Some years back, many political activists who at one time referred to their politics as ‘liberal’, discarded that word in favor of a new term, ‘progressive’. This was no accident, ‘liberal’ having accumulated a lot of negative weight due to, well, the sheer hypocrisy of its public behavior. The word liberal is commonly defined to mean expansive, open-minded, with the connotation of tolerance and good will. And that meaning made sense for many years, as Liberal activists sought to protect civil rights for minorities, establish equal protection under the law for all America citizens, and to improve social acceptance of different cultures and beliefs. But almost immediately after the Civil Rights Act was passed, the standards and tactics of Liberalism began to shift, become exclusive to radical politics, a willingness to suborn the will of the public through selective court actions designed to overturn legal elections, and demonization of political targets through character assassination. Liberal activists sold the lie that only Whites could be racist, asserted that non-citizens, illegal aliens, and even sworn enemies of the United States held the same legal rights and privileges as born Americans, and flooded the mainstream media with innuendo, libel and slander against leading Conservatives. While this was sometimes effective in winning elections or targeted court battles, in general the public found such tactics unethical and began to reject them. So, Liberal activists changed their tag to ‘Progressive’, in the hope of re-branding their image rather than facing the real failing of their behavior and unethical conduct.
To counter the moral failing of their politics, Liberal activists targeted selected Conservative leaders for alleged hypocrisy. In some cases, the accusations were valid, and were most effective when a selected “right-wing” politician was involved in a sex scandal. One problem for the Left, however, was that for every real scandal involving a Conservative, at least as many Liberal politicians were similarly involved. A further problem for the Left, was that the so-called “Family Values” which they mocked were in many cases not what leading Conservatives built their platforms upon. While Republicans have done a dismal job in the past decade of identifying their goals and making their arguments to build voter support, Conservatives have clear values that have been around for a generation, and if only a leading politician would embrace them as fully as Ronald Reagan did, the political landscape of the United States could heal in an amazingly short time. Certainly the record of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi junta thus far has left people hungry for real leadership.
In the blogosphere, Liberal/Progressive activists react shrilly to criticism of their hypocrisy, by trying to paint Conservatives in perjorative colors and demanding that Conservatives live by Liberal standards of conduct. To some degree, I suspect this comes from a subconscious aversion by Liberals to facing what Conservatives really believe.
I would submit that the following ideals are true Conservative values:
1. The Constitution of the United States exists to restrain government, not the people. The rights of the people do not depend on government to exist.
2. Taxes are necessary, but should be limited as much as possible, due to the fact that taxation inevitably lowers productivity and economic effectiveness, and therefore is a hindrance to individual accomplishment.
3. Only American citizens enjoy the full protections of American law. And anyone who denies citizenship of any specific nation has abandoned his rights to protection under the law.
4. Elections are more valid than the ruling from any single judge.
5. No sub-group of Americans have any rights which are not rights of all Americans. The law applies to all, or to none.
6. No kings here; Presidential Proclamations may be used for genuine crisis and emergency, but not in place of legislation and never in defiance of the Constitution.
7. Once our military is committed to a war, the nation is committed to victory and the full support of the mission.