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?
“1) Ending the war on dope will result in smaller government.”
The same could be said of:
1) Eliminating the military.
2) Ending the war on terror.
3) Ending all traffic enforcement. Just like using dope does not ALWAYS cause the junkie to hurt others, running a red light or a stop sign on a busy street, or driving drunk or stoned does not ALWAYS cause an accident. Let’s only punish those who actually kill someone, right?
4) Ending the “war” on murder, rape, assault,arson, robbery, larceny, fraud, and every other crime. Making all these things legal would reduce the size of government dramatically, but would also destroy any chance of a civil society.
The smallest government is anarchy.
The American people have a right to a nation that is not overrun by drug crazed , unproductive citizens, who almost invariably harm innocent people, and a nation that is not run by drug lords. It is a legitimate purpose of government to provide them with it.
State rights are the answer. Give all the power back to the states where it belongs. The country would change for the better overnight. People WILL pay attention to what's happening in their own back yard (especially if it's costing them a fortune).
Nah. People don’t want States’ Righs either. Witness medical marijuana laws.
Maybe, jut maybe, we could look at behavior that does or does not transgress the personal or property rights of another. But that’s just crazy talk.
So you are making the case that top down federal laws are currently alleviating the ills you mention?
You’re missing the point. It’s about the Constitution. Where does the Constitution give the Federal Government authority to prohibit drugs? They had to have a Constitutional Amendment to ban alcohol, why not one for drugs?
We don't have this problem now, right?
People are worried it will come to their state - by force. If the states had all the rights rather than feds, the PEOPLE could outlaw it themselves. I think people know the Feds want the taxes that will someday be placed on the marijuana (something has to replace the lost tobacco revenue).
For example, look at homosexual "marriage." The states voted and didn't want it. That's a good thing for them. The homosexuals are now trying to go around the people and force it on them through the Feds. This is wrong. Political correctness is wrong. The states took matters into their own hands as it should be. They're afraid they may not have to option to vote on marijuana laws, and they'll have no say. The federal government is out of control.
We seemed to get along fine for 150 years before the progressives thought that the government could do a better job than the private charities and temperance societies.
“It is not what he said but how he said it.”
Spoken like a feel-good liberal.
You say you are a Constitutionalist but in reality you are a federal gov’t nanny-stater.
Morality was important to our founders. The progressives made morality politically incorrect. The immoral became protected "victims."
Our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. -- John Adams.
What do you do when Islam is the one defining morality? It is totally possible that we will simply be out bred by the Islamists. Do you still want morality enforced by the federal government?
No. Top down laws encourage the immorality that leads to social chaos.
Federal social programs actually advocate it. The more social failures the government can create, the more government dependents there are, and the more power the Federal politicians have.
No. I want it voted on by the people in each state - like homosexual "marriage" was. The PEOPLE decided.
All that other stuff about Capitalism, BoR enforcement including full restoration of RKBA, property Rights, limited government, etc...
That's all just window dressing. Right?
Think before you open your mouth.
We have some, but we are not as overrun as we will be if we legalize drugs or stop enforcing drug laws.
We have lots of murders, rapes, robberies, etc., but I don’t see anyone saying, “Well, the “war on violent crime” has failed, it’s time to give up and let the criminals do whatever they want.”
That's cure 99% of the crap we currently get from government.
Why keep alcohol and tobacco legal?
“We have some, but we are not as overrun as we will be if we legalize drugs or stop enforcing drug laws.”
Although I cannot tell you who is responsible, I can tell you who is NOT responsibe....the federal government. Sorry, but the issues you mentioned are state issues ( 80% of the stuff the feds do are actually state issues )In answer to your kind inquiry, who cleaned up the body of the 80 year old woman in georgia gunned down in her home by the swat team? Answer to that question is her family. And yes, it is the responsibilty of the neghborhood to clean up it’s own area...you are both condoning and supporting increased government, both in size and responsibility over your life. You are a closet lib at best, a commie at worst
Logic, people... It doesn't hurt to use it.
>>>Maybe, jut maybe, we could look at behavior that does or does not transgress the personal or property rights of another. But thats just crazy talk.<<<
A couple of other examples of “does not tragress the personal property rights of another”.
a) Every morning, at the exact time kids are arriving for school and crossing I drive my car at 95 MPH, through the 20 MPH school zone, in front of your child’s elementary school, with a BAL of .24 while taking hits off my crack pipe, ignoring the red light and the crossing guard telling me to stop. I do this 10 days in a row, and despite some very close calls, never hit anybody.
b) I decide I want to try out my new high powered rifle, with some target practice. On a busy, summer afternoon, I go to the local park, and set up my targets, with the crowded picnic area 10 yards down range from them. I proceed to start firing live ammunition. Since it has always been my dream to be a circus performer, I then put on a blind fold and continue firing at the targets.
According to your, extreme, Libertarian philosophy, in each of those situations, until such time as I actually harm someone or their property, I am doing nothing wrong and my actions should be perfectly legal, right?
Illegal drug use causes the users to become an undue threat to the lives, health and property of other individuals. Just because every single drug abuser doesn’t harm another person (although even that is debatable), it does not mean their reckless behavior should be legal.
Your argument reeks of stupidity and arrogance.....the items you listed are in no way related....
well said.......and true...
Are you actually reading my posts? I believe the people in the states have the right to decide their laws. If a state doesn't want abortion, they shouldn't have it forced on them. If they want school choice, let them have it. If they don't believe in global warming, then ignore it. If they don't want homo's "married", fine! Good for them. Let the people in the states decide their moral laws. How is that "communist?"
Are you saying immorality should be forced on the people in the states weather they want it or not? What is it you want? The Feds forcing everyone to accept the vilest of passions and demanding they simply roll over and accept it because you do??
Just because every single drug abuser doesnt harm another person (although even that is debatable), it does not mean their reckless behavior should be legal.
Substitute the words “gun owner” for the words drug abuser, and you will see that you are actually a lib in disguise. Go away troll....
Alcohol causes the users to become an undue threat to the lives, health and property of other individuals.
Yet it is legal.
I have a habit of listening to the police scanner. Again and again the calls are for disturbances, domestic abuse, child endangerment, fights, car wrecks all have alcohol in common in a large percentage of the cases.
Your logic would necessitate the removal of this harm from our society for our own good. Do we proceed?
Uh, yeah. With logic like that, be careful at cross walks.
Your argument was “reducing size of government by whatever means is always good, therefore eliminating drug laws is good”. My examples prove conclusively that your logic is flawed.
If you want to make honest arguments for drug legalization, fine. But please don’t argue, “It will reduce the size of government, so it MUST be good.”