Conservatives must be honest with themselves
Where did the conservative movement go wrong? Why is it a shell of its original intent?
When a movement starts believing its own propaganda, it is approaching its failure point. When we human beings stop questioning our own ideas and principles, we too can easily be led off the path by our ego.
Doubt is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge guided by principle. Knowledge is not enough. Nor is passion.
If we are not constantly questioning our actions and holding our actions accountable to our principle, then we run the risk of taking the easy path. The grand conservative movement of Ronald Reagan morphed into a power-grab by lost men. We were asleep at the wheel as our party corkscrewed into irrelevancy.
What is the first principle? It is in every aspect of the Declaration and Constitution. It is laid out in detail in the Federalist papers. And it simple. Federal, state, and local governments are to be controlled by the Rule of Law, the Constitution, and therefore are not to control the citizens.
The second principle is that every citizen has certain rights that accrue to him by divine decree, not by action of any man-made convention. Thomas Jefferson summed up those rights: life, liberty and (in the original) the ownership of property.
The third principle flows from the first two: the individual is sacred because he is endowed by his creator. Specifically, the individual must be protected, not controlled, by the government. Both sides of the political spectrum have forgotten this principle.
Both sides (Democrat, Republican) encumber the individual with more laws, more regulation, more taxation. Both sides greedily spend more of our nation's limited resources on government programs. Well, since the resources are limited, guess who pays: the citizen, the individual, you.
Think in terms of control versus freedom, not left or right. Does the politician seek control? If so, don't vote for him. Does a new law result in more control? If so, refuse to vote for it. Does a new regulation result in less freedom to choose? Don't implement it. This is just the start. Next, we have to roll back useless laws, regulations, and excess taxation. Then we have to actively reduce the size of government.
The idea of Republicanism is that the individual, the person decides what he wants within the confines of the law. He has the freedom to choose, and he has the obligation to act in his own best interest. If he's a statesman, in the best interest of all the people of this nation.
Our nation was formed as a constitutional republic. It's time to ask the hard questions and demand the right answers.
Jay Davidson is founder and CEO of a commercial bank. He is a student of the Austrian School of Economics and a dedicated capitalist. He believes there is a direct connection between individual rights and responsibility, our Constitution, capitalism, and the intent of our Creator.