What is it about labels in the world of politics that always leaves us having to redefine what is meant by a certain “label”? In today’s modern age, the word “republican” doesn’t even carry the same platform as it did back in the early days of our country. Citizens also tend to vote the way they were reared by their parents, or influenced by their friends, and especially what they hear on the MEDIA. Would you ever have thought that “labels” would influence our society the way they have and possess such power?
Probably one of the more powerful tools that the “labels” have is the media. Has it ever occurred to us that the media is going to tell us what they want us to know? This doesn’t matter what party one is affiliated with as it pertains to all of them. This point is illustrated when we hear politicians giving speeches. What always follows the speech…the commentator from the media giving their spin on what the context of the speech was. Our fellow citizens are so busy and consumed with the daily grind of living that most just listen freely to how the spin is spun and then draw their conclusions. Very few actually take the time to thoroughly research the politicians to learn how they have voted on issues, things they may have said, etc… Thorough research can be invaluable for us because the way we vote right now impacts future generations. In other words, our children’s and grand children’s future hinges on how we vote today. This leads me to the premiss for my topic today: Anyone but a constitutional conservative.
Let me first start with properly defining in my terms what a constitutional conservative is. This label I’ve given defines a person who exhibits fiscal responsibility when spending tax payer dollars, one who is committed to forcing politicians to uphold their sworn oaths to defend the Constitution, and one who recognizes the values and morals that made America a prosperous country are being greatly threatened. There are plenty of fellow citizens who exibit all of these defining points, but there is one thing that is crystal clear: our federal government and to a large degree, our state governments do not want those who exhibit the points I defined in an elected position, and why is that? Well, lets look at what it means to exhibit each point and try to find the answer:
1. “One who exhibits fiscal responsibility”:
This person would take the time to distinguish between the “needs” and “wants” for America and then ask the crucial questions of: how much will this actually cost? Can we afford this expenditure? Is there enough money in our checkbook to pay for this? If we have to borrow money, can we pay back the principle and interest on this debt? It’s quite obvious to all of this that Congress has performed exceptionally poor in this crucial category. Many states have also become very irresponsible as well regarding prudent fiduciary matters in their state.
2. “One who is committed to forcing elected officials to uphold their sworn oaths to defend the United States Constitution” :
Lets face it, when was the last time we saw Congress all come together and agree to uphold their sworn oaths. Oh, they may say they have upheld their oaths but that could likely be because they have a misguided understanding as to what the Constitution says. Most of the elected officials I hear crying out that “this is constitutional” or “that is not constitutional” literally never say WHY it is or isn’t and then prove it by citing the provision in the Constitution in which they are defending or attacking. The points or merits to their opinion rarely get debated and thus the misguided understanding continues. But on occasion, we will be fortunate to find that RARE person who has decided to do the necessary homework and actually learn what the Constitution says and the context which was meant AT THE TIME it was written. It’s important that we have a clear understanding of the premiss of each provision of the Constitution in order to defend our points on it.
3. “One who recognizes the values and morals that made America a prosperous country are greatly being threatened”:
Regardless of one’s chosen form of religion or even lack thereof, it’s been proven beyond a shadow of doubt that America was indeed formed based on certain values and beliefs. It was these values and beliefs and the desire to defend them that are responsible for America becoming a prosperous country and a truly exceptional nation as Alexis De Tocqueville described. Some people begin to feel “threatened” when we discuss America’s true heritage because they might not agree with it, but that does not mean we should ignore it just because a select few feel threatened by it. This country has documentation recorded in Congressional records and books that date back to when our country was formed. As with the Constitution, it is also important that we try to use sources that are pertinent to the time period in question when wanting to learn what values and beliefs were held during the formation of the United States of America. If we wanted to know what it was like to live back in the 1950′s and 1960′s, would we stand a greater chance of learning the truth from someone who lived in 1980, or would it be more logical to use sources that were dated in the 1950′s and 1960′s in order to learn what it was like? Such is true when trying to learn about the heritage of America and the foundation to which she was built. It’s easy to recite what somebody tells us about America, but can they prove their point based on solid facts? That is the question that needs to be asked.
As we have explored what defines a constitutional conservative, why would it be difficult to get a person with these admirable qualities elected to office? I think the reason it is particularly difficult for these people to gain traction if elected to office, is because America has largely become an entitlement society and most of the elected officials do not want to tell the citizens, “I’m sorry and no”. People as well as politicians have literally become hooked on entitlements. We hear the same cries all the time from certain groups of citizens who want our federal and state governments to pick up the bill for this or for that….they’ve become “hooked” on whatever entitlement they’ve been given and they believe that it is the government who is paying for it. What they fail to realize is that its always their fellow citizens who are forcefully being taxed in order for them to have that entitlement. They take for granted that it will always be available to them because the government never says “no, we can’t afford”. But we also have to recognize that elected officials are also hooked on their form of “entitlement package”. How is it that the “benefits” paid for by us do not apply to us? Taxpayers pay abundant taxes to afford our members of Congress to be under a “different” insurance plan than the one that was signed into law for us. That’s just crazy in my opinion.
So again, why would the phrase, “anyone but a constitutional conservative” be such a threat? Because a great deal of our fellow citizens have grown attached to entitlements and view them as the permanent means for their lives versus benefiting from them for a temporary period of time until they can get back on their feet. Our politicians have severely grown attached to them as well. Needless to say, if “anyone” threatens that “way of life” for them, then they are perceived as the enemy and must not gain traction in office. I suppose its human nature to feel the desire to protect what one has become dependent on, but reality desperately needs to be conveyed to our fellow citizens as well as legislators, and that is that the “ride” cannot last forever because eventually you run out of other people’s money like PM Thatcher accurately conveyed.
By: Terri Nicholson
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