Conservatism Is Not What We Need
(Tom Mullen's Blog) --
If you are going to listen to Washington politicians at all, it is always best to listen to the party that is currently out of power. After each election, it is the job of the losers to try to attack the winners in any way they can. Often, they inadvertently advocate genuine principles of liberty in the process.
During the 8-year nightmare that was the Bush administration, it was the Democrats that stumbled upon these principles in their efforts to regain the throne. It was they who pointed out that the government should not be spying on its own citizens, that the president was assuming un-delegated powers through executive order, and that it was neither morally justified nor prudent to invade a third world nation that had committed no acts of aggression against the United States and lacked any reasonable means to do so. Their hysterical mouthpiece, Keith Olbermann, even went so far as to cite a long-forgotten document, the U.S. Constitution.
Of course, it is now abundantly clear that these arguments were made simply out of expediency. With the Democrats in power, it is now the Republicans' turn to "fight City Hall," and they have rolled out their usual rhetoric about small government, free markets, and traditional family values. Moreover, they, too, have rolled out the U.S. Constitution and waived it around in opposition to the Democrats' plans to "spread the wealth around."
Let's take note that the Republicans are now correct in opposing the main tenets of the Democratic agenda, including expansion of government involvement in health care, "Cap and Trade," and other wealth redistribution schemes. Amidst all of the usual noise coming from Washington and its media pundit class, it is only the Republicans that are making any sense at all.
Unfortunately, this is shaping up to produce familiar results. There is a growing movement for "change" that promises to "throw the bums out" in the next two elections. However, those who are part of this movement do not stop to consider what the Republicans' true agenda will be once they regain power. As they have for over 100 years now, Americans are dashing to the other side in their perennial political game of "pickle in the middle." They still haven't learned that the pickle never wins.
The Republicans are having remarkable success in painting President Obama's agenda as socialist and their "conservatism" as its antithesis...
The problem for Americans today is that there is no longer an opposition party that represents a true antithesis of these principles. By the dawn of the 20th century, the Democrats had completely abandoned their core principles of individual liberty and economic freedom and adopted a socialist, democratic ideology of popular wealth redistribution. Where the Republicans continued to promote a system which plundered the many for the benefit of the privileged few, the Democrats no longer objected to government as an instrument of plunder and now merely fought to divide up the loot differently. They were no longer truly liberal, although they perverted that word in popular culture to mean exactly the opposite of what it really means. Since then, Americans have had to choose between two parties whose ideologies are fundamentally hostile to liberty.
One week ago, Congressman Ron Paul gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that both mainstream Republicans and Democrats disagree with. Of course they do. It was an eloquent articulation of America’s founding principles of individual liberty and limited government. Like Jefferson, Paul consistently applied the non-aggression principle of liberty to every aspect of government, concluding that we must end our worldwide military empire, end the welfare state (both corporate and popular), and get rid of the plundering Federal Reserve.
Socially, he advocated tolerance, civil liberties, and the right of every American to express his or her opinion, even if those opinions contradicted Paul’s own most preciously-held beliefs. Despite being likely the most truly Christian person in any branch of the federal government, he never once made any allusion to religion during his entire speech, except for a purely philosophical reference to Thomas Aquinas’ principle of the just war (he alluded to this as part of his anti-war argument). Young Americans for Liberty, an affiliate of Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, invited a gay pride group to the conference, invoking a bigoted outburst from one of the younger conservative speakers just before Paul took the stage. Paul’s followers roundly booed him out of the auditorium.
Ron Paul pitched his ideas as “conservative,” but they are not. During one point in the speech, libertarian radio commentator and publisher of Liberty Pulse, Kurt Wallace, turned to me and exclaimed delightedly, “Ron Paul is a radical!” He is. Like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and the rest of the most pro-liberty founders of the United States, Ron Paul is a radical liberal (in the true sense of the word “liberal”). He is also an extremist, in the true sense of that word. He refuses to compromise his principles regardless of the political consequences.
