Friday, March 5, 2010

Independent Conservatism


I have, for many years, considered myself to be an independent conservative. Asked by some just what that means I would reply it implies I believe in the radical political views held by the founding fathers. Men of enlightened thinking who personified  "The Age of Reason."

There have been many occasions I have been brought to task for pointing to the wisdom of  such giants as Washington, Jefferson, Paine, Franklin... the list could go on but for a lack of time. The heart of  the argument used is these are ghosts from the grave and thus bear no relevancy to the present. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The intellectual giants that gave us The Declaration of Independence, formed our Republic, and gave us  The Constitution of the United States of America are as relevant today as they where 233 years ago. For it is their philosophy of governance that lives on today through their profound words and wisdom as recorded by history. It is indeed unfortunate there are some who don't see it that way.

Back to the question... what is an independent conservative?  It may be useful to turn to an authoritative source to frame the definition of these words.

Conservative is defined by Webster as... a:disposition in politics to preserve what is established, b: a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.

Independent is defined by Webster as... a (1): not subject to control by others: SELF GOVERNING (2): not affiliated with a larger controlling unit, b (3): not bound by or committed to a political party, d (2): showing a desire for freedom.

Looking at these definitions it is clear, at least to me, the term independent conservative when used in a political sense identifies a person who; has a rational belief in, and the desire to preserve that which was established by our founding document. One who's philosophy is that social stability is best achieved by gradual change rather than radical and unproven ideologies. Someone who refuses to allow other's beliefs to control their thought and refuses to join or be beholden to any political party. An individual who values liberty and as such refuses to give in to pressure from the "mainstream" present day conservatives. Usually read Republican.

One of the allegations I have frequently heard is that I am "a closet Republican hiding behind the conservative banner."  So, just to be clear on this... I left the Republican party years ago. I refuse to be associated with a party that has lost all sense of fiscal responsibility. A party that has adopted an open interventionist policy (not intervening in every countries affairs does not indicate a weakness on a strong military or isolationism), a party that by their actions has proven they to believe in large government, a party that believes in the New World Order ideology... and a party that is as corrupt as the Democratic party.

For me an independent conservative is one who holds the defining principals of our republic as values worth understanding and fighting for. A person who understands that ultimately there are those on the right, as well as the left who are patriotic and want only the best for our country today as well as all future generations.

With this acknowledgement from the right the question remains... is the left as bipartisan and willing to discuss the very principals that this nation was founded on as the right is? At this juncture in time it is doubtful. The left and right can continue to play the game of brinkmanship as long as they choose. The inevitable reality is that in so doing they will render themselves irrelevant in the eyes of the American electorate. 

25 comments:

  1. What's in a label anyway? You know what you believe, and that's what's important.

    I call myself a conservative/libertarian or some such, although I do so hesitantly, knowing that true libertarians will jump all over me for usurping the term.

    Self-described liberals are the most unliberal of us all, so labels can be controversial.

    More and more people are coming around to what you have espoused. The constitution is not our of date! The men who wrote it had a deep understanding of human nature, and human nature does not change.

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  2. A conservatvie by your own definition does espouse change but slow steady change.

    Obviously, things have changed since our founding fathers: You don't have to own property to vote, be a man to vote, or be white to vote.

    To return back to that time does not make one a conservative but rather a reactionary.

    The constitution has changed over the years and are you demanding that we 'roll back' our values and beliefs to that point in time?

    The constitution is not something that can be 'preserved' as if you can pickle it and put in on a shelf in the storeroom...

    It is a living document that must adapt to the changes in reality....if it does not do so then it loses its relevancy.

    You might have 'left' the republican party but as you still vote republican each and every election that is an empty statement.

    Now, if you want to argue that the two party system and the corruption of money in elections is destroying the princples that this country was founded on that is something that many people could agree with but to claim that "the left as bipartisan and willing to discuss the very principals that this nation was founded on as the right is..." is as delusion a comment as can be made....because it was the "right" or GWB that hoisted the Patriot Act on this country...

    Of course you will argue that GWB was left to you so that makes him a 'leftist' but that flies in the face of democractic principles, which is one of the basic founding principles of our Constitution because a VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS consider GWB a Conservative...

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  3. Silverfiddle - I think you may be right with respect to labels. I do believe I have been a controversial kind of guy most of my life.

    Yes, and it is a terrific thing for our nation if more people are in fact coming around to realizing the Constitution is not out of date.

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  4. TAO - Here you go again. Publicizing my voting record as if you are an expert on the subject.

    Then the vast majority of Americans have not realistically looked at GWB's fiscal policy, nor his stance on immigration, nor his stance on foreign policy (interventionism)...

