February 9, 2010
Party of 'No'...and ProudBy Matt Spivey
Conservatism is about being not obstructionist, but principled.
Imagine if someone told you that even though you are a Christian, in order to get along better with others, you need to put your religious beliefs on hold until 2012. Don't worry about that "salvation" thing for a couple of years. Or imagine if you were asked to love your parents a little less because your full-hearted devotion to them is getting in the way of showing your affection for others. Wait until the next election to prove your respect for your family.
Diminishing these deeply held beliefs and feelings would be ludicrous. These attitudes are part of our creation as humans, and we hold other attitudes just as deeply because they are part of our citizenship as Americans.
For many of us, our conservative principles of freedom and personal responsibility are continually under attack.
Liberal commentators continually blame Republicans for obstructing legislation or opposing the president's ideas. The Democratic National Committee sponsors a website with its homepage displaying prominent Republicans under a label reading "The Party of NO." The president even reflected this sentiment in his SOTU speech recently: "Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership."
What the president and the majority of Democrats refuse to believe is that relinquishing core values is not good leadership either.
It's time for conservatives to embrace their refusal to bend on basic beliefs. And it's time for liberals to understand that a refusal to accommodate is not simply to impede ideologically, but rather to stand firm fundamentally.
Here are the "no" answers conservatives need to continue upholding:
No, I do not want to pay more in taxes for inefficient, bureaucratic, behemoth agencies and legislation.
No, I do not want my hard-earned money going to people who cannot or will not work as hard as I do. If I want to help those people, I'll do so voluntarily.
No, I will not support a budget in which we are spending more than we are collecting.
No, I do not approve of selecting certain companies to bail out when they have financial troubles. No business is too big to fail.
No, I do not want to diminish the power of business and industry by stifling their productivity and job-creating capabilities by taxing the very entities upon which the majority of Americans rely. Not all of us can earn six figures while sitting comfortably in a congressional chamber three days a week.
No, I do not want government regulating something as vague as "climate change," or any other highly disputed natural occurrence.
No, I do not want us to curb our natural resource exploration for the sake of the environmentalist lobbies. We need to find and utilize more reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas.
No, I do not want the government telling me how or where to educate my child.
No, I do not want the government involved in my personal health care. I can take care of myself. And I will take care of family and friends who need health assistance.
No, I do not support killing fetuses, regardless of their stage of development. If we are not allowed life, then liberty and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless.
No, I do not support the destruction of fetuses for scientific research, no matter how important a potential discovery may be.
No, I do not want illegal aliens absorbing resources and influencing legislation designed for American citizens. Everyone is welcome in our home; just come in the front door.
No, I do not want dictatorships to possess nuclear weapons.
No, I do not want terrorists tried in American courtrooms with the rights of American citizens.
No, I do not want al-Queda, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, or other actual or potential terrorist organizations to strike American citizens, American soil, or American allies ever again. Therefore, they need to be killed as quickly as possible.
If certain segments of our population view these ideals as obstructionist, then they are missing the point of holding core values. We can deliberate on how much to spend in certain agencies or how to fight a war. But there is nothing wrong with saying "no" concerning the invasion of the federal government into personal property, individual responsibility, and states' rights.
Clearly, we need to work together to solve problems and try to come up with unique ideas to respond to the liberal agenda. But we cannot yield to Democrat-sponsored legislation simply for the sake of "getting things done" or to falsely demonstrate bipartisanship.
Our nation was founded on the ability to stand up and say "no" against intrusive and reckless authority. Hopefully, the time is near where a majority of Americans who once said "yes, we can" will start saying "no, we won't."