- AMERICAN THINKER - Jan 15, 2021 -
As we stand on the verge of Democrats taking control of the federal government, and as emboldened leftists across media, politics, punditry, and the general population seek to silence and punish conservatives -- even going so far as to draft legislation that would criminalize the political rallies of their opponents -- it seems a good time to take a step back and remind everyone what exactly conservatism is trying to conserve -- or should be conserving.
Conservatism must conserve the Constitution. The United States of America is not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic. As the young United States was floundering under the weak Articles of Confederation, Founding Fathers such as Alexander Hamilton and Fisher Ames knew well that in order to “preserve the Union” and to protect liberty, a sound Constitution was required.
Among many other magnificent things, in order to provide for a unique “Union” of a variety of states, the Constitution represents a brilliant compromise between large states and small states on balanced representation in Congress and the manner in which the President is chosen. Among many other magnificent things, the Bill of Rights protects religion, speech, assembly, and the right to bear arms. The Constitution is the world’s most enduring charter of government. In 1878, William Gladstone rightly described our Constitution as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”
Conservatism must conserve law and order. “States are laboratories for democracy,” we are told. Of course, under federalism, this would be the case with local governments as well, especially large cities. The most repeated and verified political experiment in U.S. history is this: via liberalism, or leftism -- whatever you want to call it -- Democrats have turned American cities into some of the most dangerous, dirty, and lawless places in the world.
Under authoritarianism -- the ultimate goal for American leftists -- the regime is the law. For American colonists languishing under the British Monarchy, this would be translated as “the King is the law.” As Thomas Paine put it in Common Sense, “In America, the law is king.” And the “supreme Law of the Land” in America is the U.S. Constitution. If the law is ignored, if the Constitution is ignored, chaos reigns -- borders are dangerously porous, the police are reviled, buildings are burned, businesses are looted, elections are corrupt, and so on.
Conservatism must conserve capitalism. The U.S. has long been the world’s leading economic power. Nothing contrived by man is more responsible for this than capitalism. Likewise, no other economic system the world over has done more to lift people out of poverty than capitalism. As history has clearly demonstrated, no economic system has proven better than the free-market economics touted by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations.