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What Conservatism Means To Me And Where It Is Today

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posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 09:46 AM
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Recently I have noticed a trend, not only at ATS, but in general, of threads and discussion topics dealing with the conservative ideology. The general consensus right now seems to be that the conservative movement is either dead or dying, and has moved very far from its original intents. I have seen discussions dealing with the supposed facts surrounding “true” conservatism and how truly evil and disgusting it is. Personally, it saddens me to see such misinformation and blind hatred of something that I believe is not widely understood.

Conservatism in its truest form is not an evil or malicious entity. What I believe has caused some of this confusion is that more and more people are equating conservatives with republicans and vise versa. It is important to understand that simply because one is a republican, that they are not automatically a conservative.

A prime example of this flawed line of thinking is when people make the case that conservatism is dead or dying due to the failed conservative leadership of the last eight years. Let me be perfectly clear in saying that George Bush is no conservative.

A large part of the problem with the image of conservatism in today’s world is that it has been hijacked by politicians who share none of its principles. We have seen many of our elected leaders come to power under the guise of conservatism, only to abandon those values once they are elected.

It is this, in combination with the misunderstanding of who conservatives are, that has led us to where we are today. Conservatism has become a dirty word of sorts; much like republican has over the last decade or so. This is due not to the faulty beliefs of either group, but to the politicians who have stolen these labels and used them for personal gain, rather than the improvement of our great nation.

True conservatism is an ideology that lends itself heavily to the wisdom of our founding fathers. It believes that they were wise in their ways and that documents such as the Constitution should be followed and obeyed. Conservatism at its core believes that the United States is still a powerful force for good in this world, and that the gift of freedom is something that is meant for every single person on this earth. It believes that the people are intelligent enough to govern themselves, and do not need a large government entity to provide for them. It believes that a strong national defense is the key to peace, and that a truly free market is the best way to provide opportunity and growth.

This true form of Conservatism has become muddled in today’s political landscape by those who wish to change and alter these fundamental beliefs for their own gain. Do not make the mistake of thinking that conservatism has had its hand in the leadership of the last eight years, or the years before that.

When a true conservative leader emerges to take charge, rest assured, you will notice. Until then, I will stand up for the conservative beliefs that I hold dear, and I will fight to ensure that they are still around for someone who truly holds them close to apply them.




posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 10:21 AM
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S & F for you sir. There are only a handful of true conservatives left in government unfortunately. Ron Paul being at the forefront in my mind. More and more I see true conservatism leaving the republican party and moving to 3rd parties. If ever we needed a 3rd party member elected, it is now. Elect a true conservative, elect the man Ron Paul supports, elect Chuck Baldwin.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 10:40 AM
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Excellent post Nyk...starred and flagged.


True conservatism in itself is a grand philosophy that should be embraced by anyone who cares about personal freedom and small government. I would say 90% of my beliefs are conservative in nature.

I also agree that there hasn't been a true conservative to occupy any important position in our government in a long long time.


It is a shame to me that the very word "conservative" is now an ugly word. Too bad it will now forever be associated with the likes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.


A true conservative would instantly recognize these men as tyrants and impostors. They hijacked a once honorable belief system and turned it into something twisted and evil. Sadly it has also been embraced by hardcore right wing religious radicals and as a result has turned away many good people from lending their support.

Hopefully this current administration will force the Republican party to seriously take a hard look at what has happened to the GOP, and hopefully it will lead to some serious changes from within.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 11:23 AM
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S&F. I completely agree.

The term 'conservative' automatically has negative connotations in many people's minds due to those who have flown the conservative banner but acted to the contrary. I've also noticed that when you claim to be a conservative, it is often associated with being a behind-the-times politically incorrect Neanderthal, 'fuddy duddy,' and non progressive.

I wish more people understood what conservatism is truly about. I'm not trying to politically bait but I strongly believe liberalism is destroying this nation and I say that because it moves us further and further away from what this country was meant to be.

Excellent thread.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 01:27 PM
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Thanks for the comments everyone.

It's really good to see there are still some of us out there who really understand and appreciate what true conservatism is all about.

The bad reputation conservatism has garnered in recent years is completely undeserved in my opinion. I believe that we, as true conservatives, can spread this message and open peoples eyes to what is really going on. We can't let people continue to spread the falsehood that Bush is a conservative and this is what happens when conservatives have power.

If we really take pride in our beliefs, we can show them what happens when a real conservative has power.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 05:02 PM
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OUTSTANDING Thread!!!

It is no secret that I am a Conservative and proud to be one..

I will post some of my thoughts here later when I have more time if that is OK...

Semper



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:47 AM
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S & F for you! I could not have said it any better myself. I hate the fact that when I tell people that I am a conservative Libertarian at my college, they have no idea what a Libertarian is and lump me in with the evil Bush administration. Of course, this is exasperated by being highly outnumbered by Obama kool-aid drinking liberals.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:50 AM
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Thank you for posting. I am a conservative in most of my beliefs. I believe the Constitution was established for a purpose, that being to give us framework for the laws that govern us.
I believe we must be fiscally responsible, in government and in our personal lives.
I believe we should be compassionate, and be willing to lend a hand to those less fortunate, but we should establish a welfare state that discourages people from being willing to help themselves.
I believe government should be small, and government should stay out of the private lives of the citizenery.
I believe I have the right to protect myself, my family, and my home, without fear of reprisal(i.e. shooting a burglar then having him sue me.)
I beleive those who have broken the law should recieve the punishment due them as set forth by the laws of the land, regardless of their status in society. A criminal is a criminal, whether it's a gangster on the corner, or a lawmaker in the capitol.
And like you, I believe there are enough of us to make a difference, and hopefully make the world a little better place to live.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:59 AM
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Great post! Conservatism is all too often confused with Fascism. Self-proclaimed 'Leftist freedom fighters' will oppose Conservatism 'til their dying breath, never realising that Conservatism is as much concerned with freedom as more popular ideologies. And the reason it is misrepresented is this:


