Monday, August 31, 2009

We Live in Conservative Times?

Despite the fact that he's right regarding the failures of conservativism in general, Sam Tenenhaus, the author of The Death of Conservatism, hangs his pragmatic hat on conservatives' inability to limit their remarks to money, and foolish penchant to evoke principles.

Hear the NPR seven minute interview here.

We need the conservatives to ask the tough questions: to be very skeptical about the idea of an ever- growing welfare state, not because it isn’t a virtue in and of itself, but because it can get out of control. That if we have a government that promises us too much, then maybe all the different conflicting demands we have will clash in a way that creates trouble for us. Conservatives should be using this moment to ask in a very reasoned, detailed, logical way, where are the policies of the present administration going to take us? Not are they evil. Not are they socialistic. Not will they deprive us of our freedom, but what will the costs be?
Surely, even Mr. Tanenhaus understands that a policy which deprives us of our freedom is much too high a price to pay. He mentions that the conservatives of old would support using the government to protect the rights of ordinary citizens. That is, in fact, is the only proper function of government. He derides the conservatives for questioning the American-ness of extending health care to a broad mass of citizens.

The crux of the matter is that the government (and not just this administration, but the previous one as well), in funding bail outs for certain industries, creating unwarranted emergency laws with details to be worked out later, and claiming needs as rights, is consistently violating our individual rights with every piece of paper Washington generates.

No matter how much I want something, I do not have the right to take it from you. When a government forces you through taxation or debt spending to provide me with my desire, it has violated your individual rights. This is evil and socialistic and deprives us of our freedom and deserves to be called such. Claiming that the greatest American progress was made in consensus, as Mr. Tenenhaus does, ignores the very issue that is at the heart of the matter: men can no longer own other men in this country.

That triumph of freedom over tyranny came about as the result of a revolutionary war and an horrific civil war. There must never again be a consensus on the amount of slavery we would be willing to accept – unless it is none.

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