Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One Reason Why The Political Right Is Just As Dangerous As The Political Left

Alan Keyes once famously declared,” the Republican Party is dead”. Of course, he was simply stating what was obvious to anyone paying attention. Once the bastion of the moral high ground, this political hangout for "conservatives" has simply become a pale version of the Democrat Party – who’s only real effort is geared towards getting re-elected and re-assuming power. Whereas the Democrats create oppressive government and don’t pay for it, the Republicans create oppressive government and pay for it – hence the only real difference.

True Conservatives, those who base their principles on moral grounds, have no political party in America.

This is especially true in today’s environs. As we argue over the building of a Mosque at Ground Zero (no, we shouldn't allow it), Obamacare (already having a detrimental effect), and government debt (13 trillion and counting); our so-called “conservative” pundits are literally out in left field, as reported by Dave Kupelian at WNDaily :

“Conservative” superstar Ann Coulter is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at – are you ready? – the "HOMOCON 2010" conference of "conservative homosexuals" sponsored by GOProud, a Republican gay organization that backs same-sex marriage and homosexuals serving openly in the U.S. military. Excuse me, but same-sex marriage and repeal of "don't-ask-don't tell" don't sound exactly like conservative positions.

You may have heard of GOProud before – it was a proud sponsor of this year's Conservative Political Acton Conference in Washington, D.C. The largest conservative annual gathering in the country, CPAC ignored calls from genuine conservative groups not to allow GOProud to sponsor the conference.

Another so-called “conservative” pundit is Glenn Beck. To be fair to Glenn he refers to himself as a Libertarian, but also as a Conservative. Glenn recently had this exchange with Bill O’Reilly (whom I consider to be from the Left) :

O'Reilly: "Do you believe that gay marriage is a threat to the country in any way?"

Beck: "A threat to the country?"

O'Reilly: "Yeah, is it going to harm it in any way?"

Beck: (laughing) "No I don't. Will the gays come and get us?"

O'Reilly: "No, OK, is it going to harm the country in any way?"

Beck: "I believe that Thomas Jefferson said: 'If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket what difference is it to me?'"

Whoa. Is this the same Glenn Beck who previously has said he opposed same-sex marriage, even warning that legalizing gay marriage will inevitably lead to legalizing polygamy?

As adults we can somewhat understand (to a point) where Glenn is coming from here (keep the government out of our bedrooms) but one cannot agree with him on principle. Of course, gay marriage harms society. Mr. Beck, who claims to be a Christian, cannot disagree with this and be a Christian! Oil and water don’t mix! Or, as the good book says, you cannot serve two masters!

Now is a good time to remind everyone. True Christians DO NOT dislike gay people at all. The Christian attitude is one of believing the sexual act is immoral; the person is to be judged by God, not us. By the same token, an adulterer is considered in the same way. It’s the sexual act, not the person. The claim that the act is immoral, BTW, is a claim made by God, not Christians. We choose to believe God, not man!

Benjamin Wiker has done a great job of defining, by bullet-point, what political Conservatism should be, but is not, in today’s political climate. Please review his points and observe how the Republican Party does not fit the definition:

Principle # 1: “Being against” is not enough.

It is tempting to define conservatism entirely negatively, such as being “against big government” or “against taxes” or “against whatever.” The temptation comes from two sources in our own time. The first is the simple fact that the Obama Administration has tried to ram through nearly every item on the far-left agenda thereby causing a significant conservative reaction. The second arises when all the disgruntled sit down for a common tea, and realize that while they agree about what they are against, they have radical disagreements about what they should be for. But no society—and especially not one rapidly unraveling because of fundamental moral and social disagreements—can be salvaged and rebuilt without deep consensus about fundamental things.

Principle # 2: Being for liberty is not enough.

Crying up liberty is, all too frequently, merely a disguised form of “against-ism.” It allows all those who are against something—be it taxes or bureaucratic interference or obscene federal debt—to appear to be for something together. But a pro-family stalwart and a professional pornographer can both stand adamantly against burdensome taxes, bureaucratic niggling, and crushing federal debt. If liberty is defined only negatively, as “freedom from” government interference, then the chaos caused by more fundamental moral and social disagreement will remain untouched.

Principle # 3: Conservatism is more than the Constitution.

