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Friday, January 11, 2008

What Exactly Is The Conservative Commentary Conservatism?

In the previous post Ecophotos pointed out that there are different types of conservatives, and unless one is specific about which “camp” one belongs to it is hard to gauge his beliefs. I will attempt to self-define my conservatism. As you read this you must separate the GOP stereotypes as they exist today.

I define myself as a Reagan conservative. I believe that government is most often the problem and that the private sector and individuals provide not only the fuel to the economy but the innovative solutions that overcome challenges. Government has a role that was properly defined in the Constitution: provide for the general welfare of the citizenry, and do the things that the individual people cannot do for themselves. I think this consists of things like national defense, law enforcement, regulatory oversight of things involved in interstate commerce, and public health. I don’t think that means a socialistic health care system, but the Surgeon General’s office that looks out for the general health of the nation.

Socially I am conservative, but not to the extreme of the spectrum. I think that government has a role in maintaining an orderly society. I think that government should not find invisible ink between the lines to accommodate every tiny minority, but establish law that serves, again, the general welfare of the people. We should protect minorities, whether due to race or religion, so that the majority doesn’t trample anyone’s rights. However, when 4,000 people sit at a high school graduation and have no problem with a public prayer, an outside group who hears of it later should not be able to sue and change society.

I believe in the power of the individual. I believe that if I work my tail off to become prosperous, then I should be respected for it and not vilified because I don’t have to clip coupons or use public assistance to feed my family. If I reach a status where I can buy my 16 year old an H2 then that is my money spent how I wish to spend it and it is not your place to steal it from me and give to someone else. Not that I would do that for my children if I had a billion dollars. My daughter has a friend who has one and I think it does a terrible disservice to children to give them these things without a sense of what it takes to earn it. That should be MY decision though.

I have made both good and bad decisions in my life just like everyone else. I have made more good ones than bad ones, and I enjoy the benefits of those such as getting an education and working hard and participating in my community. I pay a relatively large sum of money in mortgage payments to live where I do so that my family can enjoy a community with a wonderful quality of life. I have a few bucks in my pocket to take my kids to a movie and to do scouting and have my son play baseball. I WORKED FOR IT. There was a time when I robbed Peter to pay Paul every week of every month. I didn’t demand government help nor did I resort to spending my time envious of others who had more than I. What I did was set goals, find a way to achieve them, and then attack them with 100% effort. Once I achieved them I set others, and the process will continue until I either die or retire with enough to keep me from being bored.

I do not lust for money or material things, BTW. I am not trying to get a 24,000 sq. ft mansion like John Edwards. I don’t want a private 747 like John Travolta. I don’t need a billion dollars and a butler. What I lust for is a quality of life where I can send my kids to school knowing that they are not going to be the victim of a drive-by while at the bus stop. A quality of life where they can play outside and the worst threat I feel is a teenaged driver coming around a curve. A quality of life that allows my children the opportunity to excel by going to a University. One where I can get a pay-per-view movie occasionally for no other reason than my daughter asked. I want to assure that my special needs daughter has the medical and special attention that she requires and that once I am gone she will be provided for by what I leave behind.

So government needs to get out of my way. Government needs to stop taking so much of my damned paycheck and give me my social security contributions back so I can realize those goals. I don't need them to take my money and save it for me, to return it with a pitiful 3% increase when i can doubld my money every ten years with some good mutual fund choices. For example, if at age 20 you save $300 a month for 40 years, at a very liberal 9% interest rate, at the age of 60 you wil have $1.5 million dollars. At the top social security payment which is about $2500 a month, it would take 46 years to get that much from the system. Since 20 year olds today can't get full benefits until the age of 72, what are the chances? I would rather have that $1.5 million at age 60, than wait until the government tells me I can retire on my own money.

I don’t need them to tell me that I shouldn’t eat Big Macs five times a week. I don’t need them to tell me that a video game called “Grand theft Auto” shouldn’t be given to kids under 16, nor that my 8 year old shouldn’t see pornography in a movie theater.

What I need is for government to help me achieve my goals by securing our borders and making sure that my family isn’t killed in a dirty bomb attack. I need them to make sure that there will be an American Dream left for my kids.

I am conservative, and proudly proclaim it. I hope this helps with the understanding of my personal conservatism.

9 Posts From Readers:

Obob said...

it appears you have lived this credo for sometime. This is very consistant with your posts I have enjoyed over time.
There is no hate from you words, no wish for the demise of other Americans. But you want others to do their part. John Smith used the same language to make Jamestown get going.
Well done.
Quick story, my mom once asked my how I became conservative in a liberal household. I told her it took years to breed perfection. She called me a little s**t. With love of course

TrekMedic251 said...

Well stated, Robert.

I might put this on the RNI 2008 blog this week.

rockync said...

A very thoughtful and educational post. I think I may lean a little more toward liberal than you, but we share many of the same ideals and ideas of what constitutes living the "American Dream." I wonder if you have ever given any thought to a national sales tax? This has come up in conversation off and on for several years and I'd be interested in your hearing your observations.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Obob, thanks for your comments. If you are honest about what you believe, you never have to worry about inconsistency. Your mom sounds like she was a good sport about the rebellion of

Thanks Trek! I could do better if I was actually a little more motivated. Thie campaign just doesn't excite me and I am feeling mighty lazy these days on things politic.

Rocky, I have some interest in both the Fair tax and the national sales tax idea. I know eough about both to be dangerous, so I ca't lay 100% support for any particular idea.

I do think that taxation based upon what one consumes is a good approach. Is there anything that would be more fair?

I will make my next post about tax system reform!

rockync said...

I'm with you; I am agreeable to the idea as long as reforms were fair. The best argument for it I've heard is that you get tax from drug dealers and others who make their money "under the table." I'll be looking for your post.

Anonymous said...

Great post Robert, but it doesn't really suprise me. You are always consistent regarding your posts. You know who you are and in turn, so do we.

I completely agree with you. I think too much government is a huge mistake. They think they know what is "best" for all of us and end up destroying the principle of hard work and integrity!

American Interests said...

That's a great rap Robert and even helps your readers understand their personal conservtism drivers...

Timstigator said...

I chanced upon your blog here and feel right at home. There isn't enough explanation of the differences between liberalism and conservatism. The election is not about choices between personalities or things like "it's a woman's turn" or "it's an African-American's turn"'s about fundamental philosophies between larger government and small government. Period. And all the outcomes that will come from each point of view. Heck, if it's a "woman's turn" I have no problem voting for Margaret Thatcher.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Welcome Tim, and please drop in anytime.

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