    I am glad you agree with me that corruption exists in our two party system. However get past GWB, I have.

    When will you?

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  5. Of course you have gotten past GWB...because it is expedient for you to do so.

    But 'Conservatism' did not begin in 2008 nor did it begin the day you began blogging.

    When 37% of our current deficit is directly related to prior economic downturns and another 53% of our current deficit is directly related to the policies of a prior administration then obviously we have to look at the past to understand why we are where we are today!

    If I rack up 10,000 dollars in debt and then one morning wake up and decide that I 'have changed' does that free me from having to repay the debt from yesterday?

    Michelle Bachmann can speak all she wants about the evils of government subsidized healthcare but as long as she remains quiet about government subsidized agriculture and keeps cashing the checks then am I to salute her as a Patriot?

    Or maybe a contradiction?

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  6. @Tao: "It is a living document that must adapt to the changes in reality....if it does not do so then it loses its relevancy."

    WRONG! As Walter E. Williams would say, would you like to play poker where the rules were "living?" Of course not.

    If the document needs to change, there is an amendment process.

    Please tell us what parts you think have "lost relevancy?" Freedom of speech? The right to not have soldiers quartered in your house?

    Both parties have made a bi-partisan wreck of this country's government and its finances. The founders set up firewalls but the politicians and crony capitalists have eaten through them like the rats and cockroaches they are.

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  7. Silverfiddle..."Both parties have made a bi-partisan wreck of this country's government and its finances. The founders set up firewalls but the politicians and crony capitalists have eaten through them like the rats and cockroaches they are."

    I agree totally with this comment...

    But to claim that we have to go back to the principles established by our founding fathers would mean that we would have to roll over alot of amendments....

    Such as the ones that gave women and blacks the right to vote.

    But by claiming "The Founding Father principles" is to do exactly that!

    To claim that Ronald Reagan 'meant' to curb government spending and 'meant' to abolish the Department of Education is also a feeble attempt to claim somehow that when "Conservative" politicians are in power they somehow are more true to ones beliefs even in light of the obvious is absurd.

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  8. TAO - There you go again.

    But thank you for your valid comment: {When 37% of our current deficit is directly related to prior economic downturns and another 53% of our current deficit is directly related to the policies of a prior administration then obviously we have to look at the past to understand why we are where we are today!}

    I have said it many times. Tank's for agreeing with me.

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  9. Silverfiddle - Great comments! I agree 100%.

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  10. @TAO,

    You said:
    "Michelle Bachmann can speak all she wants about the evils of government subsidized healthcare but as long as she remains quiet about government subsidized agriculture and keeps cashing the checks then am I to salute her as a Patriot?"
    ------------------------------

    Can you show us this to be true with direct quotes or links? I would gladly read it and judge for myself.

    I did not realize Bachmann was receiving hush money.

    Also, I don't think you'll find many Conservatives here, (who share our Independent Thought), that will deny GWB made some huge mistakes and we are paying for them even today.

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but I surely an no knee-jerk Bush Fan just because I'm a Conservative. I agree with you that Conservatism did not begin in 2008 or when any of us started blogging.

    For me it started back when the God I worship said, "Let there be light", but that's a whole different topic for a whole different day! (Jokes, TAO, just jokes!)

    All kidding aside, this whole thing began for me when it became blatantly obvious that Obama and Congress had determined it in themselves to govern us against the Will of The People, including Democrats! It was at that moment that the Federal government earned my contempt. But I digress...

    So, how about some solid proof of the comments you made above?

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  11. Les,
    Nice site, I enjoyed my visit and I will return as time permits. Also, Kudos to Wes Messamore for a fine design job.

    Tao,
    Your comments regarding the US Constitution as a "living document" are correct in that it can and must change as the times do. Unfortunately, your position that to adhere to the founders vision means scraping the changes is incorrect. The document is "living" BECAUSE they incorporated the means for its change in the original plan. It is "living" because we can change it as proscribed, not by the whim of jurists or power hungry politicians.

    I only wish it was as "alive" in the hearts of the citizens as it is "living" in the minds of progressives who seek render it irrelevant.

    Regards,
    whatwethinkandwhy.blogspot.com

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  12. Donald,

    Here you go: "But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006. The farm had been managed by Bachmann’s recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or “socialized”—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse."

    Just google Bachmann and ag subsidies...

    I am glad that Obama and his administration so opened the eyes of so many conservatives and caused them to wake up and find GOD....

    That is an acknowledgement that you all were asleep that the wheel the last 20 or so years when conservatives were all growing big government and dramatically increasing the deficit all the while pointing their fingers and running their mouth off about the evils of liberalism...

