There are those who call themselves "Compassionate conservatives", but who are really Liberal more than not. There are those who say they are Conservative, but like the actors who do not live up to the billing, stray unavoidably from true Conservative principles often times. There are so-called "social" Conservatives, with a tendency to engage in profligate spending of public money to that end. Then there are the "fiscal" Conservatives, who are derided for lacking a social conscience caught in the rat trap because they dared to NOT spend the public moneys, and are labeled as being without a "social conscience".
This year in particular, the "Republican party elders" offer that it is time to redefine Conservatism, for it is no longer a winner for them as a party. None other than Colin Powell, has said recently that the republican party should "fire" Rush Limbaugh, purportedly, because Rush was a bad influence, and the party should disassociate itself pronto. Newt, among others, I think, believes that the Reagan Era is long gone, and rather effete, if not down right antithetical to modern day Conservative view points.
You get the picture. We lost an election by giving these people exactly what they demanded in a candidate for the presidency this year, and somehow, it is the Conservative base's fault for that loss. It was not so much that Conservatives acceded, Conservatives were unable to convince the party of the need for a principled individual to represent the party in 2008. Instead, Washington insider elitists got their wish, and when their wish bore not the fruits of victory, they looked elsewhere for someone to blame, ergo, the Conservative base.
We do not have to go back to the Founders discussions when implementing their vision for the greatest country ever to represent a people. We have only to travel back some 28 years to the nascent days of the man who was to become Conservatism's most eloquent spokesperson. Ronald W. Reagan was this man. Initially, he was not held in the highest regard, but how he prevailed over the rebirth of true Conservatism. His Conservatism was, and still is, contemporary with the Founders visions for America. Conservatives got a belated taste of Reagan's principles with the ascendancy of Sarah Palin to the vice president role in this recent election.
Many things Sarah is, and some things she is not. One thing she is however, is a Conservative in the classic mold. In other words, when Sarah speaks, the world listens, and the Liberals denigrate her, her family, and hence, all Conservatives nation wide. Liberal fear is the root cause of this media hysteria, and the blatherings of the ONE, and the SECOND (Joe Biden). There is a fundamental reason for all this, and it is Conservatism itself.
So, what is Conservatism? If a reasonable man were to search his very soul, he would doubtless find his thoughts transforming themselves into very Conservative mouthings indeed! The very foundation of America was built upon Conservative ideas, Conservative ideals, and most importantly, Conservative principles of self governance.
How difficult is it to understand the nature of man himself? A yearning to be free, and especially free of the constraints of federal government. It has always been the other way around hasn't it? Government has always been constitutionally constrained from intrusions into personal life through the "enumeration of powers" as set forth by the Framers as a safeguard against a tyrannical government one day usurping the collective power of the people. States were left as the custodians of the bulk of the power, for the people, of the people, and by the people themselves. You wouldn't recognize this today, nor would the Framers either.
Conservatism as both a political, and personal philosophy, requires that no government, or group of individuals may impress their desires on those so governed, without the consent of the governed. Conservatives abide by the principle that we are free to succeed, or to fail in the manifold things we choose to do for ourselves, those things being both moral and legitimately engaged in. Liberty! Liberty is a Conservatives life blood, and it courses through the veins of our self sufficiency with the same effect that Warfarin, or Lipitor does in the veins of our mortal existence. Absent that liberty, our mortal existence remains very questionable.
Conservatism, Liberal protestations aside, is the most passionate of all political ideologies when it comes to individual rights, liberty and freedom. Charitable examples include the extending of a helping hand to those truly in need, and teaching those so afflicted to survive on their own that they too, may enjoy the fruits of their own labors. Conservatives teach others how to dirty their hands in honest labor, not do the work for them, thereby lessening their self dignity, and sense of worth or value to themselves and their families.
Since the 1994 Congress took their seats, there has been a steady reduction of dependency on government, especially through the Welfare Reform efforts of that congress. It is the Republican party which has lost it's ideological way, and not Conservatism. What is it that Rush always says defiantly, "Conservatism works every time it's tried!" How true
Ask yourself these questions: Do you simply want to go home at the end of a day of hard work, and be alone with a loving family? Do you want to simply be left alone to try alternative methods of advancing your family's future? Do you cherish your country's beliefs, and are willing to defend those beliefs with the sacrifice of your own life, if necessary? Do you believe in a future for your children and grand children uncomplicated by messy, and intrusive government mandates regarding your personal behavior? Do you believe in Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness?
If your answers are yes, then come on and confess, you are a Conservative!