Originally posted by nyk537
A large part of the problem with the image of conservatism in today’s world is that it has been hijacked by politicians who share none of its principles. We have seen many of our elected leaders come to power under the guise of conservatism, only to abandon those values once they are elected.

Call me crazy but I believe there has been an agenda to skew and dirty the good name of Conservatism. The elites naturally see true Conservatism as a threat to their power, which makes perfect sense when you consider that they're trying to break down the old values that built nations of free people. Hijacking the ideology of Conservatism and deliberately misrepresenting it is a surefire way to minimize its potency.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 06:37 AM
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I intend to vote along Conservative lines at the up coming New Zealand election because I think that kids should be able to buy junk food from the school canteen if they wish to , parents should be able smack there children and I oppose a carbon trading emission scheme e.t.c . I am bothered by the fact that the ACT party most likely wouldn't support a needed tightening of banking regulations and the existence of the min wage .

But considering how the centre right party National under John Key doesn't really stand for anything , the Greens influence of labour which as lead us to loss of freedoms and the debauchery that is the Electoral Finance Act I wont be voting for either of the two major party's . The other smaller party's dont appeal for various reasons .

[edit on 16-10-2008 by xpert11]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 07:43 AM
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Originally posted by Cythraul
Conservatism is as much concerned with freedom as more popular ideologies.


That's exactly right my friend. What's happened though is that an entire generation has grown up now being told that conservatism (aka republicans) are evil and don't care about the common man. They have been indoctrinated to believe that liberalism is a shining beacon of hope and that conservatism is what is keeping this country from getting better. Obviously this is not the case. I firmly believe if the real conservatism is presented alongside any other political ideology in existence, conservatism always comes through as the biggest provider of freedom of liberty.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 09:06 AM
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I wonder if clinging to the term 'conservative' holds any real meaning in this era? The term is relative to the observer, and (as mentioned) has been so abused by those wrapped in its banner, it can really mean anything. Using the term 'conservative' for a person who serves the intent of the original constitution, would seem the equivalent of calling yourself 'gay' in relation to being happy. 'Constitutionalist' would seem a term more in line with the political sympathies of the founding fathers.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 09:07 AM
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There is not a single definition for conservatism as it has a different meaning to different cultures in various parts of the world.

I assume, however, you are an American conservative. Therefore, I would like to know how the American conservative point of view is on the following matters:

-Religion and the relation to politics
-Abortion
-Drugs policies
-Same sex marriage



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by Mdv2
I assume, however, you are an American conservative. Therefore, I would like to know how the American conservative point of view is on the following matters:


You are correct in your assumption that I am an American Conservative. Having said that, there are a few different sections of Conservatism that approach the following issues slightly differently. We have Social Conservatives, Religious Conservatives, Fiscal Conservatives, etc. Each places more of their focus on the overlying issues. I will attempt to answer your question not based on those, but on my personal beliefs and values as a Conservative.


-Religion and the relation to politics


I believe America is a religious place, and I believe that faith plays a large part in how we as citizens want our country to operate. I believe that the founding fathers understood that our gifts of freedoms and rights were endowed to us by God, and that they should be protected and preserved as such. I do believe that separation of church and state is appropriate, but I also would like to know that the leader I choose has a strong faith based value system.


-Abortion


As a Conservative, I am a strong believer in the right to life. I believe that God does not make mistakes, and that each and every life created has the right to experience that life. The only exception would be in a life or death situation for the mother involved in the birth. I do not believe there is any justification for an abortion outside of life or death.


-Same sex marriage


As far as same sex marriage is concerned, I do not approve of it. I believe that marriage is reserved for a man and a woman, but I am not opposed to equal rights for same sex couples.

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I hope that helps some in understanding at least my views as a Conservative. I would be glad to go into more detail on these or other issues if you would like. I'm always open to discussion.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 10:15 PM
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You guys are still adding in too much into what a true conservative is.
Conservative means Fiscal ressponsibility. They also believe in small government, not huge bureaucracy, keeping taxes low, less government interference and the the free market. They believe that a healthy economy starts with a healthy company, that is why you will see them lowering business taxes to stay competitive.
Unfortunately the Big biz lately seems to get all the benefits and the small biz get the shaft.

Each country has its own version of the other stuff they put in such as the religious stuff but really it should be about less government. The republican party is SOO off the mark lately. Really it is gross how they mismanage money. If I was an American which I am not even though I am kinda conservative I would have to vote Obama even though on many principles I disagree with him , I think GWB`s corruption and mismanagement has to be punished and his party can not go forward. If they did what is to ever stop them from doing what they want


They need to change the way they make the laws. And they need to put caps on corp donations! My country has made a few changes but still needs more. The presidency of the USA should be earned not bought w donations or inherited! You have such a great country how can you settle for such poor management. Rep or Dem both have alot of crooks.



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