I identify myself politically as a (independent) conservative. While there are certainly extremists and radicals in every political affiliation they are, without exception, in the minority. However, the mainstream media, politically ‘correct’ bloggers, certain minority groups and the liberal left in general have been largely successful in defining and portraying (for various self-serving and chiefly political reasons) all conservatives as right-wing religious fanatics, hate-filled homophobes, xenophobes, misogynists, racists and warmongers. Unfortunately, this view seems to be widely believed, at least generally, among non-conservatives. Therefore, and since I fall into none of those categories listed, I wish to clarify and express what conservatism means to me so that those who wish to discuss it or other related issues with me can do so in an informed, intelligent manner.
The conservatism I embrace, and which is embraced by most conservatives I know, can be defined by a very limited but crucial set of principles. First and foremost among these is the principle of a limited federal government operating strictly under the authority and strictly within the confines enumerated to it by the States under the United States constitution, and as set forth clearly by the Founding Fathers, thereby ‘conserving’ the original intent and purpose of that precious document. U.S. citizens, while on American soil, are subject to no other laws, including the religious laws of any religion, or the laws of any other nation or group of nations.
Secondly, that all legal United States citizens should be treated and protected equally under the laws of the constitution. By extrapolation this means conversely that no citizen or group should be given special or different rights or preferential treatment under the laws; no one should be either discriminated against or discriminated for. Equality under the law is to mean equality of opportunity and standards, not equality of outcome. No one should be given special privileges, advantages or set-asides for being white, black, Hispanic, female, homosexual, Christian, Muslim, etc. True conservatives do not categorize and separate people this way; we see and treat all citizens simply as Americans, equal under the laws of the constitution. This also means that Congress should enact no laws from which its members exempt themselves; for ‘they’ are no better than ‘us’.
Thirdly, that the United States is a sovereign nation and as such our government has a legal and moral obligation to protect our borders from the invasion of illegal immigration from other nations; we have the perfect right and the legal and moral authority to select and choose who we allow to enter into this country and to whom we grant the privilege of citizenship. Immigration should be limited and for the most part we should allow only the best and brightest applicants to attain citizenship, not simply open the floodgates for the uneducated, unskilled, and poverty-stricken of all nations, which Balkanizes our nation and will inevitably transform us into a third world country; we should rather seek to add to the strength and stability of our nation by admitting only those who have something to offer and who wish to integrate fully and become Americans by adhering to the legal processes and requirements which we set forth. This includes conserving our cultural and political heritage, and English as our official language. Illegal aliens, including the 33% of felons in U.S. federal prisons, should be repatriated to their countries of citizenship; illegal aliens and other non-citizens (including terror suspects) do not have citizens’ rights under the U.S. constitution, and should not be given social benefits.
Next, that the rights guaranteed under the constitution, including the rights to property, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, should not be infringed by other citizens or by the government; that citizens have the right to keep and enjoy the fruits of their labors and the wealth they attain; that confiscation and redistribution of wealth is wrong; that no one has a legal or moral right to any portion of another’s life or property which he does not wish to freely give; that compassion and charity at the point of the (government’s) gun is still theft; that taxation should be limited and equal across the board, not progressive to punish and discourage ambition and achievement; that taxes should be used only for constitutionally justifiable purposes; that individual liberty and individual responsibility go hand in hand; that government plunder, waste, abuse and fraud must be stopped; that everyone, including government officials, should be held fully accountable for their actions.
Next, that the armed forces of the United Stated should be used discriminately but uncompromisingly to protect the vital interests of the United States and its citizens both domestically and abroad; and that the term ‘vital interests’ should be clearly, narrowly and ‘conservatively’ defined (in other words, very limited in scope).
Next, that the press should not attempt to advance any agenda; should report news accurately and without bias; and hold all public officials to the same standards and scrutiny, regardless of party affiliation.
Finally, that the powers delegated to the Federal government by the States under the constitution may be withdrawn at any such time as the People determine that their rights have been violated or those powers have been abused by the federal government for their oppression; that the States were, and remain, sovereign.
These seven simple principles encapsulate my political philosophy of conservatism.