“I have been much concerned that so many people today with Conservative instincts feel compelled to apologize for them,” begins Barry Goldwater in The Conscience of a Conservative. He continues, “Or if not to apologize directly, to qualify their commitment in a way that amounts to breast-beating.” He quotes vice president Richard Nixon, for example, as saying that Republicans “should be economic conservatives, but conservatives with a heart.” In more recent times, George W. Bush expressed the similar belief that Republicans should be “compassionate conservatives.”
To Mr. Goldwater, it was simple: conservatism is a way of life, not an economic theory. Radical liberals of his time attacked him for failing to look out for the subordinated little guy, but as he so rightly pointed out, “it is Socialism that subordinates all other considerations to man’s material well being.” Conservatives are different. Goldwater writes:
The root difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals of today is that Conservatives take account of the whole man, while the Liberals tend to look only at the material side of man’s nature. The Conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, these needs and desires reflect the superior side of man’s nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants.
Goldwater writes that liberals, in their quest for economic equality, therefore “regard the satisfaction of economic wants as the dominant mission of society.” As if speaking directly about liberals today, he says, “They, moreover, are in a hurry. So that their characteristic approach is to harness the society’s political and economic forces into a collective effort to compel ‘progress.’ In this approach, I believe they fight against Nature.”
And such a fight against nature has been waged as never before in the history of this great nation. Never before have we seen a president and Congress take over the government with such radical progressive and Marxist-influenced destruction. The people be damned. A year ago I wrote a controversial statement that was published in The Newport Daily News, a local paper: “Too many radicals, communists, Marxists, statists, socialists and anti-capitalists have the president’s ear.” At the time, I, like most Americans, was shocked at how many anti-American czars surrounded the president. That statement isn’t controversial anymore. It’s funny how the truth never is.
Eighteen months ago, the Washington elite was shocked by conservatives such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, especially Beck, whom the Washington elite considered crazy. So he urged them to call him on his red phone. The call never came. But Beck continued to wonder why someone like Van Jones, the new and now former (thank you, Mr. Beck) green jobs czar was part of the inner sanctum of the White House. Van Jones found a role model in Mao, the man who was responsible for the worst genocide of the 20th century. Americans like Beck wanted to know what Harry Reid was doing applauding the Apollo Group, the group affiliated with Mr. Jones’s work on the stimulus bill—the same bill where Jones boasted that $500 million was “smuggled” for the green movement.
To most Americans, the White House is a hallowed place, a symbol in the minds of patriots and Americans who, at home and abroad, have always been proud of their country. How then did a creep like Jeff Jones, cofounder with Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground, which bombed government buildings, get to be part of the committee that helps organizations receive stimulus money? And it was no coincidence that FCC diversity czar Mark Lloyd, who considers free speech a “distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies,” became part of the most powerful communications regulatory organization in the country, which just so happens to be chaired by Obama’s Harvard friend Julius Genakowski. Then there was Cass Sunstein, author of the book Nudge, who feels that government should help you make more of your money decisions. And now there are rumors about the government nudging its way toward taking over your 401(k).
The Radical Progressive Movement wasn’t just coming from inside the White House—which, by the way, happened to have the smallest representation from the private sector in history. Nancy “let’s figure out what’s in it after we pass it” Pelosi was responsible for the passing of cap and trade by the House as a direct extension of the Obama administration’s radical agenda. It’s no secret that the House had big plans in mind after the 2006 midterm conservative revolt against Bush. Yet voters’ mandate to Pelosi was to change Washington, not America. President Obama, at the time a junior senator who was most proud of his community organizing background, having been taught by Saul Alinsky disciples, must have been all too familiar with this point from Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: “Remember: once you organize people around something as commonly agreed upon as pollution, then an organized people is on the move.” And Harry Reid, against the will of two-thirds of Americans, jammed health care down our collective throat.
Never before have I seen a president make more mistakes or understand less about the truth on so many issues. Intelligent? Maybe. Wise? You tell me. There’s historical precedent for the failures of extended wars in Afghanistan. Ask Russia. Why are we still fighting a counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy when we have far too few troops to do it effectively? Why are our troops put in harm’s way to protect a people that doesn’t want us there, is ruled by a corrupt president in Karzai who receives funding from Iran, and is in cahoots with the Taliban? Our exit can’t come soon enough.
