The Republican Party seems to be drifting away from conservatism, so much so that there are more people who identify themselves as “conservative” than there are people who identify themselves as “republican”.
Let me share with you what my definition of “conservative” is and how we can help the conservative movement along.
A conservative is someone who understands the essence of liberty. That essence can be boiled down to the following facts:
- Our rights come from God.
- These rights are unalienable.
- Governments exist to protect those rights.
- Governments which do more or less than that should be changed.
Now, there are two action items we derive from the above.
- Do not allow government to infringe on anyone’s rights.
- Keep government protecting everyone’s rights from each other.
This leads to the conservative movement, which is essentially the two above action items.
Today, I think we have learned a few things about our system of government.
- We cannot trust the elected or appointed officials to be bound by the constitution.
- We cannot allow the government to define what our rights are or are not.
- We must “rebel” at the first instance of the infringement of our rights.
- We must say “no” by default to government, except when the vast majority of us can be convinced otherwise, and even then, only if the argument is “your rights will be better protected under this new system.”
- We must starve government, keeping it in a weak and atrophied state, rather than a robust one.
On the first matter, it is important to consider that we do, from time to time, elect people who are more than happy to walk all over the constitution. We seem to have a high tolerance for that in our country. We cannot expect our elected and appointed officials to be the vanguard of our rights.
On the second matter, we must agree that our rights are what we say our rights are, not the courts nor the legislature nor the governor. As individuals, we have a duty to first determine what we, individually, think our rights should be and then to exercise them. This isn’t rocket science, and a few simple rules can help us all come to a consensus on what our rights should be.
On the third matter, we must consider ourselves, as citiens, as enemies of the government. Our government doesn’t care about us, and the people within the government could care less about our rights. They are just as greedy and selfish as anyone else, perhaps moreso. When we see government behaving outside of its parameters, we, the people, must loudly and forcefully protest.
On the fourth matter, our instant answer on any proposed new law or change is “no.” Practice it with me: “No.” Not until we, as an individual, have been fully persuaded that the new system will better protect our rights (the ones we think we have), should we consent to the action.
On the final matter, there are simple amendments to the constitutions of our country that can guarantee a weak and atrophied government barely able to do what we want it to do. These reforms are:
- Limit revenue. List the various ways government can raise money, and put upper limits on them that cannot be exceeded.
- Limit spending. List the various ways the government can spend money, and put upper limits on how much. Put in the constitution constraints such as open bidding and auditing to make it very difficult to transfer wealth from government to the pockets of the politicians.
- Limit regulation. List the various kinds of regulations government can write and put limits on how many pages or how much the regulations can weigh when printed. God was able to say all he needed to say in 10 simple commandments. We can probably do everything we need with 100. Allow people to veto any law.
- Limit offices. List the specific offices governments have and what the exact qualifications are. List how we verify the qualification and how the hiring decision is made. Leave a way for the people to remove individuals from office. Add provisions such as automatic impeachment upon criminal conviction and so forth.
- Limit elections. Limit the time and number of elections that government can run. This way, we can spend our lives living rather than figuring out what to vote for. Put in provisions so that the people control the elections, not the elected officials.
I am not against all organized activity. Indeed, I encourage it. Let us join together in whatever interesting organizations we can imagine, and combine our efforts in whatever ways we can. Political parties are one of many, many ways we do things together.
I am wary of that particular type of organized activity where we give permission to do violence in our behalf—the government. It is a dangerous, although necessary, thing. We must be more cautious than our Founding Fathers were, because we see now what can happen.