What is a Conservative? Hint, Not Trump!

This is not a hit piece on Donald Trump. Now that his supposed inevitability as the Republican nominee for President has been stymied by a powerful Ted Cruz win in Iowa however, it’s time for some serious talk about conservative philosophy and what we should expect from candidates who call themselves one.

The term conservative can be confusing because it’s meaning changes depending on where you are and in what time period. If you were a European conservative during times of monarchy, aristocracy or feudalism, you were a defender of such power structures and fought against changes to them.

American conservatism is more closely attuned to the classic liberalism principles of civil liberty, political and economic freedom, which our founding doctrines were built around and which conservatives today are struggling to protect.

Ironically though, because our way of government has strayed so far from classic liberalism, today it’s the so called “progressives” who want to preserve the quasi socialist mess we now find ourselves in and the conservatives who are calling for radical change. That is a different discussion for another day however.

MANY DEFINITIONS

It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact definition of conservatism because it isn’t a single thing. As Jonah Goldberg states in this National Review piece, 

  “…as I have argued before, I think it’s (conservatism) a contradictory thing, a bundle of principles married to a prudential and humble appreciation of the complexity of life and the sanctity of successful human institutions.

He then goes on to quote his friend and author Yuval Levin who says,

To my mind, conservatism is gratitude. Conservatives tend to begin from gratitude for what is good and what works in our society and then strive to build on it, while liberals tend to begin from outrage at what is bad and broken and seek to uproot it.”

 Both these definitions are spot on. I would only add that to be a political conservative means to put the dignity and freedom of the individual above all else.

Thus a conservative government should be organized around the principle of human flourishing; where individuals can thrive by honing their unique skills and talents to pursue happiness as they see fit and are given the freedom to succeed as well as fail. The government’s job is limited to keeping its people safe from foreign and domestic attacks, enforcing the rule of law, protecting individual liberty, private property and the natural God given rights of its citizens.

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM

So then, what should we look for in a conservative candidate? Many things, but I believe understanding and believing in American Exceptionalism is most important. How a person feels about this defines their political philosophy, unknowingly or not.

Our Constitution is based on the principle that people get their rights from God, not government, that we the people rule that government, not the other way around. This was and still is exceptional because no other country on earth but America so strongly weaves those principles in to their governing systems. At least we used to.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse had some very astute words on all of this during an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC.

 TODD: “Let me ask you this because you really are considered as somebody, one of the rising    stars in the conservative movement. But I think this presidential primary is exposed a difference of opinion of what conservatism even means right now. And you have a version that Trump has, you have a version that Cruz has, and, I would argue you have a separate version that say a Jeb Bush and John Kasich have. Let me ask you, because a lot of people are looking to you as one of these future leaders of the conservative movement, what is a conservative in your view today? Define conservatism in the 21st century the events via Ben Sasse.”

SASSE: “That is a great question. America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world because the US Constitution is the best political document that’s ever been written. Because it says something different than almost any people in any government has believed in human history. Most governments in the past said might makes right and the King has all the power and the people are dependent subjects. And the American founders said no. God gives us rights by nature and government is just our shared project to secure those rights.

 Government is not the author or source of our rights and you don’t make America great again by giving more power to one guy in Washington, DC. You make America great again by recovering a constitutional republic where Washington is populated by people who are servant leaders, who want to return power to the people and to the communities. Because looks what is great in America is the Rotary Club, it’s small businesses, it’s churches, it’s schools, it’s fire departments and it’s Little Leagues across this country. What makes America great is not some guy in Washington who says “if I had more power I could fix it all unilaterally.” That’s not the American tradition.”

KINGS NEED NOT APPLY

Sasse’s line is worth repeating, “You don’t make America great again by giving more power to one guy in Washington, DC.”

Right! We shouldn’t want a Peronist style rainmaker claiming to undo our 100-year in the making dysfunctional political swampland overnight. The amount of power required for such a person is anathema to our system of divided government and should be a non-starter for conservatives.

We need someone who is in awe of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights and who thinks the people who created them knew what they were doing.  A person who understands that while a foundation can be laid out to help right the American ship, getting her there will not happen under their watch, nor should it be desired.

A FAUSTIAN BARGAIN

Just as important is a candidate who can communicate to the American people why and how a government of limited power is of benefit to them. That dangling goodies of cradle to grave security is a Faustian bargain that robs individuals of their power, their dignity, and ability to think and do for themselves; that corrodes the soul and creates a dependent, immoral society that fights with each other for more and more government crumbs.