Obama, the so-called great communicator, completely missed a golden opportunity to help the people of Iran by standing up to the regime and supporting the people’s green revolution. It’s mind-boggling to me that a president who will fly to Copenhagen to save an Olympic bid fails to understand his importance in leading the free world. His naivety is an obstruction to peace.
The war on terror seems to be an annoyance to this administration. Yes, terrorists are still out there who want to kill us. And when they’re captured, they should be tried as enemy combatants. How can we protect ourselves when we can’t even protect the border? What will a cyber war look like? Can we even call them cyber terrorists? What must other countries be thinking about us? Is the reason Obama is so well liked around the world because he’s made America seem weak and likely to always be there with an open checkbook to pay for America’s past misdeeds? Give me a break. When will other countries step up to the plate and pay for their own defense rather than depend on us and then ridicule us?
The way forward begins with discussions at home, which I’m sure are already taking place at your home. Ronald Reagan was right: “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” And that’s what the Tea Party has done for the people, particularly women who have found their conservative voice. Families have had it. As they should. You’re the ones who bust your butts for your family only to come home to learn that Washington bailed out Wall Street on your dime. You’re the ones up late at night working on homework with your children or grandchildren to help them grasp the lessons they should have learned in school. This is no fault of the teachers, either. They’re overloaded with students and have to work with a curriculum that caters to the whims of union leadership pigging out at the trough, concerned mainly about their pensions. How many among us get to elect our own bosses as the unions get to? They will always choose the big spenders at the polls, citizens be damned. Who will be the conservative voice to move the country forward out of this ditch?
Republicans and Democrats have lost the trust of America, thanks to politicians on both sides of the aisle. That’s why the largest number of voters today are enrolled as independents, and they’re furious that fiscal responsibility has no home in Washington. The Tea Party movement and groups like FreedomWorks are gaining traction because their message is simple. It’s about fiscal responsibility, stupid. The federal government cannot be everything to everybody. Social issues that divide a family, never mind the nation, cannot be part of the Washington political machine. Article I, Section 4, of the Constitution states: “The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.” The founders never intended Washington to become the political machine that it is today—and certainly not a home to lifelong political barnacles such as the Barney Franks of the world.
The way forward is simple if we keep it simple. If we hold Washington to a simple fiscal mandate, we can hold them responsible for their failures. Beginning today, it’s up to the House to extend tax cuts for everyone. As set forth in Article I, Section 7, “All bills for raising revenue [read: taxes] shall originate in the House of Representatives.” The Senate should have no problem passing tax cuts and should refrain from adding amendments, as the rest of Article I, Section 7, reads: “but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.” Americans do not want to see more pork slapped onto the back of bills in the form of amendments. That’s why simplicity is a necessity. How is it that there were 9,129 earmarks last year? Let Obama be the obstructionist. Simple spending and tax-cutting bills will put the pressure on him to veto and by doing so will reinvigorate a new conservative movement in America. A new bill a day to cut spending, and repealing Obamacare, would not be too much to ask from Congress, along with preempting EPA overreach.
Unions cannot be allowed to control the state’s coffers at the expense of its citizens. As Barry Goldwater wrote in The Conscience of a Conservative:
The Governor of New York, in 1930, pointed out that the Constitution does not empower the Congress to deal with “a great number of … vital problems of government, such as the conduct of public utilities, of banks, of insurance, of business, of agriculture, of education, of social welfare, and a dozen other important features.” And he added that “Washington must not be encouraged to interfere” in these areas.
The conservative movement taking hold of America doesn’t have to be Republican, Democrat, or independent. It’s a movement straight from the preamble in the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” I repeat, it reads “promote the general welfare,” not provide it. So with that in mind, you should not have to apologize for being a conservative whether you’re Republican, Democrat, or independent. Please allow me to leave you with these wise words from Barry Goldwater:
[The reversal of the current trend] will come when Americans, in hundreds of communities throughout the nation, decide to put the man in office who is pledged to enforce the Constitution and restore the Republic. Who will proclaim in a campaign speech: “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
The Conscience of A Conservative (1960)