posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 08:00 PM
I can't answer your question, OP, because nobody is sure who "owns" conservatism these days. I'll explain what I mean.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I would call myself a reformed left-wing radical that ended up as a left-wing libertarian. I build my politics around skepticism of
the motives, power, and the very worth, of large organisations, public or private. I believe in capitalism, but the kind of capitalism where they are
many firms, many of which who are free to fail, not the "capitalism" that we have today, which is straight up kleptocratic in nature.
Right now, the republican party is exists as a coalition consisting of three major ideological groups. During the Bush years, these three groups
overlapped heavily. Now, after two failed presidential campaigns, not so much.
The first group, the evangelical/social conservatives, have made re-fighting the 60's culture war their focus. To many of them, the answer to the OPs
question would be something like "American Liberty is impossible to understand/practice if you deny the existence of the Judeo-Christian god. America
is a Christian nation, founded on biblical teaching, and you can't be a real conservative if you disagree." At the extremes, there start to be
overlap with straight-up theocratic nut-jobs and white nationalism. To social conservatives, they are the REAL Conservatives, the REAL Republicans,
and the REAL Americans. Policy is morality to these folks and (in my anecdotal experience) they are the ones that confuse moderation and political
compromise with selling out, weakness, and treason. There is reason to believe that they are simply going to die out as a major demographic; the
country is becoming more secular and there is some defection of evangelicals to left-wing stances. I wouldn't be the first one to point out that
there is enough room for a social conservative/fiscal liberal party.
If you haven't noticed, I detest this group (Boy do I wish I could send them all back in time to Calvinist Geneva, than everyone would be happy!) and
think the alliance between evangelical churches and the Republican party have ruined both.
The second group are the fiscal conservatives. These people tend towards a pragmatic libertarian mindset. To this group, social issues simply don't
matter that much, and/or should be dealt with using the federalism principle(I.E. let these issues be settled at the lowest practical political unit
possible, which is usually the states.). To them, freedom and liberty is pretty much synonymous with being able to do whatever you want with your
capital in the market place. "Who cares if someone is a transsexual black atheist (insert your social conservative boogieman!) or whatever? The only
thing better than someone voting to keep taxes and regulation low is someone I can do some business with." In my view, they overlook how big business
and big government are more partners than enemies* but I find them, more or less, to be pragmatic, tolerant, and realistic.
The OP is certainly a "real" conservative if you are a fiscal conservative first, anything else second.
The last group are the neo-cons. They are the "We are going to liberate the HELL out of you, rest of the world!" crowd that was briefly popular from
9/12/2001 until it become undeniable that the Iraq war was an awful, awful, mistake. These dudes are weird and not like the other two groups. As far
as I can tell, there really isn't a natural "neo-con" block of voters somewhere. I view neo-conservatism as a passing intellectual fad for
Washington D.C. policy wanks and other insiders. It will be another ten to fifteen years before a national candidate will be able to sell an
aggressive interventionist foreign policy (until then, they will just lie about their intentions at election time and then do it anyway, lol). They
are dead as a popular political force, but you still see their influence around (See: John McCain).
Of course, this being the Abovetopsecret forums, it would be almost negligent if I didn't point out that there has been much speculation about what
neo-conservatism is really about (I'm talking about NWO and Illuminati theories, obviously). I'm skeptical, but if there was ever a group that would
be OK with forced global governance, it would be the neo-cons.
I don't think your average Neo-con gives a rat's ass about what is true conservatism.
I hope this helps and I'll try not to be so damn wordy next time.
*I could go one for another 2000 words about how big business and big government enable each other. Long story short, we now have a situation in which
it is now becoming very hard to tell when government ends and business begins. Now you might think I'm talking about bad regulations and state
intervention in the economy, which I am, but I am also talking about the reckless privatization of government functions that has been traditionally a
"conservative" policy. This looks like the merger of the interests of state and capital, i.e., true blue real fascism.