Monday, June 1, 2009

The fundamentals of conservatism

The difference between liberalism and conservatism is not one of specific policy choices. It's a difference in fundamental philosophy, and unfortunately, many people who in their hearts and minds should be on our side don't have any idea what conservatism really is.

Conservatism is logical and based on a core set of fundamental principles. These principles are individual liberty, personal responsibility, real human rights, and freedom from an overbearing government. These principles are the philosophy of the great political minds that founded our country, and they are enshrined in our founding documents. They are based on natural law, on human nature, and on a sound understanding of economics and history. These principles are universal and do not waver with the tide of public sentiment. This is where the term “conservative” comes from. In all our decisions, we strive to conserve a government and a society based on freedom and our founding principles.

Conservatives recognize that the problems we face today – health care, the economic crisis, education, poverty, immigration – these are not separate issues. They are all connected. Our solutions to each of these problems are derived from our core principles, and in every case, we will show how these problems were directly caused by, or made horribly worse by the abandonment of those principles.

Democrats accuse us of being “pro-corporate” because we are pro-free-market. Well I've got news for you: corporations hate the free market. Why would any corporation want more competition? Free markets are not pro-corporate; they are pro-consumer. Conservatives stand against laissez-faire capitalism, which is the destroyer of free markets and as much an opposite to freedom as Communism is.

Democrats accuse us of being “pro-deregulation”. Saying you're for or against regulation is like saying you're for or against laws. It's ridiculous. Regulations aren't inherently good or bad, they're just a tool. There are two kinds of regulations. There are regulations that prevent activities that would make the market less free, and these are good. Without these regulations, free markets descend into corporate monopolies that are “too big to fail” and the consumers become their slaves, and we are seeing this today. Then there are regulations that in themselves make the market less free, and these are bad. These regulations skew the market, force activities that consume rather than create wealth, and lead to single-sector bubbles that cause tremendous damage when they inevitably collapse, as we are seeing today as well.

Democrats accuse us of wanting to make the rich richer, at the expense of everyone else. This is insane. Nobody thinks the rich need more money. But how do you start a business and create jobs? You need money, in the form of investments. The wealthy invest their money, and it is investment that makes everything else possible. There's no chicken or the egg here: with the economy, everything begins with investment. Conservative policies aren't designed to make the rich richer, they're designed to get people to invest their money. And by the way, there's another term for investment. It's “voluntary wealth redistribution”.

In closing, our goal is to convince you not only that our policy decisions are right, but that our conservative principles are right. That's exactly what our founding fathers did when they created this great nation, and it's what we must do now to save it.

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