Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Pillars of the Conservative Movement
Bringing Common Sense into the Conservative Movement 9/3/09
Of late, I have been attempting to simplify my views on Conservatism, and to identify a few pillars of the movement that are easily grasped and sufficiently comprehensive to act as guides to rational thought. The (now) ten pillars I have come up with in this fourth revision are still tentative and subject to change, but I will post them and let them age a bit more. A major aspect of these pillars is exactly what they are holding up: the concept of an integrated or fused movement called conservatism.
I see my conservatism as a practical, realistic integration of subordinate thrusts such as fiscal, social, and moral conservative memes. One need I have beyond this integration concept is a proper descriptive name for it. For lack of a catchier name, I have called it Common Sense Conservatism.
Religion, especially the Bible, forms the basis for moral instruction of our children, ourselves, and our posterity; a necessary ingredient for a civil society. The concepts of flawed mankind, faith, hope, charity and tolerance are learned from religious instruction.
We take exception, however, to any religion or non-religion that has the overthrow of our nation as a principal objective. Any person or organization that embraces this idea and direction has automatically forfeited its protection under the Constitution. The prime examples of this hostile direction are those of Islam and Anarchism.
It is apparent that without the application of penetrating reason to our many and varied problems, we would descend into “feel good”, biased solutions, nihilism or chaos, on the one hand, or deeply religious dogmatism on the other, while ignoring many of the consequences of our actions.
There are reasons behind our institutions, customs, and traditions that must not be changed without due consideration of real effects. The adaptation and necessary change of our laws through legislation for the benefit of our citizens originates in reason.
Anti-Statism, anti-secularism, and anti-world government are likewise products of conservative reason, the former two because of their utter violation of our Constitution by statists and secularists, and the latter because of the immoral state of the vast majority of world governments and world organizations, such as the UN, and many citizens of these immoral or amoral nations. Peace only comes through strength and preservation of our national sovereignty.
3. Constitutional Originalism:
Our nation has been operating under the Constitution for some 233 years, with a mere 27 Amendments. It is time that we return to the original intent of the authors, rather than the fashionable memes of 5 biased justices out of the 9 serving, who have been legislating from the bench. We are a nation of law. There are valid reasons for amendments, however, if only to clarify meaning and halt dubious, unintended interpretations.
We therefore support a return to originalist Constitutional Law. By dividing roles and tasks between the federal government and state and local governments in accordance with the original intent of the Constitution, we will reach more republican governance. One key example is education, which should not be a federal role, but rather that of the states and local authorities. The main concept is subsidiarity--place the roles of government at the lowest point possible in the hierarchy. The excessive number of agencies, bureaus, commissions, and committees of the federal government, over 1,170 at this time, must be reduced to a sane minimum.
4. Public Spirit:
All together now, let’s roll! Volunteerism; Charity; proper Welfare; Education, and Tolerance pull the nation together. Then, too, proper taxation, where every citizen must pay into the common treasury, is a major objective. We celebrate the American history, experience, and way of life. We stand strong for our nation, prideful of its virtues, and are withal, patriotic. We must practice good citizenship.
5. Federal Governance:
Defense of the Constitution, defense of the nation, and defense of the citizenry are the proper roles of the federal government. We do not support efforts to modify our national sovereignty. We want our republic to endure. Further, we want our borders to be properly policed, and illegal aliens to be helped to return to their own country; but, we are not against controlled legal immigration. Fair taxation is another role that must be undertaken by our leaders; all citizens must contribute to our national financial requirements. Federal efforts for education must be ended.
6. State and Local Governance:
State and Local governance must include full responsibility for education.
7. Economic Growth:
We believe in the free market, but we also believe that some controls must exist to prevent the excesses that have plagued us today. Thus we believe in a “somewhat mixed economy”. We abhor the taxation of corporations, since it is in reality taxing the consumer, and makes our products more expensive in the world market. We believe that we should be exploiting our energy resources to curb the cost of virtually everything we use. The government must abstain from excess involvement in the marketplace.
8. Technological Advances:
Our technological and industrial capabilities must not be saddled with false or power-serving restrictions such as cap and trade, and other anthropomorphic global warming legislation. Environmentalism has become far too overbearing and intrusive. The pervasive restrictions on oil drilling and nuclear power are simply ridiculous.
Without proper education, citizens can expect to have in difficulty in being informed and insightful participants in our governance, and unmindful of the hard-won freedoms that we have. Then, too, to earn a living in our increasingly technological society requires training and education far beyond what we were given back in the 40s and 50s, especially how to think and use the analytical capability of the mind.
10. Traditions, Customs, and Institutions:
Preservation of our traditions, customs and institutions is an essential characteristic of the conservative position. The idea is to preserve these collections of how to act and how to interact in society because they are developed with strong societal preservation roots over a long period of time, and should not be casually experimented with or changed without due understanding of the consequences. Just because they are old and venerable does not mean that they are without meaning and value. This is not to say that change is all bad. Far from it, but the onus is on the prospective changer to show why the change is necessary and beneficial.