In my musings, I’ve often wondered about the seeming contradiction between what was once the moniker of “conservative” and liberal. After all, your classic liberal is all about individual freedoms, right? And a conservative is a reactionary who fears change, correct? Well, yes and no…
Much of your affiliation has to do with history.
Indeed, a “conservative” is a reactionary. They do not like change. They avoid what is “new” or “different” from established principles. So, the “enlightened” mind would consider the concept of “conservatism” as one of restriction, or repression of new ideas. In fact, that is what modern conservatives are all about – adherence to the traditions that founded the United States of America. This means holding true to the tenants upon which this nation was founded. Deviation from these established principles is abhorred. Those principles were pretty clear, especially to anyone who has done a cursory read of the statements and writing of the Founding Fathers. They believed that the individual is greater than the collective, property ownership is the dominion of the individual, and that government – no matter how “good” it may claim it is – should be limited. It’s that “all men are equal under the eyes of God and the Law” thing that we like to uphold. We, like the Founding Fathers, believe that our lives are precious, and belong solely to the Almighty, who gives and takes away according to his Will. Thus, what governance we choose must be limited, as it does not have the sole right to our property, fortunes, destinies, or lives as government – in all its forms – is established by other men. Men – as history and Judeo-Christian doctrine often graphically point out – who are flawed.
The word “liberal” shares the same root as the words: liberty, libertine, and liberate. The concept is one of expansion, and of freedom. One “liberates” to free someone or something. A “libertine” is one who does not live by the established moral codes – and is in some ways an anarchist. However modern liberals have started to shun the “liberal” label, and now plan their flag as being “progressives.” This new label suggests that what “progressives” believe is in advancement, evolution of the human condition, and so on. So, what do they believe?
- People belong to a collective.
- The rights of the individual are subordinate to the common good, which is determined by a human authority.
- Government is the source for all wealth and property, and has the exclusive right to distribute wealth as it sees fit.
- Government should regulate health and welfare.
- Laws passed and established by an electorate can be voided by a human authority on a whim.
- All religious expression must be sanctified by the state.
- Freedom of expression is fine, unless you are Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, or anyone else they disagree with.
- All morality is relative to the situation.
Is this “progressive?” No. Are they “liberal,” in the most classic sense of the word? Most certainly not.
In fact, these core principles (if you can call them that) are usually the pillars of most monarchies today. Back in the day of the French and Russian monarchs, all individuals were part of a collective, called “subjects.” Their rights were subordinate to the whims of the king, and it was the king that owned all of the property and wealth within his dominion. What taxes he took in from the peasantry was often redistributed to whomever he pleased. It was the king and his bureaucrats who often defined what was forbidden, or what was good for his people…and, you get the general gist of things.
How is any of that “progressive?’ What? Because the peasants get to “elect” a new leader from gaggle of political “aristocrats?” Big deal.
Now, your average Progressive will probably tell you, “No, no, no! That’s not what we stand for!” It’ll usually be backed up with a charge that someone like me – who points all of this stuff out – is either racist or some sort of intellectual Neanderthal. But consider what they actually sponsor:
- Affirmative action and unionized labor: putting people into groups, or collectives. Hell, these are the people who are continuously obsessed with the distinctions between “white collar” and “blue collar.”
- A government run “single payer” health care system: subordinating the right of the individual to choose their method and means of treatment.
- Wealth redistribution and “social justice,” a.k.a. taking from the “rich” and giving to the “poor.”
- Restrictions on tobacco, the basis of which is fact that it is “unhealthy.” Regulation of health and welfare at it finest.
- Laws passed by an electorate, voided by judges on a whim (see just about any California proposition that was “struck down” in the courts by liberal judges).
- The common phrase that we have a right to “freedom from religion,” which is nowhere in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or ANY of the founding documents. This is better expressed in the “progressive” catch-phrase, “wall of separation between Church and State.”
- Their constant attempts to ban the likes of any conservative radio host via legislation, a.k.a. the Freedom Doctrine.
As for moral relativism, I could go on for days about the term “situational ethics,” and “nuanced policy.” These are liberal catch-phrases as well.
None of this is evolution. None of this is progression. Heck, in most instances, it is a throwback to the way things used to be in this nation before we threw off the shackles of old King George.
As for conservatives being labeled as a bunch of reactionaries, my only response to that is: heck yeah! If what “progressives” believe is the the way “forward,” I’d like to remain as unenlightened, and backward as is possible. The last time I saw that kind of “progressive” movement, it ended up with breadlines, gulags, and wide-spread misery.
So, call me a reactionary. I’ll agree with you.
But your choice is now pretty clear: who would you choose to follow? Conservatives, whose name clearly defines what they believe in, or a bunch of high-minded, self-absorbed liars?
Its no wonder the No Labels crowd – basically comprised of a bunch of idiot, Marxist “progressives” – wants to distance themselves from anything that even remotely identifies what they actually believe.