Throughout most of the last decade I have noticed a rift beginning to form within the Conservative movement. This rift, has become more prominent over the course of the past year-or-two with the emergence of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
Ronald Reagan was known as the shining voice in the GOP, the leader that was able to connect the ‘three-legged stool’ of conservatism and put it on solid ground with a strong foundation. Now that stool, the coalition of small government liberty loving conservatives, national security conservatives and the religious right has grown more wobbly in each year since the Gipper’s passing.
The problem, as I see it, is not necessarily that the three legs that hold up the stool that is Conservatism are against each other — the problem is that somewhere along the way in building that three-legged stool and bringing into the mix all the materials that make up that stool, we’ve somehow managed to completely change the definition of what a Conservative is.
Take former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, whom in a recent interview with the Associated Press slammed the ‘libertarian wing’ of the GOP highlighted by his potential 2016 primary foes Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.
“There’s a strain within the Republican Party now that smacks of the no-government conservatism,” Santorum said. “That wasn’t Ronald Re[a]gan. It wasn’t Teddy Roosevelt. It wasn’t Abraham Lincoln. It wasn’t any Republican that I’m aware of. . . . [T]here seems to be this creation of this strain of conservatism that has no basis in conservatism.”
I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement, there is no such strain of ‘no-government conservatism’ as Santorum preaches. It is just the rhetoric he uses to prop up his political record while in office, a record of a love of government spending run amok. It is actually Rick Santorum’s ‘strain of conservatism’ and Rick Santorum himself ‘that has no basis in conservatism.’
The traditional view of conservatism, holds that collectivism is the enemy of the individual. “Every man, for his individual good and for the good of his society, is responsible for his own development.” Barry Goldwater wrote. The good of the individual and the good of society go hand in hand, all the government needs to is get out-of-the-way. However, in Santorum’s version of conservatism it is the individual that is the enemy of the social order and the family.
Former Reagan speech-writer Peggy Noonan wrote an excellent article back in 2007 where she wondered in then current climate of the GOP, if Reagan would have even been able to be nominated. I can’t seem to find the link to her full article any longer, but I had quoted it in a post that I had written about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and what it means to be a “Conservative.”
Christian conservatives have been rising, most recently, for 30 years in national politics, since they helped elect Jimmy Carter. They care about the religious faith of their leaders, and their interest is legitimate. Faith is a shaping force. Lincoln got grilled on it. But there is a sense in Iowa now that faith has been heightened as a determining factor in how to vote, that such things as executive ability, professional history, temperament, character, political philosophy and professed stands are secondary, tertiary.
But they are not, and cannot be. They are central. Things seem to be getting out of kilter, with the emphasis shifting too far.
The great question: Does it make Mr. Huckabee, does it seal his rise, that he has acted in such a manner? Or does it damage him? Republicans on the ground in Iowa and elsewhere will decide that. And in the deciding they may be deciding more than one man’s future. They may be deciding if Republicans are becoming a different kind of party.
I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist Hollywood, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I’m just not sure he’d be pure enough to make it in this party. I’m not sure he’d be considered good enough.
In 2012, while participating in an event called iPledge Sunday, Santorum made some very interesting comments about the ‘pursuit of happiness’ and what The Founding Fathers meant by that term. “America is more than ‘stuff,’ our founders said so, in that founding document,” Santorum said. He went on to state that his view of what the founders meant of the ‘pursuit of happiness,’ was doing ‘God’s will.”
Rick Santorum’s interpretation of the meanings of the phrases and intent behind our Nation’s Founding Documents is a gigantic departure from not just the vision of the founders but from the traditional views of Conservatism. They are nothing more than the views of a theocrat.
Now there is no doubt that The Founding Fathers were spiritual man, history makes this clear. What there is just no evidence in existence of, is this belief by Rick Santorum and many others on the hard-core fundamental religious-right that the founders goal was to create a republic in which government and religion played an intertwined role in the lives of its citizens.
As lawyer and libertarian columnist Doug Mataconis wrote:
Moreover, the Founders own religious beliefs are far less orthodox that religious conservatives would like to believe. Jefferson, for example, was a Diest who believed in a Creator who played absolutely no role in the affairs of the world, and considered much of the New Testament to be mere superstitions, which is the reason he created his own version of the teachings of Jesus which completely deleted any reference to his being of Divine origin.
And Jefferson wasn’t alone. John Adams signed a treaty with the pirates of Tripoli that contains this famous phrase:
“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
Rick Santorum’s distorted brand of ‘blue collar conservatism,’ embraces the progressive worldview that society has a duty to help the poor, and takes it one step further by suggesting that it is not just a ‘duty’ but a ‘moral obligation.’ This is the 2000 Presidential candidate George W. Bush’s brand of ‘compassionate conservatism,’ on steroids.