In the words of my favorite Downton Abbey character Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith)

“For years I’ve watched governments take control of our lives, and their argument is always the same—fewer costs, greater efficiency. But the result is the same, too. Less control by the people, more control by the state, until the individual’s own wishes count for nothing. That is what I consider my duty to resist. . . .”

 Exactly!

So tell me , what is your definition of conservatism and do you feel America would be better off with more or less of it?  Differing opinions are welcome, but please be respectful.

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87 Responses to What is a Conservative? Hint, Not Trump!

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    If you were a European conservative during times of monarchy, aristocracy or feudalism, you were a defender of such power structures and fought against changes to them.

    If you were a Jewish conservative in the 1st century AD, you crucified those liberals who violated the laws of Moses by saying such things as, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

    American conservatism is more closely attuned to keeping things the way they were, to preserving Mayberry, Aunt Bea’s apple pie and Floyd, the barber. The problem with that is that Mayberry is a fictional town, set in a previous century in an evolving society, and the youth of today, to quote Gibran, “…live in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, even in your dreams..”

    We cannot build a government for tomorrow, based on the principles of yesteryear – even Thomas Jefferson once remarked, speaking of a government ruled by dead hands, that what this country needed was to have a revolution every twenty years. We have gone that one better – we have a revolution every four years. Not an armed one, hopefully no shots are fired, but a political one that if things go right – again to quote Gibran, “…go not backward, nor tarry with yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      I appreciate your respectful comment Arch. The first part is irrelevant which you know, and the second part, while superficial, is important because many people have this view of conservatism, that it’s some sort of wish to go back to Mayberry. It’s not of course, there is a very deep and rich history behind it that I wish more people would dig in to. It would provide much more interesting and productive debate if so.

      Agree our non violent “revolutions” every four years are preferable to actual ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dennis says:

    “The government’s job is limited to keeping its people safe from foreign and domestic attacks, enforcing the rule of law, protecting individual liberty, private property and the natural God given rights of its citizens.” To me this is the most important takeaway from your blog Tricia.

    The problem in trying to limit government is trying to limit government employees i.e. congressmen/women, senators, government union employees and all the overstaffed departments.

    Term limits on congress would work wonders and cutting by 75% the budgets of the departments now making rules and laws without congressional approval would cut the size of government substantially.

    Limiting lobbyists ability to contact government employees and limiting their “donations” would stem the influence for programs and products that simply enrich a limited number of people and waste tax dollars.

    Ethanol is a prime example. It harms the environment, cost more money to process and blend with gasoline and causes repairs to engines that would not be needed run without ethanol. However it does enrich the farm growers of a few states and those growers enrich the politicians thru campaign donations etc. Millions of people suffer high cost of gasoline and repairs while a select few get wealthy. Government should stay out of private business and not use the EPA to mandate laws that do more harm then good.

    Alas we will never see a smaller more efficient government because the money is too powerful and the will is not there.

    Get armed and get trained and be prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones!

    Liked by 4 people

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Limiting lobbyists ability to contact government employees and limiting their “donations” would stem the influence for programs and products that simply enrich a limited number of people and waste tax dollars.

      Dennis, you had me at “Limiting lobbyists” –!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Oh so well said Dennis! So true, that the tentacles of govt have seeped in to so many areas that have sprouted numerous cottage industries and special interests groups on top of the layers and layers of entrenched bureaucracy that will make it extremely difficult to peel any of it off, let alone get back to a comfortable power ratio of people vs the govt. Term limits and lobbyist limits are certainly a good start. Getting armed is one too. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Julie says:

      Amen to term limits on congress.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Tricia says:

        Same here Julie! 😉

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Unlimited terms amount to dynasties.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Julie says:

          Exactly. And conflicts of interest.

          Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Sadly, the great unwashed (us’ns) are too busy putting food on the table to afford to donate the campaign funds readily available to the lobbyists. I get hit by emails every day, to contribute to this or that candidate, but I’m not sure how far they’d get with my Big Mac money.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Julie says:

            Perhaps there should be limits on the campaign spending, too. I mean, how expensive can a website be? How expensive can it be to visit those few people who do not have access to the internet? Of course that would require us citizens to make an effort to actually know what the candidates stand for rather than relying on a constant barrage of sound bytes that may or may not be true.

