Conservatism My Way

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In an era when democrats are calling Trump and his followers conservatives, I felt it necessary to define what conservatism means to me, and it is nearly the polar opposite of Trumpkins. Not every conservative thinks alike and there are many varieties, but true conservatives will probably agree with the majority of my points. If you can agree with most of them, then feel free to share this; what the heck, share it anyways. Start a converstion!

Conservative Principles & Traits

1. Constitutional Conservative. Believes in and supports the United States Constitution and all of its amendments, even when it is inconvenient. Our founding framework for freedom is amendable, so if there is something you don’t like or think is outdated, fix it. Yes, it is a high hurdle to amend the Constitution, and it should be! Protect our bill of rights and freedom that our founders and creator gave us and countless service members have sacrificed to maintain. Don’t give them away!

2. Pro-Life. Abortion should not be an accepted form of birth control. Late-term abortion is clearly reprehensible and murder in my view. I am pro-life also when it comes to capital punishment. We have the capability to put murderers behind bars for life and the fact that human beings, including juries and prosecutors, make mistakes all the time warrants prison instead of death. You cannot undo lethal injection once it did its job. I only believe in killing for self and national defense. Many conservatives will not agree with me on the death penalty, but I hope they come around.

3. Border & Immigration Security. We are a sovereign nation and should keep it that way. Terrorism and migration of undesirables are valid reasons to secure our borders and reform legal immigration policy. However, we should not violate our Constitution as we beef up our security. Calling for the deportation of American citizens for their religious beliefs is a violation of our key founding principle. We should build walls, fences, and electronic security on our borders. We should also cease any policy that encourages people to illegally enter our country, such as the social programs the Obama admin has been offering them, and sanctuary cities that protect them from our laws. We should also modify our legal immigration policy to profile – yes PROFILE – potential immigrants and properly vet them to assure they are not terrorists or criminals or sympathizers of the same. We should be seeking people that will contribute to our nation and assimilate with our culture. If they want to come to America to form a mini version of the country and culture they are leaving, we don’t need them. We are a passionate and humane nation and we can accept certain refugees from persecution. But we are not a stupid or crazy people. Don’t try to make us into Europe where Islamic radicals are transforming their society. Not here!

4. Crime Does Not Pay. We should make that phrase applicable again. If you commit a crime you will have to pay a specific debt to society. Violent criminals should definitely spend a long time in a cell. If you purposely take a life and it is not self defense you forfeit your freedom forever. Here is where some conservatives will disagree with me. The War on Drugs was never waged to win. Drug and alcohol abuse are involved in some way to a majority of crimes in America. Home invasions, theft, assault, and murder usually involve drug and/or alcohol abuse. The trend is to de-criminalize and legalize drugs. This is a big mistake. Instead, we should treat drug dealers like murderers, because in many cases, that is what they are. It is not just the addicted person whose life is ruined, but entire families. Treatment should be offered to addicts, but in many cases harsher measures must be taken to break the cycle. Today, we tend to keep addicts addicted by providing them with never-ending access to methadone or other type clinics. This prevents them from ever contributing to families and society. Limit the treatment. Design a program that works. If that includes incarceration, so be it.

5. Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility. What happened to the Republican Party’s mantra of small government? The federal government has ballooned under democrat and republican administrations and congress. Along with that is a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money and infringement of Liberty. All levels of government can be significantly trimmed. Politicians and judges have used creative license to interpret the Constitution’s definition of federal government role to include everything under the sun. This cannot continue. Get back to basics!

6. Strong Defense. If we allow our military to decline in funding and number any further, we will not be able to perform the basic function of federal government that the Constitution demands. Security of our nation from enemies, which we have many, is crucial. At the same time, we should adopt former Secretry of Defence Cap Weinberger’s rules for when it is appropriate to put military members in harm’s way. Google it. The United States is not a colonial empire and we should not always be the world’s policeman. We should always put U.S. national security interests above all, as well as honor our treaties with allies.  

7. Civil Liberties. This is a complicated one. When it comes to marriage, religion, and morality, social conservatives often conflict with fiscal conservatives. Gay marriage, transgendered rights, and the list goes on. I lean libertarian and am torn on this issue. In my opinion, marriage is a religious institution dating back far before The Declaration of Independence. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. I had hoped civil unions for gays would have been sufficient as long as they had the same privileges and benefits of married couples. But the Supreme Court has ruled and it is now the law that gays can be married. Now ‘transgendered’ and people who self-identify as something other than themselves want all sorts of rights and special privileges. The result is that a small minority get to impose their wills on the majority, and religous and other freedoms are infringed upon others. For instance, a Christian baker family has lost their religious freedom in order to satisfy a gay couple who could’ve ordered a wedding cake from numerous other bakers, but insisted on making a case against the Christians. This is rediculous! Our system of government is designed to protect minorities, as it should be. But no where in the Constitution does it say minority rules, or a minority’s civil rights outweigh the majority’s rights. No more! On morality, whether you are religious or not, as a conservative you most certainly believe that a nation and its people must have a moral compass to keep them from abusing power. There IS a right and wrong. Without a moral center, many wrongs and atrocities are possible. This is my biggest concern with Mr. Donald Trump and his followers. They either don’t have or don’t care about morality.

8. Free-Market Capitalism. We did not become the greatest nation on planet Earth using socialism or communism as our economic system. We used a reasonably regulated free enterprise system where individuals and companies make profit by providing products and services to others. If you want to reap the benefits of socialism, move  to Venezuela. 