Strict adherence to the Constitution is not enough to halt our decline. The Constitution is a very short document that sets out the structure of the federal government and enumerates its powers. It doesn’t define a common way of life or even defend it, but it does presuppose it. That is, the Constitution presupposes deeply shared moral, social, economic, and political principles, and the Bill of Rights was added to protect them. But neither spells them out in the kind of detail that can actually form a common life. How mortifying—so the founders would think—that we would now be thinking it necessary to add an amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Principle # 4: Conservatism is older and larger than America.

The deepest principles of conservatism are rooted in human nature, and therefore constitute a kind of perennial wisdom that has been available to all peoples at all times. It can be found in the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, the Elizabethan dramatist Shakespeare, the 18th Century English conservative Edmund Burke, the French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville, the 20th Century Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, as well as among our own founders and citizens. The first place to retreat and regroup during our own time of moral, social, economic, and political confusion is among the great minds who have thought so carefully, deeply, and clearly about conservatism.

Principle # 5: Human wickedness is real, pervasive, and humanly ineradicable.

To say, in Principle # 4, that perennial wisdom is available to all peoples at all times should not mislead us. “Available” doesn’t mean that all nations have availed themselves of this wisdom. In that great English conservative Edmund Burke’s sober words, “History consists for the great part of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the train of disorderly appetites.” Recognition of the pervasiveness of human wickedness is an essential part of conservative wisdom, and what makes conservatism sober rather than utopian.

Principle # 6: Government cannot replace the need for moral character.

No form of government, in and of itself, can eradicate wickedness or spin the straw of “self-interest” into the gold of a prosperous and orderly commonwealth. The philosopher Immanuel Kant was dead wrong to state blithely that “As hard as it may sound, the problem of organizing a nation is solvable even for a people comprised of devils (if only they have understanding).” A nation of devils, or merely of men with thoroughly debased characters, will always cleverly use the form of government, however ingeniously contrived, for their own devilry. Democracy doesn’t cure devilry, but it can make it more equitably applied.

Principle # 7: The family is the origin and foundation of society.

The first natural social, moral, and economic unit is the family—not the individual or the state, as modern liberalism asserts. The real family, not what’s left of the family after defining deviancy down. To destroy the family is to destroy the whole social, moral, economic, and political order. To repeat Moynihan’s words, “one unmistakable lesson in American history: A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future—that community asks for and gets chaos. Crime, violence, unrest, unrestrained lashing out at the whole social structure—that is not only to be expected; it is very near to inevitable.”

Principle # 8: Good government begins in self-government.

There is rather unpleasant inverse proportion between self-government and national government: The less we govern ourselves morally, socially, and economically, the more power national government receives to shoulder our responsibilities. Men who enjoy the benefits of sexuality without the responsibilities marriage hand over to the state the task of providing economically for their wives and children, and cleaning up after the moral and psychological carnage wrought by their absence. Husbands and wives who foolishly steered their families into hopeless mortgage and credit card debt invited a federal rescue by the Socialist minded who always had believed that people were incapable of ruling themselves. Those who will not take care of their own health will usher in a government takeover of an imploded health care system.

Principle # 9: Conservatism is about the fullness of human nature.

Conservatism is more than mere economics. It was none other than Karl Marx that reduced the human being to homo economicus. When conservatives concentrate only on the economy, they by default allow liberals to define our social, moral, cultural, artistic, philosophical, scientific, and theological aspects. More damage has been done in the universities, due to the absence of the conservative mind than by all the ill-conceived government programs combined precisely because their conception occurred among the liberal intelligentsia in academia. Literature is generally debased because it has been left to those hotly defining deviancy down, and the same is true for the bilge flowing from Hollywood.

Principle # 10: Conservatism is essentially religious.

This is the last principle only because it is hardest to achieve. It is actually the first principle, since what we think about God and our place in the universe defines our understanding of human nature and the human good. If we are spiritual and material creatures made in the image of God with a defined moral good we will set ourselves up much differently as a society than if we are mere ephemeral bodies accidentally contrived by a mindless cosmos with no moral goal other than the pursuit of physical pleasure and the avoidance of physical pain. In large part, the history of the Western slide downward is essentially one of increased secularization; that is, a slide from the first view to the second. Defining deviancy down is, again, the way that the left has moved all the boundary markers.

It is very obvious that Glenn and Ann don't adhere to these guidelines.

We Americans may end up reinstating the Republicans this November, but, it will not make any difference in the long run.

The Observer

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