A Change in Thinking from Left/Right to Liberty/Tyranny

I want to start by recognizing a couple of RNL readers, FloridaCracker and WMGates.  What follows is largely due to the stead-fast position these two men have when it comes to rejecting any attempt to label them and insisting that they be seen and treated as individuals and only as individuals.  Because of their past comments and some studying I was doing in the Scriptures this past week, something suddenly clicked inside my head and I realized that any of us who try to define individuals in terms of a group are as guilty of collectivism as the people we often oppose.  In other words, trying to refine our definitions of Liberal, Conservative and Progressive and then stick people into these artificial boxes is no different than what the people we oppose do to us.  Once this clicked in my mind, I realized I had internalized the ideology of my enemy and that I was blind to this fact until this past week.  However, unlike many who chose to remain blind, I am trying to peel the scales away from my own eyes.  That means, when I discover I have been wrong, I do not try to force reality to fit my continued mistake; I change my understanding to fit this new found truth.  So, having discovered the error of my position regarding labels, I have changed the way I look at people.  Where I once saw political ideology, I now see only individuals.  I hope this will reflect in my posts from in the future, but for now, I’d like to try to explain what it was that led to this change in my thinking.  I’m afraid this may be one of my longer posts, but it is also one of my most important.  I hope you’ll take time to read it and give it some careful consideration.

For whatever reason, I found myself suddenly confronted with the realization that I had been “collectivizing” myself.  For as long as I can remember, I have been thinking of myself in terms of group identity.  So, true to who I am and how I approach these things, I went to the dictionary to check my own understanding of things.  Please indulge me as I share three definitions with you that will be relevant to the rest of this post:

Definition of COLLECTIVE

1: denoting a number of persons or things considered as one group or whole <flock is a collective word>

2a : formed by collecting : aggregated

b of a fruit : multiple

3a : of, relating to, or being a group of individuals

b : involving all members of a group as distinct from its individuals <a collective action>

4: marked by similarity among or with the members of a group

5: collectivized or characterized by collectivism

6: shared or assumed by all members of the group <collective responsibility>

 

Definition of COLLECTIVISM

1: a political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution; also : a system marked by such control

2: emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity

Definition of INDIVIDUAL

1obsolete : inseparable

2a : of, relating to, or distinctively associated with an individual <an individual effort>

b : being an individual or existing as an indivisible whole

c : intended for one person <an individual serving>

3: existing as a distinct entity : separate

4: having marked individuality <an individual style>

Now, I knew that these two terms were contradictory, and that the ideas they convey are at the heart of the political divide in this nation and even in the world.  But what I had never realized is that I was in the collectivist camp all this time.  You see, as long as I think of myself as a “Conservative,” or “Libertarian,” or even a “Classic Liberal,” I am identifying myself as part of a group, having a group identity and being treated collectively as that group – not as an individual.  I was thinking as a collectivist, and I was projecting the way I though onto others.  Now, I may be a Johnny-come-lately to this revelation, but – judging by the way so many of us write on the RNL – I don’t think so.  In fact, I think far too many of us have been seduced into this manner of thinking, and I believe we can trace it directly to our education system (but that is a subject for another post).

As I started to understand just how deeply this way of viewing the world had been drilled into my head, I started to think about the founders.  That’s when I realized that, while you will find some examples of collectivism in their writing, they didn’t use it nearly as much nor in the same way we do today.  It is human nature to think of others in terms of group identity, but not because we are part of a group, but because we are lazy.  That’s right, lazy.  It is easier to lump people together and deal with them as one entity than to address everyone as a separate individual.  Our founders didn’t do this.  If you read their writing, you will notice they are very deferential to the individual.  And, when they spoke of groups, they did so in terms that were somehow different from the group politics of today.  Here, read this and see if you notice the difference:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–

