What is a Conservative
Conservatism isn’t a dogma, but a practical philosophy based on a set of enduring principles.
• A conservative is a constitutionalist. In interpreting the Constitution, he believes in the original intent of the Founding Fathers, and abhors the judges who use the Constitution as an excuse for reshaping society. The conservative believes the U.S. Constitution is the best method yet devised for governing a free people. He also understands that the genius of the Constitution is grounded in the greatness of Western civilization — that the Constitution is based on mankind’s political experiences over more than two millennia, stretching from Jerusalem to Athens to Rome to London. These are the lessons history begs us to learn.
• A conservative knows that Western civilization is founded on faith. Trying to divorce conservatism from the Bible is like trying to breathe without air.
• A conservative understands that every generation doesn’t confront a world made new, but rather the same old world clothed in the fashions of the day. Other than the march of technology, and society’s gyration from one fad to another, the world doesn’t change, because humanity doesn’t change. The wisdom of our ancestors is the best guide for the perplexed.
• A conservative celebrates America — its history, heritage and heroes. He is a patriot, not a nationalist. Nationalism is a blind allegiance which often ends in fanaticism. Patriotism is an informed judgment. For Americans, it is recognition of our national greatness — that over the past 234 years, America has been a safe harbor for its people and a blessing to humanity.
• A conservative defends our sovereignty, our language and our culture. That makes him a proponent of border security and English, and an opponent of multiculturalism, bilingualism and identity politics.
• Conservatism is based on three legs — faith, family and freedom. Remove any one and the structure collapses. Faith legitimizes the family by grounding it in eternity. Family teaches the moral lessons which make a free society possible. Combined with virtue, freedom creates the climate in which faith and family can flourish.
• The conservative's totem animal isn't an ostrich. He understands that there are powerful forces at work in the world which despise our way of life and would destroy it. Among America’s greatest glories is that it confronted and overcame such threats twice in the 20th century — by vanquishing Nazism in World War II and communism during the Cold War. Now, the menace is an expansionist Islam whose weapons are terrorism and subversion. The conservative understands that keeping America free requires vigilance and sacrifice.
• A conservative believes culture counts — that the media (news and entertainment) and education inform the sensibilities, especially those of the young. Who controls the culture controls the future. The great tragedy of the 20th and 21st centuries is that, while the right won political victories, the left won cultural victories that are rarely, if ever, reversed.
• A conservative believes in the virtuous society as much as the free society — that without virtue, America can not remain free. The Founding Fathers believed that the people who were slaves to their passions would soon be enslaved by others.
• A conservative decries the cult of equality, which holds that everything is as good as everything else (with the exception of white males) — that no moral code, lifestyle, economic or political system or religion is better than any other. The dumbness of this doctrine may be seen by posing the following questions to its adherents: Where would you rather spend the next five years of your life — in a Manhattan skyscraper, a Rwandan village, a hovel in Gaza or a North Korean labor camp? Who would you prefer as a neighbor: a religious Jew, a traditional Catholic, an evangelical Christian, a Satan-worshipper or a Shiite Muslim?
• A conservative confronts reality. He views the world not as he wishes it were but as it is. This distinguishes him from the liberal/leftist and the libertarian. The left confronts reality the way Neville Chamberlain confronted Hitler at Munich, the way Jimmy Carter confronted Soviet imperialism during his lamentable presidency and the way Barack Obama confronts double-digit unemployment and mega-deficits. Take head, insert firmly in sand.