Both distorted views are a far cry from the tried and true Conservative principles of smaller government, individual responsibility and personal freedom.
That does not mean that Conservatives are cold and uncaring, or that many republicans, as Rick Santorum stated in the article mentioned at the beginning of this piece, ‘care less about person at bottom of ladder than Democrats do.’
Conservatives look at people and when they see them, they see potential. Progressives look at people and they see victims. The left, and as well as many on the big-government loving religious-right, want to use government to try to “help others.” We Conservatives, don’t trust the government and don’t want to use the government towards those means – we want the government out-of-the-way, so people can lift themselves up and succeed on their own merits.
Barry Goldwater in ‘The Conscience Of A Conservative’ wrote: (emphasis added)
“The Conservative realizes . . . that man’s development, in both its spiritual and material aspects, is not something that can be directed by outside forces. Every man, for his individual good and for the good of his society, is responsible for his own development. The choices that govern his life are choices that he must make: they cannot be made by any other human being, or by a collectivity of human beings. If the Conservative is less anxious than his Liberal brethren to increase Social Security “benefits,” it is because he is more anxious than his Liberal brethren that people be free throughout their lives to spend their earnings when and as they see fit.
So it is that Conservatism, throughout history, has regarded man neither as a potential pawn of other men, nor as a part of a general collectivity in which the sacredness and the separate identity of individual human beings are ignored. Throughout history, true Conservatism has been at war equally with autocrats and with “democratic” Jacobins. The true Conservative was sympathetic with the plight of the hapless peasant under the tyranny of the French monarchy. And he was equally revolted at the attempt to solve that problem by a mob tyranny that paraded under the banner of egalitarianism. The conscience of the Conservative is pricked by anyone who would debase the dignity of the individual human being. Today, therefore, he is at odds with dictators who rule by terror, and equally with those gentler collectivists who ask our permission to play God with the human race.”
Much like the word ‘liberal’ has been stolen co-opted by the philosophical left and completely changed definitions from its classical foundation in the limited-government tradition of Adam Smith & John Lock — allowing Rick Santorum and other believers of his warped views of conservatism to continue unchecked with their attacks on the ‘libertarianish right’ will only serve to forever change the definition of Conservative.
Libertarianism and Conservative go hand in had, they are but different leaves on the same branch of the tree of liberty, as Ronald Reagan himself said “libertarianism is the heart and soul of conservatism.”
True conservatives everywhere would be wise to shun Rick Santorum and not allow his damage to the ideas of conservatism to continue.
Let’s not have to choose either this time around.
I’ve seen this floating around for a while, I thought I’d fix it.
This is Carey Wedler, the girl who’s YouTube video where she burns her Obama campaign Tee Shirt is currently making the rounds on Conservative blogs and Facebook Pages. She made a lot of great points in that video, however in the end her thoughts veered dangerously close to anarchism, which I am most definitely not an advocate of.
Some of her thoughts in this video also step dangerously close to anarchism, but she makes some very excellent points as well.
It’s great to see the awakening that is slowly growing in this country of ours.
Arizona’s State Legislature has recently passed SB 1062, a bill that has been deemed “controversial” by most in the media. The bill, passed by a 33-27 vote in the state House of Representatives, allows private business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
My personal beliefs, as a former small business owner, is that discrimination is stupid and downright wrong. Not only is choosing not to deal with a certain segment of customers whose lifestyle you may disagree with wrong, but its bad business. You are taking cash out of your bottom line.
That being said, my belief as a proponent of liberty, is that in a free society, much like private citizens should be allowed to live their lives as they choose, business owners should have the right to run their businesses as they see fit.
If choosing to discriminate (choose not to sell products to or provide services to) gays and lesbians is made to be illegal, then should it not also be unlawful to give senior citizen discounts or free meals to children? After all that is age discrimination. Or how about discounts to law enforcement or members of the military? Is that not discriminating against civilians?
In a truly free society, it is not just business owners that should have the right to refuse service, but customers have the right to not spend their money with those discriminatory businesses. Furthermore, in a free society people have the right to boycott any business establishment whose actions they disagree with.
Discrimination is a two way street. In the free market it should be an option for both parties involved, the business and the consumer.
As Meredith Ancret wrote on her blog in a post last year:
Look, if you have a private business, whether that is a restaurant, bakery, or an apartment complex or rental home or any other business that you privately own (meaning you have no government subsidies and no shareholders to keep happy) you can, or should, be allowed to discriminate at will.
