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Conservatives give conservatism a bad name August 12, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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Although my views are generally liberal moderate, on some issues I am a conservative moderate. I guess the moderate is the key point. I believe that compromise is more inclusive and flexible. This makes democracy more viable and valid. A tyranty of the majority is not democratic, in spite of the beliefs of Dick Cheney and Gearge W. Bush. Maybe that is why their vision of democracy is failing wherever they fostered it.

The current political climate in the US suffers from that philosophy, as I described in a post yesterday. Does that mean the views of those raucous naysayers has no merit? No, absolutely not. Everyone ought to get by whatever rhetoric and diatribes are being spewed out by all sides (yes, there are more than two). Look for the kernels and see if they have a bearing on plans and decisions. I’ll list a few areas of conservative thought that I think are valid.

Fiscal conservatives of a generation or more ago thought budgetary restraint was an absolute must in government. Just as your household budget tries to balance spending with income, so should governments’. (an irony lost on many is that people forgot that idea and it resulted in the current financial downturn, which government now also must eschew on the federal level to ensure that there is no financial collapse.) Taxes were not inherently thought of as bad. Government had needed services that had to be funded. Restraint on both ends was the key.

Along those lines, big government is not generally a good thing (the lone exceptions that come to mind are the need for a sufficiently large global military and a dynamic foreign-affairs effort). Government oversight of business and commerce is necessary to ensure the general good, as our current financial downturn shows, but laws and administration of them that control how people live and behave are generally not needed. A free market ought to determine if liquor stores are open on Sundays, not social views of the majority. If people choose to not vaccinate their children or not to wear helmets when riding motorcycles or bicycles, then let thwm so long as they sign waivers that make them responsible for the consequences.

Outright gun bans are unconstitutional. If liberals want gun control, they must either have it within the strict limits set by the court rulings or get a constitutional amendment passed. This means requiring permits is OK, even requiring mandatory training, but not a ban on owning guns. (A corollary on a different issue that ought to be taken by conservatives is that if you do not like that illegal immigrants come here to have citizen children or that any child born here automatically is a citizen, then change the Constitution to give citizenship only to those born here by a mother here legally.)

Conservatives preach that the government is too generous, that entitlements are not entitled by mere existence within the US borders. This means that people who are here illegally ought not to be getting government assistence since they ought not to be here – no food stamps, no free health care through the ruse of using emergency rooms for non-emergencies, no anything from the government. If people want to immigrate or work here, do it through the legal routes. Supporting illegal immigrants also penalizes legal immigrants.

US foreign policy has to be the iron fist in the velvet glove. Just being diplomatic and pacifist will not induce any changes that are either good for the US or change a bad situation somewhere in the world.  Most European nations tried this with Nazu Germany and it only emboldened Hitler.

There are other areas, but the core point is that no view is absolutely worthless. You cannot throw out everything just because you disagree with part of it.

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