And this:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Notice that they included all members of this nation in their words.  Nor did they speak in terms of Left/Right, or even in terms of Party politics.  Our founders spoke in terms of Liberty vs. Tyranny.  Today, even if our leaders speak of the nation as a whole, we understand that there is an un-spoken implication that they are only referring to those in the groups they support and which support them.  There is a divide in this nation.  Though too few of us will openly acknowledge it, we know it’s there.  It is at the very foundation of what we call “political correctness,” and it divides along the lines of group identity.  It creates an us vs. them mentality, and control of the “them” becomes the primary goal.  The individual, as well as individual rights and liberty, are quickly lost in such an environment: ask any soldier who has ever been in combat.  The question in all of this is, “How can the individual be protected in an environment where he/she is not even acknowledged?”  So, for me, it is no longer a question of Party or group, but of Liberty vs. Tyranny: are you for the freedom of the individual, or control of the group?

Our founders wouldn’t have this problem.  They were very aware of the individual.  Everything they did was intended to protect and preserve the rights and liberty of the individual.  Yet, today, everything we do seems to be focused on protecting and advancing the rights of the group.  We have GLBT rights, union rights, minority rights, women’s rights; we even have animal rights.  But where is the concern for the rights of the individual?  It’s nowhere to be found.  In fact, they are under direct assault.  The Bill of Rights is nothing if not a charter of protection for the individual’s rights against the encroaching power of government, yet, today, our government – supported by our social institutions such as the press and schools – actively campaign against the protections in the Bill of Rights.  We’re told the individual’s rights must yield to that of the group.  But is this actually the case, or is it by design, a design intended to suit another agenda?

In reading RNL reader, Karl’s, comments, we note that he argues for and in terms of the collective (i.e. the workers vs. the capitalist, and “workers’ rights”), yet he refers to himself in the singular – as an individual.  He even claims individual rights, but he does so in connection to his group identity; as a member of that group.  To Karl, while he believes he has an individual right to “better his lot in life,” that right comes as part of the group’s right to have a higher station.  Still, the fact that – as indoctrinated as he is – Karl still refers to himself as an individual, with individual ambition, proves that there is something fundamentally flawed with the collectivist model.  And that is the point where I found my mistake: any conceptualization of individuals in terms of a group is a violation of Natural Law!

I have written on this point many times, yet I never saw my own mistake.  Natural Law deals only with individuals because individuals are all that exist.  Groups are not real.  They are artificial: conceptualizations invented to help us understand larger issues that are beyond our ability to comprehend or manage if we were to deal with every part individually.  Think about it: how do you deal with 315 million individuals in this nation?  But if you think of them as “society,” you suddenly have only one entity to deal with.  And this is where we find the hidden agenda in collectivism.  If you are one of those whose nature it is to want to control others, and you are faced with having to figure out how to and manage control over 315 million individuals, then you will have a task on your hands that is beyond the ability of any human merely because you won’t be able to think in those terms.  However, once you break that 315 million people down into neat little groups, then you can think about how to control them and manage your plans to do so.  And that is why the notion of collectivism was invented: not because we needed to think in terms of groups to understand the individual, but because we needed to think in terms of groups to control the individual.

So, there it is: why I have undergone a fundamental shift in the way I think of others.  For me, this will be an evolving theme.  I will continue to post on it as I work my way through the changes that come with such a shift in personal understanding.  Hopefully, it will also reflect in the way I deal with people in my other posts.  For change in our understanding of the world are useless unless we incorporate it into the way we live.  Still, even if this is old news to most, it was a bit of a shock to me when I stumbled upon it.  I just figured I’d share it – just in case I’m not alone.

80 thoughts on “A Change in Thinking from Left/Right to Liberty/Tyranny

  1. I think it’s human nature to organize, this is not necessarily to ‘collectivize’. It is a short cut to decision. The problem is too many people stop there and emphasize the sorting labels, rather than being ready to change when new information comes in. If you have ever tried to remove an incorrect diagnosis from your record, you will understand immediately how deep this problem goes.

