4 Feb

Why I’m a Conservative

                                       

Republicans in general, and conservatives in particular, are constantly demonized in the media as greedy, ruthless, heartless, racist sons of bitches who want children to starve, grandma to die and women to be kept barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen where they belong.

That makes for great copy, but it’s about as far from the truth as you can get. While it might be possible to find someone who actually fits that caricature, in reality conservatives are generally just the opposite.

Why I’m a conservative.

Why am I a conservative? For the simple reason that I am an eternal optimist. I believe that mankind is capable spectacular things… both good and bad, but mostly good. I believe that man has within his reach the ability to solve almost any problem that we can imagine, if given the freedom to do so.

Optimism however is not enough to understand why I am a conservative. I am a conservative because I fundamentally believe in the US Constitution and the intent of its framers. Today, 225 years after the Constitution was written we still have what is the single most powerful document ever written by men. Why? Because it provides the best framework yet constructed to provide citizens with the sustainable freedom that is necessary for progress and prosperity.

I’m not conservative because I hate black or brown or gay people. Just the opposite. I’m conservative because I believe everyone is equal and that no one should get special treatment simply because they belong to a particular group. Laws that seek to target (or protect) particular groups rarely work according to plan. Take the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was begun in 1969 to ensure that 155 rich people who had paid zero taxes in 1967 would have to pay something. Not surprisingly the law’s impact expanded rapidly and today more than 20 million citizens are impacted by the AMT. The government’s record on affirmative action is similarly precise. Treating citizens differently based on arbitrary categories is rarely a recipe for success.

I’m not conservative because I’m greedy and don’t want to share with others. On the contrary. I’m conservative because I believe everyone should have the same opportunity to achieve success. And this is particularly important because the path to success rarely comes through government. Education, healthcare and poverty programs are the three areas of our economy in which government plays the heaviest role. All three could be charitably characterized as inefficient and expensive, but more realistically classified as abysmal failures. The conservative position that government should get out of the education, healthcare and poverty business is not to suggest those are issues that don’t need attention. They do, but the attention should come from organizations closest to the problem and best able to solve it. That might be private companies, community foundations or sometimes even statehouses. Rarely is Washington the correct answer to any problem.

I’m not a conservative because I want companies to be able to work their employees to the bone and pay them a pittance. Actually, conservatives believe in a free market because they understand that free markets are the best way for investors, consumers and yes, employees, to flourish. Three decades ago IBM was set to take over the world. It didn’t… and not because of anything the government did, but rather because of Microsoft, Intel and the PC. Investors got rich, consumers got inexpensive computers and millions of employees got good paying jobs. A decade ago if you had a mobile phone, odds are it was made by Nokia or Motorola. Today Nokia is barely alive and the shadow of Motorola is now owned by Google. Neither came plummeting to earth because of anything the government did, but rather because Apple changed the world. In the process Apple stockholders got rich, consumers got unprecedented computing power at their fingertips and millions of employees across the nation and around the world got good paying jobs. The way for workers to find their fortune, or at least increase their earning power, is not by government intervention or even government sanctioned union thuggery, but rather by honing the skills and acquiring the tools that employers value. Whether those include basic literacy, a knack for app coding, arc welding experience, punctuality, a nursing degree or any of thousands of other characteristics, by increasing their value to potential employers, workers will not have to look to the government or unions to help them find success. Whether someone wants to see their name on the Forbes 400 or simply to work hard and provide for their family, conservatives recognize that when allowed to harness their genius to meet market demands, people of all backgrounds can achieve, and can do so spectacularly. Not sure? How about Oprah Winfrey, Daymond John, Sara Blakely, Ursula Burns, Michael Oher, George Lopez and countless others.

