Why True American Conservatives Cannot Be Extremist and How Progressives are Ultimately Tyrants
The unspeakable crime of conservatives? Their heartless desire to live their own lives and to be left alone by the bullying U.S. government.
What has been the conservative outcry since disco was still a thing? Follow the Constitution, be fiscally responsible, and restore limited government.
Not to impose their will on anyone; and if anything, simply to work, prosper, express themselves freely and be allowed to watch the new season of 24 in peace.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t jibe with the progressives’ plans for control over Americans’ lives – regarding everything from education to dish detergent. There is no natural barrier to the left’s powerlust: the “progressive” seeks no less than to control the social and physical environment of all mankind.
Their philosophy is the very essence of extremism, and the left’s only response for the question “How much power do you seek?” is more.
Leftists are kind of like drug addicts, and their drug of choice is sending people legalistic form letters along with demands to pay for whatever idea just popped into their heads while doing real drugs. (Kind of kidding on that last part.)
Yet the irony is that the United States was founded in freedom, and there is nothing stopping leftists from attempting to implement their utopian schemes in reality now (the operative term being “attempting”) without forcing the entire nation to participate.
In fact, many utopian societies have been tried and have failed; and those that have had limited success have not been voluntarily copied by many other communities; namely, because the American experiment tends to lead to greater success – including the ability to work a few hours a week and eat cookie dough Oreos while playing PS4 in your mom’s basement.
The point isn’t whether or not societies flourish or fail, but rather that human beings are respected in the process of choosing how they live their own lives. The states were once called the “laboratories of democracy,” but their powers are increasingly ignored by the federal government.
The empire of self government that was to be America is being transfigured into a rather ugly strong-arming of fellow subjects into a mutual suicide pact: when the terms of our associations are formed and proceed along the lines of coercion, rather than voluntarism and individual agreement, then extremism will arise under various guises.
When nations depart from what John Locke formulated as the “consent” of the governed (a term that was incorporated into The Declaration of Independence), that is when extremism tends to arise. Currently fewer than one in five Americans believe the U.S. government has the “consent of the governed.”
Liberty was to be the great solution for national discord and factional strife. At the end of the day, there should only be so much a bunch of partisan lunatics can accomplish through central government – only so much “revenge” that can be carried out, as our current president put it.
When Senators can be implicated in sending virtual armies to harass citizens over infringements of state property; when the tax agency can be so politicized as to be abused as a weapon of suppression against one’s foes; when the head of law enforcement can decide to prosecute or not to prosecute violations of civil liberties on the basis of skin color – one is no longer living under a constitutionally limited government, but in a climate of political extremism.
The American government was originally designed to ensure individual liberty and personal security over the fleeting and illusory form of “social security” that is inevitably promised by a power-hungry government.
The drive for a paternalistic form of security undermines the political and economic order of safe-guarded liberty; the foundation on which only a long-term form of security, from tyranny or from revolutionary tumult, is conceivably possible.
Madison put the reasoning for limited government best in Federalist 51:
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
What makes Constitutional conservatives different from progressives is that they do not desire to rule their political opposition or otherwise impose their will on their fellow citizens.
Instead, most conservatives want to restore the nation to its Constitutional foundations, establish fiscal responsibility in government, reinstate the free market economic principles that allowed the majority of the nation to prosper, and renew the virtue in individuals to see human beings as ends in themselves, and not as means to some political end.
Ultimately, the Constitution, the embodiment of those founding principles that many conservatives cherish most, is specifically designed to protect American citizens from political threats arising from both the right and the left. Leftists, on the other hand, are for complete state control of economy, society, and the government, making them the true extremists.
comments: As Mr. Franklin once said
“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”
As to the 2008 collapse, that was not caused by unregulated free markets. That was caused by government, through Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae, both government subsidized and controlled corporations, guaranteeing loans by the tens of thousands to people who could not qualify in a truly free market. Banks were coerced into accepting these loans by HUD who threatened them with endless legal actions in “Redlining” suits. The banks were not innocent in that, in their attempts to protect their stockholders and bottom lines, they bundled the bad loans in with good loans and sold them to investment banks on Wall St. Google the “Community Reinvestment Act” along with Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams or read Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny” for a more complete explanation of this historical debacle.
Take heart, sir. People are talking and coming up with very, very good ideas. It took awhile to get here and it will take a while to get back. But we will get back.
But how do you have Progress if there is no “bad or wrong”? How do you have better if you can not call something “bad” you are leaving? So, we end up in Logical Looneyland. The only thing they have to fall back on is “because I said so, that’s why”
So, in the end, power becomes the only game in town.