Now if you decide to discriminate against people (you won’t serve Jews, rent to gays, or hire black people) you may take a blow to your business. This is because of the free market, the same reason why I believe in your right to discriminate. The free market means that you are undoubtedly not the only restaurant, bakery, apartment complex, or landlord within a reasonable distance and if you turn away customers, who then go talk to their friends and family and tell them not the shop there for whatever reason (even if they aren’t Jewish, gay, or black. I’m white and still wouldn’t to a KKK restaurant) that is not good publicity and chances are your local news will catch wind of it and you will end up with loss of business.
I support your right to discriminate. I don’t have to like you for discriminating.
A good businessman usually cares more about their bottom line than they do about the sexuality, race, or religion of their customer. Despite the fact that, if I owned a business, I might be tempted to charge every moron wearing a Che Guevara shirt or driving around with an Obama sticker on their car a 10% increase on services just for dealing with their stupidity, but I highly doubt I would actually do that because it would be really bad for my company’s business.
But I should be able to do that if I want too.
I personally believe that it is a downright heinous act for a business owner to discriminate against a whole segment of the population because they simply disagree with their lifestyle choices. However, it is not mine nor the governments place to impose that judgment of mine on a private business owner.
As the late great Barry Goldwater wrote:
Social and cultural change, however desirable, should not be effected by the engines of national power. Let us, through persuasion and education, seek to improve institutions we deem defective. But let us, in doing so, respect the orderly processes of the law. Any other course enthrones tyrants and dooms freedom.
One of my biggest complaints when it comes to my fellow conservative minded individuals is the absolute disdain that is shown towards pop culture. Complaining about the President going on late night talk shows, boycotting going to the movies because of the “liberal elitists,” it just reinforces the stereotype of republicans being a bunch of boring Lawrence Welk listening to prudes.
While conservatives like to avoid pop culture, the simple truth is that conservatives are a huge part of pop culture — and not a good part. We are the butt of everyone’s jokes, yet we don’t do anything about it but cry like a bunch of babies, take our balls and go home.
The front lines of the culture war is where the fight for America’s future will be won or lost.
To the casual low information voter, the GOP is filled with uncool, rich old white men who hate minorities.
As long as we stay on the sidelines instead of actively participating in the process, in the national arena these are the myths that will continue to be spread about us.
To the average American, who would you rather want to sit down and drink a cold one with, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? To those who don’t actively engage in politics on a daily basis (most of America) the answer is not the uncool rich white guy.
If you win the culture war, you win the hearts and minds of the people, the left knows this and they play the game great. Once you build trust with the people on the little things that fill up the pop culture wasteland, they start to listen to you on the important things.
Brandon over at Misfit Politics has a great post up about how, “Our cultural ignorance is killing us and this country.” Here’s a snippet:
Is it so bothersome that someone has a different opinion than you, that you have to reject them and their craft outright? Have we chosen to close ourselves off from the rest of the world if their opinions don’t fall in line with ours?
Have we really become so like progressives in that regard?
I’ll give you a perfect example of my point.
Super Bowl halftime shows are often over-sexualized performances with half naked (one time actually naked) stars shaking their junk around while background dancers move provocatively to the music. If you’re like me, you cried foul. There are children watching this, and this is what they presented as family entertainment? We wanted something fun, and clean.
Then, last Super Bowl we got it when Bruno Mars took the stage. Talk about talent! The show he and the Red Hot Chili Peppers put on was energetic, fun, and didn’t rely on a tired strip show routine to make it interesting.
Yet still the disapproving tweets were ridiculous.
“Why should I watch this? It’s just more liberal tripe.”
“Just another Obama voter getting a big stage.”
Perhaps Bruno Mars did vote for Obama. Perhaps he’s a liberal.
The man’s good-natured show did nothing but cleanly entertain. There was no politics involved. It had no political significance until we injected politics into it. This bothers me greatly.
Conservatives complain all the time that we are held back in the entertainment industry because of our beliefs. The claim isn’t a false one, yet we do the exact same when the opposite gets up to perform, no matter how small the offense. Even if it’s retaliatory, it’s hypocritical.
Read the whole thing here.
I’ll finish with this quote from the late, great Andrew Breitbart,
“Once you see what their plan was, you realize that it was implemented. It was taking over the cultural institutions. The left is smart enough to understand that the way to change a political system is through its cultural systems. So you look at the conservative movement—working the levers of power, creating think tanks, and trying to get people elected in different places—while the left is taking over Hollywood, the music industry, the churches.”