Which brings me back to optimism. Conservatives generally see that there is great potential in their fellow citizens. They also recognize that government has a way of stifling that potential. Whether it’s through a tax code as thick as an encyclopedia, using regulation to stifle small businesses at the behest of big business benefactors, pouring billions of dollars into businesses that deserve to go bankrupt, or redistributing trillions of dollars into pork barrel projects and counterproductive social programs, government inserts its judgments for those of citizens who are actually out in the world living their lives. With ever more frequency our government does what governments always do, it seeks to centralize power. And for each inch of power the government usurps, miles of prosperity are never realized as bureaucrats have little understanding or appreciation for what makes free markets work and why individual responsibility is so empowering. The result is that millions of people who might otherwise draw upon the gifts God gave them to help contribute to the prosperity of a nation find themselves trapped in the quicksand of government largesse and dependency.

Conservatives are often accused of hating all government. That is absolutely false. Conservatives, like the Founding Fathers, understand that a government is essential to maintaining a free society. The reason for the mischaracterization is simple… government today does far more than it was ever intended to do, or is qualified to do, which gives conservatives much to object to. When the Titanic was setting sail from Southampton on April 10th, a party atmosphere pervaded both her deck and the dock from which she was sailing. On April 15th the unsinkable ship was sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. She and the 1,500 people who perished in the freezing water could have used a chorus of discordant voices shouting that there was trouble on the horizon. Just as the Titanic was not “unsinkable”, neither is our Republic. Conservative voices may sound dour, antagonistic or even shrill at times, but that is simply because they recognize the greatness of the Constitutional gift we have been bequeathed, the fragile state in which it stands today and the danger posed by those who continue to undermine its grace. In the face of such danger silence is simply not an option.

For better or worse, that’s why I’m a conservative…

About Vince

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Monday, February 4th, 2013 at 9:22 am
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15 Responses to Why I’m a Conservative

  1. johngalt says: 1

    Excellent entry, Vince. Those are the reasons that many of us are Conservative.

    Unfortunately, I believe that liberal/progressives project their own reasons for being as they are, upon Conservatives, albeit from the opposite end. Take the idea that government control somehow makes the end results for people more “fair”. I don’t believe that the liberal/progressives are concentrating as much on the “fair” part as they are the “control” aspect. Hence, I believe that they think that conservatives want power to be in “control”.

    And they attack us this way by using, as their examples, such GOP establishment types as Rove, Boehner, and others who are more progressive than conservative.

    I don’t think that the liberal/progressives truly understand what being a conservative really means.

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  2. Ditto says: 2

    I’m a liberal and a conservative. I believe in a conservative reading Constitutions where it applies to the limited powers granted to government, and a liberal interpretation in regards to personal rights and freedoms.

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  3. anticsrocks says: 3

    Great essay, Vince. Well thought out and intelligently written. I agree with your premise that true Conservatives wish for equality – in opportunity, not outcomes.

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  4. johngalt says: 4

    Today’s modern liberal has nothing in common with the ‘classical’ liberal of decades past. Currently, to describe oneself as a liberal means that one must follow the progressive ideology that leads to statism and worse. I believe that from now on, I’ll just call those on the left progressives, since their ideology has nothing to do with liberty itself.

    Consider, in the Revolutionary war, we fought against the same ideas that these progressives are pushing today. A strong centralized government pushing taxation upon it’s subjects, from all manner of directions, and when the citizen’s started to get “uppity” about it, enacted a plan to remove weaponry from the general populace( Redcoats marched from Lexington to Concord in order to seize stores of powder that the colonists had collected.)

    These modern day leftists are no different than King George and his troops. They are no different than numerous historical figures who have used tyranny and despotism as their means of control over a population, or as a gateway to a grander agenda.

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  5. Skookum says: 5

    Vince, this is an excellent essay; however, I detect some flaws or flies in the pudding. How do you justify the conservative disregard for the irresponsible, the lazy, the stupid, and the hopelessly immoral or corrupt. Someone needs to provide for those who play all summer and ignore the approaching winter. You know, the hedonist who lives for the moment and considers traditional values to be beneath contempt. Are you willing to discount these prodigals who contribute to the economy by spending money on silliness?

