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What Does It Mean to Be Conservative?

What does it mean to be a conservative in America?  The leftist groups in America would label a conservative as a selfish, power-hungry, profit-monger that desires nothing more than their own individual success.  Conservatives have been consistently shamed into inaction with these messages.

Why have these negative labels been successful?  Is it because conservatives are really just out for money, power, and themselves?  Many have met through the ages to help identify what conservatism is and while these discussion have brought about debate on some finer points, a set of fundamentals resulted from a conservative think tank.  In 1964, Frank Meyer, called together a group that included a broad base of political thinkers to help create the tenets of conservatism:

  • They accept “an objective moral order” of “immutable standards by which human conduct should be judged.”
  • Whether they emphasize human rights and freedoms or duties and responsibilities, they unanimously value “the human person” as the center of political and social thought.
  • They oppose liberal attempts to use the State “to enforce ideological patterns on human beings.”
  • They reject the centralized power and direction necessary to the “planning” of society.
  • They join in defense of the Constitution “as originally conceived.”
  • They are devoted to Western civilization and acknowledge the need to defend it against the “messianic” intentions of Communism.

These are the foundations of conservatism.    America was founded on the rights of the individual and limited government.  Conservatives pride themselves on protecting those concepts.  Left-wing radicals use conservative-bashing labels as an attempt to vilify conservatives instead of trying to attack their ideals.  Attacking the true ideals would yield the liberal movement no ground as those principals are a basis for most Americans .

Saul Alinsky understood that attacking the basic conservative tenets would offend some of the liberal base as-well.  In order to achieve a sea-change in the American order, liberals had to use radical tactics to consolidate power by ridicule – not the reasoned debate liberals so often herald.  Saul Alinsky said, “My aim here is to suggest how to organize for power: how to get it and how to use it.” This is not to be done with assistance to the poor, nor even by organizing the poor to demand assistance.”.

Alinsky was an organizational genius.  By shaming the middle-class into believing that their successes were not due to their own hard work but were instead due to being lucky, the whole idea of the classic American dream could be questioned.  These strategies have started to shift power from the American individual to the liberal-ideal of a collective – and more succinctly, an elitist-controlled collectivist empire.  The little bits of power that had been spread among a great majority of Americans could then be high-jacked and given to
a chosen few leaders and advisers in the central government – the true elitists.

Centralizing power into the government violates a basic principal of conservatism and so the battle lines are drawn.  Liberals would argue that by allowing the government to provide for us, greater equality is achieved.  Understanding the elitist end of every collectivist effort so far (i.e. Russia, Cuba, N. Korea, Venezuela, etc), an answer to the liberal argument might be that of Orwell, “All animals are created equal, some more equal than others.”.

The elitist media and leadership are going to shove a load at you over the next 6 months.  Understand that every move is about making you more dependent upon them, more understanding of them, and just more… them.  Being a conservative is simply realizing that fact and not going quietly into that good night.

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  1. Quora says:

    What major misconceptions do liberals have about conservatives?…

    In 1964, Frank Meyer, called together a group that included a broad base of political thinkers to help create the tenets of conservatism: * They accept “an objective moral order” of “immutable standards by which human conduct should be judged.” * Wheth…

  2. Tim says:

    I’m not a fan of using labels to describe myself. There are times when I lean conservative, and there are times when I lean liberal–it just depends on the issue or topic of discussion. My guess is that most Americans follow a similar pattern–with the exception, of course, of the most radical elements in society.

    Having studied public policy, I’ve learned that both sides have valid points. Neither owns the copyrights on a particular political ideology. Yet, I oftentimes find that both sides are ignorant of the other and spout off whatever nonsense they can to upset the other–oftentimes using slanderous comments. Such mentalities only serve as a means to further divide our society. And people wonder why there is so little dialogue in this country! The constant bickering coming from both far left and far right idealogues drowns out the discussions happening down the middle of the aisle in which cooperation is key.

    It’s time Americans ignore these restrictive labels and ideologies being promoted by both far left and far right extremists, and work together as a society to reach a consensus on the most pressing issues affecting this great country. This isn’t being conservative or liberal; this is just common sense.

  3. Nona Haverly says:

    I dunno, it seems to be simple calculus to me. Democrats were always in favor of middle class tax cuts, so that aside what is the extra cost in a two year extension of millionaire tax cuts? 140 billion. For that they got 56 billion of unemployment extensions and reduction of payroll tax. All in all not a bad deal considering the alternative of doing nothing at all. Politically, the Republicans have a problem in forcing this issue.

  4. Great reading. I have some questions but I will keep reading other material here first