    “Notice that they included all members of this nation in their words.” The modern approach is ‘we won! Now shut up.’ Do you think this can ever be undone? The rot is widespread.

  2. I had a similar reaction to DrK about your statement….” I realized I had internalized the ideology of my enemy and that I was blind to this fact until this past week. ”

    I understand where you’re going. But recognizing Patterns and similarities and differences is a Natural part of Survival. In the Politicization of this natural tendency lies the danger you are getting at,

    • Don,

      Yes: knowledge without understanding. It’s the lack of common sense; or what we once called wisdom. Something that the ancients understood. If he has wisdom, even the common man – the least educated – can have an understanding that far surpasses the most educated.

      • Well Boss…..you got a Two-fer on this reply. It could be used for my comment to Texas below on UR Liberty / Tyranny thread. Now THAT’s Leverage … the only way to fly !

  3. BTW….And please forward this to Augger.

    Speaking of Right v Left…..and the B—S–T GOP Establishment……….. Sean Hannity is up to his old Tricks again … Like with Mc Cain and Like with Romney …. He is Interview JEB BUSH …Right now…..

    On Sean / Bush’s agenda ?? ……………. Jeb Bush running for President in 2016….and..,

    Illegal Aliens…..( So-called Comprehensive Immigration “Reform” ) ……. and AMNESTY !!! ………same as Bush I and Bush II.

    Hannity is a RINO …. Progressive Shill …… As well as an individual of course .

    • Don,

      From now on, I think the way I will try to look at these sort of issues as:

      “Hannity does not see that he is promoting tyranny and not liberty.”

      Now, if we can make the case that he DOES know what he is doing, well… I suppose, if we can make that case, at that point we’ll start calling Hannity a tyrant instead of a Patriot. How’s that sound? 😉

      • How’s that sound ?

        Not too good …. It is a soft approach which essentially gives him a pass, because “He may not KNOW he is promoting tyranny”……and then we get caught up in the “Dialogue” of schooling him on it…..and then the “Language” and “DefinitionS” game starts….It all depends on what the definition of “Is” …”Is”…etc ….etc….

        It’s come full circle….and in a way fits right in with the Progressive Agenda.

        Things are what they are, and people’s Positions are what they are …. and I agree with Bongino about letting “them” own the language….and you let them own the Discussion / Argument. I understand you are trying to NOT do that …. But I think you are in danger of doing just that with out realizing it. Your intent is Good……and even has merit. But to disregard the danger of the “Kumbayah-ing” of the Discussion by attempting to discuss without labels carrys a Big Cost…..without much benefit to clarity.

          • Are You prepared to ignore another’s Repeated action’s , thinking they MAY act differently in the Future…..without any evidence to the Contrary ?

            • Don,

              Nope, but do you KNOW that Hannity has had things explained to him such that he might see that he is doing harm? There are people here who think the best course is to stick with “Conservatism,” yet look at what that has gotten us. Are they as evil as you seem to think Hannity is? Or those who want to go full-tilt “Libertarian,” even though the Articles of Confederation testify against their ideas? Do this enough and you’ll be left with no allies and no concept of what liberty is at all.

              I am trying to follow the founders’ example. Learn the principles of liberty, then try to find common ground with all those who would be free. For me, it is that simple now.

              • Hannity is a Sham and a Shill …. As Evidenced by his Words and Actions.

                Conservatism has not been tried…..and has been undercut buy Quisslings like Rand Pau, Hannity was saying that Bush had the same Ideas and goals as Reagan and Milton Freedman ….thus doing the Rove re-habilitation of the Bush family by associating those two True Conservatives ( and Liberty Lovers) with the Bushes.

                As I said his Modus Operandi is clear from past actions with McCain and Romney……..But sure I guess we can play the game of ….”Well Maybe he doesn’t KNOW he’s not really promoting Liberty ( and modern Conservative) values……we don’t really know what’s in his heart after all”

                To a certain extent Joe ……. you are treading dangerously close to trying to Control people’s Language,,,, I wonder if you see that.l

            • Steve,

              I would think Hannity is more responsible to his radio show than to FOX News. But this leaves me to wonder what you would think of someone who doesn’t have to worry about his/her audience at all? Do you like the “Main stream media?” After all, they have openly said they don’t care if they lose money, and their operations bare witness to this.

