What does being a Conservative really mean?
It has been a week since I have written because I have been dealing with the death of my grandmother. But now, I am back into the action. I have been pondering the past several days on what to write about. New stimulus plans, more healthcare debate, Fox news v.s. Obama. I will be talking about these topics in the next few days but right now, I want to touch on something I find really important: Conservatism.
It appears that the liberals have it together in some aspects for the time being. While they are quickly headed to their demise, they at least know what they believe. On the other hand, conservatives aren’t so sure at times. John McCain called himself a conservative, but is he really? Lindsey Graham still thinks he is a conservative. What is the true reality behind Lindsey’s thoughts and the true reality?
Who is a Conservative? Is it Rush Limbaugh? Ann Coulter? Glenn Beck? Even St. Ronald Reagan as he is often hailed? Maybe it is anyone that is against the Obama administration since Conservative is defined as “Against Change.” Some think it means being a Republican but Sen. Olympia Snowe isn’t a Conservative. Some think it is believing in only the Constitution and nothing more. That is a Constitutionalist or some would say Libertarian philosophy. So what is a Conservative really mean?
I think it is a subjective word but a word with several objective beliefs that are defined by it. A conservative believes in no more government than was originally desired by the founding fathers of a respective institution. While there is room for change in a society, just like a speed limit changes, there is little room for deviation in the area of government involvement in the lives of citizens. In America, a conservative shouldn’t want government programs that go beyond the government’s constitutional responsibility of ensuring justice, tranquility, defense, the general welfare and securing the blessings of liberty.
The founding fathers had no intention of a welfare program that promotes laziness when they sought to promote the general welfare. They had no intention of ensuring justice by making everyone economically equal. They also had no intention of securing the blessings of liberty by fighting imperialistic wars in places like Vietnam and perhaps we can consider Iraq. Yes, I said it. Conservatives believe in government but not a corrupt government that wants to run the people. A Conservative should believe in a Government that wants the people to run it.
Simply put, a Conservative is a person that likes the people running the government only when they don’t have the government’s interests at stake. The people running a government should always have the people’s best interests at stake not an institution that could potentially harm the people.
With so many ideas of Conservatism, I have compiled a top ten list as I often like to do. This top ten list is appropriately titled, “You Might be a Conservative if…..”
- You might be a Conservative if you believe Social Security, Medicare, and Welfare are a complete fraud and abuse of Congress’ constitutional powers of the purse.
- You might be a Conservative if you understand losing the quality of healthcare is the only result of the Government running it. Furthermore, even if there are uninsured, it isn’t the government’s job to pay for their insurance. It is the government’s job to make sure the environment of the nation is healthy and fluid for them to put together the means to provide or not provide for themselves healthcare.
- You might be a Conservative if you believe a little Revolution never hurt anyone as long as the revolution decreases the size of government and increases the size of citizen freedom.
- You might be a True Conservative if you realize being Pro-Life isn’t Conservative. Agreeing that the unborn should be protected and given the same rights as those that are born is extremely important DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME. I STRONGLY BELIEVE IN THE SANCTITY OF LIFE. But for argument sake, this isn’t Conservative. Saying the government should regulate a medical procedure for a citizen, is actually quite liberal and not Conservative at all.
- You might be a True Conservative if you believe the government regulating who can be married and who cannot is actually quite liberal and not conservative. Marriage, since it is a religious practice, should actually only be recognized as a religious issue. Deciding on who can be “Married” invades the freedom of every American to make that choice for themselves. Therefore, Domestic Partnerships are actually more Conservative than Marriage. They allow you to choose who you want to have government benefits with, not the government choosing who it will give benefits too. That is true freedom and truly conservative, like it or not.
- You might be a True Conservative if you believe Church and State should be separate. Christianity is a good example. There are many interpretations of God and who he is. Baptists believe “once saved always saved” while Assembly of God Christians, rooted in the Armenian theology, believe you can lose your salvation. As a result of varying interpretations, one denomination in a religious group cannot rule a country because the other will be offended. While all may love God, all share his love and understand his love differently. Therefore, a religion cannot be the basis for a society because it has denominations and as a result, will alienate certain groups within that society even if they are a part of that religion. Sunni vs. Shiite Muslims are a great example of this on-going battle. So, separating church and state is the only way to have a smooth government, smooth civil discourse, and a free society. That is true Conservativism.
- You might be a Conservative if you are eligible for unemployment but don’t file because it means too much government in your personal life. While unemployment is great for those that lose their job, it is not a Conservative program. Unemployment promotes laziness just like welfare. It gives people a reason to stay out of work longer. They are supposed to look for a job, but many just collect the checks and lie every time they report. Not accepting the money is being a True Conservative.
- You might be a Conservative if you vote for the person and not the party. A true conservative will vote for one with the ideals that promote less government in the lives of people and more people in the workings of government. One that understands how bad government can be and has the interests of protecting the people rather than promoting programs to run the people is who a True Conservative will vote for.
- You might be a Conservative if you believe the Great Depression is an example of what True Conservatism should bring. It was a horrible time, but a necessary time. However, it wasn’t a conservative event in history after the New Deal was created. A true Conservative will allow things to fail, without government intervention, even if it means poverty because this also allows things to freely pick themselves back up and work again. The New Deal didn’t get America out of the Great Depression, the war did. Bailouts and stimulus bills are liberal hogwash. A good depression allows for a good cleansing and allows the free market to take back over.
- You might be a conservative if you believe defining a conservative is actually liberal. You may think I’m crazy with this one but here is my reasoning. If you define something, you do not give it room to be further examined or explored for further meanings. It may mean new things in the future. Therefore, a Conservative doesn’t say exactly what he is. He states the core things he believes but allows his belief to constantly be explored, further examined, and further defined because this is true freedom. Having Conservative beliefs cannot be defined by the word Conservative. Constricting these beliefs to that word is putting too much intervention into this important political philosophy.
After reading these, you probably thing I am a little off of my rocker. But it is really how I see the word Conservative. I guess many of us aren’t quite as Conservative as we think we are? The word is abused, misused, and overused. Many don’t know what it means and many claim to be one but have never understood what “one” is. It’s much easier to be a liberal than to be a conservative. Liberals have set rules, regulations, and guidelines. Conservatives live by one principle, “the less control over our lives, the better.” The rest is left for further defining.
*Picture of Me Speaking to South Carolinians for Responsible Government