Sitting down and getting the update on the daily political news, I alway seems to find myself coming across some Republican senator, or some tea
bagger, or some birther proclaiming their "conservatism". "Oh we must be fiscal conservative" said the one republican senator from Kentucky when
discussing the current recession. This country is a "conservative nation" said Hannity in one of his shows to a guest of his.
What raises my eye brows the most though are some of these folks who continously commend the "Reagan" and "Bush snr" administrations for their
handling of the economy. If anything, this constant worship of Reagan, and this constant support for this modern definition of conservatism only
further confirms to me that there are no real original "conservatives" in modern times, only posers who like the idea of carrying around the name.
This true conservative would not dare mention "Reagan" or "the military" to describe conservative, the true conservative would know that those are
yet more confused definitions and examples of what real conservatism is. If anything the true conservative sticks to the original 18th century text
book of conservatism, because he or she knows that the conservatives of today are nothing of the like of the original founding fathers who established
this ideological belief into society.
Any conservative who tells you that "strong defense" is the core value of conservativism is always making excuses for the gross over spending of the
military industrial complex. While the original authors of conservatism in the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Joseph de Maistre , advocated
strongly for the protection of the sovereign nation they mentioned nothing of the sort of over grown militaries. Clearly a military sufficiently
enough to protect its nationhood if an important factor to conservatism, however, this excuse to fuel support for half the worlds military expenditure
has nothing to do with conservatism in its originality. Reagan himself pounded strong defense and recieved staunch support in funding to the military
however alot of that funds wen to matters other than defense
such as the funding of resistance fighters, such as the taliban and Sadaam
Husseins war against Iran. Which brings me to another point, conservatism is isolationists as well. While the promotion of freedom and democracy is
one no real conservative will deny, the involvement of the US in matters concerning other nations goes straight against the text book of conservatism.
In the case of the support for the Iraq invasion under false reasons by conservatives, support for el salvador during the 80s, the constant blaming of
Carter for doing nothing during the Iranian revolution, to which true conservativism would have nothing to do with, let alone the blatant reality
check of what a president is suppose to do to stop such a matter in foreign nations, in this case of foreign affairs conservatives would get a "D-"
for their handling of it over the last few decades if assessed on the classic conservative text book.
Fiscal conservatism is another thing. It takes more than merely declaring the importance and support for "fiscal conservatism" to be "fiscally
conservative". I have no doubt that the modern conservative will get an A+ for reminding himself the importance of fiscal conservatism, but in terms
of their actions conservatives have over the last few decades once again gone against the original text book on conservatism. Edmund Burke, one of the
founding fathers of conservatism during the 18th century stated that:
It is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is
pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, superior in equity. The fortunes of individuals, whether possessed by
acquisition or by descent or in virtue of a participation in the goods of some community, were no part of the creditor's security, expressed or
implied...The public, whether represented by a monarch or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate
except in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large
Clearly in definition the point here is that government has no right to run up large debts to throw the burdens over the tax payer, so while modern
conservatives echo Mr Burke today and over the last few decades they have done exactly of the sort. Over the last 28 years alone conservative
presidents ran up $8 trillion out of the $11 trillion we find ourselvs in debt today. This was during the time so called "conservatives" were
hailing the presidents and pushing through their policies. Conservatives continue to hail Reagan himself for his fiscal conservatism despute the fact
he tripled the debt left from Carter, from $800 billion to $2.2 trillion upon Reagan leaving office. Reagan also increased welfare by 50,000. So,
while Reagan is hailed for being a true conservative, he failed just like the bushes in managing the debt like a true conservative. Conservative
presidents did follow one true conservative rule, and that was to cut taxes on the people and ease the burden, yet at what expense?
And then ofcourse, the original founding fathers of conservativism were stuanchly for freedom of the individual, freedom of belief and freedom for the
individual to make their own choices. However while todays "conservatives" were howling for such freedoms at town halls against the public option,
conservative Texas managed to pass bill HB 3678 forcing school children to learn some type of religion, an attempted to once again dump christianity
down the throats of children and parents who send their kids to public schools to learn, not to be forced to follow others beliefs. While
conservatives were shutting everybody out about their opposition against the Iraq war the "patriot act" was passed and had full support from
conservative politicans and most conservative voters in addition to a fair amount of liberals.
When it comes to guns, conservatives advocate the
freedom to attain one without registration or identification of the sort, yet conservatives outright opposed the voting right act of 1965 and many
still to this day
that outlawed discrimmation to americans who wished to carry out their freedom to voted based on the color of their skin, or
their ethnicity. What was the excuse from conservatives opposed this constitutional right to all americans?
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., said:
Congress is declaring from on high that states with voting problems 40 years ago can simply never be forgiven, that Georgians must eternally wear
the scarlet letter because of the actions of their grandparents and great-grandparents. ... We have repented and we have reformed
So in otherwise, they cannot give the right to all americans to carry out their constitutional freedom to vote because "it makes their towns look
racist". True conservatives for you right there, but here, have a "gun".
I could really go on as to why modern conservatism lacks much of the original conservative foundation that such individuals like Burke and Maistre
established during the 18th and 19th centuries but the above is another. The conservatives of today have strayed away from what their founding fathers
intended. Infact if anything the vast majority of conservatives today are not true conservatives of the sort.
They are really cultural
nationalists who are concerned about preserving their cultural identity, not necessary following ideological values. And while there is nothing wrong
with preserving ones cultural identity, doing so at the expense of others, and labelling it as "conservatism" is where most folks get it wrong and
mislead others about their true agenda.
[edit on 10-9-2009 by Southern Guardian]