              It is an honest question — no attack intended 🙂

              • I did not mean to make you overly sensitive Joe. 🙂 Part of the problem, I’m sure, is that something typed on a computer screen is not always received by the person at the other end as intended. And in cases where the discussion does get heated, there is not the same opportunity to regroup as when speaking in person.

                No, I don’t watch any political programming outside of “Fox News Sunday”. I do try to watch “NBC Nightly News”, but anything really “new” has likely already been reported on Facebook. Most of it is a continuation of old topics until something new comes along. Prior to my retirement, last year, I didn’t even watch the news or read the papers. I don’t listen to radio programming either, I used to listen to NPR on my way to and from work.

                • Steve,

                  A common misconception of those who read my posts/comments is that I am angry or easily take offense. Neither is accurate (which is why I have bought and will soon start using a video camera to make some of my posts). So I understand what you are talking about. No worries on this end 🙂

      • And … right on cue….See “The Existential Christians” reply directly below,

        We are back at square one .

        • Don,

          Then stop insisting that we stick with the failed paradigm. From now on, just state whether or not a person is advancing the cause of liberty or tyranny and why. It’s really that simple. 🙂

          • Saying what You feel and what you believe is not a failed Paradigm …. and to say so is a kind of riducule and demonization. You are attempting to Define what is and what is not….The appropriate language of discussion.

            It really is that simple.

            • Don,

              I am no longer going to try to pigeon hole PEOPLE, but philosophical ideologies have fairly well defined meanings, and “conservatism” is one of them. I had to learn those meanings from the men who developed tham when I went to college for my philosophy degree. So I know a decent amount about what the inventors said they mean. So, YOU can believe that “conservatism” means whatever you’d like. I’ll no longer argue with you. At the same time, i WILL tell you that it does NOT mean the same thing as what our founding fathers believed and advanced. I’m sorry, but that is the objective truth according to Burke (the guy who invented the ideology).

              • No but you will continue to pigeonhole me, and yourself reciprocally, when the opportunity rises.

                LOL!!!

                Keep going Joe, you are continuing to expose just how dangerous you LIBERALtarians are!

                • Poli,

                  That you do not see the difference between missing a point and being pigeon holed is, well,…interesting. But, if it makes you feel better to think you’ve “gotten me” on this, then you’re right and I’m wrong. Happy? Now you can tell me what I meant and call yourself conservative and be totally different from the liberal/progressives 🙂

                  • See the difference btwn you and I is, you libertarians see only black and white just like progressives. Your confession showed signs of moving away from that. Because you should also know that if you read the founders papers, Locke, Montesquieu et al and “understood the writings” you would not be a self describe libertarian as defined today but rather a conservative as its always been defined and just as these create men explained it which is timeless.

                    So while you continue to turn this into an adolescent exercise in validating your silly ideology, you are making my point and yes giving me leverage on your posts.

                    Libertarians today are very shortsightedly steep in a self conflicting ideology. They use “the founders” when convenience just like progressives do. You highlight this all the time in your posts with your word smithing’s. One of the biggest highlights are libertarians view of governments role in society. For foreign policy. For the interpretation of interstate commerce. Libers like you are either too far or not far enough and you guys can never debate because like progressives its all your way or no way and this is why you turn adolescent – its an ignorant way to shut people like me down.

                    • I must admit, I am starting to enjoy you making an ass of yourself publicly.

                      It sooo damn easy to draw you right into making my point. Yes, black and white, just like you and the demo of that in your last post.

                    • I am happy to accommodate you. Please stop buy to amuse yourself as often as you’d like. At the same time, I’ll revel in your demonstration of total ignorance — even to the fact of it.

