What does it matter?
When discussing such issues I often hear questions like: “What does it matter? This only serves to drive a wedge between conservatives!”, “Why label everyone? The left is united!”, or “Why would you be so divisive? Are you a closet liberal?”.
The answer to “What does it matter?” is multifaceted. For one, what does “conservative” even mean anymore? I answer that question with a question rather facetiously, but then again, what does it mean? Look at the past two decades of change, the past half century, and the past century. Look at the Republican Party, the supposed party of the conservatives and small government, and where it has gone and where it is going – it’s actually left of center now.Second, we tend to think for ourselves – or at least we think we do (more on this later). The more I learn, the more I realize that even right wing media is biased. Just look at the content of pro-Trump sites versus that of anti-Trump sites. How could objective journalists possibly generate such disparate conclusions on similar topics?
Third, I honestly feel that there is a balance of ideologies and principles near to that which the founding fathers embraced that is the quintessential place for us to fulfill their vision of a perfect union. The Constitution matters.
Fourth, even though I think I am close to realizing the path to that utopia today, I will find tomorrow that I was wrong yesterday. We must acquaint ourselves with the differences and learn how to articulate our stances, beliefs, and the solutions. Only then will we bring ourselves closer to the blueprint for a return to our ordained fortune (or fate, if we continue against God’s will).
The Types of Conservatism
The term “conservative” seems to be thrown around so loosely today that it hardly bears meaning. Even if there were a consensus on a particular meaning in one political sphere, then there’d be a whole new series of questions regarding the social or economic field. This deems the initial questions asked completely relevant. Even more germane, especially to a constitutionist, is which type(s) of conservatism is compatible with the Constitution and an originalist interpretation of it?
First, for the sake of simplicity, let’s agree that including the moderate (or centrist) segment of these philosophies would only complicate the process of distinguishing them. Next, we’ll generalize into two distinct categories that are the most prominent in modern thought, while realizing that other schools of thought overlap them. Some of those conservative persuasions will be discussed in context to their relation to the primary two types of conservatism that envelop both economic and social conservatism, at least to a degree.
Old and New
Modern conservatism, old and new, originated as a response to the New Deal. It was no longer as simple as big government vs. little government. The former global Communist movements were giving way to a much more obscure, cunning, and deliberate movement of socialist gradualism a la Fabian Society. The Great Depression softened a desperate nation’s perception of government social programs, and Keynesian economics crept into existence shrouding its true and nefarious intentions with the benevolent misnomer, “The New Deal”. See John Maynard Keynes’s “An Open Letter to President Roosevelt“.
The right, or the “Old Right” as it’s known historically, coalesced in opposition, recognizing that the newfangled policies of the day must be overturned or they would become a permanent fixture in our society. These predecessors of programs like ‘Obamacare’ would prove their paranoia was warranted. The left’s newly adopted policy of socialist gradualism was in full swing and the American people were hypnotized with the notion that big government was their saving grace.
This “Old Right” espoused the branch of conservatism knows as “paleo-conservatism”. This ideology is truly antithetical to what the left represented. These were the primary competing ideologies until the Post-World War II ‘Cold War’ began. Eventually the left began to abandon their Wilsonian, interventionist foreign policies, and leftists who refused to comply with the new vision shifted to the right and joined forces with the moderate sect of the conservative movement which was all too eager to switch positions and accommodate them in opposition to the “New Left”. The Council on Foreign Relations-type Republicans rapidly made the shift into a position of globalism and use of American might to transform the world. What the new right, or the “neo-conservative” movement didn’t project on the unwitting populace was the fact that this plays right into the gradualist plan for worldwide socialism.
That’s right guys… If you are a neocon then you are complicit in the growth of government and the spread of socialism, along with the promotion of an imperialist, one world government goal that has been announced as a goal on many occasions throughout the 20th century; whether inadvertently or not.
How did they manage to do it?
The neo-conservative movement, headed up by prominent journalists of the Post-WWII ‘Cold War’ era, easily swayed the public. Liberal Republicans, such as CFR member and Trotskyist, Irving Kristol, influenced the movement for generations to come. In fact, Mr. Kristol, father of neo-con editor of The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, is known as the “godfather of neo-conservatism”. It’s no surprise that his son and protégé, Bill, frantically sought out neo-cons to run against populist faux-conservative pick, Donald Trump. He settled on unknown neo-con, CFR member, former CIA agent and UN officer, and former employee of Goldman Sachs, Evan McMullin. True to form, Mr. McMullin’s primary Super PAC is headed by Democrats and his campaign by establishment neo-cons.
One of Mr. “godfather of neo-conservatism”, Irving Kristol’s, most famous quotes came from his book, ‘Neo-Conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea’. It reads “A neoconservative is a liberal who’s been mugged by reality.”
The media is no different today, in fact it’s worse. Supposedly representative voices, such as Fox News and Breitbart, masquerade as conservative media outlets while perpetuating the liberal, neo-conservative nonsense that has been touted by the Republican Party since the Great Depression. They would have us believe as the Democrats of the 1920’s and 1930’s, that without American might projected throughout the world, the world as we know it would inevitably implode.
What is it?