    What of the corrupt crony capitalists and government officials who swarm to Obama’s stash of gratuitous millions, what will become of their families if they need to spend a few decades in the slammer like Senator Menendez is facing. Surely you have compassion in your heart for those who receive graft and get caught and for those hypocritical bastards who push for laws against the exploitation of children and now face long prison terms if convicted of the same laws they stood before the country to champion. Yes, I see why conservatives are considered to be heartless and cold; you don’t really care about these corrupt government officials whose grandstanding is mere pretense. Thank God we protect our politicians who are serial rapists and those who drown their pregnant girl friends or the Progressive would have no heroes.

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  6. Budvarakbar says: 6

    @johngalt:

    I don’t think that the liberal/progressives truly understand what being a conservative really means.

    I do not think that they understand the reality of much of anything.

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  7. Budvarakbar says: 7

    @johngalt:

    I’ll just call those on the left progressives, since their ideology has nothing to do with liberty itself.

    I do not believe the left has anything to do with progress(ive) either — except in the reality of their agenda is to ‘progress’ us all to ‘ell.

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  8. johngalt says: 8

    @Budvarakbar:

    Oh, but they have everything to do with ‘progress’, Budvarakbar. Yes, indeed. It is, of course, progress for the sake of progress, at times, and not in the direction of availing themselves of more freedom. But it is progress. Progress is merely an intimation of movement, and in the case of the left, that movement is towards more centralized government control, less responsibility for their own lives, and the handing over of freedom and liberty for the “feeling” of safety. And they want to bring you and I kicking and screaming into their Utopia, because they, obviously, know what’s better for us than we do.

    Hence, Progressives. Certainly not ‘Liberals’, which is derived from the adjective liberal, meaning, in Latin, “noble, gracious, munificent, generous,” literally “of freedom, pertaining to or befitting a free man,”. Considering the current left’s aversion to anything “befitting a free man”, the left in America should never be confused with the wider term “liberal” ever again.

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  9. Dumbplumber says: 9

    Well Vince, I’m a Conservative, but when all attempts at the ballot box fails to bring our lawmakers to Constitutional ‘heal’; when our campaigns are reduced to Kabuki theatre and elections are fraught with fraud, corruption and provable over-voting; when our “conservative” candidates are elected, then turn into the very people they promised to replace, well then it’s time to lock, load and reset. America’s day of change at the ballot box is over.

    I’m a Conservative and will respond to every solicitation for campaign donations with this: “If this donation is for a ‘bounty’ fund, I’m your man”.

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  10. Ditto says: 10

    To our nations leaders, and the media who represents them:

    I am a law-abiding citizen, a military veteran and responsible gun owner.

    Ron Emanual said “never let a good crisis got to waste.” and that is the attitude of this ghoulish, opportunistic political assault on the second amendment. It is the exploitation of tragic events in order to institute a political agenda. Laws should never be passed based on an artificial whipping up of emotions, to influence people into a particular course that they would not normally pursue. Yet that is precisely what is going on here. Criminals will break the law to commit their crimes, as they did in each and every one of these tragic, horrendous events. Passing laws that will turn lawful gun owners into criminals is not the way to go. These proposed bans seek to go after in the vaguest terms so called “assault weapons” and “military type” weapons.” Any weapon can be considered a “military type” and the descriptions used for “assault weapons” have no bearing on their operation. I am a military veteran and a student of history, and I am not so easily fooled when politicians and biased reporters use their word games to shape “convention wisdom.” The proper term for this is “propaganda,” and I am deeply disturbed by what the President, Vice President and the pro-gun control lobby are trying to achieve here.