    • Hannity is a RINO …. Progressive Shill …… As well as an individual of course

      Hannity is a Republican. There is often times no more “Liberty” in the Republican party than The Democrat Party.

      • Hannity has repeatedly stated that he is NOT a republican but a “registered Conservative”…..BUT he shills for the Establishment Republicans….most of which are NOT Conservative. He never has Tea Party Candidates on any more for instance.

        IMHO he is NOT a Conservative …. but an Establishment Republican who is using the Conservative Label. He is another Rove-like Republican. In the sense that many Republicans didn’t bother to get out and vote but CLAIM to support Consitutional Principles and thus claim to be “Conservative”, Joe is right that they fail to live up to their claims. And thus end up supporting the status quo….ie, conservative in the sense of not changing the way things work.

        But theseGOP folks are different from the Tea Party Conservatives and others who are NOT Libertarians nor Liberal Democrats….but identify with a return to the Founding Principles of the Constitution as intended and written.

        • I am not here to defend Sean but lets use some freaking common sense.

          1. He works for Fox News so he has to go along with their agenda. But come on! You have to admit that since Beck left he IS the last man standing – capitulating to the station is one reason.
          2. We Conservatives are trying to take back our country starting with taking back our party because we all know that starting a new party and getting one established to be in any position to move mountains is just stupid thought. We have little time to correct and slow down what is coming some day from all this gov. spending.
          3. Hannity did NOT put Rove on – that would be FN so stop with more stupidity!

          Is Hannity a Parrot of Rush? Yes. But we need as may people repeating the truth as possible. Do what I do and don’t watch or listen but he might convince SOMEONE to start getting involved in their country’s future.

          We have GOT to stop cutting our own throats!

          • You and I probably differ on this…. I know Joe and I do.

            But I put Rush and Levin and Beck in a whole different category than Hannity and O’Reilly. I don’t mean to say Rush Beck and Levin are all the Same….they are NOT. But I don’t think they have sold the RINO position the way Hannity does on a daily basis. Levin and Beck I don’t think do at all. And Rush not as much as some think.

            Hannity IS NOT the last man standing … He pushed Romney LOOONG before the Primarys were over….giving lip service to the others. You are right that FN is the Power behind MOST of the “Guests” but they have a willing Partner in Hannity … his show is Little more than a show-case for the ROVE-BUSH camp …. surely you see this. I would encourage people to NOT WATCH or LISTEN to him if I were you….Precisely because WE DON’T have time……encourage people to Listen / Watch Beck, Levin and Rush. And NO Hannity is NOT a Parrot of Rush……who is uniform in his condemnation of the Republican Leadership and his CONTINUED praise of the TP and it’s candidates including Palin.

            I actually think Hannity is PART of the effort to CUT our own throats…..by having Conservatives THINK they are hearing a conservative voice and instead shove the same old GOP Crap down their “Ears”….for God’s sake TODAY he was PRAISING the Federal Reserve as having saved us !!

              • Well I think we agree about Rush, Levin and Beck….

                But my point is that Hannity is a COMPLETE fraud…..he isn’t conservative at ALL…….He is as the people he supports, a Moderate GOP Progressive.

                • Haha.. He reminds me of the phony guy at church with the perma smile and constant hugging… But he does believe so we don’t kick him out of the church as much as would like to 🙂

        • There are a lot of labels in that post, but I agree with Joe in the respect that we would be hard pressed to place individuals into one single category. The best option, in my opinion is to remain unaffiliated.

  4. I just recently stumbled upon this blog, but good post! The “backdoor collectivism” that you speak of is a big reason as to why I stopped identifying myself as a conservative, and instead as a libertarian. If nothing else, “libertarian” has fewer connotations with most people and allows them to hear ideas that normally they might dismiss because you’re a “conservative”. Within the blogosphere, this may not be true, but in everyday conversation it’s proven useful to me.