Let’s elaborate on what neo-conservatism consists of and specifically what these positions represent, apart from liberalism (no, not a compliment such as classical liberalism would be, actual leftist policies) and world socialism. A brief summary of stances consist of: interventionist policies, membership in international organizations that subvert our national sovereignty, continuation of unsustainable social programs, cronyism, central banking, maintaining an unconstitutionally centralized government, security-over-liberty pro-police state views, advocacy of foreign aid, loose (non-originalist) interpretation of the Constitution, among others.
While it’s nearly impossible to choose any of these elements over others, in regards to importance, the pro-Federal Reserve/elastic currency view and the interventionist policy stances are probably the most impactful. Ranking right alongside them would be the endless support for social programs. Why? Well, they are all interlinked, as touched upon briefly earlier in the article. These all create a pointless cycle of dependency upon the government.
First, you have the Federal Reserve that creates money from nothing. That money is created out of debt (nothing) and backed by our government. It isn’t even partially backed by gold or any specie. To make a 600 page book explaining this process, shorter, this causes the hidden tax – inflation – which hits the poor and the middle class the hardest. The two most expensive programs a government can undertake are war/militarism and entitlements/social programs. War and militarism creates debt at an unparalleled rate. Social programs convey an image of a safety net that one pays into that will be there when/if needed. The problem arises when that nasty hidden tax called inflation hits and the money cannot mathematically be there for the recipients without more taxes being levied on the people. This is where the 16th Amendment became so retrospectively handy. Under the system for constitutionally raising funds for our first 140-odd years, tariffs created much of the income needed for government funding. As always, that cost was passed on to the consumers. The difference was that it was limited to what could be loaned to government and repaid to a lender under the old system. Free markets would handle the rest and our manufacturing and farming sectors were protected and the government was limited to what it could collect, as it pertained to expenditures. Devaluation of the dollar, however, is virtually limitless and eventually, through gradualism, the entire world will fall prey to socialism.
It requires cronyism, corruption, an unconstitutional centralized bureaucracy, and a disinterested populace, to keep such a flawed set of ideologies at the forefront of our polity; especially with a Constitution carefully constructed to prevent such atrocities. One would believe that a free press would adequately convey the message when all else fails, but the press is just as manipulated as our government, unfortunately.
There have only been a small quantity of influential paleo-conservative voices in the past 3/4 of a century. This is no doubt a direct result of a biased media, particularly on the right. One of the strongest paleo-conservative voices to take an early stand against the dangerous new liberal wing of the Republican Party was Senator Robert A. Taft, son of President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Howard Taft. Unfortunately for America, President Taft lost his reelection bid to Woodrow Wilson in 1912. Woodrow Wilson presided over the office of the Presidency during the most disastrous and consequential legislation and constitutional amending of our nation’s history; the Federal Reserve Act, and the ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendments of our Constitution. These would pave way for the New Deal and the Great Society.
Senator Taft earned the moniker “Mr. Republican” due to his staunchly principled views and unapologetic defense of paleo-conservatism. Unlike it would be today, that wasn’t a pejorative term. Senator Taft is typically named one of the greatest Senators in history among historians. Another prominent figure has been Mr. Patrick Buchanan, although his recent support of Donald Trump signals an unfortunate lapse of judgement and propensity to once again support party over principle, on his part. Only a couple of organizations still defend these truly conservative views, but a growing number of individuals seem to be seeking the truth alas, as the Republican Party can no longer conceal its views antithetical to true conservatism.
What is Paleo-conservatism?
Opposite those views referenced regarding neo-conservatism, paleo-conservatism is overtly non-interventionist, while pledging to maintain the strongest military on Earth; anti-Federal Reserve; opposition to UN membership, or any organizations that surrender American sovereignty; privatization of any social safety net programs; closure of all unconstitutional central government agencies; a return to a fiscally responsible, decentralized government; a return to the Christian principles we were founded upon as a nation; and an original interpretation of the Constitution with an emphasis on the intent of the founding fathers. Any variation on conservatism or constitutionism that doesn’t reciprocate these views are not a valid form at all.
Variations and Their Relation
Constitutional conservatism is a misnomer thrown around for those who follow certain Washington politicians who adhere to Judicial Supremacy rather than original intent. If your form of constitutionalism consists of reciting Supreme Court decisions, you only think that you’re a constitutional conservative. True constitutional conservatism is paleo-conservatism.
Other similar ideologies include fusionism and paleo-libertarianism. Conservatarians, or fusionists, are an ideology that combines conservatism with libertarianism. Frank Meyer popularized the fusionist ideology. Other figures known as fusionists were Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Conservatarians are considered very similar in ideology and often include politicians such as Rand and Ron Paul when discussed.
The more time passes, the more I realize that the founding fathers and their hard debated vision for our nation was the ideal formula for a free and prosperous republic. What they did not plan on was an imperceptive and apathetic citizenry, especially after all they went through to ensure their posterity’s liberty. Study this ideology and take heed before it’s too late.
The Constitution Party is currently the only party in the nation that espouses paleo-conservatism. It is the 5th largest party in the nation and one of only five parties recognized nationally by the FEC. The Republican Party does not have your best interests at heart. It has power and money as its primary aspirations. Join now, get involved, and save our great nation. God Bless.
by Clint Bishop