What is a Conservative?

Here is an excerpt from an editorial written by Glenn Beck on CNN.com detailing what he thinks it means to be conservative.

So what are my core values, the things that I refuse to compromise on? To figure that out, I decided to try to define what I think a conservative really believes.

A conservative believes that our inalienable rights do not include housing, healthcare or Hummers.

A conservative believes that our inalienable rights DO include the pursuit of happiness. That means it is guaranteed to no one.

A conservative believes that those who pursue happiness and find it have a right to not be penalized for that success.

A conservative believes that there are no protections against the hardship and heartache of failure. We believe that the right to fail is just as important as the chance to succeed and that those who do fail learn essential lessons that will help them the next time around.

A conservative believes in personal responsibility and accepts the consequences for his or her words and actions.

A conservative believes that real compassion can’t be found in any government program.

A conservative believes that each of us has a duty to take care of our neighbors. It was private individuals, companies and congregations that sent water, blankets and supplies to New Orleans far before the government ever set foot there.

A conservative believes that family is the cornerstone of our society and that people have a right to manage their family any way they see fit, so long as it’s not criminal. We are far more attuned to our family’s needs than some faceless, soulless government program.

A conservative believes that people have a right to worship the God of their understanding. We also believe that people do not have the right to jam their version of God (or no God) down anybody else’s throat.

A conservative believes that people go to the movies to be entertained and to church to be preached to, not the other way around.

A conservative believes that debt creates unhealthy relationships. Everyone, from the government on down, should live within their means and strive for financial independence.

A conservative believes that a child’s education is the responsibility of the parents, not the government.

A conservative believes that every human being has a right to life, from conception to death.

A conservative believes in the smallest government you can get without anarchy. We know our history: The larger a government gets, the harder it will fall.

Those are the things a conservative believes in, and they’re the things that I believe in. Now, if only I could find a candidate to match.

I tend to agree with most of what he says here.

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4 thoughts on “What is a Conservative?”

  1. Shappy says:

    And actually, for the most part, I agree with those values as well. The issue I have is selective application of those values. How does a massive military budget coincide with the smallest government you can get without anarchy? There is no need to develop a missile defense shield bordering Russia unless your goal is to antagonize other nations. How does minimalist government coincide with library book searches, warrant-less wiretapping, the "Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973"(which mandated HMOs for companies thus inflating our health care costs), plus a ballooning federal deficit being paid for essentially by deflating the currency. If you are going to do all these things, you need to either raise taxes considerably, or trim the fat on government spending. The problem I have with most with GOP solutions is they decide to cut costs where they are least needed as opposed to cutting farm subsidies, the drug wars, limiting the defense budget by avoiding R&D deals with subcontractors, and if you are serious about Iraq, stop using mercenaries and either institute a draft or move soldiers from Afghanistan. The Democratic solution is just to tax more and add even more layers of pork to the bloated budget.

    Health care could be fixed fairly easily without socializing it; the issue is and has always been the costs. Remove the HMO bureaucracy, allow generics to enter the marketplace after a few years, and change health insurance from health care insurance to health emergency insurance. People without insurance shouldn't have to face potential bankruptcy due to a life threatening illness.

  2. lcjs says:

    Well, Shappy, I would have to say that a massive military budget is a good thing in the sense that military superiority is a way of preserving American lives while they defend us. If and when we go to war, it gives us the best chance to win. Same for the defense shield, as the government's purpose is to protect its citizens against an aggressor.

    A lot of things can be justified in the name of saving lives. Just like how a policeman can enter a residence or pull over a car because of suspicious behavior, so too the government has that ability. I'm not going to defend the act of wiretapping without a warrant (which shows cause), as I think that commission could be set up to quickly grant warrants as the occasion arises. Hell the FISA act is something that Bush, McCain and Obama support.

    It should not be the government's job to spy on its own citizens, but citizens also need to understand that there are people in this country that want to do us harm… so something needs to be in place to stop them, as they will use our own laws against us.

    Health care should not be the business of the government. That should be between a doctor and a patient, so eliminate HMOs. Charity is also a big help when it comes to health care.

    When I think of cutting spending, I think of pork projects that both parties indulge in. I think of programs that have redundant government oversight and miles of red tape. If we take the responsibility of government away from running our lives, we would save tones of money.

  3. lcjs says:

    I disagree that terrorism is overblown, especially after terror attacks hit Europe and they continue to make threatening videos. If someone killed someone in your family and then made threatening videos saying they were going to come back and finish the job, would you want to police to say that the situation is "overblown?" I have no sympathy for those Islamic Fundamentalists who want to do the U.S. or any other free country harm. Regardless of their reasons, they are getting what they deserve.

    When dealing with another country, the power of our military can act as a deterrent, making them think twice about crossing us.

    As for offshore drilling, you couldn't be more wrong. The people who look for oil have stated that our oil reserves, located in layers of shale, rival that Saudi Arabia, including a large patch located under the Midwest. That amount could last us for a long time – enough time for us to work out a plan for life after oil. It could also allow us to get off of Mid East oil. Oil companies have said that if given the go ahead today to start drilling, they could completely handle our current energy needs in only 5 years.

    Gas quotas?! Thank you Jimmy Carter for showing us the flaws in that plan.

    As for charity, community groups rarely turn someone in need away. Perhaps you should fake a belief in God to get some money – after all, if you don't believe in religion, then you should have no fear of any retribution in the afterlife! 🙂

    I could agree with emergency visits being covered by something, like a personal FEMA (car accident, appendectomy, pregnancy – after all, they are giving birth to another tax payer).

  4. Shappy says:

    Two things: one is I for one doubt how large a threat the rest of the world is to me as a US citizen. I think the terrorism threat has been overblown even since 9/11 and much of the anger directed toward the US from the middle east could be averted by limiting our dependence on energy. Again, that depends on your opinion of US foreign policy for the past 50 years of which I feel has been somewhat of a black mark during the cold war. However, I feel drilling offshore is a waste of time(especially since at peak it won’t provide a sizable dent in our consumption and it will take a minimum of 10 years to begin to produce) and more effort should be spent on reorganizing american life to use less energy(i.e. walkable cities, scaling back of suburbia, mass transit, gas quotas, local food production). If you ever get a chance, read a book called “Beyond Oil” by Kenneth Deffeyes, it gives you a good idea on how alternative energy sources(including oil shale, coal) will work in the next few decades without the apocalyptic crazy talk you sometimes get in peak oil books.

    Secondly, charity is considered the cure all for the malaise of the poor, but its not a guarantee for all, especially those not affiliated with the community(i.e. people such as myself who do not belong to any religious group or have any family nearby). I believe emergency procedures need to be covered by some sort of health care system, either private or public. Its the day to day stuff that I feel should be between doctor and patient only without any interference from a third party.

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