    Now, Fox News wants me to fear big government and socialism....all the while I had nothing to fear during the Bush Administration...

    The constitution does not dictate how government should run but why it should run....

    Its real easy to sit hear and go on and on about Charlie Rangel and all his stupidity...or to focus on the tax issues of Gietner...but a quick search of Google shows that the information on Bachmann has been readily available all over the place....but no one here seems to want to discuss it or even be made aware of it.

    Now everyone wants to end the Patriot Act, but when it was first enacted it was the LEFT that was the only ones who stood up and were against it.

    Lets not forget that it was also the Left that were the only ones to question the Iraq War.

    Its real easy to sit and point fingers at THE LEFT, at LIBERALS, or at LIBERALISM and blame this UNDEFINED entity, or boogeyman for all that is wrong with our country...and then to sit back and when a claim is made of THE RIGHT (which includes conservatives and conservatism) to claim that one did not support that indidivdual or one was not aware...

    It is easy to quote the founding fathers and claim that we must return to their ideals....

    Or to claim that their ideals have been destroyed by THE LEFT or the LIBERALS...but the reality is Ronald Reagan was a big government statist as were all conservative supported Presidents.

    Its like complaining about unions and acorn without mentioning corporations and special interests...

    If you are truly about individual rights then you have to denounce each and everything that curtails and or infringes on those rights.

    Regardless of ideological affiliation.

    It is easy and comforting to believe that "Progressives" are the only threat to our constitution....but the reality is that THE RIGHT and its conservative component are just as liable for wanting to create a constitution that more reflects their vision...and they represent a majority today.

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  13. Gentlemen,
    First let me say I'm in complete agreement with what Tao so eloquently wrote just now, so that my position is clear.

    Donald I'd like to ask you a question, and this is not to score a later point but rather for my own understanding.

    I appreciate what you wrote about not being a kneejerk conservative and that you disagreed with much of the Bush administration policy. My own view of Obama is that his policy is an extension of the previous administration's policy.

    You wrote " it became blatantly obvious that Obama and Congress had determined it in themselves to govern us against the Will of The People, including Democrats!". From my liberal viewpoint that has always been the case and I see nothing different under Obama, as I stated I see his policy as an extension of previous policy.

    Having said that, all of us view things thru our own ideological blinders, I'm no different.

    Would you please explain what factors caused you to see the current administration to be governing against the will of the people, as opposed to any (going back as far as you'd like) other administration's governance?

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  14. Oso- As you usually do you display a rational perspective, something that I find rare in most progressives.

    I shall let Donald answer your question.

    I did take a trip back in history however... to Jefferson.

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  15. RN,
    Thank you.I've been reading Law and Order Teacher's series on the Presidents-don't know if you visit there? I don't recall if he's profiled Jefferson yet. If not I'll do a bit of reading.
    Take care man

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  16. @TAO,

    You said:
    "If you are truly about individual rights then you have to denounce each and everything that curtails and or infringes on those rights."
    -------------------

    Please, for the sake of this new vision of RN's to be fruitful, do not ever again to presume to tell me anything regarding how I should be, or what I need to do to satisfy your requirements. I am saying that with as much respect as I can, knowing that my words only appear in black and white and are completely devoid of inflection. If I detect you doing so again, I shall simply withdraw from rational conversation with you. I did, however, appreciate greatly the information you wrote out in your last comments to me. Nicely done.

    And please, I was joking about the God comment I made. I did not appreciate your snarky comment regarding this, unless you were being amusingly sarcastic and it didn't translate on my end.

    I hope that you're not a sensitive liberal who feels the need to make their commenting here personal.
    -----------------------------

    @Oso,

    You said:
    "Would you please explain what factors caused you to see the current administration to be governing against the will of the people, as opposed to any (going back as far as you'd like) other administration's governance?"

    Gladly, Oso, I will. Essentially when I saw the way the Obama administration was, what seemed to me, willfully ignoring and dismissing the American people's voice that was broadcast in polls taken by numerous sources, regarding Health Care and before that, the Stimulus Package.

    I have not these polls handy, I apologize for that, because it would lend credibility to my comments!, but essentially, Oso, I saw our government piss on America's desires and wants for the sake of their own desire and wants.

    Trust me, Oso, I believe in order, and I want to be able to believe that our government is not dismissing us all as blind sheep who are too stupid to think for ourselves. I laughed when I heard the "f**king retards" comment by Rahm, because I do believe that's how our government really sees us.

    However, Oso, this is not just about the Democrats or the liberals or the progressives. The GOP is definitely shouldering a lot of my distrust for government these days, as well.

