The United States of America. It conjures up all sorts of images. Shining seacoasts, vast plains, snow-covered mountains, the immense Alaskan wilderness, fields of grain stretching to the horizon, and glimmering skyscrapers surrounded by sprawling metropolitan meccas. For many in other parts of the world, it represents hope, freedom and opportunity for a better future. Indeed, many have risked everything to come to America and start a new life and legacy for their children and their children’s children.
Wealth and military might have catapulted the United States to the pinnacle of modern history. Her accomplishments and influence have surpassed those of any civilization ever to rise on the planet. We’ve built an empire unparalleled and without equal. Our economic output is the envy of the world, and by virtue of it, we have attained the highest standard of living ever achieved. And all of this in considerably less than two hundred years, a mere blink of an eye in the context of the history of nations.
It all began in the hearts and minds of a handful of men, men who became so enamored with the vision of liberty and justice for all, they chose to sacrifice their own dreams, their own fortunes, some of which were considerable, and, indeed, their own lives and well-being. Concluding no price would too great to pay for enduring freedom, these men determined to fight an impossible war if necessary, to overcome insurmountable obstacles if they must, and to endure unbearable hardships if need be. And so they dared sign their names to a Declaration of Independence.
Once having secured victory against all odds, our fathers framed a document entirely unique (and radically so), upon which they would found their new nation and guarantee life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to their posterity. That document is known as the Constitution of the United States of America.
Upon this foundation, a vast array of people from all over the globe came together and erected the most prosperous, most powerful, most productive nation the world has ever seen. And this foundational document itself was fastened upon the bedrock of Judeo-Christian principles, such principles whose absence the fathers clearly believed would render men unable to govern themselves.
If one would undertake to learn the basis of conservative thought in America today, one should look first to the US Constitution. Conservatives who loathe Obama’s agenda do so in large part due to his assertion that the founding document of this great nation is deeply flawed. If it is deeply flawed, it is only so because of the many, many abuses it has suffered at the hands of the federal government over the past century and a half, and because of the damage it has sustained during that time from being ignored, neglected and trampled on. Indeed, it’s only flaw is that it has not been adhered to. The Constitution forms the basis of conservative thought in America today and Barack Obama is clearly, overtly and unabashedly the enemy of it, the very thing he has sworn to uphold. Indeed, liberty has been surrendered to the charge of those who despise her.
If the Constitution and adherence to it is the base upon which conservative thought rests, then it is no great wonder that any agenda, policy or objective which enlarges the government and advances its intrusion deeper into the sacred territory of private enterprise and personal lives garners resentment. The Constitution clearly defines and delineates the role of the federal government. Those definitions and delineations have been obliterated by a relentless barrage of illegal acts perpetrated by the government, a little at a time, bit by bit. We are now so far out from under its limits, we are no longer afforded its protections.
Conservatives want that protection back, and we want the government to operate within the confines of the Constitution. In other words, we simply wish to return to the rule of law. The Constitution IS the law of the land. The current administration has, more than any other, set about to undermine the Constitution, demean it, ignore it, and abuse it. First and foremost, this is the underlying problem conservatives have with Barack Obama.
But it certainly didn’t start with him. It’s been going on for a long, long time, by administrations in both political hemispheres. We have now reached the point where government officials, by virtue of their office, can fire the CEO of a private company. The president can hire officials who make policy decisions without the oversight of elected officials. Obama now has 32 of them. We now can be taxed at confiscatory rates, rates that far surpass those imposed by the British Crown on the colonists. Obama will raise them even higher. We now have the government involved in taking over manufacturing, banking, and trying to take over healthcare. For decades we’ve had something called the Federal Reserve. We have the New Deal, the Great Society and Trillions in Debt. We have treaties with the UN that violate the sovereignty of the United States AND those several states which comprise the Union. There exists in the Constitution no mechanism, no basis, no authority whatsoever for the federal government to do any of these things, and I could name many more.
Conservatism. If you truly want to understand it, learn what’s in the Constitution. It is the prerequisite for knowing why we think what we think, say what we say, champion what we champion, and fight against what we fight against. Within that framework, of course, are thousands of variations and levels of commitment. But the root of conservatism is the Constitution. In light of this document, most federal spending that does not involve national defense, police and fire protection, infrastructure, and providing for the operation of the three branches of government is illegal. Confiscating two thirds of the average man’s earned income far exceeds bounds set by the Constitution.
Today, enemies of the Constitution have declared it not only to be flawed, but have put forth the idea of its being a ‘living, breathing document’ that needs constant revision. I submit that anything build upon something that lives and breathes will fall to ruin. Our forefathers did not build their nation upon any such thing. Rather, they founded this nation upon a solid structure, set securely upon bedrock. The foundation is still as strong as it ever was. We have simply shifted so far to the left we are no longer supported by it.
Conservatives wish to restore the Constitution to its proper place, that being the foundation of America. If we would do that, many of the social and economic issues we face today would simply disappear, along with 32 Czars (and counting), innumerable government agencies and a multitude of bureaucrats, not to mention a huge chunk of the federal debt and its commensurate tax burden.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; these are core conservative values. Nowadays, these values are but a fond memory to some, a lofty dream to others, and an unfamiliar concept to most. We need to move back to the sure foundation upon which the United States of America was built, the Constitution of the United States. That is the basis of American conservatism today.