I’m not an Alex Jones fan, for the most part I think he’s a tinfoil hat wearing 9/11 truther nut-job, who when he does make valid points, they are overridden by his nuttiness — he does far more harm then good to the cause of liberty.
However, as a liberty-loving conservative who happens to also be a metalhead and someone who believes that culture is the key in fighting the socialist plague that has infected our country, I had to share this story.
A while back I wrote about Korn’s new video for their new song “Spike in My Veins,” which blasted Barack Obama more then anyone famous in the music world has done before. Now Korn frontman Jonathan Davis recently appeared on “The Alex Jones Show” and stated that Obama is becoming “more of a dictator” and claims that the US turning into a “police state.”
Asked about the inspiration for KORN’s “Spike in My Veins” video — which overlaps important news reports of government lookout and major political figures with modern pop acts such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West — Davis said: “For a long time, I’ve been into what’s going on with our country.
“I don’t necessarily consider myself a political person, but over the years, I’ve seen what’s been going on, and it’s time to do something about what’s going on with our country and the system and everything that’s going on.
“It seems really sad that everybody’s so asleep and oblivious to the fact that the country uses the media to capture people’s attention or take away from the fact that what’s going on with our country.
“It really freaked me out when the whole Miley Cyrus thing was going on, and when that went down, [President] Barack [Obama] passed that new law that he can imprison anyone he wants and he doesn’t have to charge them and he can keep them as long as he wants.
“Basically, all our liberties are being taken away one by one, and finally, I feel like it’s time… I’ve gotta do something and try and get as many people as we can to wake up and see what’s really going on.”
Asked about the meaning behind the title of KORN’s 11th studio album, last year’s “The Paradigm Shift”, Davis said: “I think it’s time for us as normal people to come up and fight against the powers that be.
“I think this country was founded and based in the beginning and set up for us to have revolutions when we don’t like our government and what our government has done and taken over and taken away all our privacy and all the things going on with the drones…. I mean, everything. It’s a scary time, and I think that someone’s gotta do it in our position, someone’s gotta speak out to the younger audience and let them know what’s going on and how to wake up and take back their privacy.”
He continued: “Big Brother is alive and well. I mean, you’re looking at me on my camera phone. It wasn’t about putting up cameras. I think we’ve already got cameras everywhere. You can’t tell me that there’s no backdoors for everybody to see, so that the powers that be can see what we’re doing and watch what we’re doing at all times. And I’m not comfortable with that. And I think it needs to go. And they’re building that huge-ass building, NSA is, for all the spying, and it’s just gonna get worse and worse. I mean, it’s scary times, brother.
“Nobody cares what’s going on behind the closed doors when Obama makes all these crazy laws that take away more and more of our privacy. It’ll make you more of a dictator.
“Something’s gotta happen, man. It’s gotta stop.”
Davis also elaborated on why he thinks Obama is becoming more of a “dictator” as time goes on.
“I mean, I’ve said it before. I think he’s an illuminati puppet,” the singer said. “It just doesn’t make sense, the whole thing. The guy comes from out of nowhere, he gets made president, all this stuff starts happening. I don’t know… It just didn’t make sense to me. And to top top it off, I’m not really a political person, I don’t know much about it, I’m just worried about my privacy and my children’s privacy. This being America, we’re supposed to be the ‘land of the free,’ and it’s becoming a police state.”
He added: “I just want us to become the country we used to be.
“I remember, when I was a kid, how amazing our country was, and as I’ve grown up and watched things happen, I just want it to be like it used to be. Read More…
Hopefully more voices in the music world and throughout the rest of Hollyweird can come out of the cold and wake up.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul recently told Glenn Beck that Republican’s will not win another Presidential election in his lifetime, “…unless they become a new GOP, a new Republican Party.” During the interview on Beck’s The Blaze, Sen. Paul added, “And it has to be a transformation, not a little tweaking at the edges.”
Rand Paul is 100% right. I was not a fan of his father’s Presidential bids, and it is far too early to get behind a candidate for 2016, but more and more it appears to me that Rand Paul is the clear choice for the future of the GOP and the country.
From The Blaze:
“You have to take your message to people in a way they can understand it,” Paul asserted.
The senator said, for example, that if he is speaking with 1,000 young people, he doesn’t focus on taxes and regulation, but about the government looking at your cellphone.
He added that Republicans have failed to speak with African American and Hispanic communities about how the war on drugs and our legal system has disproportionately affected them.
The primary goal, Paul said, is to present the “ideas of liberty” to everyone.
“There are many people who are open among all these disaffected groups, who really aren’t steadfast supporters of Obama or an ideology,” Paul asserted. “I think they’re open to listening, but we have to have a better message and a better presentation of it.” Read More…
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