Saturday, October 22, 2005

Why A Conservative

Today folks I would like to discuss the topic of conservatism. I have been asked on several occasions why I am a conservative. I would like to address this topic by way of explaining my own personal beliefs. It seems as though all bloggers do a post like this at one point or another; therefore, I believe it is time for me to do the same.

I am a fiscal conservative first, a social conservative second. I would first like to define why I am a fiscal conservative. Fiscal conservatism is the belief that budgets should be maintained, and that money should not be wasted. In the context of the government, a fiscal conservative is one who believes in following the budget set for the government. In addition, a fiscal conservative tends to believe in taking the least amount of money away from hard-working Americans as possible, and that government spending should be directed in the most efficient way.

Fiscal conservatism requires several basic beliefs in order to work. Fiscal conservatism by its nature does not strive for a bloated government. This is obvious because fiscal conservatives do not want to steal money from the hard-working public to fund a bloated and inefficient government.

This is tied to the capitalistic ideal that the public, not the government, knows how best to spend their hard-earned money. A small government and public trust then are the two largest pillars in the mind of a fiscal conservative.

I am a die-hard fiscal conservative. To me, there is nothing more important in government than keeping politicians away from our freedoms. We must limit their ability to restrict our freedoms. The easiest way to do that is to keep the government out of institutions that it does not belong in for the most part, such as the business realm, education, and health care. Therefore, it is only natural for me to be a fiscal conservative. Small government means small interference into the workings of the public arena.

Of course, there are others reasons for why I am a fiscal conservative. The government seems to think that it can shake the money tree of the economy endlessly in the form of taxes. This of course is simply not true, which can be obviously seen in the off-shoring phenomenon that we are experiencing (especially, may I add, in non-fiscal conservative states for the most part). The government, in many ways, is simply a leech on the economy; though many times it claims to be the one keeping the economy alive.

The second major conservative school of thought is the social conservative side. This side, while not nearly as powerful as the fiscal conservative school of thought, is nonetheless an influential ideal in the conservative movement.

Social conservatism is the idea that many of our past morals and traditions must be maintained in order for society to function. Many of these ideals are based off of Judeo-Christian values that were much more prevalent in the world at one time.

The largest of these tenants are the belief in the sanctity of life. This tends to be associated with abortion and euthanasia. The social conservative believes that life begins at conception. To most, however, it is not moral to terminate life unless that person is a threat to society.

Therefore to the social conservative, it is amoral to kill babies before they are born (and after they are born for that matter), the elderly, the disabled, etc. Life is valuable regardless of what circumstances you are in or where you may find yourself. While most social conservatives draw the line at the higher level wrongs such as rape and murder, some take it a step farther and believe it is wrong to kill anyone for any reason.

Though it has not been the in the public eye for a long period, another point of interest for social conservatives is gay marriage. To the social conservative, gay marriage is wrong because they believe it violates the institution of marriage. While the source for marriage is debated, most believe it to be from God (I will stay with Christianity/Judaism/Islam for this topic). Therefore, since God has called marriage to be between one man and one woman, gay marriage violates a core value of most social conservatives.

In addition, there are many other ideas that most social conservatives follow, however I will not get into those here because they are smaller issues that need not be discussed in this brief summary.

I am a social conservative, though not to a large degree. The sanctity of life is paramount to me. While I am undecided as to where life begins (I don’t know if it’s at conception or not), I believe it is not up to humans to decide if a defenseless human should be allowed to live or not. This therefore makes me pro-life, both in the sense of abortion and euthanasia. I believe it is wrong to kill babies, for they have no way to defend themselves, a luxury even our most hated and vile public enemies have. To me, death on demand is wrong. I do not believe humans have to right to take their own lives, thus I cannot be in favor or euthanasia in any form.

The death penalty is something I am in favor of because I believe there comes a point where someone must be put to death if they are harming other humans. While many liberals do not seem to understand why, I believe this goes under the category of the sanctity of life. If someone is taking a life for the wrong reasons, it is correct and necessary to stop that attack – the death penalty does a good job with this.

Since I brought it up, I will talk briefly about gay marriage. This issue is one of the few issues I break with the social conservatives. I am pro-gay marriage. I desire for it to be legalized nationally. I am not pro-gay marriage, however, for the typical reasons. While I am neutral as to whether or not the gay lifestyle is correct, I do believe that the idea of denying the right to marry is a dangerous precedent to set.

Simply put, if the government can deny the right to marriage, a right I believe it should not be allowed to grant of deny in the first place, what else could the government deny? Perhaps they will deny the right for Christians to marry, or Jews to marry (anti-Semitism is on the rise in the elite circles of liberalism). In the future, what else could the government deny? The right for certain people to own guns, the right for people to buy food without government issues identification devices?

I believe giving the government the right to deny some rights will begin a slide that will end with American’s losing all their rights. Therefore, though it goes against nearly all my social conservative friends, I am pro-gay marriage on the basis of protecting my future.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is (in addition to being an obscenely large article) a brief summary of what in general is a fiscal conservative and a social conservative. Of course many people are both fiscally and socially conservative, some are only fiscally conservative, some are only socially conservative, some are certain degrees of both. Many of you who are reading this might completely disagree with my take on the two points of view in the conservative movement (oh well). However, that is a brief summary of what I believe the two points of view are, and where I stand in general in the political spectrum.

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