    • Existential,

      I understand. While I do have some serious issues with those who consider themselves part of the “organized Libertarian” movement, I do find I care less and less for what we call ourselves and more and more for whether or not our ideas promote and preserve individual liberty.

      BTW: Welcome to the fray 🙂

    • I agree that in our divided, bitterly partisan environment, many commonly used labels have taken on negative connotations. Perhaps the best way to aid future communication is to eradicate them all together and get back to talking about specific issues and how they affect us as individuals. If the affects are harmful and an infringement on our individual liberty, what can be done to mitigate the harmful effects, if they cannot be eliminated entirely?

      • You’re correct. I try to avoid using labels because they inherently collectivize people and don’t respect their individuality. However, I’ve found that most people like to know where you stand too, and replying that you don’t fit into their “left/right” paradigm probably won’t help your cause.

        As far as individual liberty goes, I increasingly think that people see it as a outdated concept. At least where I live, there is a lot of direct mocking of individualists. An individualist is someone who just refuses to work together, or is selfish, or so the story goes. I just try to accentuate that individuals have value and that they can’t just be sacrificed at the altar of utilitarianism.

        • “I just try to accentuate that individuals have value and that they can’t just be sacrificed at the altar of utilitarianism.”

          I like that. As a society, I believe we should move more towards a cooperative political philosophy rather than one where points are scored on how antagonistic one can be. I think, we have dug ourselves a hole so deep that a good dose of pragmatism is required. If all concerned gave up something, then the bad medicine might be a little easier to swallow.

          • “If all concerned gave up something, then the bad medicine might be a little easier to swallow.”

            Careful, Steve. This thinking will start you down the same path Wilson tried to take us… 🙂

            • I have never been what you might call a hard core conspiracy theorist, but I have always possessed a fair degree of skepticism. Over a lifetime of observations, trying to connect the dots, I came to believe certain things about how our government functions. Since I have been a member of the other group, some of my conclusions are being born out by information being posted there.

              Funny you should mention Wilson. During his administration we got the Federal Reserve and the Income Tax.

              • Steve,

                Both the 16th and 17th Amendment, and the Federal Reserve are crucial to subverting the Constitution. They helped to nationalize the government by removing the States’ check on the feds; they laid federal control over the lives of EVERY citizen through direct taxation; and they made it possible to steal the peoples’ money through currency control/manipulation (another form of re-distribution).

                So, brilliant observations on your part, ty. 🙂

                • I have mixed feelings about the 17th Amendment, but don’t want to start a new thread.

                  Do you believe the Fed is “evil” and, if so, do you have any thoughts about how best to deal with it?

                  • OK, nit-picky time (sorry).

                    Things are not evil: people are. So, what people do with things is the result of the evil in their hearts.

                    Now, that said, I do not believe the Fed is evil, just unauthorized. Congress is tasked with the duty of doing what the fed is “supposed” to do. The fed is also an un-democratic, un-republican concept: it takes the Peoples’ ability to control their currency out of their hands and places it in the private hands of a few who are unelected and unaccountable.

                    From there, NOTHING but harm and evil can result. It would be no different than if we allowed Congress to establish an office of “superhero” and give it the power to make all law — even without Presidential approval. And, once appointed, this “superhero” isn’t answerable to anyone. If we were to have Adams’ angels to rule us, I suppose this would be acceptable, but since men are not angels…

                    Hope that answers your question. If not, I apologize, but it’s the best I have at the moment.

                  • Its called ABOLISH it.

                    But that cannot now if ever happen because our whole monetary system is tied to it – hence the stock market rise NOT based on production but on federal printing.

                    The only open door I see to abolish the 17th Amendment is during a total collapse. Which could happen. Until that happens all we can do is mange the chaos by placing massive regulations on it.via the states. And the only people I see with the balls to do that are Tea Party candidates.

  5. LOL!!!!!!!!

    So basically, you are admitting I was right! (I don’t expect you to admit it) but hey… welcome to Conservatism!

