By L Whitener
Donald Trump’s mixed bag of policy ideas and his steady flow of unbridled, executive missteps are contrary to the principles that truly ‘Make America Great.’ For conservatism, they are downright catastrophic.
By falsely claiming that Trump is a conservative, Republicans are affirming the left’s longstanding opinion of the right. And, giving them valid reason not to lend credence to conservative ideals.
The future of conservatism will ultimately depend on how fiercely conservatives reject ‘Trumpism‘ and how hard we fight for the principles we believe in. We must decry every attempt by party line Republicans who seek to redefine conservative principles to justify their support for the ‘Republican‘ president.
What does Conservatism mean to you today?
Ask a room full of conservatives to define it and undoubtedly you will get a room full of different answers. Some of the most well-respected, principled conservatives in America have brilliantly articulated conservatism. Here are just a couple.
My Definition of Conservatism
Conservatism is neither a cause nor a measurable standard. But rather, a way of life. It is a morally, fiscally, socially, politically sound set of values that are ingrained in us by our deeply held convictions. It is a conscious committment to the founding American principles that conservatives believe have made America the greatest nation on Earth for more than 240 years.
Essential Principles of Conservatism
- Individual Liberty- The concept that all Americans are endowed by their Creator with the inalienable rights of LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
- Individual Responsibility- the idea that human beings choose, instigate, or otherwise cause their own actions. As a result of our actions, we can be held morally accountable or legally liable.
- Limited Government- The U.S. Constitution was created to limit the power and scope of government to ensure our inherent liberties and maintain a civil society.
- State Rights- Federal government control is the antithesis of individual liberty. The Framers of the Declaration of Independence knew that solutions would have to be attained voluntarily and locally.
- Fiscal Responsibility- Government must pursue appropriate levels of government spending to maintain sustainable public finances without raising taxes or continued borrowing.
- Defense of the Constitution and Bill of Rights- The two greatest documents in the history of the world were designed by our Founding Fathers. They guarantee our God-given freedoms and provide an intricate system of government checks and balances that ensure those freedoms.
- Defense of Life- Every single human life, from conception until natural death is designed by God for a purpose and is entitled to the same inherent freedoms as every American, above all, freedom to live.
Here is an example of how conservative principles are applied in everyday life. Principled conservatives oppose big government spending and unbalanced budgets because we understand the idea of setting financial priorities and living within our means. It does not matter how much or how little you earn, if you prioritize your earnings and live within your means, the outcome is always good. The bills are paid, the family is fed and everyone is happy.
“You don’t spend what you don’t have. Throwing more debt at a problem, only makes the problem harder to overcome.”
Naturally, the same idea applies to our government. Only, we continue to elect leaders who don’t share the same fiscally sound, conservative values. Many have a mindset that suggests that money is no object. They continue to spend money that does not exist and leave future generations to sort out the mess. At some point, our national debt will reach an insurmountable level and America will become just another failed nation in the world’s history books.
Donald Trump’s mixed Bag of “isms” and why they are bad for America
Nationalism is often confused with patriotism. However, the two concepts are distinctly opposite. Patriotism is a feeling of pride and devotion to the American way of life, which patriots believe to be the greatest in the world. Patriots are naturally defensive, both militarily and culturally. However, they do not seek power or prestige through force.
Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige. This mindset is historically held by authoritarians and often leads to war.
Socialism diametrically opposes the essential principles of conservatism. Webster defines it as, a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole and controlled by the government.
Conservatives define it as full government controlled redistribution of wealth, or communism. History has put the socialist theory to the test and proven it to be disastrous, time and time again.
Populism is a political doctrine that proposes that the common people are exploited by a privileged elite, and which seeks to resolve this. The underlying ideology of populism can be left, right or center. Its goal is uniting the uncorrupt and the unsophisticated “little man” against the corrupt dominant “elites.” Populism produces demagogues who merely appear to empathize with the public through rhetoric or unrealistic proposals in order to increase appeal across the political spectrum.
The populist doctrine doesn’t conform to any single ideology. Therefore, it should be wildly opposed by anyone who rejects liberalism, especially the religious right. Because, what is “popular” is not generally moral, particularly in todays rapidly declining, morally degraded culture.
Steve Bannon boldly announced at CPAC last month that Trump’s vision for America included “an economic nationalist agenda.”
Economic Nationalism is a protectionist idea wherein the government assumes complete control of the economy. Which allows it to impose tariffs and other restrictions on trade, labor, goods and capital, both foreign and domestic. This theory is polar opposite to that of our founding, free market and limited government principles.
Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power resulting in infringement on individual liberty. Donald Trump said in his RNC nomination speech that he was the “law and order” candidate. He added that there would be “consequences” for those who choose to move their businesses out of America.
Contrary to what Donald Trump believes, we live in country where our freedoms are not granted by our government. Our Founding Fathers understood that our rights were natural and inherent by God. If we begin allowing government to delegate freedom according to the ideas of one man, where does it end? You can open any World History Book to find the answer.