I am a conservative, always have been and will be till I die. And beyond … I’ll explain that presently.

Today I will receive a signal honor, one that surprises but humbles me. It’s an occasionally presented Lifetime Achievement Award from CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

It surprises me because my lifetime is still in progress, but also because I haven’t felt that other more prominent conservatives and their leaders were much aware of my stands and actions on behalf of conservative values and interests. I’m an entertainer, after all, and not a politician, not frequently in the news speaking on behalf of other conservatives and our concerns.

But evidently many of the leaders, notably CPAC and ACLJ, the Heritage Foundation and others, have been aware of this entertainer’s efforts to promote our traditional values, in a number of practical ways.

Just a few of those ways:

  1. I’ve been active in campaigning, when I could be, for conservative candidates (in both parties), dating back to Nixon and Ford and Dole and a number of very qualified candidates on local and state levels. Though I’ve long been a registered Republican, I once changed my registration to Democrat to campaign for Lloyd Hand, a dear friend and very capable man, when he ran for lieutenant governor here in California.

  2. I was a Reagan delegate to the Republican convention in Kansas City in 1976. While stumping for my friend Ronald Reagan, whose kids were in school with mine even before he became governor of California, I was also urging all the top political leaders, including Nelson Rockefeller, to find and nurture and put forward the best qualified black candidates. I felt strongly the party of Lincoln should produce the first black president. Wish they’d heard me.
  3. I’ve been working with Jim Martin and the 60Plus organization on behalf of all seniors, for 15 years or so. Our main goals are preserving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – and stomping the death tax, the so-called “estate tax,” to death, out of existence.
  4. In the last several elections, Jim has orchestrated the opportunity for me to make as many as 7,000,000 “robocalls” on behalf of virtually every conservative candidate for the House and Senate. And I’ve offered my help in direct mail and radio support for many candidates, with some success.
  5. My neighbor up the street and I created and hosted the first and only Beverly Hills tea party in October.

I’m still an entertainer, miraculously, but these activities and columns like this, which I’ve been writing for over four years, have been noticed – and appreciated – by the real conservative leaders, and thus the upcoming award. Seriously, I’ll treasure this more than an Academy or Grammy Award, or anything the entertainment industry could offer me.

Why? Because I’m an American. I’m a citizen. And I’m a deeply committed conservative American citizen. I want to briefly explain what that means to me.

By definition, a true conservative seriously wants to conserve, to preserve, that which is precious, valued and necessary to maintain the republic called America.

A conservative becomes alarmed when the unprecedented system of government created by our Founding Fathers is threatened by people or groups that want to change it into something the Founders never intended … or wanted.

A conservative hallows the Constitution, which laid out and prescribes the simple system we call democracy, which, according to our Declaration of Independence, credits our Creator with the equal rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not the governmentally provided happiness itself.

Recognizing that our Founders, striving to create our Constitution, looked to the Bible and Bible-convicted British jurists like Blackstone for inspiration and bedrock principles on which to found a new concept of freedom, a conservative insists that maintaining our liberties depends on the very same principles. To vary from those principles and the constitutional structure on which they’re founded would change our very DNA as a nation. He will never just acquiesce to “change,” when it means changing the foundation of our freedoms.

A conservative adamantly demands less government, with its benevolent promises coupled with expanding control. He resists onerous, burdensome taxes that support bloated bureaucracies and are meant to develop a Big Brother society. He has learned that big government programs are like political manna, that, similar to the miraculous food given to the Israelites in the wilderness, these ineffective and inefficient programs seem good for a day but turn rotten and eaten with maggots if continued.

A conservative demands that a lean government spend only what it has, responding to the taxpaying voters on how and what to spend … and will never submit to a runaway, spiraling, heinously debt-ridden economy. The tea party of recent days is a direct and appropriate echo of the conservative ire that led to our American Revolution and separation from Great Britain. “Taxation without representation” is still our battle cry.

A conservative insists that elected representatives actually represent the wishes of the voting taxpayers who elected them! If 80 percent of the American people don’t want a new massive health-care program, they expect their representatives to vote it down, not cram it down their throats. If, guided by the same biblical principles as our Founders, an aroused citizenry says they don’t want to support abortion and same-sex marriage – they will seek to oust representatives who are determined to enact and finance those things.

A true conservative wants to conserve the democratic way of life he inherited and to pass it on to his children. Republicans seem to generally support the constitutional republic in which the people call the shots; Democrats increasingly support expanding, encroaching, big-government spending and control, through bureaucracy. They should drop the names “Democrat” and “Democratic Party” in favor of “Bureaucratic Party” and call themselves “Bureaucrats,” because they sincerely believe in that approach to government. And that’s their right … in a republic.

Conservatives don’t want to “fundamentally transform” America; we want to passionately restore America, to its roots and foundational principles.

Yes, I’m a conservative and expect to be even after I shed this mortal coil. I expect to join the heavenly company of those who have endeavored to preserve and maintain the expressed will of our Creator, who inspired our Founders by His Word and His Spirit and breathed His life into this blessed republic called America.

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