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What Does It Mean To Be A Conservative?
Western Center for Journalism ^ | 11-24-12 | Shawn Paul

Posted on 11/24/2012 7:15:55 PM PST by Shawn M. Paul

With the political winds now blowing favorably for liberals, or “progressives” as they have more recently labeled themselves, another label (conservative) seems to have gained a negative connotation among some.

Actually, there’s really nothing negative about conservatism, at least compared to all other alternatives. First, we should think about what conservatism actually is. The first definition in Webster’s Online Dictionary, by Wordnet, defines conservatism as “A political or theological orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes.” The second definition, by Webster, defines the term as “The disposition and tendency to preserve what is established; opposition to change; the habit of mind; or conduct, of a conservative.” Alright, I can already hear the static anti-establishment crowd now. Relax. If conservatism means the preservation of an establishment, what is that establishment? It obviously can’t be any current establishment, or conservatives like myself would be silent and content with any political winds that blow through. The establishment that conservatives mean to preserve is that of our founding, including American first principles like contribution to society, independence from unnecessary assistance or control, common-sense in financial matters, honesty, free speech and religious practice, the pursuit of happiness, the protection of human life, and ultimately reliance on God as the giver of all rights and possessions and provider of all needs.

In this dictionary, definitions for the terms liberal or liberalism can’t be found…hmm. The term “progressivism”, however, can be found. As the first listed definition, Wordnet states,:”The political orientation of those who favor progress toward better conditions in government and society.” Well, that’s a vague no-brainer. It’s no secret that’s how those who follow this philosophy want the rest of us to perceive it. But don’t give up on me yet. Moving down the list, there are more specific definitions of progressivism, such as for Economic Progressivism, defined as “…a political economic ideology that supports a progressive tax.” But wait, there’s more. It gets better. Progressivism in the United States is defined as “…a cluster of political, activist, and media organizations ranging from left-liberal to democratic socialism.” Oh, it’s a cluster, alright. Sold yet? Within the given definition for Social Progressivism, it is stated that this philosophy “…today generally supports same-sex marriage, birth control, and women’s right to choose an abortion.” There are plenty of examples of progressive or liberal figures we could discuss. They’re plastered all over NBC, CNN, CBS, and ABC on a daily basis. If you occasionally check up on these figures from news and commentary on FoxNews or talk radio, then double-check the facts next to other sources (especially official public records and statistics such as with the CBO); you’ll likely see the hypocracy of these liberals. I’m much more interested, though, in the figures who have stood for conservatism, as we now understand it. In modern history, Ronald Reagan comes to mind as the most influential figure for conservatism in our lifetimes. He is often praised, myself included, as a great leader in this regard. But what made him great? He was a great conservative because he supported the same basic principles that our nation was founded upon. He might not have been great if it hadn’t been for our founding fathers, whom he resembled, such as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, etc. These great men are now often misrepresented (even in public school textbooks) but always examples of what can be possible with little more than faith in our Creator and in His creation, when bound only by His will and the principles of His Word. To cite the “establishment” definition of conservatism, it does seem that the establishment that even many elected Republicans seek to preserve is the Republican Party itself, by any means necessary, and not our founding documents, principles, or conservatism. If this is true, they’re going about this preservation in all the wrong ways, bowing down to the president and the liberal democrats in concession just moments after the re-election of the president and others. Neither the Republican Party, while obviously our last organized hope in our government, nor conservatism or our republic will survive if this approach continues. That will only lead to an even more unified effort by our government to further raise taxes of the working people, redistribute those dollars to the non-workers, and further erode the constitutional rights and freedoms of the majority of American citizens. What we instead need to do, as conservatives, republicans, and as a nation, is to hail back to those founding principles, make our voices heard, and turn back to the God of the Bible and first God of America for help. We can only accomplish this by first placing our trust in Him through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ as the payment for our sins. As of now, it’s still my right to share this belief; my intention is to do so more by the day, and my hope is that you’ll come to this belief while there’s still time for you and for our country. God Bless.

TOPICS: Government; Politics; Religion
KEYWORDS: conservatism; constitutionalism; progressivism; reagan

1 posted on 11/24/2012 7:16:00 PM PST by Shawn M. Paul
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To: Shawn M. Paul

Opposite of liberal, so let’s define liberals:

1. Stupid.
2. lazy.
3. Arrogant.
4. Ignorant.
5. Uneducated.
6. Unskilled.
7. Unmotivated.
8. Atheist.
9. Emotionally Driven.
10. Childish.
11. Immature.
12. Liars.
13. Hypocrites.
14. Angry.

2 posted on 11/24/2012 7:21:13 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: Shawn M. Paul

Pro-traditional marriage
Low taxes
Small government
Low regulations
Strong Military
Secure borders

3 posted on 11/24/2012 7:25:43 PM PST by icwhatudo (Low taxes and less spending in Sodom and Gomorrah is not my idea of a conservative victory)
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To: Shawn M. Paul
Welcome to Free Republic. I see you signed up today.


4 posted on 11/24/2012 7:27:21 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Shawn M. Paul

The durability of Conservatism has depended, to a great extent,
on it being a disposition rather than a philosophy.
What marks Conservatives out, across the generations,
and whatever the environment they operate in,
is an attitude of mind rather than an adherence to dogma.