    The ONE ideology which is NOT a Party, not anything but “a way of life”. The same ‘way’ which drove our founders to create some of the worlds most profound documents.

    All of our founders did not agree on everything. But their base was Conservative and when they debated issues out to this standard they could agree.

    Let me ask you this. Did you come to this based on the Rand Paul Israel anti-semitism remarks? LOL
    Or was it the folding of the nomination process? LOL
    Another fact I made – LIBERALtarians are as dangerous as Progressives.

    • The Base of the Founding Fathers WAS Conservative as You (Politecs) would descibe it today……But Joe is right that they would have identified themselves as Liberals in their day and students of the Scottish Enlightenment.

      • Don,

        Sorry, but all “Conservative” means is to preserve the traditions and culture. The founders would have told you they were radicals — not conservatives. had they been conservatives, they would never have led the Revolution.

        See what happens when we do not know history, the definitions of words, or how we equivocate them to suit our present purposes? 🙂

        • No….I don’t think The Founders would have called themselves “Radicals” … they were Enlightenment Philosophers. Conservatives today express belief in Constitutional Principles…….Do YOU see the what happens when we apply our OWN definitions to people, rather than letting them self-Define ??

          • Don,

            You might want to look up how Burke defined “Conservatism.” I know what YOU think it means, but it doesn’t. And, frankly, it is disheartening that — after all this time reading me — you still haven’t looked into this issue for yourself. If you had, I seriously doubt we’d be having this conversation and, if we did, I am confident it would have a very different tone about it. 😦

            • What is it about the phrase…”Conservatives Today ” that is so hard to understand. Or the phrase “Self-Define”.

              Conservatives today want a return to a Constitutional Republic…….and distinguish themselves from the establishment GOP.

      • First, they self identified as “radical” cause they were. But their radicalism WAS based in what we call today Conservatism. But moreover, we get this term based on their writings. They wrote of it and about it from a “way of life’ perspective. And this is how we get the modern definition of Conservatism being a way of life more than it being a political identity.

    • LOL

      “So basically, you are admitting I was right! (I don’t expect you to admit it) but hey… welcome to Conservatism!

      And thus, he admits he is wrong!!!

      Poli, you don’t get it yet, sorry 😉 But I hope you keep trying.

      • HAHAHA! Nope, you are still in need of work.

        You just posted about how YOU didn’t get it and had a revelation… now you contradict yourself and say I don’t get it. You are already back in the closet. LOL!

  6. They were very aware of the individual. Everything they did was intended to protect and preserve the rights and liberty of the individual.

    I agree; the individual is sovereign.

    Sovereign in property and in liberty to live life in line with that freedom to associate.

    • Absolutely.

      And where do we find common ground amongst those who clamor for the State to intervene “for the Good of all” ? And who interpret the Constitution as being summed up the one phrase……” Promote the General Welfare ” ?

      • And where do we find common ground amongst those who clamor for the State to intervene “for the Good of all” ? And who interpret the Constitution as being summed up the one phrase……” Promote the General Welfare ” ?

        I think we find it here:

        1. Immigration
        2. Gay Rights
        3. Education
        4. Care for children -they cannot be reasonably categorized as market players
        5. In some areas of the pentagon – We no longer need to defend the whole of the world

          • 1. I think that lovers of liberty would expect a reasonable and quick process for immigrants to be come US citizens. So do liberals.

            2. I think that lovers of liberty would recognize that a person may enter into a voluntary relationship with any other person. This intersects with liberals.

            3. I think that people who espouse liberty agree that we should make education available to all kids provided by public funds. [there is a difference though – liberals will insist that not only should the public be taxed for free education but that all kids be subject to state run schools – I only share the publically funded aspect.]

            4. I break here with many libertarians and many republicans. But I think that we have a responsibility to the nation’s children and I support S-CHIP, school lunches for poor kids and all that. After all, hundreds of thousands of children, through no fault of their own, are born to democrats every year. Something has to be done to save these innocent victims.

