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Q: What Does A Conservative Believe?


Valin

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#what-does-a-conservative-believe-3Time:

 

Grover Norquist

February 2, 2012

 

In Europe, a conservative is someone wedded to the past. Whatever that was. In the United States, a conservative wishes to conserve the tradition of the Declaration of Independence, of the Constitution, of liberty. For much of American history, one’s political party affiliation only told you whether one was born north or south of the Mason-Dixon line. The parties were regional. During the political lifetime of Ronald Reagan, the two parties sorted themselves out along lines of political principle.

 

If you want the power of the state limited to protecting individual liberty you become a Republican. If you view the proper role of government as taking things from some people and giving them to others, you join the Democrats.

 

Today, conservatives find themselves in and around the modern Reagan Republican party. They are excluded from the modern Democrat party. Conservatives ask only one thing of the government: They wish to be left alone. They do not want the government to steal money from their neighbors and give it to them. They want taxes low and lower. They want property rights protected for all. They want to be in charge of educating their own children. They wish to practice their own faith and transmit it to their children without government “help” or interference. They want their Second Amendment rights respected. They want their professional and business lives to be left alone by the government. They would not be serfs or civil servants taking orders from an imperial city. Nor would they be czars themselves.

(Snip)

 

 

 

More Here: What Is a Conservative?


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"They wish to be left alone"

 

Except that most conservatives then worry that the guy next door is doing pot, or that the other neighbors kids might be up watching TV programs that aren't appropriate, or that the football game won't be fair unless we steroid test all the kids or on and on. The Texas "conservative" legislature spends tons of time making many thousands of laws to "protect" us from ourselves. Laws on when and which stores can be open on Sundays, tax cigarettes cause their bad for you, tax suntan booths cause their bad for you, etc. I have a hard time with this part of the "wish to be left alone". Leave me alone, but regulate and outlaw everything I don't agree with. Maybe it is just the "R" version of conservatism.

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"They wish to be left alone"

 

Except that most conservatives then worry that the guy next door is doing pot, or that the other neighbors kids might be up watching TV programs that aren't appropriate, or that the football game won't be fair unless we steroid test all the kids or on and on.

 

Apples & Oranges

 

The Texas "conservative" legislature spends tons of time making many thousands of laws to "protect" us from ourselves. Laws on when and which stores can be open on Sundays, tax cigarettes cause their bad for you, tax suntan booths cause their bad for you, etc. I have a hard time with this part of the "wish to be left alone". Leave me alone, but regulate and outlaw everything I don't agree with. Maybe it is just the "R" version of conservatism.

 

Not knowing anything about the ins and outs of this...I make no comment.

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@Valin, good reading. Shelby's comments are good to keep.

 

I was surprised to see this in Time. I think they're all prettry good. Although I was not happy to see Bones Coulter in there....but that's me.

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I think Libertarians are more likely to want to be left alone, frankly. I have pretty strong libertarian leanings myself.

 

I do think that there are parts of the GOP that are perfectly happy legislating their neighbors. I've always thought, if we were honest with ourselves, the great American debate should be between Libertarian principles and Republican ones. The socialist principles of today's Democrat party are just flat out inconsistent with the constitution.

 

One thing that I've come to understand is this: You never try to outlaw things you do. You always try to outlaw things other people do. That should be an awfully big hint on when to do a little navel gazing. Do I want this outlawed because it is annoying, or do I want it outlawed because it puts the larger culture/country at risk?

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I think Libertarians are more likely to want to be left alone, frankly. I have pretty strong libertarian leanings myself.

 

I do think that there are parts of the GOP that are perfectly happy legislating their neighbors. I've always thought, if we were honest with ourselves, the great American debate should be between Libertarian principles and Republican ones. The socialist principles of today's Democrat party are just flat out inconsistent with the constitution.

 

One thing that I've come to understand is this: You never try to outlaw things you do. You always try to outlaw things other people do. That should be an awfully big hint on when to do a little navel gazing. Do I want this outlawed because it is annoying, or do I want it outlawed because it puts the larger culture/country at risk?

 

This is the question isn't it. How much power do we give government over how we live. Is Grass ok, but Heroin isn't? Why? You can't legally buy beer at 17 years 360 days but one week later you can. Why?

I really like Bill Bennetts show, and he's really big on the War On Drugs, yet IMO he's never come up with a good reason for it other than drugs kill.

 

As someone who studies history, How did the nation manage to grow a prosper before these laws were passed? Wish I had an answer. The problem with the libertarian position is it ignores society as a whole, or views it as just a collection of individuals, society/civilizations have to be more than that.

 

It's a spiritual problem, and it can't be solved by laws. Without a vision the people perish. Sometime in the 60's a lot of people lost their vision.

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@Valin

 

I am not nearly the study of history as you are, but I do have a couple of people based observations of how we work as humans.

 

First of all, it is always a lot easier to govern fewer people than it is more. So that works against us. The second is, that as a conservative, I don't feel we pay to much in taxes, or have too much government. I think we just pay too much to the wrong part of the government and have too much intervention from the wrong places.

