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Being Conservative

The last several years there has been an increasingly identifying label among the youth and the new politically aware.  Not exclusively to America’s youth but primarily so, I think.  They have chosen to rally around slogans like End the Fed or bellicose chants about liberty or the constitution.  They tend to label themselves as libertarians and followers of their cult-like figure, Congressman Ron Paul, MD.  Dr. Paul, in the majority of his ardent followers, considers him akin to our founding fathers, especially, Thomas Jefferson.  I contest both as Dr. Paul’s economic and foreign policy are simply inappropriate for such a diverse nation and in how a nation such as America needs to interact with foreign powers.   The essay is not intended to be an analysis of Dr. Paul but of what is libertarian and what is conservative.  Of course, the founder of the modern conservative movement is none other than William F. Buckley, Jr. and his economist friend that helped to propel economic policy along more conservative lines, Milton Friedman.  Supporters of Dr. Paul always retort with the line that Buckley and MF were self-described libertarians.  Nothing could be further from the truth.   There is a blurring or sharing of conservative values/issues amongst the libertarian crowd.  If you were to create a Venn diagram there would be a mutually inclusive set of values; however, there would be a much larger exclusive set.   Inclusive values such as the belief in the foundations of our great Republic: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  They also included love of country, family, fiscal restraint and individualism.  Where they dramatically depart is in methods of restoring fiscal conservatism and more pointedly, foreign policy both military and economic.   Libertarians have a decidedly isolationist overtone to their outlook on our dealings with foreign nations.  They simply want a mass retreat both fiscally and economically. They seek to end, overnight, all foreign aid.  They seek an immediate cessation of all conflicts in which the American military is engaged, no matter the costs, both politically and militarily.  They simply want to retreat from the modern world.   Our great ocean barriers were defeated with the advent of ICBM’s and silent running SSN’s[1]. Plus, the onslaught of international terrorism that knows no borders and has no respect for anyone whom is not a complete clone of themselves.  Here is a marked difference in what is libertarian and what being conservative means.  WFB hammered into his students/followers that, knowing full well that conservative tenets positively correlate with our founding fathers intent and our federal constitution, that it should not encourage us to become dictators to those who are less enlightened than ourselves or did not have direct or indirect access to the great conservative writers/philosophers.[2]   Being conservative does not mean that we dictate our policies and beliefs to the less knowing masses.  It means just that that we align ourselves with our foundations as a sovereign nation knowing full well that as our nation grew we naturally had to yield more and more pure individual liberty.  Example:  A family living in western Ohio Valley circa 1750 had absolute and unlimited liberty.  They could go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober with no regard of their neighbors, for they had few if any. They could literally walk out their front door and shoot their rifle to the horizon not knowing or caring if they were to hit a much distant neighbor.  They could raise a drunk and...