Skip to comments.'Constitutional' conservatives -- not
Posted on 02/24/2010 3:24:36 AM PST by Scanian
The day before last week end's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, a group of prominent conservatives gathered a few miles away at the Virginia estate of our first president. Their Mount Vernon Statement swears fealty to a "constitutional conservatism" that "applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal" and "honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life." If only they meant it.
Constitutional conservatism certainly sounds better than "compassionate conservatism," which turned out to be code for big-government conservatism. And it is easy to hope that the thread of a properly limited federal government could bind the strands of a movement that has been unraveling since the end of the Cold War.
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All of these issues and their federal solutions appeal to some group somewhere; that's how many of the issues resulted in new laws. The constitution doesn't support this sort of meddling with individual liberty.
Lets look at these wars on drugs, poverty, fill in the blank. What has been their results. Disaster. Lost freedom, millions in jail. Anytime the government has a war on some problem at home it will result in expanded government power and the loss of freedom. You cannot argue that its okay to expand government power for somethings that you believe, but that its not okay to expand government power for the things that you don’t believe in. The only way to slay the leviathan state is across the board limitations on its power. From a purely economic standpoint, outlawing drugs creates huge incentives for criminals to breach the prohibition. Whether its Al Capone or the Mexican drug cartels, they all spring from the same source, attempted expanded government control over the populace. Remember how well the government’s first War on Alcohol worked out. All subsequent wars have met similar ends.
As far as foreign policy goes, sound money leads to sound policy. If you can’t print the stuff up to finance a war, then the country must agree to the war through higher taxes and legitimate borrowing.
I posted this on another thread....It may be relevent to the so called social conservatives....
1) Ending the war on dope will result in smaller government. When a person caught with a joint gets jail time, probation, mandatory drug testing, tens of thousands of dollars in fines and fees, eliminating all of this will naturally result in smaller government. When paramilitary storm troopers engage in no knock warrants and shoot and kill little old ladies in their homes ( happened in georgia, there were many threads in FR about this one ) ending the war on drugs will result in the near elimination of these organizations, resulting in smaller government. My greatest fear is that I will be the next one shot dead over a bad tip and no knock warrant. I do not do drugs, nor do I believe Illegal drugs have a place in society. But, when a doctor or dentist has to struggle over prescribing pain medication to a patient because his books will be monitored, and any discrepency can result in imprisonment, fines or loss of license, then it is upside down. The war on drugs is over, and civil liberties have lost.
2) When the fines for soliciting a prostitute include confiscation of property, publishing of your personal information, and prison time, it is upside down. When the police set up sting operations, whose sole purpose is to entrap, confiscate personal property and imprison, it is upside down.
This is my 2 cents. Flame away.
“We have enough anger built up to force Constitutional rule and even LIBertarians like this jerk cannot stop the movement.”
What did this guy propose that was un-Constitutional?
If the US suffers a national economic calamity because such a split weakens the opposition to Obama and the Left's expansion of federal spending and power, I am confident that libertarians will insist that that it is all the fault of GOP social conservatives because they would not accept marijuana and pornography.
In this and much else, the intellectual brilliance of so many libertarians is marred by dogmatism and a lack of political realism. They make me think of oddball, alienated smart kids in high school, proud to be on the outs with everyone but each other. That kind of psychology does not make for winning elections and getting to run the country.
A careful reading of Scalia's rationale in his concurring opinion in Gonzales v. Raich reveals a rationale that limits the reach of the Commerce Clause by requiring it to be coupled with the "necessary and proper clause" in extreme cases. Support and development of this rationale would help to curb the federal commerce clause. In contrast, Thomas's position is untenable even if intellectually bracing.
“I have been attacked, called names, told that this is not the site for me.”
Me, too. I have no use for any mind-altering substances or other vices that many Libertarians push but as soon as you stand up and say that the gov’t has no authority to prohibit certain things they label you a Libertarian, a pothead, and worse.
Most people on FR would be shocked to learn that in the early years of the this Republic that alcohol consumption was quite high, way higher than today. The British tried to tax sugar, which was used to make rum, and that really set off the Colonists.
People on FR need to stick to the facts and not just go with their emotions like the liberals do.
Reading the replies here, it’s apparent that most don’t understand what he’s saying. It’s irrelevent whether you believe that homosexual marriage, smoking pot or abortion should or should not be legal or illegal. My tendecies are conservative just as many of those named in the article. The difference is that i believe that that these battles must be fought on a state-to-state level as outlined in Article 10.
Once you allow these battles to be fought in the Federal arena you give a huge amount of power to the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court and you get people like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, George Voinovich and Orrin Hatch, feckless power grabbers. It’s why the US Gov’t along with their compatriots in crime UAW winds up owning GM.
“As your comments suggest, the target of the piece and of lifestyle libertarians is social conservatives within the GOP. This is not coalition building toward an effective political majority in power but opportunistic factionalism that risks a destructive battle between libertarians and social conservatives.”
But there is a simple solution: State’s Rights. It’s the original basis of our government, with a relatively weak central gov’t.
Take the federal gov’t out of the equation for all the issues of morality, whether it be pot or porn or whatever, and let the states decide on those things. I think most states already have laws in place for those types of issues.
Right on, Dad, Right on.......most here do not realize that the states are supposed to hold the power, not the fed. Yet few here will acknowledge this litte known constitutional issue....social conservatives are actually closet nanny staters...
The Constitution cannot survive in an immoral environment. For example, who will clean up the dead druggies off the street? Is it the responsibility of government (taxpayers)? The people living in the neighborhood? Who will be responsible for this burden?
What about VD's. Who will stop the plague? Who will pay the doctors bills for those infected if they're poor? Who will raise the diseased children, or pay to abort them?
Immorality leads to a nation of sloth, filth, dependency, and chaos. How would be rid ourselves of it?
IF people were to be self accountable in this age, it would work, but that's not how it is. Self accountability has been bread out of America by the public schools, the social programs, and the absent parents. It would take generations to correct it.
Republicans and Democrats...Conservatives and Liberals...FReepers and DUmmies...They’d all crap their collective pants if we ever had Constitutional governance. All of their favorite social control legislation out the window? Fuggeddaboudit.
Not at all. The essence of social conservativism, of conservatism in general, is that the culture, not the state determines the success of a society. Do social conservatives want more taxes? No. More regulations? No. More funding for government schools? No, they want vouchers and they home school.
It is not what he said but how he said it.
I agree with this. The closer the laws are to home, the better the PEOPLE can keep them in check. If a state finds a certain behavior to be a burden on it's people, it can fix it. It doesn't make sense for people in the Washington beltway to be making laws for those in Montana. They live in two completely different worlds.
Everybody’s got a good reason why we just can’t go by the Constitution. Everybody. So here we are.
How big does your government need to be that will police what every person decides to do to their body or mind?
I’ll bet it is more money than we have. Now what?