This was brought up in the comments yesterday by someone, and it made me think. What does it mean to me to be a conservative? Why am I so passionate about it?
The short answer I gave was this:
In my mind, the most basic conservative principles are small government and accountability. There’s a little more too it than that, but stripping it down to it’s core, that’s what I feel is the most important. The government is there to protect us from each other – not ourselves.
I just want to expand a little more on that. As a Christian, I know that my actions are subject to judgment from God, and only God. He allows us to make our own choices, and therefore, I will make my choices based on what I think He would want from me… which is where the accountability comes in. I am not accountable to the government, and I don’t want them all up in my business. I am accountable to God. I think the government’s job is to protect us from each other – and I mean that in a global sense – but they cannot protect us from ourselves.
How do we get the government to stay out of things? It’s pretty simple – limit their power. The smaller, the better. Don’t give them control over our health care. Don’t let them buy up all our debt – all that does is transfer our debt to the banks over to the government – now we pay them back instead. The government has already gotten its hands into things it shouldn’t (marriage being the prime example), and all it does is complicate things. The more they control, the less you control. It’s as simple as that.
The biggest problem in our country today is the loss of accountability. We are constantly given an easy way out, and the bailouts are the most glaring example of this. Mismanaged, failing companies are given a multi-billion dollar band-aid instead of being forced to file chapter 11 or sell. Get pregnant at 16? It’s okay, you can have an abortion and not tell your parents about it. Buy a house you can’t afford? It’s cool, the bank will foreclose and our tax dollars will pay for your mistake. The sense of entitlement, especially among my generation, is out of control.
Our government is run by imperfect people. People are greedy and they screw things up. Is this cynical? Maybe, but there’s no doubt that we’re imperfect. Why then should I put my faith in the imperfect? The current corruption in our leaders has created a nationwide distrust similar to that following Watergate. Yet still, we feel like we can hand over our health and finances to them. They’ve proven repeatedly that they’re not good with money – why are we giving them even more of our tax dollars? Want to stimulate the economy, federal government? Give the people their tax dollars back and let them spend it. Let them support the businesses that are failing, and you may not have to bail them out.
So, to summarize, leave me alone, federal government. Protect me from our enemies. Keep me safe. That is your job. Please do not try to spend my money or be my moral compass. When you put yourself in competition with my God, you will lose.
I opened up this question to Twitter and got an amazing response. Here are some of my favorites:
mclouthier @pinkelephantpun I’m conservative because I’m rational, love God, family and country, believe in small government and big freedom
b @pinkelephantpun because I believe in the existence of right & wrong, good & evil, & that things that are good & right should be defended.
flybabymoni @pinkelephantpun I believe in Life, Liberty and the “pursuit” of Happiness, not the guarantee of Happiness
madpoet @pinkelephantpun Principles and critical thinking.
JennyErikson @pinkelephantpun Im cons. bc I believe that big govt undermines the intelligence and integrity of Americans. No one owes you a favor!
MattKeough @pinkelephantpun because one day i just decided to deal with the world as it is, not how I wanted it to be
RobMartin @pinkelephantpun because it just makes sense
And my personal favorite:
seanhackbarth @pinkelephantpun Have you seen the women at GOP conventions?
Remarkably, only one person said it was because they hate poor people and minorities.