latter.) We define and defend traditional marriage in order to secure liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
These same inalienable rights are the justification for establishing National borders, protecting National security, and punishing those who break the law, while opposing high taxes and big Government bureaucracy and regulation that serves to not only redistribute wealth, but creates a dependency on more and bigger Government intervention.
Conservatives like Governor Rick Perry have been just as vocal in opposing the attacks on religious freedom and conscience by the Obama Administration as we have been in opposing increased taxes and regulations and the EPAs over-reaching. We can stand secure in our understanding that the Conservative, Constitutional and proper use of government is to prevent and punish infringement of inalienable rights.
In light of the divisions on this Board, food for thought.
Did I do right?
There is a distinct lack of stones between two of those legs in the Conservative branch (whithered and sickly as it is) of the Republican party.
Either Wickard v Filburn is a constitutional atrocity and everything based on it is an usurpation and abuse of power, or the drug war is a legitimate exercise of the the Commerce power.
I don't see any other alternative. You can't have a national government that opertates within the scope of it's enumerated powers according to the original intent of the Constitution and also have agencies like the DEA operating on nothing more than a claim of "finding a substantial effect on interstate commerce". Clarence Thomas gets it. How do we get everyone reading off of that page?
Since the recreational use of drugs tends toward the “pursuit of happiness,” what business does the federal government have in regulating the same?
Oops! Just knocked that ol’ lid off the can of worms again. Sorry. Hey. Maybe I’m not happy unless I can wield power over other people.
I smell trouble.
How true. We're subjects of entertainment, food, and wealth who count on government to keep it all rolling in. The purpose and limits of government could stand a good overhaul these days.
That’s a State issue, in both my opinion and in Governor Perry’s. From “Fed Up!”:
“The statists believe in a powerful, activist central government that advances a radical secular agenda in the name of compassion. They hide behind misguided notions of empathy and push token talking points about fighting for the little guy, all the while empowering the federal government to coercively and blatantly undermine state-, local-, and self-governance.” p.13
“So, do states matter? The Founders clearly thought so. The Constitution guaranteed a federal government of enumerated powers while leaving states with governments of residual and plenary power. States have the prerogative to legislate on any topic public health, morals and so forth while the new federal government was designed to be of limited functions.” p. 22
Perry, Rick. Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington. Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
If a drug is processed and transported across National borders and/or State lines there might be a Federal issue. Otherwise, see post 9, above.
Understood. But it’s going to be hard to say that’s a “unified theory” if half the people you encounter that call themselves “conservative” disagree with it.
If there was a bill in the US Congress to ban same sex marriage, what would be the conservative position?
One outcome satisfies the social aspect. One satisfies the limited government aspect.
My position is that you can’t ban something that doesn’t exist.
There is no such thing as “gay marriage”. Any law purporting to create it is a bogus law (and an attempt to create something in law that doesn’t exist in fact).
Banning something that doesn’t exist is pointless. Trying to force people to recognize something that doesn’t exist using the law is an abuse of power.
This is a great thread! Thanks you so much for helping us focus on our main goals.
For example, the MSM wants to divert our attention by asking Conservatives what their position is on every topic on Earth.
What does the topic of Global Warming have to do with anything but junk science? The MSM loves the distraction, because is has nothing to do with Conserving what little is left of our Constitution.
Threads such as this help us to focus on the most important aspects of being a Conservative.
I’m trying to explain to those who disagree.
Talk about a true Statist position: forcing Texas to accept what we don’t recognize as “marriage” would be real big government, especially when we see how “consequential” the recognition has become in some States. Churches, charities, private businesses have all been forced to act based on laws that redefine marriage.
If the States were required to recognize “same sex marriage” ok’d by another State, then it would be a Federal issue, right?
Unfortunately, the Federal courts may make it necessary for us to pass the DOMA as an Amendment.
If an Amendment passes under the Constitutional guidelines, then it’s Constitutional (even if it’s not moral or ethical).
The MSM wants to embarrass us and make us go away like we’ve done it in the past.
I guess I didn’t emphasize enough that I’m drawing on the the Reagan coalition definition that Conservatives built on social issues, national security and fiscal responsibility.
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