            So you own a MacDonald’s franchise then?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            True on that Julie, that citizens need to take the time to seek out unbiased info on candidates, of both parties I would argue. So many people just don’t care or they vote by party, it’s really put us in bad shape.

            Campaign finances don’t bother me as much as how untransparent it all is. I’d be fine with getting rid of any donation limits as along as it’s all publicized.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Julie says:

            You’re right, limiting the amount spent on campaigns would require government regulation and I’m for less government.

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            So, the candidate with the biggest war-chest wins? How democratic!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Julie says:

            It seems more a matter of the candidate who is willing to tell the biggest lies wins. They all have lots of money backing them. Even the ones who keep railing against the millionaires (which always makes me laugh because they are millionaires, too.) I think Tricia has it right. Full, transparent disclosure. As if.

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            No, but I have enough for a Big Mac if I skip the french fries.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Julie says:

            Big Macs will kill you.

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Yeah, but you get to die licking special sauce off your fingers —
            Mmm – special sauce —

            Like

  3. [sotto voce: Pssst….Hey Trish, I think this is the link you meant to embed for the Ben Sasse interview by Chuck Todd. Or maybe this one that includes the transcript.] 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are correct that it’s inadequate to use the literal definition of the noun Conservative (“someone who wants to conserve the status quo”). I desperately want to change the current status quo, back to a limited government and maximized individual liberty (within reasonable bounds).

    In the context of modern American Conservatism, I’d describe it this way: Someone who has deep respect for time-honored traditional methods and attitudes about life and guidelines for living. These methods and attitudes are practical and well-worn answers to challenging circumstances in our everyday lives of self-sufficiency and self-responsibility, in which EVERY problem cannot necessarily be 100% solved. Realistic tradeoffs are part of life.

    How’s that?

    – Jeff

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      That, was pretty darn good my friend! And I agree completely….time honored traditions should not be discarded so lightly. Something tells me we will be feeling the negative effects of this for quite some time.

      Nice to see you back around here Jeff! 🙂

      Like

      • Trish, just today (honestly) I discovered a passage today in a Hillsdale Dialogue podcast that is uncannily similar to the description of a conservative I posted above, 5 days ago. Here it is:

        [This is Dr. Stephen Smith (professor) and Dr. Larry Arnn (president), Hillsdale College, from an 8/1/2014 podcast about the works of Shakespeare, starting at the 16:55 mark.]

        Dr. Smith: “[Shakespeare] wants you to learn the cardinal importance of prudence. He’s one of the few artists in the world who can make prudence a completely captivating subject of study. I’ve taught for many years now, and sometimes you say the word prudence and folks go, ‘Oh, what’s that about?’ Prudence is, for Shakespeare, the key faculty of decision-making — right reason applied to human action. The more you study Shakespeare with this in mind, it becomes an urgent need. And so one of the great things about Shakespearean drama is you can actually FEEL the need for prudence, and you sort of watch what happens when you don’t have it. Here’s a line from King Lear. Cordelia says of her father: ‘His life is dissolving because he lacks the means to lead it well.’ That line is SO at the heart of Shakespeare.”

        Dr. Arnn: “Add this about prudence because it’s parallel to something that goes on in Shakespeare: The decisions we make are always made amidst pressures. And usually the decisions we make are compromises of some kind. And some ill is suffered — but lesser. And some good is got — but greater. And so, it’s one thing to write an essay about what the right thing to do is. But to DO it when things are at stake, and when perfection is not possible — THAT’S what is hard. And that involves keeping something eternal in mind, while you deal with these circumstances.”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. jncthedc says:

    This is a HOT topic with many different points of view. Emotions often interfere with a willingness to listen and be open minded. They (emotions) result in a need to impose beliefs whether accurate or not on others. Our political system is truly in an interesting cycle. People seem tired of a two party system that talks about the same issues every four years, yet never achieves overwhelming support of the masses with the legislative policies created. Who would ever have thought a democrat with the word “socialist” attached to his name would ever stand a chance to be elected. Who would ever have thought a businessman without ANY political astuteness would be leading his political party. In the end, the voters ironically may return to traditional leaders in fear of change. This will possibly lead to 4 more years of the “same” or similar policies that we currently unsatisfied with.

