What does it mean to be a conservative?

By: Guest Authors

By: J. Cliff Brooks

What does it mean to be a conservative? While there are many interpretations of this viewpoint, to me, first and foremost is that we should be conservative in the responsibilities that we give to the federal government, therefore limiting the amount of money that it takes from the common taxpayer, and more important, conserving the individual liberties of the American People.

If one looks at the sheer number of departments of the federal government, it becomes obvious that our so called conservative representatives have utterly failed those of us who believe in limited government and individual liberties. Our children and grandchildren will be completely dependent on the federal government, as many people are already. The federal government decides how our children will be educated, and they are indoctrinated with liberal propaganda from the time they start United States history classes. Communist ideals are glorified in the text books of our public school systems; I was taught in every United States history class I took that the New Deal was an heroic policy that “saved” America from the depression. I was taught that social security was going to protect American cititzens livelyhood, that medicare and medicaid would save the poor and elderly. Never was it mentioned in any of my textbooks that the American People have money taken from them and redistributed to pay for these programs (just that the money came from the government), and that this action can have (and does have) negative impacts on liberty. Not to mention this redistribution of wealth is the cornerstone of socialist platforms. We implemented more and more entitlements and welfare programs while we claimed to fight communism. I have news for America: communism is alive and well, and it has infiltrated our government from the inside. It is our responsibility to throw it out!

It is often said in politics that the most important job of the federal government is to protect the American People. Our conservative representatives have forgotten or ignored the fact that more important than that is to protect our freedom. We hear the slippery slope argument often enough that it has become a cliche, but the truth is we are already riding an avalanche. The current presidential administration and the current congress have moved us so far away from a free country that we must act immediately if we are to recover. To many people are willing to sacrifice freedom for safety, and we must convince them that gains of physical security are not worth the loss of our culture and founding principles of our nation. We need representatives and politicians who will tell the American People that the government can not do everything, and cannot keep them safe from everything. By giving up our privacy and freedom in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001 we are sending a clear message to those who would do America harm: we are willing to give up anything and everything including our beliefs if we can be safe from harm. Obviously, this is the objective of those who would harm American citizens in the name of Islamic extremism (to get us to give up our principles and beliefs in order to be safe), so in my humble opinion, the terrorists have already won… unless we stop and look at what we are allowing to happen to our free nation and reverse the trend.

Our free market economy is gone. Regulations, taxation, subsidies, and special interest have stifled our marketplace to the brink of suffocation in the name of “free” and “fair” trade. The central bank causes bubbles in the markets and inflates our currency by manipulating interest rates and printing currency with no real value. Our energy crisis is taking longer than it should to be solved because of government subsidies and regulations. The free market will produce the best product for our energy needs if left to flourish. If the government subsidizes inefficient fuels, then companies who would otherwise look to develop the highest quality product may decide to opt for the guaranteed funding from the federal government to work on a fuel that they know will be inferior to another. The free market does work, but it doesn’t work overnight; almost nothing works overnight. We mustn’t let our representatives sell us a plan to fix the economy, but to offer to get out of the way. I do not see this on the national stage (cap and trade, ethanol) or in my state legislature.

The main point I am trying to make is that in order to have the America that we conservative Americans believe in we must not settle for conservative representatives and governors who are simply conservative on social issues and still vote for and sponsor legislation which expands government control and regulations. We must demand a legislators who will work to reverse government growth rather than just slow it. And since John McCain is now effectively the leader of the Republican party, we must demand that he not only call for slowing the expansion of government, but the reversal of the expansion of government; and we must insist that he push his party for such legislation. When Mr. McCain says he will work to keep taxes low, we must tell him taxes are not low, and we need him as leader of the party to cut more spending than earmarks, so that taxes can be lowered across the board. We need to return to the constitution and make moves to privatize or move to state control any government department or industry which is not specifically allowed by the constitution. In the unlikely event that Mr. McCain and my legislators Mr. Corker and Mr. Alexander take a stand on real conservative issues, they will have my vote. However, unless a swift change is made back to true conservative policies I would ask you who really believe in our Constitution to give our elected officials the message by voting out the old guard and replace them with people who work for limit government, lower taxes and the promotion of liberty. We’ll do it in Tennessee (just ask David Davis), and I hope you’ll do it in your state.

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