Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Conservatism Defined and Defended - Bucks County Courier Times August 28, 2008

I've been exerting a lot of energy lately trying to get along with others until I read the recent Guest Opinion by John Cordisco, the Chairman of the Bucks County Democrat Committee. His attack on core American Conservative values made me realize that I'm much happier when I'm angry and divisive. Mr. Cordisco demonstrates a vivid misunderstanding of Conservatism, but he shouldn't feel alone - many Republicans also share his views.
Conservatism is a belief of limited government, low taxes and free markets. This is the fundamental foundation of our nation's fiber. Conservatism knows no political party. There are plenty of Conservative Democrats just as there are many Conservative Republicans. This is especially timely today where there seems to be little difference between the two Parties. It's as if you know you're making a bad decision by voting Democrat vs. the perception that you're not by voting Republican.
The problem is "leadership" (or lack thereof). There are many very well organized special interest groups competing for their unfair share of the public treasury. Any candidate or politician who opposes their selfish and radical agendas risks a very well funded and targeted attack. Those who support these objectives, even though they often conflict with good governance, can be rewarded with significant campaign funding. Many just play it safe by declaring themselves "moderates" where they stand for nothing, take no positions and get nothing done.
Leadership can be defined by how a person influences others to accomplish a worthwhile objective and/or improve the cohesiveness of a group through ethics, character and skill. Some examples of good leadership are keeping your word, standing up for what's right, making sound and timely decisions, being considerate to others, treating everyone equally, sharing hardships and helping someone who's in trouble.
An example of Conservative leadership solving problems would be to address the remarkable inefficiency in our great healthcare system. A good Conservative leader would eliminate the dead wood created by the incredibly expensive and senseless defensive medicine caused by a predatory legal environment. The clinical expertise of doctors and nurses would return to the forefront replacing the wild amounts of excessive testing and paperwork that takes away from patient care. Free markets would replace government mandates in selecting health plans to greatly reduce costs and waste while significantly improving efficiency and performance.
Conservatism is usually identified with the Republican Party. The Republican Party was formed in 1854 specifically to oppose the pro-slavery policies of the Democrats. Ever since, Democrats have gone to great lengths to make everyone equal while Republicans acknowledge that everyone already is. After the Civil War, though, Republicans became the corrupt Party that they opposed and, over time, both Parties continued to cycle back and forth. The values that have remained constant are those of our nation's founding - Conservative Values.
The opposite of Conservatism is bureaucracy, bigger and ever expanding government, inefficiency and corruption. It's no wonder, then, that those who seek money from special interests groups to fund their campaigns criticize honest and effective policies. Fortunately, there are a few good people out there and quite often there are some great candidates.
I can't speak for the Democrat Party, but I can suggest that Republicans would benefit tremendously from appreciating the true heritage of the GOP. Taking "moderate" positions while abandoning their Conservative roots is why Republicans are losing membership in Bucks County (and elsewhere). Even worse are those Republicans who pretend to be Conservatives but aren't. Maybe these are to whom Mr. Cordisco was refering.