Thursday, March 11, 2010
What Does It Mean To Be Conservative?
This excellent opinion by Jack Hunter addresses the "pro-war" and "Wilsonian-Spread-Democracy" ideology that has been spread as gospel by so many of the mainstream "Conservative" figures such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush et al. The idea of preemptive and preventative war fits more a mold consistent with the "Neo-Conservative" brand politics which was formally articulated by the late Irving Kristol. I disagree with this brand of Conservatism and implore anyone who considers themselves "Conservative" to research in history the political figures who advocated this style of interventionist foreign policy that was perpetuated by the "military industrial complex" Eisenhauer warned us all about.
My personal position rests on the philosophy of a Jeffersonian non-interventionist style foreign policy for many reasons. I believe our military footprint around the world is a threat to our national security and a threat to our economic and individual liberties. It's ironic that some who advocate limited government ignore the self evident truths of how the expansion of government overwhelmingly benefits the state as seen during wartime spending and the lobbying of an ever growing military apparatus. Randolph Bourne was aware of this revelation and correctly stated, "War is the health of the State."
An emerging divide is been brewing between certain factions of the Tea Party and Conservative movement through an honest discourse based on merits of non-intervention. Reasonable people have valid points on the both sides of the foreign policy debate, but we should all be wise to look into history how the costs of war can be so harmful to an economy. The nation must take an honest and objective look at our foreign policy from past to present since war undoubtedly has consequences on civil and economic liberties.
Such Conservatives as the William F. Buckley, Robert Novak, George Will, Barry Goldwater, Robert Taft, Thomas Woods, Andrew Napolitano, and others have advocated a Washingtonian/Jeffersonian style foreign policy (not to be confused with "isolationism") which the founders invisioned. Switzerland could be argued to fit the model our founders would look to as a shining example of how to lead by example, yet be well positioned to fend off threats to its liberty. Swiss citizens on average have between 2-3 firearms in their place of residence for a good reason and enjoy relatively few if any problems from their neighboring countries.
I don't ask everyone to agree with me, but I do ask people to take a moment to perform a "gut check" on the role a national "defense" (not national "offense") should play when securing FREEDOM. One of the primary reasons the Federalists wanted a loose union versus a Confederation (advocated by the anti-Federalists) was to enjoy the use of a national defense that would be enjoyed by all to ensure liberty and not to create a domestic or international police state to keep us safe and secure. The national defense was meant to secure our natural rights that are endowed to us through our Creator and to be an example to others of how to build wealth, prosperity, and yes peace through commerce, exchange, and honest friendship.