    Politics is NOT a fair game. Our system no longer reflects the ethics and morals of our founding fathers. It will require a well respected leader willing and able to negotiate domestically and internationally and bring together through transparent policies a nation ready to unite for the sake of mankind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good comment, sir. I squirmed at one phrase, though. Trump may be leading in public polling of who people “like” in the field of GOP candidates, but that’s not the same thing as “leading his political party.” My main takeaway from the Iowa caucuses was: 76% of the Republican caucus voters calmly and rationally voted for NT (“Not Trump”).

      Just because Trump is running as a Republican doesn’t make him one. He’s not a conservative. He’s an opportunist that is skilled at populist persuasion — that’s all. I won’t vote for him in a primary. But if he becomes the GOP nominee, in the general election I will vote for him over any Democrat, as the least bad candidate.

      – Jeff

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Well said Jonathan. And you very well could be right that we may be looking at 4 more years of the same no matter which party gets in office. In which case, in my opinion, we really will be on the road to disaster both fiscally and morally. There are a few in my mind who are up to the job but really at this point, who the heck knows.

      And yes, we do live in interesting times!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Al says:

    Geez, Tricia. You really made me work of this one! I had to reflect for quite a while decide what to say on this.

    I guess my idea of a true conservative is one who is true to the Constitution. As Sasse said, it is the one true masterpiece of outlining how government should operate. A careful read should alert anybody of even modest knowledge that it never meant for the central government to become the giant liberty sucking vacuum that it now is.

    In fact, the Constitution goes out of its way to limit what the central government can do and reserves all other rights to the states and the people. These men were geniuses of their times. They also knew that this would be a document needed adjustments along the way. This is provided for in the amendment section. And even at that, the amendment process is not something the government can do willy-nilly on its own. The states play a major part in amendments. But what it is not, is a “living” document as the liberals would have us believe, subject to interpretation by the “flavor of the month” administration in office. That’s why the Supreme Court was created. You can argue whether a particular court leans right or left, but the interpretation is theirs and theirs alone.

    This is strictly my opinion, but to me the job of U.S. Government is to protect us from all enemies, foreign and domestic, regulate interstate commerce, make treaties with sovereign nations and insure that every citizen has equal rights under the law. It is responsible for very little else. Somewhere along the line, the government decided that instead of insuring the right to the pursuit of happiness, its job was to “grant” happiness to all citizens. Therein lies the crux of the problem with the bloated government we have today.

    To me, the next President doesn’t have to have carry the mantle of “conservative”. He or she just has to mean it when they raise their right hand and say “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It’s really that simple.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      I like to make people work Al, as it makes less for me. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. 😉

      You bring up a lot of good points which I appreciate you taking the time to do. It really is that simple as you say about our leaders believing in faithfully protecting the constitution. So many though just pay lip service to that, which is why I feel their thoughts on American Exceptionalism are essential to getting to the heart of who they are. We all know how Obama felt about it (we are exceptional, just like France and England, blah, blah, blah) which rings true to his moral relevancy governing style.

      The whole idea of a”living constitution” really gets me too. People who preach this are really saying let’s just govern our country based on the whims and emotions of whatever fallen leaders happen to be in office. Not a very good road to follow as we’ve seen.

      Like

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      …the Constitution goes out of its way to limit what the central government can do and reserves all other rights to the states and the people.

      Indeed it does, Al, however these same wise men chose to create a Constitution that could change as times changed, reducing the perceived need for an armed revolution to change things. Further, when they suggested States’ Rights, they rode horses and drove wagons and had no idea that at some point in this nation’s future, we would be able to fly across the entire country in a matter of hours. Without uniform laws across the country, a free Black man could well have been enslaved if he crossed state lines from a free state into a slave state – I’m sure that I don’t have to cite the multitude of other situations that a patchwork quilt of differing State laws could create.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tricia says:

        It’s not about not having laws and regs that are in line with society and technology Arch. It’s about making sure they fall in line with the constitution. Sometimes it needs to be amended but as Al said, this should be done with great care.

        I know you can’t help but inject race in to everything but this has absolutely nothing to do with keeping blacks enslaved, so please don’t insult my readers’ intelligence with such a false canard.. Sheesh, what’s next a “we need to protect the children” argument?

        Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          I used race because due to my own long involvement in the Civil Rights movement, it was the most obvious example – my point didn’t involve race, it involved uniform laws. I would have thought anyone could infer that.

