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Conservatism is not enough

Posted By Joseph Farah On 03/30/2004 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Some people assume I am a conservative.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it, again: I am not a conservative.

I don’t like the label “conservative.” I reject the label. With all due respect to my “conservative” friends, I find the description detestable, extremely unflattering, simplistic and an insult.

Let me tell you why.

First of all, I am a journalist. I have spent my entire adult life in the quest for truth. Unlike many of my colleagues in the press, I have avoided political parties, organizations and associations that could compromise my integrity.

Secondly, conservatives, by definition, seek to conserve something from the past – institutions, cultural mores, values, political beliefs, traditions. In other words, they are constantly on defense – busy holding on to turf rather than taking new ground.

From my experience, few conservatives have the stomach for fighting – the kind of fighting it takes to restore real freedom to America.

It’s not a time for timidity or compromise. It’s not a time for defensiveness and conciliation. It’s time to take the offensive in this struggle.

I’m not a “conservative” because I see precious little left in this world worth conserving. Conservatives, from my experience, do not make good freedom fighters. They seem to think a victory is holding back attacks on liberty or minimizing them. They are forever on the defensive – trying to conserve or preserve an apple that is rotten to the core.

What is the rotten apple? You can see it in the government schools that dumb down American kids. You can see it in the universities that pervert the concepts of knowledge and wisdom. You can see it in the federalization and militarization of law enforcement. You can see it in the proliferation of non-constitutional government. You can see it in the real “trickle-down economics” of confiscatory taxes. You can see it in the unaccountable authorities which give us global treaties. You can see it in the relentless attacks on marriage and the family. You can see it in euthanasia, population control and the phony “right” to abortion on demand. You can see it in the surrender of our national security.

Conservatives, it seems to me, only forestall the inevitable slide into tyranny. I don’t want to forestall it. I want to prevent it. I want to reverse that slide. I want to restore the dream that was America.

Professor Friedrich von Hayek, author of “The Road to Serfdom,” is a hero to many conservatives. Yet, he, too, rejected the label – not only for him, but for his mentor, professor Ludwig von Mises, as well.

“I cannot help smiling when I hear professor Mises described as a conservative,” he wrote. “Indeed, in this country and at this time, his views may appeal to people of conservative minds. But when he began advocating them, there was no conservative group which he could support. There couldn’t have been anything more revolutionary, more radical, than his appeal for reliance on freedom. To me, professor Mises is and remains, above all, a great radical, an intelligent and rational radical but, nonetheless, a radical on the right lines.”

I agree. That’s what I want to be.

Was George Washington a conservative? No. He was a revolutionary. He is known throughout the world – or was when people appreciated such concepts – as the “father of freedom.”

Today, those who stand for freedom, justice, the rule of law, self-government and the moral principles of the Bible are not part of “the establishment.” We’re the rebels. By the world’s standards, we’re the renegades.

The founding fathers knew that even the best designed government wouldn’t work if the people were not righteous, moral and God-fearing – if they didn’t love liberty and cherish it.

To practice self-government again, we must have a people capable of self-government.

It takes courage to stand in the gap, to man the barricades, to say “enough is enough” – and mean it. It takes more than a “conservative” vision to lead the way back to freedom.

 


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