    So, Oso, it was when I realized that our government did not care abot the expressed will of the majority of Americans in polls taken.

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  17. Donald,
    Thank you. As I'd written, the question was for my own understanding of your position.

    In case you're curious I support HCR in general and a single-payer plan in particular, however I view the Presidents package as an unacceptable gift to the health insurance industry and stand in opposition to it.

    Regarding the Stimulus, I believe that following the Lehman collapse insolvent investment banks should have been allowed to fail and essential (payment processing)institutions recapitalized.Use of an FDIC type of approach to nationalize/write down by equity liquidation/privatize some borderline institutions might have proven fruitful. IMO that would have restored short term markets and investor confidence so that a Stimulus might have been more widely accepted by the general public.

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  18. Donald,

    Obviously, while you have some preconceived notion of me as a "sensitve liberal" and obviously, you decided to 'prove' some point by by taking one of the most 'thin skinned' defenses I have ever seen.

    When someone begins an argument of "If you" and includes "then you" it can safely be assumed that the speaker is making a 'general point' rather than a specific point directed at anyone in particular.

    If you are that thin skinned then obviously you have preconceived notions of me and thus there is no need for me to comment on this site in the future because everything I will say, regardless of how factual, logical, and or rational it may be you will immediately become as defensive as you did in this thread.

    IF you are so confident in your own argument then why do you feel the need to slander me with the term "sensitive liberal" when in fact it is obvious that you are the sensitive one as you took offense where none was given?

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  19. Tao - Is the term "sensitive liberal" any more slanderous than your statement today on Pamela's site. I paste here:

    "Seems to me the real issue is how do Conservatives maintain their values in light of all the STUPIDITY of those who claim to be conservatives?"

    Isn't there something about stones and glass houses?

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  20. Grant - Thanks for visiting RN USA. We shall look forward to your return.

    I will be sure to check out the the link you left us.

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  21. Yes, Rational, now why don't you post the rest of the conversation? I can be a much better conservative than you could ever dream of...in fact I am contemplating starting a conservative blog under another persona...

    Everyone wants to run around and call themselves 'conservative' and yet they are not.

    Remember, it was Dick Cheney who claimed "Reagan taught us that deficits don't matter..." He spoke at CPAC so his conservative credetinals are above reproach.

    Any true conservatives KNOW that deficits matter as does any true capitalist. Any true RATIONAL conservative also knows that government spending will never be controlled because Americans love getting something for nothing. The only way you will ever control government spending is to make the government TAX the people for any program...as long as we can get something for free we will....and that is NOT a liberal idea...

    Reagan taught us all that...

    Rational people understand that if you can promise people benefits that cost them nothing then they will demand them....

    If you give the people what they want then they will vote for you....

    Like I said, "how do conservatives maintain their values in light of all the stupidity of those who claim to be conservatives?"

    It wasn't me that gave conservatives their bad name...it was GWB, Cheney and his neocon buddies, and all the compassionate conservatives.

    So, rather than constantly harp about the liberals why don't you independent conservatives do something about redefining conservativism....because your term for yourself has been hijacked....or call it identity theft.

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  22. TAO - I said I wouldn't respond to misrepresentations.

    So, I will congratulate you on starting your phony conservative blog.

    As to GWB and Cheney let it go. I have repeatedly said... never mind.If you ain't heard it yet you wont hear it now.

    If you are insinuating I am lying about my generally uncomplimentary statements with respect to GWB just say it plain and that will guarantee you receive no response ever again.

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  23. @TAO,

    You said:
    "When someone begins an argument of "If you" and includes "then you" it can safely be assumed that the speaker is making a 'general point' rather than a specific point directed at anyone in particular."
    ---------------------------------

    I did go back and re-read that portion of your original comments. I can definitely see that I may have misinterpreted your meaning! My apologies.

    I'm still working through figuring out how to decipher words with no diction or inflections! (How I wish sometimes I could just talk face-to-face with folks to avoid such faux pas!_

    TAO, again, my apologies. I am accustomed to being attacked by liberals, and I reacted in a most offensive manner to your comments.

    It shant happen again. I will take care to read all comments here as if they are being spoken to me from people who are not necessarily seeking confrontation.

    Cheers, TAO!

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  24. I call myself an Individualist, and often am called a conservative by others. That may have been considered an insult 20 or 30 years ago, but Independent Conservatives today really "get" the idea of "individual rights" much, much better. So I consider myself in good company. Inalienable Rights Conservationist has a ring to it.

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  25. American Egoist - Indeed, very true. Inalienable Rights Conservationist certainly does a resounding ring,.

    Thanks for stopping in, and please anytime you're in the area stop in. :-)

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