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May 19, 2008

What is a Conservative?

Last week while I was driving in to work listening to Glenn Beck on the radio, he had a guest call in and asked him to define what a Conservative is. It led to other things, but eventually Glenn gave a very shortened version of what it meant to him. This got me thinking about what it means to me to be Conservative. By giving my explanation, hopefully this might explain to everyone why true Conservatives refuse to vote for McCain. Although McCain is a Republican, Conservatives associate themselves with the movement and the ideology of Conservative over the Republican party. This is my explanation:

You can be a Conservative and still be Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or whatever party floats your boat. Conservatism is a way of thinking. It transcends party lines. While the Republican party generally is associated with Conservatives, the fact of the matter there are Conservative Democrats - These people are referred to as "Blue Dog" Democrats. These are generally the Social-Conservative Democrats of the South.

Conservatives Believe:

The Constitution is not to be interpreted. It is as it was written and it is very clear.

The Constitution is not a "living, breathing document" that changes with the wind. It can be modified by the people through amendments - which amendments may be repealed later if the people proved to be wrong.

The Constitution belongs to America. The Constitution should not be compared to foreign policy and then interpreted in the light of policies of other countries.

Small government - The Constitution specifically limits the powers of the Federal Government. All rights and powers are with the States. For some reason, the people have forgotten this and have allowed the government to grow beyond it's Constitutional boundaries.

Free-Market/Capitalism - This country was built on hard work, innovation, and reinvestment of profits gained in a capitalistic system.

Less taxes - Taxes inhibit growth in the free-market capitalist system. Taxes promote growth of "Big Government"

Personal Responsibility - It is up to you to take care of yourself. It is not up to the government to take care of you. It is up to you to get a good education to improve yourself. If you don't believe you are getting the education you deserve, you fight harder for it and then do what you need to do to learn what you don't know. It is up to you to get a good job or start your own business in order to provide for yourself and/or your family. It is up to you to be smart with the money you earn in a lifetime and put some of that away in your own choice of investments in order to have money to live on after you can no longer work. It is not up to the government to provide you with a retirement income. If you drop out of high school and do not contribute to the betterment of society, that is your own fault. It is not up to the states and the federal government to take care of you and your illegitimate offspring. This is the life you chose and this is the life you should lead.

Freedom of Speech - It is very clear in the Constitution that everyone has the freedom to say what the wish about any issue they wish. However, going with personal responsibility, you also reap whatever punishment is sewn as a result of what you say. But, in the same light, it is not up to the government to impose their own interpretation of what constitutes speech. We should live and die by our own words. Neither the government, nor anyone else, has the authority to limit your speech in any manner. It is up to the people themselves to determine whether they agree or disagree with your speech. So-called "hate-speech" legislation is unconstitutional as is the McCain-Feingold Act.

Freedom of Religion - Again, it is very clear that the Constitution allows anyone the right to choose the religion they wish to follow. It does not state Freedom FROM Religion. There is no such thing as "separation of church and state." This is a misnomer. It is a statement made by Thomas Jefferson in a speech to the Southern Baptist Convention. It is not doctrine and it is not a law. Those who wish to stifle Freedom of Religion through this non-existent "separation of church and state" have become too powerful. The founding fathers drafted the founding documents based on Christian principles with full intention that the people would continue to practice their religion. All of our Government offices have scripture, including the 10 Commandments, throughout their halls and outer structures. The Presidents and Representatives all take an oath on the Bible. When you are sworn in to a court of law - it is done on the Bible. Religion should be practices freely and openly. Religion should not be relegated to basements, living rooms, and only on Sundays in a church.

The Right to Bear Arms - Again, it is very clear in the 2d Amendment to our Constitution that every citizen has the right to own a gun. Not only for the purposes of a prepared militia, but also for the people to protect themselves from their own government. It specifically states "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Strong National Defense - America is the greatest and most powerful country in the world. America has the right to defend itself against all who threaten this great country without having to answer to the rest of the world nor do we need to ask permission from other countries to defend ourselves. We have the right to build our military and military supplies/munitions/and armament to whatever size we see fit to protect our borders and other interests. We have the right to defend our friends and allies when they can't or when they request it. Again, we do not need permission from other countries. Our military personnel deserve all the benefits we can provide to them and likewise deserve the best that technology can give to them.

Secure Borders - As with providing for a strong national defense, America has the right to secure it's borders from invaders such as illegal immigration has perpetrated on this country. We have the right to secure those borders in any manner we see fit to include putting armed personnel, including volunteers, and other military equipment and armament, as we see fit. We have the right to build a fence as long, as high, as thick as we want in order to protect our country if it is necessary. Which at this time, has become necessary.

Legal Immigration - Conservatives love immigrants. We are a country of immigrants. However, we want LEGAL immigrants. We want LEGAL immigrants who contribute to the betterment of our nation versus the detriment as we currently find ourselves. We want people in this country who can follow the laws, not those who break our laws to get in here and then hide.

Fair-play - We believe in fair-play. Rules and laws are made to be followed. Not bent, broken, or otherwise changed to meet someone else's needs. If you break the law, you should be punished for it. Amnesty for illegal immigrants is bending the rules and the laws. You cannot break or bend the rules based on your so-called religious beliefs. Your religious beliefs should fit the laws of our country. If you are told by a judge you have to remove your veil to be identified, then that is the law. If you are told by the DMV you need to remove your veil to be identified and photographed to get a driver's license, then you need to remove it as that is the law. In both cases, don't bitch and moan if you are denied because you failed to follow our laws and rules. If you are committing adultery and bigamy/polygamy because it is part of your outdated religious rules, then don't be surprised when your compound is raided by SWAT and FBI. Your own church denounced this practice almost 30 years ago.

Compassion - We believe in helping others and we donate more to the underprivileged than any other group as a whole. We do not believe that you should take our money via taxes and redistribute that "wealth" to the poor as you see fit. We worked hard to earn that money and we followed the rules, gained the good education, started our own businesses, became employed with the best organizations, worked our way to the tops of those organizations, and we now deserve to reap those benefits. We get to chose who we give our money to. The government has no authority to take more than a fair share to keep government operating at a minimal level. The government does not have the authority to take from the rich and give to the poor. We donate through our churches, local organizations, national organizations, and international organizations. We will help the homeless when we can. We will help feed the hungry when we can. We will help clothe the poor when we can. But, it should always be on our terms. Not how the government chooses.

Property Rights - Every American has the right to buy and own property under fair rules and for just compensation. The government does not have the right to take that property unless a crime has been committed and the taking of the property is needed to compensate victims of said criminal enterprise. Eminent Domain does not give the government outright authority to take anyone's property to expand government, and especially not to allow another private company to own that property in order to increase the government's tax revenues.
So - in a nutshell - Conservatives believe that if you want to be successful, you can. All you need to do is believe in yourself and not rely on the government. Government is the epitome of failure. The founding fathers intended the government to be small with limited powers and to stay out of people's business. The constitution should only be interpreted as it was written. America should answer to no one but it's own people as the people have the power, not the government. America is entitled to a strong national defense, secure borders, and LEGAL immigration. And, first and foremost, the power belongs with the people, not the government. (Did you notice how I keep repeating this?)

If you can think of something else - please feel free to add your own comments!

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