If you are a Tea Partier like me, you probably think of yourself as a conservative, but you’re not. Even though you believe in the constitution, the rule of law, private property, and America’s foundational English-speaking Western-Christian culture, you are not a conservative. And if you believe in the United States as a singular nation based on these principles, you are not a conservative either. In fact, you are neither a Republican nor a Democrat.
You are an American nationalist who wants fundamental reform from a federal government dominated by parties that reject these ideas in favor of others, mainly progressivism and multiculturalism. You’ve recognized that the federal government and it’s institutions of power—so-called big government—no longer resemble or abide by the constitution, in spirit or practice.
A few simple comparisons expose this basic reality: 100 years ago (1912) government spending comprised 2% of GDP; today it makes up 26%; in 1912, 97% of government spending was controlled and authorized directly by Congress; the number today is 33%. So much for a government shutdown that put at risk barely one third of federal spending—the rest is automatic, uncontrolled, and outside the reigns of constitutional dominion.
Big government fails other critical tests as well. The federal government no longer upholds the rule of law: it tolerates illegal immigration, doesn’t protect our borders, bails-out corrupt bankers, fights wars and launches strikes without the approval or consent of the American people. It does not protect private property: it redistributes by taxing the producers and transfers wealth to the corrupt and the underachievers; what little is left over goes to the needy, so we hope.
America was once an English speaking country, but no more. Federal programs offer special services in other languages like Spanish and Arabic. “Please push 1 for English and 2 for ….” is how it goes. We have radio and TV stations in other languages, even street signs in parts of major cities are in foreign languages. Only selected States have enacted English-only laws, this despite an overwhelming majority of Americans who support them.
The United States is a country that celebrates freedom of religion, as long as that religion is not Christianity. Federal regulations require references to Christmas or Christianity removed or diminished while other religions are accommodated everywhere, like Muslim prayer rooms in airports. Thanks to the federal government, Christianity, still by far the most common religion practiced by Americans past and present, is largely banned from the public square.
Conservatism means little in this contemporary setting. As a Member of Parliament in Britain’s House of Commons, Burke championed an early brand of conservatism. Burke accepted change as long as it did not undermine or destroy the basic pillars of British society. Unlike other ideas about government like socialism, fascism, or modern day progressivism, Burke’s mantra to “conserve and correct” was based more on prudence and rationality than ideology. Until now, Burke’s approach defined Americans on the Right for most of our history.
If the word “conservative” still had meaning, we would support Burke’s approach. We can no longer employ these tactics because the Left has created a new political, social and economic order that is utterly anti-American, unconstitutional and designed to transform this country into the Third World, a place where 400 years of Western Christian Civilization are erased. And that is why there is significant daylight between the Tea Party and the Washington elite who control both political parties.
So, what are we if not conservatives?
The Tea Party is reformist, and yes, nationalist. It is time we confront the truth that America’s national identity, its purpose and prosperity are being systematically destroyed by people on the far Left and their accomplices on the faux right, people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain who embrace big government because it profits them to do so, their country be damned.
So stop calling me a conservative and, by the way, don’t call me a Republican either.
Cameron Macgregor is a former naval officer. He is currently a graduate student at George Mason University.