    I swore an oath to protect the Constitution from enemies, foreign and domestic. That includes the Second Amendment which recognizes our individual right to bear arms, as essential to protect our persons and families and this nation from violent offenses and tyranny. The politicizing of Sandy Hook and these other tragedies in order to infringe on lawful citizen’s rights, is aberrant and in direct opposition to what the Founders wrote and believed. That is the very crux of this matter, and as a military veteran, I see it my duty to defend our Constitution from such political machinations. I am tired of hypocritical Washington elites treating us like ignorant vassals while they continue to erode our Constitutional rights, while they profiteer through their offices and pursue ever more power over the citizens.

    Oppression of the people and the incessant taking away of rights is the historical means whereby most democratic governments devolve into tyranny. I am duty bound to oppose this political assault on the Second Amendment, whether it means ensuring that these politicians are voted out of office, or that recall election movements go forward. If it means spending what wealth we have left in supporting with campaign contributions to their opponents, the NRA and other such groups, or by actively campaigning against politicians who violate the Constitutional oath of office, that they swore to uphold. If it means marching out on the streets in protest, joining phone banks, or using the new media to fight this, then we must do what we must to keep this a free nation. If it means that we have to use our governors and state governments to pass laws invalidating federal government in infringement of our rights, then that is what we will do. If it means supporting sheriffs who stand up in opposition with the federal government, and volunteering to become deputized under them then so be it. We, the veterans did not take our oaths lightly. We are prepared to do what we must to support the rights of the people.

    Remember, who served you in valor, and have no regret.
    We loved our nation, our people, and we will not forget.

    Are you going to stand firm for freedom and our Constitutional rights, or the continual oppressive infringement of them? We are watching.

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  11. what would AMERICA DO WITHOUT THE CONSERVATIVES,
    and they are more and more important to expose the GOVERNMENT FAILURES
    AND FRAUD AND TRICKY GIMICK TO GET THE PEOPLE GROUNDED , UNABLE TO FUNCTION WITHOUT BEING DRAWN TO HAVE THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY ON THEIR BACK, THREATENING THEM TO PAY OR ELSE,
    WE ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE THE CONSERVATIVES KEEP WATCH AND UNAFRAID TO CONFRONT THE WORSE ATTACK ON THE CONSTITUTION EVER DONE ALONG WITH THE HIGHEST DEBT EVER REACH
    BY THE DEMOCRAT LEADER WHO IS UNABLE TO RESTRAIN HIMSELF WHEN HE GO ON SPENDING SPREE
    AND ABROAD IN NATIONS WHO HATE AMERICA, INSTEAD OF SPENDING ON PEOPLE
    WHO ARE AMERICANS FROM ROOTS DEEP IN THE GROUND, WHO CANNOT FIND JOBS BECAUSE THE LEADERSHIP HAS BROKEN THE CLIMATE OF THE BUSINESSES WHICH NEED
    TO BE FREE TO CREATE JOBS, NEEDED BY THE PEOPLE 23 MILLIONS OF THEM,
    AND THE LEADER WANT TO BRING 11 MILLIONS ILLEGALS ON THE MARKET ON TOP OF IT TO COMPETE WITH AMERICAN,
    IF THE CONSERVATIVES HAD WON THE LAST ELECTION , YOU WOULD SEE A PEOPLE WITH JOBS ALREADY BECAUSE THE COMPANIES WOULD HAVE CONFIDENCE AND WOULD PUT THE RESOURCES IN THE MARKET THEY WOULD SEE A FUTUR OF SUCCESSFULL BUSINESSES KNOWING THE TIME IS READY FOR INSERTING MONEY AND YOU WOULD SEE THE WHEEL ROLLING , AND THE PEOPLE WITH HOPE THEY CAN START TO SURVIVE ON THEIR OWN BY WORKING,
    NOW YOU SEE ONLY DESPERATION AND HARSHNESS OF THE GOVERNMENT ALWAYS OUT TO CONTROL EVERY MOVE OF THIS SO TOLERANT PEOPLE,
    THE CONSERVATIVES ARE WORKING SO HARD TO KEEP THE PEOPLE HOPING AND WAITING FOR THE BETTER DAYS, BUT IT SEEM SO FAR NOW, THAT THEY HAVE TO ADRESS THE UNJUSTICES OF THIS GOVERNMENT OUT TO RUIN AMERICA WHO WAS ONCE SO BUZZING WITH IDEAS OF THE FUTURE,
    YOU NOW SEE MORE CRIMES AND DEATH AS NEVER SEEN,
    BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT AGENDA WHICH WILL NEVER WORK AND CONTINUE TO BRING DIVIDE, IN A PEOPLE WHO WAS UNIFIED, THEY INCITE RACIST CONFLICTS AMONG THE PEOPLE NEVER SEEN BEFORE,
    THEY ARE OUT TO CHANGE AMERICA LIKE OBAMA SAID MANY TIMES BUT HE DOES IT BY DESTROYING AMERICA,
    he succeeded to separate AMERICA, RACE AGAINST EACH OTHER, YOUNG AGAINST PARENTS, POOR AGAINST RICH,
    AND GUN LAW ABIDING CITIZENS
    AGAINST THE ANTIGUN , PUTTING THE CRIMINAL IN A BETTER POSITION TO COMMIT CRIMES,
    LORD, GIVE US CONSERVATIVES THE BRAVES ANY TIME,
    AS OPPOSE TO WHAT WE HAVE NOW,

