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Conservatism

By its very nature, politics embrace a constantly changing picture – more like a movie than a snapshot. Concurrently, conservative politics is moving along with its counterpart, Progressivism, and is only generally separated by a small distance and in specific situations, no distance at all.  Much of the political / cultural conditions and party politics over my lifetime demonstrate a significant difference in the conditions and policies from when I was young to what they are now. If John F. Kennedy or Harry Truman were alive today, they could not be elected by the Democrats. In many ways, they were both nearly as conservative as Ronald Reagan. Before we can take a united stand on Conservatism, we must select the planks of the platform on which we will stand.

I do not believe that our goal should be simply to preserve Conservatism at its present place in the political spectrum. It seems to me that the 2008 presidential election has demonstrated the futility of that effort.  If we are to improve ourselves, our nation, and culture, we must step back and take our positions on firm time-tested – yes, and I dare say it – Biblical principles. We, and our world, did not just happen through some mindless, unexplainable chemical process, but by a supremely intelligent and powerful Creator. He gave us an accurate and complete guidebook to instruct us in how to use this marvelous creation, and accomplish the purpose for which we were made.

Solid, informed conservatives are made one at a time, while Progressives / Liberals are simultaneously made by the thousands. Conservatism requires knowledge of how the world actually works. It takes thought, logic, and reason.  This explains why people of all groups become more conservative, at least fiscally, when they start their own businesses. Progressive / Liberalism requires nothing more than feelings and emotions. These progressive liberals imagine that there is no truth, rules, limitations, or consequences to their ideas and actions. If they decide to “believe” something, that makes it real.

Progressives / Liberals are not limited by principles of truth, decency, and honor.  They have increasingly subscribed to the ethics of existentialism – the ethics of the Marquis de Sade. If a lie or unjust method works to help them accomplish their goals, they have no moral or ethical reason not to use it. Conservatives have the opposite views. Lies, deception, and unfair attacks on opponents are not justified by the outcome, even though such tactics appear to advance our cause.  We understand that there is a higher authority than man, to whom we must give final account. Liberal radicals have no such limitations, and they use that fact against Conservatives very effectively. The only reason Richard Nixon was forced to resign was his conscience and sense of shame, and the collective conscience of his supporters. His actual misdeeds were much more defensible than those of William Clinton.

Conservatives know that two plus two always equals four, not whatever amount you decide to believe. Conservatives know that a family or a business cannot spend twice as much as it earns very long without going bankrupt. We also know that state and federal governments are bound by the same mathematical boundaries, although they have methods the rest of us can’t use. Such methods often include taxing more and more from us, printing new money, borrowing vast sums, and using deceptive accounting practices, and can forestall the ultimate consequences much longer than families and business can.  Mathematical reality, however, will always prevail. When our debts are greater than our assets, we are bankrupt, no matter what we say, or how we spin it.

Conservatives understand the economic principles that make cultures strong and lasting.  We know that people will only work to produce, invent, and improve their world if they benefit in accordance with the effort they put into their work. Of its own, the profit motive is not wrong or selfish. Examine the Bible honestly, and you will find many places where the principle of profit is used to encourage people to do those things which are good.  Profit that is unjustly gotten by deception, coercion, or the abuse of others is always condemned. The idea that we can take away that which people have gained honestly and give it to those who have produced or earned nothing – despite the appeal to those who have no desire to produce or earn – is a concept that destroys economies, and ultimately impoverishes everyone. Obviously, we have compassion for those who cannot work due to physical or mental illness, but we must hold the physically and mentally able persons responsible for their own livelihood. The rulers and overlords of Socialist economies always put themselves above the consequences of the destruction they promote. They take their gain off whatever is produced first, many times hoarding it away for the inevitable collapse of the economy.

Conservatives understand the importance and sanctity of life. It is obvious to any reasonable, thinking person that human life begins at conception. Our opponents would bristle at that statement as narrow-minded, dogmatic, and ignorant, but I think Peggy Noonan put it quite well when she said, “Everyone who has ever bought a package of condoms knows when life begins.”  That may seem a little indelicate, but it makes the point effectively.  A child is both human and living from the time of conception. A child is a separate person from the moment of conception, not an extension of the mother, even though it is dependent on the mother during development.

Given these premises, by what logic can we impose capital punishment on an unborn human being? What crime has an unborn child committed, even though the mother was impregnated by force or incest?  My guidebook from the Creator tells me that there are reasons for people taking the lives of other people for various crimes and corruptions of their society, and for the defense of their lives and families. The list of capital offenses is long in the Mosaic Law, but nowhere can I find instructions or permission to administer capital punishment to an unborn baby. I know that some can construct sophistries to argue against that statement, but that is an argument for another time. What I would like to point out is the inconsistency of those who promote unlimited abortion of human babies, while arguing vehemently against the capital punishment of criminals, or the abortion of unborn animals.

Much more can be said about the principles that underlie Conservative thought, from my perspective, and these will be continued in future articles. Think about these points; we must wake up and renew our nation according to the guidelines given to us by our Creator!

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