The Plight Of The Conservative Movement

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I guess I should tell everyone my previous political leanings prior to this post.  My real political beginnings were somewhere in the mid-’90s, this was when I actually started paying attention to the government.  My clear preference as far a politics went, was for the Republican party.  This was due almost entirely to the conservative portion, thereof.  I believed in small government, the right to bear arms, law and order, and a strong national defense. It was clear to me that the Republican party of the mid-late ’90s was the vehicle to get there. For the next decade I would follow them regardless of the many contradictions that I saw.

A contradiction such as:  They believed in liberty, except in cases of drug use.  In these cases they believed (and still do) in a strict authoritarian state.  The phrase to remember when it comes to Republicans and drugs is that drug use is a form of slavery; that is to say, the government is protecting you from yourself.  But in what other argument would conservatives buy into as this?  What exactly are we protected from?  If you are going to say that areas of high drug use bring crime, I will counter that the immoral policing by the state of personal behavior with no effects on anyone besides myself is what brings the crime.  I would also say that murder, theft, vandalism, etc… are all crimes regardless of the additional drug charges, so why are we adding pointless crimes onto an already punishable behavior?  Is the shopkeeper who is robbed any more injured due to the state of the perpetrator?  Drug laws are immoral at the state level and blatantly illegal at the federal level.
The Conservative believes in liberty, except when it comes to marriage.  A true intellectually honest discussion of marriage would conclude that marriage is a church matter, with government not having any dog in the fight.  To be fair there could be an argument for when it comes to adopting children, of the state having a role (depending on your view of the suitability of a gay parent).  However, there can be no intellectually honest debate that a (heterosexual) married couple in the house next door are somehow injuring my family just because their (consensual) sex acts are of a different nature than mine.  I say- If you can find a church to marry you, go for it. The government truly has no dog in that fight.  The one way that government can somehow claim a stake in marriage is by saying married couples make better citizens, but I would counter in that case, why wouldn’t same-sex married couples make better citizens as well?

The Conservative believes in the Constitution except when it comes to illegal (undeclared) foreign wars, and he believes in limited government except when it comes to military spending.  The truth is, George W. Bush destroyed the credibility of the Conservative Movement within the Republican party.  He promised smaller government, an end to the nation-building foreign escapades, lower spending, and lower taxes.  What did we get in return for our faith in him?:  Two foreign wars which were not constitutionally declared, the US Patriot Act, Medicare part D, Tarp, GM/Chrysler bailouts, and the excuse for the Federal Government to take over the rest of the financial, insurance and banking industries- and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The explicit guaranty of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac debt is another catastrophic problem that was consummated.  The federal debt situation is in such a sad state that credible financial voices are starting to question the very survival of the American dollar.

The Conservative movement is being damaged by the Republican party they have attached themselves to.  As long as they try to keep up the duplicity of being half-libertarian and half-authoritarian, the Conservative movement will continue to be mired in the shadows of the Republican party of corporate bailouts, and activist foreign policy.  Why does the American empire police the world gratis?  Why do we fund the majority of the UN,  WTO, and the IMF?  We are in such dire financial shape, and yet these things cost us hundreds of Billions per year! 

The philosophy of Liberty needs to find one home- not be split between the two major parties.  It is as if when we vote we really only have the choice of whether to shrink military spending and increase all other spending (by voting Democrat), or vote Republican, which would undoubtedly result in the increase of military spending and the slowing of growth of everything else. We do not however,  have the option to shrink the totality of government interference in our lives. The task for the Conservative movement is not to integrate into the Republican party, it is to take it over. This is the only way to survive – the contradictions are just to great otherwise.



In Liberty,
Tim Reeves
Tim Reeves is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Oregon Tenth Amendment Center.




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5 responses to “The Plight Of The Conservative Movement”

  1. Why does a hands off approach by the government towards marriage as an institution neccessarily prevent state courts from examining will, right of survivorship, adoption, and the like? The courts examine, and rule on many non state sponsored compacts, warrantees for example are not sanctioned by the government, but if they are violated, you can go to court, and have a ruling/enforcement.

  2. Julie Mercer says:

    Again, 100% agreement that legislation at the federal level for issues not enumerated is completely wrong. So, I guess my point is we still have to grapple with what is appropriate legislation at the state level. And I am a single person who does not want to be unfairly treated by our laws either. But, I still think you may be overstating the "only reason" that state governments make laws regarding marriage–to discriminate against singles. Many of the laws on the books are the result of contested wills, divorce and custody battles, etc., so I think you may be over-simplifying why we wind up with complicated legislation at times. Much legislation is the result of court battles initiated by citizens trying to protect themselves from perceived wrong-doing–and that is not always a bad thing.

  3. I am not endorsing (or condemning) gay marriage, drug use, or any other issue. What I am saying is that government (at the federal level) is not empowered to legislate on this subject (due to no enumerated authority in the Constitution). But even at the state level, why does government treat married people differently than single people? The only reason government gets to make laws regarding marriage at all is so they can continue to discriminate against single people (BTW I am married). If the conservative movement is about liberty, then stop trying to controll aspects of peoples lives. If we are only saying you are free to do things as long as we don't disagree with them, what is the difference between a Liberal, and a Conservative (regarding liberty)?

  4. Julie Mercer says:

    Hey, Tim–I liked your post and can relate to a point but feel you are being a little too harsh toward some aspects of the need for legislation within any culture. I am very new to studying the constitution so feel unprepared to flesh out what my positions will be once I am more experienced and knowledgeable, especially regarding Tenth Amendment issues. I am in complete agreement, though, that our federal gov't. is way out of control and both Repubs and Dems are equal contributors to the mess. Also, maybe if the feds did not have their tentacles in every aspect of life like they do today, some issues we argue about so endlessly would not be so threatening. Gay marriage, for example. Legalizing this would force inclusion of homosexuality into our culture in such a way as to condone and even glorify what many find to be morally repugnant and many people would not want to be forced into associations of any kind with them. This is what threatens so many opposed to legalizing it–the consequence of giving immoral behavior (as many view it) legitimacy means forced acceptance in a whole host of ways within our culture.

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