Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why I decided ..........

Every once and awhile a lovely note sends my brains racing for the "right stuff". A note sent to me about this blog did so. It led me to review why is it that I am a conservative. I am not a Republican. Fact is on certain issues I lean towards some Libertarian views on one or two issues. I used to be a Liberal.

Why I am a Conservative?

Every once and awhile it will come up in conversation, for the most part when I am at school and discussing a historical or political topic. I hear it in the lilt of the discussion. It sounds something like, “You Republicans….” Offtime to which I respond, “Technically I am not a Republican or a Libertarian, I am by choice a Conservative.” I thought this through because, well because it is important.

I haven’t always been a conservative. There was a time in college when everything Phil Donahue said made sense, when I wanted to fight for freedom and choice. I wanted to have choices and believed that all should have them including the North and South Vietnamese. I did not trust government and certainly felt that Richard Nixon was too good of a politician to be trusted. Fact is everyone over thirty did seem to look at the world different than I. Then I read the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence from start to finish and made some decisions.

I read about Thomas Jefferson who did not trust government and in agreement to get the Constitution passed advocated for the ten amendments that were added. Those who use those amendments as legal tools today forget why they were crafted. The danger lies not in us but government and those who try to do things for us by it.

Why I am a Conservative:

1. 90% of life is maintenance, keeping what works working. Love works. Marriage works. Family works. Church and a belief in something other than self works. Work works. Hard work makes all the above work. Even my Communist teaching colleague has his car serviced at regular intervals-to keep it working.

Jesus said, “No greater love has a man than to lay his life down for another”. Things that work are worth sacrificing for. The issues are to prioritize what really works. I try to support the things that work. Freedom works. Capitalism works. Wanting to get ahead works. And the adage that matters...if it works don't fix it, especially if you are the government!

2. Equality is a given to those that understand that life is a precious commodity, equality is a mindset not a mandate. Freedom is not. Freedom has always been earned and work must be expressed for it to be retained. See America at War-with the exception of the Spanish American War which was bogus.

To mandate equality is impossible. One can only mandate the lowest common denominator of a society. Freedom is different than mandated equality. Under the law each of us should have the same freedoms. I often ask my students, "What if I gave every one of you a C, no matter how hard or how little you work, what would you do and how hard would you work"? The answers are always the same. "Nothing, I would do nothing". It is a function of humans ....they will work with the chance of success. Give a person the Freedom to experience excellence and they will seek it. Hand to them mandated equality and they will remain standing with their hand out forever doing nothing.

I prefer freedom as principle over the virtue of making the right decisions. I believe just as I did thirty plus years ago that Citizens of the World deserve a free and unbridled ability to CHOSE. Choice makes the difference. Choice is balanced by a hierarchy of values and freedoms. IE. I can choose to shoot a gun as long as it is not at my neighbor or my neighbors house. Choice and the hierarchy of choices trump even the hope that people do things in the proper fashion. We must allow people the choice to fail if they want to. We can be either equal or free but both do not hold the same space in politics. To enforce the equality of all men at all times eliminates real freedom. Given real choices, in my humble opinion the human spirit does its best work and soars. Given real choices apart from pathology humans choose and find themselves on the levels of the Philosophers. Humans will choose freedom over tyranny and our history has ample evidence to that point.

“Are we maximizing Freedom…? Barry Goldwater.

3. Human nature must be dealt with suspiciously. Romans 3:20 says “For all have sinned…”James Madison wrote that: “If men were angels no government would be necessary….
Why do they want it passed? Follow the money….follow power! Question Authority. (some sixties stuff so resonates in my brain I cannot get past it) I trust nothing that I hear on ABC and half of what I see on the Radio. *S*

4. Power as a tool tends to corrupt. Since it corrupts, those who wield it must be dealt with suspiciously-be sure that those who have it can’t do too much damage. Therein lies the danger. See Thomas Jefferson. See the Bill of Rights

5. Government for the protection of all must be kept limited. Government cannot do all things and in fact does little well, with the exception of the creation of protections. Protections against adversaries and ourselves. See Army and FDA. If you look to the government for help. You have entered into the world where you government must and will get bigger and bigger because you realize it is never enough. Why? Because government never solves anything. So, it appears like more of it would make a difference. You see the yen but not the yang.
Henry David Thoreau said, “That government that governs least governs best”.
Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to our problem: government is the problem.

6. Some individuals can do more. They should not be punished because others cannot. I learned that from Paul Hayden. He could always run faster than me.

7. The old adage holds, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime”. Conservatives love on the long term and wish those who can, to be able to do so as well and to do so for a lifetime. Liberals feel better about the fish and feel best when they can give the fish away. It works but not for as long-see rule 1.

8. Creating a welfare state is a method of earning votes for a lifetime. It is also a method of re-creating political "sharecropping". No one ever gets out of poverty when there is that kind of sharing. We have new slave owners in America they believe they are helping others......but the slavery remains a condition of the institution itself. Once you have created an institution it does its best to remain. And to remain forever. If the money comes from the suspicious. Not much will get done and it will stay that way forever.


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