9. Fact over Fiction. Whether it be within our government, schools, media, or elsewhere, conservatives prefer dealing with fact and evidence instead of rumor, myth, or lies. Unless we are reading a novel for entertainment we like the truth, even when it hurts. To those who say there is no such thing as truth: Be Gone! Yes, there are gray areas here and there, but most things can be boiled down to true or false. Schools should stop revising history (and math) and teach the truth. There is good and bad in our history. The kids can handle it. But stop being political. They will form their own political beliefs as adults. Teachers or government don’t need to brainwash them. The media has First Amendment rights, but I implore them to stop trying to affect American politics and instead impartially report on it. This election cycle has demonstrated how corrupt both our government and media have become. The American people themselves have to become more responsible and stop spreading myth and rumor on social media. It is fairly easy to fact-check using the Internet or library. 

10. Freedom. If America can exemplify one concept, it is freedom. It is why we were founded, and what we grew and nurtured through the generations. Not everyone enjoyed freedom equally at the beginning, but like any infant, we grew and learned and are now the beacon of hope and liberty to oppressed people everywhere on the globe. Let’s keep it that way. Our founders insisted on a Bill of Rights before they approved the Constitution because they knew in order to keep our government from becoming just another dictatorship, we needed guaranteed individual freedoms. These liberties are now under constant attack by politicians, radical judges, and groups who really want to make a more powerful central government. We will no longer be America if we allow this to continue.

11. My Eleventh Commandmant! Elected officials affect our lives in many ways. Our liberty, our money, our future depend on electing people who exhibit high levels of integrity, character, honor, and conviction. Does this mean they should be rigid and inflexible? No. But they should be honest, principled, and courageous. Voters can put these type of people in office, or as has been trending, they can put waffling, unethical, power-hungry people in office. We get what we deserve!

You Are A Racist

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Until the recent implosion of many aspects of ObamaCare, including the Oct 1 web site failed launch, President Obama, himself, has often referred to the Affordable Care Act as ObamaCare. Apparently he is no longer comfortable having his name associated with the health care law. Now, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry has declared that the term ObamaCare is racist and invented by wealthy white people in a derogatory way to demean a black leader “to render him inferior and unequal and diminish his accomplishments.”

So, anyone uttering or writing the word ObamaCare from now on is clearly a racist. Never mind HillaryCare and Reaganomics; those terms were obviously just dreamed up from the political well from whence they came and not motivated by the color of anyone’s skin. But anyone claiming that the ObamaCare term was only politically motivated is in denial and likely a bigot as well.

Oh crap! I just wrote ObamCare five times — oops — six times. I feel so guilty.

This is a classic method to make an argument when you are too lazy or lacking evidence for a truthful debate: name-calling and accusing opponents as being racist.

We’ve Always Done It That Way

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How many times have you heard people say that?

“Well, that’s always how we’ve done it!”  Neighbors, co-workers, politicians, it doesn’t matter. The attitude is evident in all levels of society. I don’t believe the majority of people agree with that outlook; however, that idea is so institutionalized and so ingrained in our society, government, families, and even many businesses that the “tradition” continues generation after generation.

During my 20 year career in the Navy, one aggravating bureaucratic policy that is the same throughout most branches of federal, state and local governments, is the practice of quickly spending every left-over penny in the budget when there are unspent funds near the end of the fiscal year. Managers at every level get hysterical if they or their subordinates haven’t wasted the taxpayers money on “unneeded” equipment, materials, or services, for fear that the next year’s budget will be reduced by that amount.  You noticed I didn’t call them leaders.

I was not alone in advocating a change in government policy on this wasteful practice. Some businesses have “suggestion boxes” for employees to present their improvement ideas to management. The Navy had a similar process for sending good ideas up through the chain of command. On more than one occasion, I and many other shipmates called for ending the policy. Of course, it fell on deaf ears. I am sure many senior officers felt the same way, but the practice is so cemented in an unyielding government culture of fraud, waste, and abuse, that it must have been just too darn hard to fight “city hall.” I am confident that many billions of taxpayer dollars have been scattered to the winds in this shameful ongoing financial practice.

Another example of relying on that tired excuse of “it has always been done that way” has been in the national news repeatedly in recent years. It became a headliner when ObamaCare was working through the legislative process, and is now being highlighted as immigration reform is, once again, in the news. The fact, based upon many politicians’ own admissions, that they oftentimes do not read legislative bills before they cast their vote really pisses me off.

Congressmen are elected to office to represent their constituents. How can they adequately represent voters back home if they are not thoroughly knowledgeable about the laws that they make? Nancy Pelosi infamously said something like, “We’ll find out what is in the bill after we pass it.” That is no way to conduct the people’s business. They complain that the bills are too damn long to read them. That is probably true since many grow into hundreds and thousands of pages. That alone suggests a solution to solve more than one problem.

Ever hear of the KISS theory? Keep It Simple Stupid. Cut all the unnecessary and unrelated pork-spending attachments to the bills, get rid of 90% of the staff and attorneys that turn what should be a simple bill into volumes of legal mumbo jumbo and hidden surprises, and do what is morally right! Then Senator and Representative, you will have the time to read the bill yourself, and not rely on high-salaried staffers to give you a second or third-hand summary of what they think is in the bill. Start thinking about the taxpayers and the folks back home in your districts, and oh yeah, maybe think about what is good for your country for once, and dedicate less brain-time on your pal lobbyists or on your next re-election effort.