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What is a Conservative?

November 26, 2007

I was talking with a friend this week about one of the Republican candidates. He said, "He's a conservative, but he's not my kind of conservative." That got me thinking, "Just what IS a conservative?" And, "Who is conservative enough to get conservatives excited about supporting him in this election?"

In my opinion, Ronald Reagan was the ultimate conservative. If there was a candidate, whether Republican or from a third party, who was half the conservative President Reagan was, he would have my vote. Unfortunately, there is no one who could fill The Gipper's shoes.

So, what is a conservative to do? I have decided who I feel would be the best choice for the Office of the President. But I won't be discussing that today. Rather, I would like to lay a philosophical foundation for a discussion among conservatives about what it means to be a conservative.

If Ronald Reagan walked among us today, this article would not be necessary. He was conservative in all ways that are important. But it seems today that conservatives have become like doctors. There are few general practitioners. Most are specialists.

A true conservative is conservative in three vital areas. Not just in his talk, but in his actions. These areas are fiscal, social, and defense.

Fiscal conservatives believe that government is far too involved in every area of our lives, and that the best way to limit government intrusion is to close the purse. Fiscal conservatives want to lower taxes. Reagan never met a tax cut he didn't like. He saved America from the largest confiscatory abuse by the IRS in history. He forced Congress to lower the highest income tax bracket by over 60%! He was a hero.

Liberals, on the other hand, never met a tax they wouldn't get in bed with. Liberals believe that government should control every aspect of our lives. And they know the best way to do that is to steal our money (liberals call it "fair" taxation) and then give part of it back to us in ways that Big Brother knows will force citizens to behave in ways liberals feel are appropriate. They use money to enslave what used to be a free citizenry.

Social conservatives believe in supporting the great ideas and ideals on which this country was founded. The most important of these are support of the traditional family and respect for life. They support state and federal laws that define marriage as a union between two people, one man and one woman. And they believe in the sanctity of life, including unborn citizens and the elderly.

Liberals want, as a start, full marriage benefits for homosexuals and lesbians. This means that we will all pay higher taxes and insurance rates to support lifestyles that most Americans believe are perverted. But it won't stop there. Once they get rid of the "man and woman" part of the definition, they will go after the "one" part. They will say, "Who says marriage is only between two people? Why can't three or four of us marry?" So we will see the government and corporations forced to pay health benefits for three "partners" of one working homosexual. And all of us will pay higher insurance rates and taxes.

And of course, liberals love death. They have preached for decades that the earth is overpopulated. What better way to fix that than to kill babies and old people who are no longer "productive"? Have you ever heard a Democrat or liberal protest China's "One Child" policy? They love it. A couple has to have a government license to have a child. If they have a second child, it is killed. Liberals are more efficient here in the United States. They kill the babies before they are born - hundreds of thousands of them each year. And of course it was liberals who supported "Doctor" Jack Kevorkian, the famous purveyor of  "euthanasia" (another practice popular in totalitarian regimes). Their idea is that if they're too old or sick to be productive, kill 'em. Right now, the person to be "euthanized" (that sounds so much nicer than "murdered", doesn't it?) has to agree. But mark my words. If the liberals get the laws they want, "euthanasia" will be expanded to include people who don't want to be dead.

Finally, there are defense conservatives. These are the people who have for decades fought the Democrats' attempts to weaken our national defense and cut the defense budget. They understand that as the world's sole remaining Super Power, we are the target of the hatred of terrorists from abroad and liberals from within. (Yes, the liberals hate America. Don't listen to their words - watch their actions.) Defense conservatives understand that without a strong military this country will quickly become a place that none of us would want to live in (if we are even allowed to live). They also understand that we must have strong immigration and homeland security laws or we will be destroyed from within.

Liberals believe in one-world government. "We are the world, we are the children." If we are all one people, why do we need all those noisy guns and airplanes? They are actually stupid enough to believe that if we lay down our weapons, all the maniacs in the world will do the same. They can't grasp the concept that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the world that would do anything in their power (including blowing themselves up) to ensure that every American dies. I heard America's Number One Liberal, Rosie O'Donnell, say, "Christian fundamentalists are just as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalists." (Hillary used to hold this title, but she moved to America's Number Two Liberal with this idiotic statement by Rosie.) I would like to think that this is the way just one total lunatic thinks, but unfortunately she speaks for thousands of liberals.

So, we have fiscal, social, and defense conservatives. Unfortunately, we have candidates who are conservative fiscally, but are just as liberal as Obama socially. We have others who are socially conservative, but who would tax and spend like Hillary.

What's a real conservative to do? I am praying that another candidate, a true conservative in all the areas that matter, will emerge. There is still plenty of time before the election. There must be a Reagan out there somewhere.

If we are forced to choose from the existing field, we must decide which areas are most important to us. I don't see anyone who is a true conservative in all three areas. Hopefully we can find a candidate that is conservative in at least two areas.

I'll tell you what the deal-breaker is for me. I will vote for a third-party candidate who is socially conservative before I will vote for Rudy. He is pretty conservative in two areas, but the fact that he supports homosexual marriage and abortion means that he cannot be my candidate.

The most pressing issue in this nation is its moral decline. Yes, defense and taxes are important. But if we have a moral president, he can be convinced to defend the nation and save us from the taxes that are destroying our nation economically and causing the once-strong dollar to decline against world currencies. If we have a president without morals (as we did with Bill Clinton), we can look forward to four years of America losing itself even further.

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Copyright ©2007 Tom Barrett

Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.

He has written thousands of articles that have been republished in national newspapers and on hundreds of websites, and is a frequent guest on radio and television shows. His weekly Conservative Truth article (which is read by 250,000) offers a unique viewpoint on social, moral and political issues from a Biblical worldview. This has resulted in invitations to speak internationally at churches, conferences, Money Shows, universities, and on TV (including the 700 Club).

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