Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Would the Real Conservatives Please Stand Up!
The other night I did a little detective work. One often hears about this congressman or that congressman being “the most conservative member” of his or her respective body. So I decided to look at what some of the major trackers of this type of statistics yield.
Before getting to the results, I would like to answer the question for you, for its answer is a simple one. Ron Paul is hands down the most conservative member of the US House of Representatives. He has been a stalwart defender of liberty and the Constitution that protects that liberty throughout his entire career, while exercising unwavering consistency in the positions he holds. Dr. Paul is 100% pro-life; pro-2nd Amendment; pro-small, limited government; and pro-individual liberty. Moreover, he has been committed to peace, freedom, and our founding principles even when others have failed to be so. It doesn’t take much to argue that Dr. Paul is the most conservative congressman serving; however, Ron Paul is found nowhere near the top of the list. He is far down it, in fact, with a liberal index of 39.8 and a 60.2 on the conservative index according to the National Journal.
How could this be? Many of you would say, “Well…Ron Paul is more of a libertarian than a conservative.” To that I would respond, “You need a lesson on ideological labels, my friend.” (Stay tune to my blog as I will provide that lesson in the coming days.) Of course, he is a libertarian, but that does not mean he is not a conservative. See no Constitutionalist can be a pure libertarian, for he is bound by the document to give up the exercise of some of his liberties in order to form a civil society. For example, no one can deprive another of life, liberty, or property without due process of law because of the parchment barriers set up by our Constitution, while in a pure libertarian sense one can do anything he pleases even if it deprives others of their liberties. Moreover, since Dr. Paul is a Constitutionalist, he seeks to conserve the principles set out in the document (and yes those principle are libertarian ones). You see, every true American conservative is a libertarian to some degree, and what we are conserving is libertarianism. Therefore, Dr. Paul’s libertarian views are completely consistent with American conservatism because they are not carried to the point of constitutional disregard. For example, Dr. Paul is absolutely pro-life because he sees no constitutional justification for it and actually sees the opposite. Most likely, a pure libertarian would be pro-choice in the matter. Look to Dr. Paul’s views on illegal immigration for further evidence in which he breaks ranks with pure libertarians and finds himself once again firmly in the camp of conservatives.
Dr. Paul exhibits all the qualities one associates with conservatism. Again, he is 100% pro-life; pro-2nd Amendment; pro-small, limited government; and pro-individual liberty. Why then do these trackers of “conservatism” not give him his rightful spot atop the list? Because conservatism has been perverted to mean something that it is not.
No longer is non-interventionism preached by so-called “conservatives.” Now people act as if war-mongering and hawkish militarism are conservative principles. They never have been and never should be. Moreover, so-called “conservative” are guilty of double speak when it comes to the size and roles of government. They claim to want limited government, but call upon the government, not one’s individual responsibility, to govern moral failings. They claim to be against a “nanny state,” but allow for government welfare when they deem the recipient noble. The problem is a lack of consistency. Until American conservatives become consistent and defend our Constitution, like Dr. Paul and other ostracized conservatives, there is no hope for the ideas we believe in, there is no hope for a return to first principles, and there is no hope for America.