 

The amount of tax I pay each year is just fine. But what I wish is that most of it went to my city, the next largest amount to the state...and the smallest amount to the federal government. I wish that my city could pass most of the rules that govern me, the state the next and the federal the least.

 

Instead, it is inverted. I want the federal government to take care of the states, the states to take care of cities, and the cities to take care of people.

 

To me, that is the crux of the problem, no matter which party is in charge. We have too many people in DC trying to take care of a very diverse population with a lot of very dissimilar needs...and it dilutes the concept of a government by and for the people.

 

If I was to diagnose one issue we really struggle with now structurally, that is it.

 

It speaks to values as well. What is happening is the values of a single power group is being foisted on the country as a whole. From the top, via ridicule and legislation. And we've lost both our regional and common culture on top of that.

 

The chance of either of those coming back, it seems to me, is almost zero. It kind of breaks my heart.

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@pollyannaish

 

First of all, it is always a lot easier to govern fewer people than it is more. So that works against us. The second is, that as a conservative, I don't feel we pay to much in taxes, or have too much government. I think we just pay too much to the wrong part of the government and have too much intervention from the wrong places.

 

Oh I like that!

 

 

 

Instead, it is inverted. I want the federal government to take care of the states, the states to take care of cities, and the cities to take care of people.

 

That's how the framers thought it should be. Unfortunately it appears the anti-federalists were correct, in their concern that the federal government would grow so strong that it would over power the States.

 

An excellent book on this is Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

Pauline Maier

(I know it's shocking I have a book...never saw that one coming did ya?)

 

To me, that is the crux of the problem, no matter which party is in charge. We have too many people in DC trying to take care of a very diverse population with a lot of very dissimilar needs...and it dilutes the concept of a government by and for the people.

 

If I was to diagnose one issue we really struggle with now structurally, that is it.

 

Power need to be pushed down to the lowest possible level. We see it in business, but not in government.

 

It speaks to values as well. What is happening is the values of a single power group is being foisted on the country as a whole. From the top, via ridicule and legislation. And we've lost both our regional and common culture on top of that.

 

The chance of either of those coming back, it seems to me, is almost zero. It kind of breaks my heart.

 

The thing is children are not taught American values, personal freedom & personal responsibility. And they are not really taught American History, at least not that America is (warts and all) a force for good. We need to remember the American Revolution is one of the few that has actually worked, has actually done what those old dead whiter guys set out to do.

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@pollyannaish

 

First of all, it is always a lot easier to govern fewer people than it is more. So that works against us. The second is, that as a conservative, I don't feel we pay to much in taxes, or have too much government. I think we just pay too much to the wrong part of the government and have too much intervention from the wrong places.

 

Oh I like that!

 

I use that a lot when debating my liberal friends. It pretty easily takes us out of the regular veins of left/right debate and allows us to find common ground. Once we do that, it's a lot easier to discuss thing calmly and rationally. I spent over an hour talking to a very young Portland liberal about a year ago. We discovered that we aren't all the far apart on a lot of the big issues. He realized that his hatred of big business was not that they were actually big business...but that they have the ability to make cushy deals and get bail outs from the government that tend to enrich individuals not communities. I was able to express the fact that because of the power and intervention of big government, they ARE big business.

 

I didn't change his world, but I walked away with a little hope, and he walked away with some things to think about. He probably supports Ron Paul instead of Obama this time. :lol:

 

 

 

Instead, it is inverted. I want the federal government to take care of the states, the states to take care of cities, and the cities to take care of people.

 

That's how the framers thought it should be. Unfortunately it appears the anti-federalists were correct, in their concern that the federal government would grow so strong that it would over power the States.

 

An excellent book on this is Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

Pauline Maier

(I know it's shocking I have a book...never saw that one coming did ya?)

 

You sir, are pretty much responsible for my bedside table stacks for the past three years or so. So yeah, I did see that coming. It's now on the list though. Thanks for the recommendation.

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@Valin, good reading. Shelby's comments are good to keep.

 

I was surprised to see this in Time. I think they're all prettry good. Although I was not happy to see Bones Coulter in there....but that's me.

I was surprised as well. Pleasantly.

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@Valin, good reading. Shelby's comments are good to keep.

 

I was surprised to see this in Time. I think they're all prettry good. Although I was not happy to see Bones Coulter in there....but that's me.

I was surprised as well. Pleasantly.

 

Well that makes one of us. But then I really don't like her.

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The problem I have with Grover Norquist is that the Madisonian point is made that those who take your property do not respect your ideas.

 

I respect that few, if any, would have wanted to vote for libertarian nutjob Carla Howell for Governor in Massachusetts in 2002* and I don't write off people who self identify as conservatives simply because they do not agree with me. But it is not unreasonable to require that someone who claims to be a conservative recognize that every one of us is an individual, with our God-given right to liberty and if he can't understand that he is not the bearer of the standard, he is welcome to join the Democrats.

 

*but had to vote for Mitt Romney because Shannon O'Brien was so incredibly awful. Take a note that this is how Mr. Inevitability won a single term.

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