The Plight Of The Conservative Movement
Posted by Timothy Reeves
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.