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  12. Kyle says: 12

    We need Conservatives to get into the computing industry and the can change the future forever because they will understand the freedom of choice unlike Microsoft where you have to do it their way.

    One way to bring opportunity and independence is to revive the Commodore 64 computer scene as unlike other computers you can plug it into any TV like a Nintendo and it was ROM based meaning everything was in one place no matter how many times you turn it on/off and it CAN’T BE HACKED.

    Today’s computers are RAM *Random Access Memory* which means data can be overwritten including the BIOS chip that makes the damn thing work which is why Windows has it’s files *Hidden* which you have to click *Show All Hidden Files* so idiots like you or me won’t screw things up by accident making the computer unable to start because it can’t find the BIOS chip.

    Another good way is to fill up the C Drive and it will begin over writing important files.

    Commodore 64 had a huge library of both business software and home software including a lot of education content for children. It was the choice computer for schools after all. Commodore PET computer.

    Apple priced at 2,000$ only did a few colors. White, Black and a shade of blue and red. Only did two sounds. A beep and a fart kind of noise. The Commodore 64 had brilliant colors and can do up to 8 voices on the Sid chip in which two sid chips make it Stereo.

    Sadly a lot of good features came at the end of Commodores life so not a lot of people know about it even on computer history sites which often have the details totally screwed up.

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  13. Kyle says: 13

    Commodore 64 also went on the internet in the late 80s/early 90s. Dad was one of only 1500 people that went online to Q-Link bulletin board where you could type in real time

    If this site were like that you would see each letter as I type it and my message would appear in real time. You would also see my words vanish when I press the backspace to correct something and the new words reappear.

    You could also insert sound effects on certain words with a large library of effects.

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  14. Kyle says: 14

    What made Apple popular is they decided to give theirs away for free which put the Commodore PET out of business as they couldn’t compete. Apple still wasn’t as good of a machine and more complicated to use for the average user.

    Commodore 64 was user friendly for that time and even had an OS called Workshop or something like that.

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  15. KYLE
    YOU MUST BE ADVANCE IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS TECHNOLOGY, YOU STARTED EARLY,
    WOW COMMODORE 64, MUST HAVE BEEN EVEN MORE ,
    ADVANCE THAN WHAT WE HAVE NOW,
    TOO BAD HE DISAPEAR,
    THANK YOU FOR THIS INFO,
    I wonder how far he COMMODORE could be today,
    WHO WAS THE CREATOR OF THIS GENIUS ?

    ReplyReply

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