            5. We no longer need to maintain bases in Germany, France et al. Time to get out.

            • I think the federal government has neglected it responsibility to secure our borders. I think that has been a mixed response of positives and negatives by liberals and conservatives alike.

              It’s about time we recognized “marriage” as a legal contract that should be available to all.

              Our education system is stifled by uninspired bureaucrats. Educators should be encouraged to innovate instead of being bogged down with compliance related paperwork. The only thing about public education should be the financing and the community’s involvement.

              The emotional hook of providing for children born to dumb asses has led to reactive programs. IMO, we need a proactive approach, but that approach includes things which many conservative oppose “religiously”.

              Not only should we scale back our physical military presence around the world, we should also quit letting our military troops be used as publicly funded mercenaries.

  7. 1. Shorten the LEGAL immigration process. Get rid of the Family preference within the current criterion…..so that if a person is admitted that doesn’t mean automatically their family is. STOP the anchor Baby provision.

    Secure the Borders immediately according to already passed Law. Follow the law in regards to Illegal Entry immediately.

    2. STOP special interest Legislation that Balcanizes the Country….stop Special Interest Legislation. Keep Government OUT OF THE BEDROOM…..by staying away from legislation that is directed towards what people do in the bedroom. Insure that EQUAL under the law is enforced. Keep Government OUT of Religious Groups right to define Marriage as they see fit. Legal associations with respect to Property and inheretance are an individual’s business and are already protected under law

    3. Allow Vouchers for parents to Choose the School of their choice……Liberty lovers should be in favor of Freedom of Choice. Defund the Dept of Education. Local control of Public Schools …. without Washington intervention.

    4. End the aspect of welfare that encourages a Woman to have more children … and encourages the same woman to work ….same for fathers. There should be incentives to those couples staying together and who are legitimately focusing on the kids they have.

    5. National Defence is One of the few items legitimately given for the Congress to spend on. The US should respond to the threats and implied threats in the world at any time. When China and Russia are INCREASING their Military spending the US should NOT decrease spending. Closing some bases in Europe would be acceptable with the funds re-deployed as stated….NOT put in the General Fund to spend of more or increased Entitlement spending.

    • Don,
      I can agree with all stated except:

      “When China and Russia are INCREASING their Military spending the US should NOT decrease spending”.

      We very well can decrease military spending. There’s billions upon billions of dollars of wasted military spending. A lot of programs (M-1 upgrade and F-35) are being “forced” on the military that aren’t needed or not what military leaders wanted because these companies or their suppliers reside in some congressman’s district. He doesn’t want to see those programs stopped, no matter how wasteful they are.

      I think our military can maintain a high state of readiness by making sure combat troops and support groups have what the need to be successful and not by being concerning that Lockheed-Martin or Halliburton may have to lay off employees. That’s the risk a defense contractor takes. We shouldn’t be funding unwanted programs just to keep these companies or some congressman happy. They’ve held us hostage for too long with their continued threats of having to layoff workers.

      • Good Response……I agree that there are Economies of Scale … and efficiencies which could be used to BETTER spend what we spend.

        I DO think that Innovation should be a part of the Equation … Both on the Militaries part and on the Part of the Defence Contractors ….. instead of just churning out hardware that isn’t wanted or needed.

        I DO however feel that Military personnel shoukld be COMPLETELY covered with respect to Medical expenses and their immediate families as well. I feel we do a great Dis-service by NOT doing this. In Addition when a Mother or Father is away on deployment…..the family at home SHOULD NOT be concerned about how their basic expenses will be met….Housing Medical Food Insurance etc.

        BTW I am NOT in the Military…nor do I have any family members in the military. I just feel this is the right ( correct ) thing to do.

  8. I have certainly enjoyed reading the comments Joe’s post has generated. Great discussion on individualism v. “group think”. Note to Joe, I’m still trying to get the post we discussed right inside my head. It’s complicated. 😉

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