Defining Conservatism

I make no secret about my political ideology and my strong opinions on socioeconomic issues. I believe we are living in a society with an emergent laissez-faire “anything goes” attitude, and I find it disturbing. I’m not intolerant or narrow-minded by any means, but I do have standards and believe that, while most everything does have shades of grey, there are still some absolutes that should not be so casually thrown on the brush pile.


The problem that we run into, not surprisingly, is politics. Much like faith and God that is pure and pristine until we pesky humans insert our…well, humanity…into the process, many of the issues we face in our world are straightforward, with obvious boundaries, until selfishness and greed enter the picture. When so-called public servants and special interests become involved their egos and craving for power seem to muddy the waters and blur that delineation between right and wrong.


Fortunately for me I have no such elected position nor do I crave any sort of power or prestige. I am what I am, know what I know, and think what I think. I am past that stage in life when others’ opinions matter all that much. Therefore, while the politicians are busy doing whatever it takes to get re-elected and the “mainstream” media is sticking to their script and duping the masses, I can be honest.


The first thing we need to do is throw two terms, maybe three, out the window. Those words are Democrat, Republican, and I would include Independent. They are all political titles, and they are meaningless. The assumption is that one can assume what an elected official believes and how they will conduct themselves based on party affiliation, but that assumption just doesn’t hold water. Make no mistake, politicians are in business for only one person…..themselves. They do not truly represent you, and if you are under the mistaken impression that they do you are naïve. And as far as Independents go, well…..I have no respect for anyone who is too weak to take a position, to declare what they, atleast in theory, stand for. All these hacks try to have their cake and eat it too, but Independents aren’t even smart enough to pretend to represent anything specific.


I am not recommending withdrawal from the political process at all. It’s the best we have, the best in the world as a matter of fact, and we must deal within the system to shape and mold the country. I’m not even a fan of third parties, as they have proven to be ineffectual and a waste of time. For the purpose of full disclosure I will happily acknowledge that I am a registered Republican. But my point is that it is an ever increasingly empty association.


Devastated by the double whammy of losing Congress and the White House, the Republican Party is now busying itself with trying to re-brand, remake, re-image, etc. What that truly means is that they are willing to sacrifice their principles and do whatever it takes to achieve victory and regain their power starting in 2010. However, the folks in charge of this rebuilding effort need to exercise caution. They have been fooled into believing that they need to shift to the center, that the country is closer to the left than the right. I do not completely disagree. As I said, we are living in an anything and everything goes culture. But I also believe that this shift has been skewed by population disparities, substantial manipulation by the undeniable force of the pervasive entertainment industry, and a growing detachment in Average America where people feel disenfranchised, overlooked, and underappreciated and have therefore just withdrawn from the whole process. All a Presidential candidate has to do is win the extremely liberal northeast U.S. and California and they are nearly a lock to win. So why would anyone in Tennessee, The Dakotas, or Missouri give a damn?? The politicians don’t care about them anyway.


I believe that conservatism is still alive and well in America. It’s just confused and hurt and hiding, like a child that has run away into the woods after catching Mommy having some play time with a strange man while Daddy is out of town on business. I am here to woo that child back, to say it’s okay and that Mommy just made a mistake that she’ll regret but that it’s not your fault. In order to make sense of the confusion and hysteria we need to clearly define conservative principles.


Conservatism is often misinterpreted as narrow-minded, stuffy, old fashioned, and stuck in the past. This is an unfortunate obstacle. Even more regrettable is being thought of as racist, homophobic, arrogant, and greedy. I have never really understood these stereotypes. I do not know one single conservative that fits that description. That’s not to say that we are perfect, but rather to point out that the success with which the liberal media has painted conservatism with such a broad and malevolent brush is astonishing. I don’t claim to speak for everyone everywhere, but I do feel confident in outlining my beliefs and asserting that they represent the core values of the average conservative. While I think it is wrong to say we are against progress and dislike change, I do believe it is accurate to assess that we have respect for tradition and seek to defend the boundaries of common sense, liberty, and the basic foundations upon which America was built.


Conservatism stands for limited government. Government has its purpose. Unfortunately that purpose has been exceeded a thousand times over. I realize sometimes people need a little help, some assistance to get back on their feet. But the welfare state that currently exists is unbelievable. If government would get out of the way and let people figure things out themselves we’d all be better off. Giving people handouts their whole life is not helpful, it’s destructive. By extension we also realize that nationalized health care would be an unmitigated disaster and that education would improve dramatically if government bureaucracy was not involved.


Conservatism is NOT racist. The spin that has been put on this issue is amazing. Liberals are the true racists, holding minorities down by tricking them into believing that they need help, that they cannot achieve success on their own merits, that anyone not willing to give them that which they have not earned hates them, that the world owes them something because of how their ancestors were mistreated. Liberals have used social programs as a pawn to buy the votes of minorities for decades. Conservatives are the ones who have faith that people can build a good life for themselves through hard work and effort no matter what the color of their skin may be.


Conservatives believe in capitalism and lower taxes. I grew up with a typical liberal family in a typical liberal small town and state. The class envy and hatred of anyone who has “more” is mindboggling. There is instant jealousy and disdain of “rich people”. This type of resentment has lead to the quasi-socialism that Americans are lapping up like deprived wild animals right now. But the bottom line is that lower taxes leads to economic growth, which in turn leads to job opportunities, which then provide a better quality of life all the way around. I know that is a simplistic explanation. I don’t claim to be an economics sage, but I know that things like redistribution of wealth and leveling the playing field backfire in the long run. Life isn’t fair and so those who constantly lecture about equality and fairness just need to shut up.


Conservatives believe in God. I talk about separation of church and state in another discourse here at The Manofesto. However, suffice to say that conservatism believes in freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Contrary to some opinions there are rules in life, there are limits. It’s shocking to me how some of the most extreme views have become not only accepted but are lovingly embraced. I will also say that some of these sorts of issues, like gay marriage and abortion, are probably better left to individual states to decide. That gives people some choice as to where they may or may not prefer to live depending on how strongly they believe in or are affected by something in particular. This seems to be what is happening with gay marriage, but unfortunately was not done with abortion.


Conservatives interpret The Constitution as it is written. That means we support the right to keep and bear arms and the due process of law, among other things. The Supreme Court has taken it upon itself to “loose interpret” The Constitution, and that has lead to many of our current problems.


Conservatives don’t hate the environment or animals. We do tend to look at those issues pragmatically. Animals do not and should not have human-like rights. Some, like cats and dogs, were meant to be faithful companions. Others, like chickens and deer, were meant to be killed and eaten. If someone has the means to buy a mink coat then why shouldn’t they? What else are minks good for? As for the environment, there is evidence to support some of the climate change concern, but far from enough to give credibility to the hysteria that the left has had unfortunate success creating. God made this planet and He won’t allow us to destroy it. It is arrogant to believe we have that much clout. Environmentalism, much like race politics, is just another way of controlling people who aren’t wise enough to realize they’re being duped.


This is far from a comprehensive analysis of conservatism. It’s just a small but focused overview of what it means, atleast in theory. So while the Republican Party is wringing their hands trying to figure out a way to win elections and gain back their beloved power, maybe they should try to remember what it is they are instead of what others are trying to force them to become.



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