          Like

          • Tricia says:

            But it’s still irrelevant to Al’s point. Did he say the Constitution should never be amended? Has anybody ever said that? No this it’s a straw man objection. Stay on topic, I know you have it in you.

            And let me say I do appreciate your involvement in the Civil Rights movement. Much important and good work was done then.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            It was the Humanist thing to do —

            Like

      • Al says:

        What part of my “regulate interstate commerce” comment did you not understand?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tricia says:

          There’s much he doesn’t understand, so be prepared for a long answer Al….

          Liked by 1 person

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          Interstate commerce is only one small part of the problem with multiple, differing interstate laws – so many issues involving those differences have nothing to do with commerce. I could have listed a multitude of examples, but I’ve already been criticized for using too many words.

          Like

          • Al says:

            I beg to differ. Commerce involves a significant portion of all interstate concerns. States are responsible for the laws of their own states. The U.S. Government is responsible for arbitrating when those laws are at odds and interfering with the rights of citizens and the proper conduct of business and social interaction on the interstate playing field.

            Regardless of the above, if someone doesn’t like the laws of their state, they certainly don’t have to remain there. Find a state that suits you. Your argument that states should be more homogeneous is what grows government. For my money, citizens have much more chance of going up against local and state governments to get inequities corrected than they do the with the bureaucratic nightmare known as the Federal Government.

            Sorry, Tricia. This got a bit wordy too.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            I don’t mind wordy Al as long as it’s just not fluff to make comment while avoiding saying anything meaningful. Yours are never fluff.

            Arch, feel free to respond at length on your understanding on interstate commerce and why you feel there are problems. Just try and stay focused on the topic at hand though if possible. 😉

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            That doesn’t seem to work on your blog – when someone says something that isn’t true, or is misleading, and I attempt to refute it with evidence, I’m accused of going off-topic. I’m not sure how that works, maybe I’m supposed to just let the misrepresentation lie, even if the comment is addressed to me, but that would imply that I agree with the misrepresentation, which would not be the case. I’m afraid I’m a bit confused as to the rules.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            …if someone doesn’t like the laws of their state, they certainly don’t have to remain there.

            And by extension, we’ve devolved back to “AMERICA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!” – where have I heard that before? I prefer, “America: Love It Or Change It.

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            @ Arch-“And by extension, we’ve devolved back to “AMERICA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!” – where have I heard that before? I prefer, “America: Love It Or Change It.”

            He didn’t say that at all, go back and read his comment again.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Actually, I quoted it:

            “…if someone doesn’t like the laws of their state, they certainly don’t have to remain there. Find a state that suits you.”

            And if I don’t like the laws of the Nation – say someone lies about another country having WMD’s and decides to throw young American lives at them so that his cronies can protect their oil interests – I should simply choose to live in another country that doesn’t do that. Right? This is what I meant when I said, “by extension…..”

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            @ Arch-This is why people don’t take your comments seriously.

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I’m simply extrapolating on Al’s statement – possibly there are some who can’t follow such extrapolation, if so, my regrets.

            Like

          • Al says:

            OK. When you have it composed, please send me a copy of your letter to your congressperson to ask them to sponsor a constitutional amendment that all states should have the same laws. And good luck with it.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Ark,

        Whether the era of the horse and buggy or the era of nanotechnology, the nature of man and the governments that rule over him, stay the same.

        Tyranny is the same to the man in the ancient steppes of Eurasia or to the Latin American peasant who desperately seeks liberty in the great nation America, to the north.

        The change built into the Constitution by the Founders consists of a series of legal remedies for some future American People who again find themselves enslaved by an avaricious, pitiless, corrupt tyrant.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. madblog says:

    So well expressed! I shared this on my FB page, saying:

    A blogger friend of mine is exactly right about why people who consider themselves conservative, Republican or right-leaning should not be supporting Trump….

    “Government is not the author or source of our rights and you don’t make America great again by giving more power to one guy in Washington, DC. You make America great again by recovering a constitutional republic where Washington is populated by people who are servant leaders, who want to return power to the people and to the communities… What makes America great is not some guy in Washington who says “if I had more power I could fix it all unilaterally.”