And that disposition
- skeptical, cautious, pragmatic, sensitive to the local and the particular
- has been politically successful because it has been in tune with human nature.

Michael Gove

5 posted on 11/24/2012 7:30:48 PM PST by HangnJudge
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bump for later

6 posted on 11/24/2012 7:31:24 PM PST by foreverfree
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To: Shawn M. Paul

I think it was Rush who defined conservatism the best for me. The belief that government’s only purpose beyond the bare essentials for the survival of the country, is to provide some social guidelines and encouragement so that our culture doesn’t decay, and future generations carry on our traditions and institutions.

I was having a conversation with a libertarian friend the other day, and he asked me why I wasn’t a libertarian, after all, the Founders were. My reply was that although the Founders were libertarians, they could never have imagined what kind of world we would be facing in the future. They never would have imagined that almost half of America would think killing a baby was “OK”. Unfortunately, that is what has happened, which is why I am a conservative. The Founders believed strongly in personal liberty, but this was a time when the Bible was a stronger force, and we were a more morality driven society. Conservatives would like to get back to that kind of America, where faith and family mean something. That’s something the government should be involved in. They should be ENCOURAGING marriage between men and women in schools, because it makes for a stable and healthy society. Enough with this “alternate lifestyle” garbage.

I want the government out of my wallet, and out of my daily life in general, but they should be involved with getting as many people as possible to live independent, respectful and moral lives, with emphasis on personal responsibility. Make sure people know that their actions have consequences, the government is not here to give you success. You have to earn it. If this is the case, people will live fuller lives, and this nation will be infinitely stronger.

Liberalism is a mental disorder.

7 posted on 11/24/2012 8:06:07 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: foreverfree
Vulture. ;)


8 posted on 11/24/2012 8:12:30 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Shawn M. Paul

It’s to be a dinosaur. There’s no place anymore on the political scene for a true conservative. Not even the Republican party has any use anymore for true conservatives. We’re witnessing the death of morals, values, ethics and truth.

9 posted on 11/24/2012 8:35:07 PM PST by LouAvul
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To: LouAvul
Aren't you just a ray of sunshine?

How about hold on to faith in God? Despair is a sin.


10 posted on 11/24/2012 8:45:54 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Shawn M. Paul

Being a liberal is like being a drug addict, only your addiction is euphoria derived from voting to help the poor. It doesn’t matter that the government programs you voted for are creating an ever dependent class of people. Feeling good about yourself is all that matters.

Conservatives breathe the sweet air of freedom.

11 posted on 11/24/2012 8:49:56 PM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: Shawn M. Paul


Develop a thick skin quickly, as some of us are STILL trying to pass manners 101.

Obey Jim Robinson’s Rules, and Donate when you can.


Now that the meet-and-greet is out of the way, here is the MEAT:

My apologies if I missed it, but you spoke not a word about preserving an establishment that is constantly moving to the Left.

Our sorry, US Federal Government has been on the wrong track for decades. This is mainly due to the Democrat’s best friend: The RINO who caves in to them.

If a Conservative is one who “conserves,” then it is difficult to conserve much of anything that the RINOs haven’t already BiPartisan Caved In on.

To put America on the RIGHT Track is the task at hand: Conserving what is best of what used to be The United States of America.

That will probably be best done at the 2014 State Constitutional Conventions.

12 posted on 11/24/2012 9:35:54 PM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: JRandomFreeper

Judith Miller on Fox yesterday about what the GOP needs to do going forward. “Get rid of the Tea Party? There’s plenty of time to do that”.

13 posted on 11/25/2012 6:21:14 AM PST by Mountain Mary (Pray for our Republic...)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I’ve never thought of despair as a sin, Johnny. And believe me, I’ve known the depths of it.

I thought God left me and now I know that I left him... but I didn’t mean to. :-(

14 posted on 11/25/2012 6:29:12 AM PST by Mountain Mary (Pray for our Republic...)
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To: Shawn M. Paul
Conservatives vs. Liberals

Conservatives judge people as individuals.
Liberals judge people as members of groups—races, classes, etc.

Conservatives believe Islamic terrorism poses the greatest threat to America.
Liberals believe anthropogenic global warming poses the greatest threat to America.

Conservatives wave the flag.
Liberals burn the flag.

Conservatives say, “God bless America.”
Liberals say, “God damn America.”

Conservatives support the death penalty and oppose baby murder.
Liberals oppose the death penalty and support baby murder.

Conservatives see Communists as a threat.
Liberals see anti-Communists as a threat.

Conservatives support the Tea Party.
Liberals support Occupy Wall Street.

Conservatives want to fight crime by locking up criminals.
Liberals want to fight crime by disarming citizens.

Conservatives believe that all viewpoints should be tolerated.
Liberals say, “no freedom of speech for fascists”—and “fascists” are all whose views are to the right of John McCain.

Conservative football fans root for USC.
Liberal football fans root for UCLA.

15 posted on 11/25/2012 7:52:10 AM PST by Fiji Hill (Fight on!!)
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To: Viennacon

Very well said, Viennacon.

16 posted on 11/25/2012 11:21:47 AM PST by Mountain Mary (Pray for our Republic...)
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