Redefining Political Geometry
It's an amazingly shrewd deception, so subtle that virtually everyone has missed it. It's so clever that it's hard to believe that those on the political left were smart enough to devise it. What I'm describing is the common misunderstanding of basic political geometry – that is, what accurately describes its right and the left wings.
We're all familiar with the terms "right-wing conservative" and "far-right conservative" and the nouveau "alt right," which alludes to a type of ultraconservative. It is a cunning ploy. Let's be perfectly clear and geometrically accurate: conservatism and the conservative viewpoint are not and never have been a wing.
Politics refers to the activities associated with governance. When speaking about the level of influence and involvement of the government in our lives, we have two extremes. On the left wing is the liberal-progressive viewpoint that desires more government influence. The increase of government influence and control eventually leads to tyranny. The opposite wing or right wing is the viewpoint of more individual freedom and minimized government influence. That is libertarianism, and when pursued to its extreme, it leads to anarchy.
So where is conservatism? Conservatism is geometrically in the center, as it logically wants to "conserve" the status quo, or, in our American government, the U.S. Constitution.
This is where the cleverness comes in. By attempting to radicalize and call conservatism a wing and ultraconservatism an extreme wing to the right, the left turns all forms of compromise toward a moderate so-called middle into movements to the left. It's a brilliant strategy with unfortunately dire consequences. For the left, it's "heads, I win, and tails, I don't win as much, but I still win." True logic would dictate that you initiate any topical debate from the middle, with the conservative viewpoint, and then decide if the desired solution requires more government involvement (go left) or reduced government involvement (go right).
Another error in political geometry being promoted is the false contrast that to move farther left leads to socialism and eventually communism, while moving to the far right leads to fascism. This is blatantly false, as libertarianism has nothing in common with fascism. Fascism is the brother from a different mother to communism, as it promotes a centralized autocratic government, typically in the form of a dictatorship (think Mussolini and Hitler). Whether spawned by a helicopter-mom nanny-state that leads to socialism or, worse, communism or birthed by a self-aggrandizing, arrogant mother country into Oedipus-complex nationalistic fascist fervor, you still end up in the same place with a highly controlling government. Fascism, socialism, and communism are all controlling government ideologies of the political left.
Conservatives have either completely missed this or failed to address it. Most conservatives claim and believe that the U.S. is a center-right country, but logic asks, "Based on what measuring stick?" If our initial Constitution is considered the point of origin, has our country moved toward less government or more government involvement in our lives over the past 200-plus years? The answer is obvious.
We've drifted to become a center-left country based on point of origin, and we need to change that. The conservative voices of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others need to educate the American public that conservatism is not a radical "wing" viewpoint, but the center default viewpoint. Theoretically, that default viewpoint is our Constitution.
There's a more important reason why all public discourse should start from the conservative center. The premiere guiding principle in the philosophy of American political conservatism is moral integrity. It starts with the individual and includes the aspects of individual responsibility and accountability and then migrates outward through integration into the community. Ideally, this moral integrity finds its root source in God. This is the moral foundation our Founding Fathers described in our Declaration of Independence, where God is addressed four times as nature's God, our Creator, the Supreme Judge of the world, and Divine Providence. The latter destroys the notion that most our Founding Fathers were Deists, as Deists do not believe in Divine Providence, but that's a separate discussion. Heck, the Founders even referenced Jesus Christ in our Constitution in the last paragraph, where it states that it was done in convention "in the Year of our Lord." That's not Lord Cornwallis. Nor is it Lord Darth Vader beckoning us to come to the dark side. That's the Lord Jesus Christ, and our Constitution officially endorses Him as our (meaning our nation's) Lord.
There is no way we can make America great without God. Now, the political left will scream like a banshee about separation of Church and State, but leftists err in their arguments, as they fallaciously equate the Church with God. Honoring God in a graduation speech, in a pep talk by a coach on the football field, or on a plaque or statue on government property does not involve the Church at all. The Church and State are indeed separate institutions, but both are under God. Affirming God as our Creator and Supreme Judge and Jesus Christ as our Lord is not restricted to Church-only speech. These official statements of our nation are not expressions of religion, but expressions of truth – truths our Founding Fathers believed were self-evident.
We the people must establish conservatism as the center point and starting point for any political discussion and then determine if tweaks toward the left (more government) or right (less government) is the best Go Forward strategy. More critically, we need to start from the conservative position of under God. As President Ronald Reagan once opined, "if we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." If we don't make a stand now, his ominous warning will become a fulfilled prophecy.
Tom McAllister is a business consultant and author of the book Blue Collar Faith and its politically neutered variant Short Strolls in Faith. To contact, email Tom@BABrightlight.com.