Average Americans elect Republicans because they believe that Republicans will give them small government, low taxes, and economic freedom. They are mistaken. What they are yearning for has nothing to do with the Republican Party or the more general ideology called “conservatism.” What they really want is radical change. They demonstrated this in giving Ron Paul a victory in the CPAC straw poll. They also proved once again that they are wiser than the political class in Washington. At this critical juncture in American history, there is only one thing that can bring America back from the brink of social, economic, and political collapse: radical, anti-conservative change from leviathan government to extreme liberty...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
Both the word "conservative and the word "liberal" have been hijacked by the intellectually lazy and unpricipled Big Government-pushers of Left and Right, whose "solutions" inevitably amount to throwing government buraucracy at every problem that comes down the pike, foreign or domestic (and of course, as the mechanisms and brokers of the Big Government "solution", enriching themselves in the process via government largesse).
Mullens identifies Ron Paul as "likely the most truly Christian person in any branch of the federal government," and I think one of the reasons Paul identifies himself as a conservative is for that very reason: true conservatives seek to preserve the moral authority of Christianity -- which is inevitably at odds with Big Government, which seeks to usurp that moral authority for itself, and then force its subjects to abide by its collectivist' "secular" morality. Unfortunately, Big Government "secular" morality is something even more ruthless and fearsome than the morality of even the corrupted, pre-Reformation Church, and is roughly equal to the average of the sum total morality of all the Big Government pushers and profiteers put together -- which is to say it is well below the average moral IQ of nearly everyone else on earth.
Mullens (in comments): "[Government] should only be used to prohibit people from committing aggression…Religions, including Christianity, do much more than this. They do not only prohibit aggression, but command their followers to do certain things, like "love one another." It should be obvious to anyone that force should not be used to force people to love each other - it is an oxymoron just to state it.”
Christianity “commands” this, but does not coerce this. If so, by what mechanism?
It seems to me the problem (as government-utilizing, anti-Christians saw it) was that Christianity was so successful, the advent of Big Government was necessary to counter it on behalf of liberal malcontents, deviants, Zionists, and assorted other Christian-hating misfits.
Fine. Objections to uniformity or not irrational. But when the bitter malcontents take over moral authority of any society, well…contemporary, dysfunctional Big Government America and its crimes against humanity (and itself) is the inevitable result.
Christian moral authority was the basis of the success of Western civilization for a reason: because it worked.
Mullens (in comments): "When not informing government, Christianity does not coerce anyone. That is my point. People voluntarily following a spiritual movement that commands them to love one another is a beautiful thing. I've often said that if the whole world practiced Christianity the way Jesus preached it, we wouldn't need government.
"However, we had 1000 years of Christian government BEFORE the enlightenment. They called it the Dark Ages. The liberal movement was a break away from Christian government towards religious freedom. That's why the Pilgrims left England - because the Christian government didn't like their version of Christianity. That is also why religious freedom has always been a core American value...
"That is exactly the problem with mixing religion and government. Everyone wants to impose their religion on other people. That's what the king did to the Pilgrims. That's what the Inquisitor did to his victims. That is what the Muslims do to their people. My argument is that coercion and religion should not be mixed at all - or you destroy the religion and society with it...
"What difference would there be between a set of laws EXCLUSIVELY based upon the non-aggression principle and a set of laws that were based upon Christianity, either in place of or in combination with THE NON-AGGRESSION PRINCIPLE?"
I don’t think accomplishing the non-aggression principle as a mass movement basis for a change in the law and in the country’s current ethic is possible without invoking Christianity. In fact, I don’t believe the Freedom movement will ultimately succeed without invoking Christianity.
The ability of Big Government to coerce, bully and buy its own political monopoly, perpetuation and growth is too great to ever be overcome without tapping into Christianity’s deep reservoirs of antagonism towards corrupt authority, and its contempt for bullies, reprobates and sociopaths operating under the guise of “secular” authority (think Roman Empire), or those corrupt parties or special interests willing to cut Faustian deals with them (think Pharisees).