    Trump is exactly the opposite of a Constitutional conservative. If we cheer him on we are cheering on a tyrant, not a servant. Once you elect a tyrant, you cannot complain that he isn’t following your wishes, and he won’t.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Tricia says:

      Well thanks for the FB share, much appreciated! You are so write about cheering on a tyrant. I feel we are very close to electing one, if not in this election than one very soon. So much of the public not only does not care about our founding values but looks down at them with disdain, something to be purged from our history. If that continues we are in a load of hurt.

      Like

  8. Julie says:

    My definition of conservatism is upholding the principles upon which we were founded, which are laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Being a conservative means resisting the temptation to play fast and loose with the Constitution and the foundation of our past in order to put a quick bandaid on our present and future.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      Very wise words Julie and thank or contributing. Bandaids can seem so right and easy, when what’s needed is careful contemplation of the pros and cons of doing something that conflicts with those founding principles.

      Like

  9. Citizen Tom says:

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    What is Conservatism? Here an excellent presentation that answers that question.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Citizen Tom says:

    Spot on! Excellent post, Tricia.

    Why is our government becoming a threat to our rights instead of a protector of our rights? The problem is that we as a people no longer understand the difference between God-given rights and rights granted to us by our government. Whereas God-given rights are real, government-given rights are a snare.

    God-given rights do not involve the transfer of what belongs to some people to other people, that is, a redistribution of wealth. The Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness only require protection so that we can individually and jointly pursue our own goals. Government-given rights, on the other hand, create a conflict of interest. In order to give people their “rights” to a job, an education, healthcare, a safety net, and so forth, we have to empower our elected officials to violate the God-given rights of some people so that they can take their property and give it to other people.

    So what do I hope for and advocate? If we want to bring our government officials back under our control, we have to stop asking for our government to give us our “rights.” Then we will be able to select honorable people to run our government instead of rascals to whom we have sold our votes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Oh very well said Tom, especially that our government’s only real job is to protect our pursuit of natural rights. It’s my belief that this is a much, much more compassionate and humane system of government, not to mention freeing. Very true too what you say about having to stop “asking” our govt for rights. I am afraid we are very far down that road however and don’t see this endiing any time soon. If the people want a tyrant, that’s exactly what they will get.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Citizen Tom says:

        The mess we are in began to form in the 1830’s, I think. Its genesis? The public school system.

        Parents, not politicians, are responsible for the education of children, but politicians slowly took — usurped — the reigns of control from parents to themselves. Eventually, the politicians kicked God out the classroom and began inserting whatever special interests (those willing to pay them for the privilege) wanted instead. So that now children receive a corrupt education.

        Yet people wonder why children don’t learn. What they should wonder at is who we have running their education.

        Liked by 1 person

        • @Citizen Tom, remember this?

          Liked by 2 people

          • Tricia says:

            Oh God, I clicked on the link and got frightened by the full screen image that popped up!

            Like

          • Citizen Tom says:

            Missed that one. Have not watched MSNBC. Gave up on television almost 40 years ago. Don’t have cable. That’s sort of nonsense is why.

            Think about where most Liberal Democrats live. Isn’t where public (collectivist) education has had the longest and strongest foothold?

            Our elites use the mass media and public education to indoctrinate us, and they have been very successful. Even though they are robbing us — even as they blame their robbery on the “rich” — they tax the middle class as much as they can, and the rich get richer. Their actual behavior demonstrates that Crony Capitalism, not Socialism, is what they want. Their greed will in the end give us all a tyrant, and lots of their heads will be chopped off.

            Liked by 2 people

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I’ve little doubt that Tricia will tell you what a wonderful response that was.

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            Smart move there Tom on giving up television. The indoctrination becomes so obvious when you know better. Unfortunately many still rely on the main networks and newspapers to tell them how and what to think and they don’t even realize it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Citizen Tom says:

            @Tricia

            Arch was finally right about something.
            😉

            I have two daughters. When the eldest was approaching two years old, she wanted Daddy’s attention, and Daddy wanted to watch a detective show. Then my wife started complaining about the sex and violence. I got angry, and I threw away the TV. Wasn’t a brilliant, mature, or a carefully considered decision, but it did turn out to be the right decision.

            As I said, I have two daughters. Thanks to my wife and her insistence that we protect them from the bad influences in our society, we did not have lots of the problems people have these days. Both have grown up to be thoughtful, responsible, caring, and productive people. I wish I had been more like them at their age.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            Well Tom, even a broken clock is right twice a day…;) Sounds like you have an outstanding family and that you and your wife have done great work raising your girls.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. The definition of Conservative” can be stated in one simple sentence:

    A Conservative is someone who believes that ethics, morals and politics are based on Natural Law.