This idea that there should be a firewall between religion and government in the arena of rhetoric that formulates public opinion and policy has been taken to a ridiculous extreme (mostly by Marxists, or those who seek to use government to stifle Christianity in favor of their own religion, attitudes, political philosophies and ways). The effect has been to relegate Christianity to the realm of pornography, even as competing religions and philosophies are celebrated and embraced for their wonderful “diversity.” In actuality, there is probably no more diverse religion on the face of the earth than Christianity.
Christianity has been hamstrung by a coalition of “vulnerable” minorities utilizing Big Government for so long now that many of the basic operating precepts of Western civilization have been turned on their head, and wrong has become right, good has become bad. The world has turned upside down, and its going to take every lever utilized to its maximum capacity to put it right. The hand-wringers are playing right into the hands of the politically correct Marxists, fascists, money worshippers and assorted other schemers and manipulators who have already done so much damage, and will only do more if we fail. Who knows where it will end...probably a neo Soviet [America] that props itself up domestically at gunpoint -- something the quasi-fascist American status-quo establishment is already doing in foreign affairs.
Mullens: "Give me an example of a law (besides abortion) that would change based upon using Christian principles. How would that law be different than if it was strictly based upon the non-aggression principle?"
I see your point, and it’s a good one. And no, I don’t believe any law needs an asterisk specifically notating that it is based on Christian principles, even if it was.
But my point is that because the connections between Christian principles and freedom as we understand the meaning of the concept of “freedom” in the West have been minimized, dismissed, ridiculed or ignored altogether by Christianity’s opponents and antagonists, the fundamentals that intellectually prepare each new generation to understand and fully appreciate and embrace the causes of freedom and liberty get destroyed in the process.
In other words, the corrupt “secular” status-quo today is intellectually preparing upcoming generations not to think as traditional Western freedom and liberty as their God-given right and heritage, but rather to think of themselves and their rights as subordinate to Big Government’s will and agenda. I believe there is essentially a conscientious effort afoot by Big Government and the Money Powers to intellectually enslave upcoming generations by either cutting them off from Christianity entirely, or by channeling them towards warped and deranged interpretations of Christianity like Christian Zionism, which makes them more easily indoctrinated into a subordinate position and mentality, and put to work on Big Government agendas like the War on Terror and the war against Islam.
This is rationalized as protecting secularism, pluralism, tolerance and diversity -- all overused catchwords designed to frame the practice of traditional Christianity as antagonistic of freedom and liberty, and the secularists and religious authoritarians as freedom’s guardians -- when in fact the exact opposite is true.
For example, does anyone believe the Big Government Democrats and Neocons are really interested in guarding the traditional concepts of freedom, liberty and limited government as understood and articulated by the Founders? Of course not. That would get in the way of their various and sunder other agendas, all of which are to be implemented by Big Government -- indeed, all of which REQUIRE Big Government to be realized.
By repeatedly drawing the connection between Christianity and freedom and liberty -- at the very least in the realm of rhetoric, and ideally by implementing further “hard” steps, such as working towards primary education vouchers that can be redeemed at private schools, including religious ones -- we can simultaneously help maintain comprehension of the intellectual connection between freedom and Christianity, and we can help sabotage the Big Government agenda and design.
Bottom line: To function properly (or at all) every society needs a guiding moral authority. Absent a religious moral authority, government will fill the vacuum, or in the case of contemporary America, and the old Soviet Union, government and its string-pullers set out to displace the (Christian) moral authority with themselves.
Freedom evolved in the West to its highest degree in history because Christianity, in all its diversity (which socially and intellectually prepares a people for self-government and self-determination), was the moral authority. But in post-Christian, modern times, freedom has been contracting in rough correlation to the degree government has been expanding since Christianity was dispossessed. This is not coincidental.
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