    The Natural Law theory that forms the moral and ethical basis for the creation of an independent American government is expressed eloquently and concisely in the Declaration of Independence.

    And the Constitution of the United States is the blue print for the design of the American government based on Natural Law theory.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I believe you overlooked the item of “common good” in your post.

    “The importance of the common good to the republican ideal was notably illustrated with the publication of the Federalist papers, in which Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay provided a passionate defense of the new Constitution of the United States. Madison, for example, argued that political constitutions should seek out wise, discerning rulers in search of the common good.”

    I heard that 66 people in the world that own 85 percent of all the assets in the world. No wonder people are angry all over the world. Will conservatism do anything about this?

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Other than possibly reducing that 66 to an even lower number, likely not.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      It’s a good point you bring up about the common good. The problem is, in my view, we have very few “wise and discernible” rulers who can even make the distinction of what is that common good. The larger government grows, the more inequality increases between those that are well connected politically and the rest of us common people. Big government and big business love this as it keeps the payments coming in to politicians while more and more regs, fees and policies are made in return that keeps up and coming competitors out of the market and most definitely not for the common good at all.

      The conservative view is you don’t add to the problem by increasing government power. You decrease and empower people in the process.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not for no government nor do I think we will ever get back to the days of our founding or think we should. I believe in a common safety net but only for those that really need it. We are so far beyond that now and the dependence this is creating is doing more harm than good.

      Whether 66 people control the wealth or 100 or 200, I really don’t care. As long as I am free to pursue my interests and my natural rights are protected, I don’t care how much money anyone else is making or what assets they have. Envy can be a great motivator! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I believe you might care how much anyone else is making if the only job you can obtain is minimum wage because our politicians allowed US worker llvable wage jobs to be outsourced. Then after you go in debt for twenty years to pay for a college degree, the only job you can get is to be a waiter or bartender.

        That is why Americans are flocking to Trump and Sanders. Check out my previous post on this subjcct if you are interested.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          I’m afraid the term you’re looking for here (and I do agree with you), is ‘wage slaves’ – sadly, the 14th amendment doesn’t include them. However the concept does perpetuate the fact that the rich get richer and the poor get children, but no, no one needs any regulation to see that the rich and powerful – the 66 – don’t trample the rights of others —

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            No one said anything about no regulation Arch, the point is to do things that make sense and grow the economy for everyone. Mandated wages are good only for the select few that hold minimum wage laws and even then, if the wage goes higher than their labor is worth, they will let go. You don’t bring people up by tearing others down.

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            If you want a perfect example of the need for regulation, Tricia, I suggest you research the Coal Wars of West Virginia, the Battle for Blair Mountain, the Matawan Massacre. and other examples of the elite vs their wage slaves.

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            Again, no one said anything about getting rid of all regulations.

            Like

        • Tricia says:

          Cool, I will definitely check out your post. I always appreciate good referrals. I agree that not making a good wage would make me resentful, I’ve definitely been there many times in my life. Our politicians are screwing us over by making it difficult for companies to expand and provide good paying jobs, especially for those that don’t hold higher degrees. That person really needs to hustle too make ends meet and get the skills needed to build themselves up in this new normal.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. David Ross says:

    A True Conservative “conserves freedom”

    A liberal doesn’t understand the concept.

    :0

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The reason the democratic party, or the progressive socialist party as I like to call them, have beaten us and have taken over the country is because they unite around an ideal and a person regardless if they fully back them, they will unite around them. This is the problem with conservatives and republicans as a whole. We need to unite around trump even if you don’t fully agree with everything he says. He may not be what true conservatives hope for but if we do not unite around him, we will crumble into ashes and the democrats will take the country to a point of no return.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Hi mixtureofparties (love your name!), thanks for coming by. I mostly agree with your comment except on having to rally around Trump. I still have not decided if I will vote for President in November. I certainly wll not check the box marked for Hillary but Trump is so opposite in many ways to what I believe in and, in my opinion incompetent, that I think I woud be betraying some pretty core principals of mine just ensure Hillary doesn’t get in office.

      We shall see though. Interesting year for sure!

      Like

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