Conservatism IS Moderate! Let Us Stop Accepting A Definition from The Left!
The MSM has for too long imposed a false tripartite division on America by the use of Orwellian language. Today I have read just one too many little essays here on RedState, by well-meaning conservative people, who have unconsciously accepted this false division.
The division is: liberal, moderate, conservative.
I propose that this trinity is false! I propose that Conservatism IS a moderate way of viewing the world and politics!
Many other writers from Edmund Burke through Albert Jay Nock and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn to Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley have offered definitions and explanations of what Conservatism should encompass. I will quickly distill their ideas to show that we should cease using the left-wing biased and therefore erroneous claim that conservatism is somehow not a moderate way of thinking.
The Conservative believes that equality and freedom stem somehow not from the goodness of government, but from the goodness of divinity through human nature itself. Equality in human life is defined as a moral equality only: any attempt to force any other kind of equality (economic, intellectual, physical, spiritual) onto humanity can only lead to oppression and even slavery. One stands equal before the law, and equal before divinity, despite all the rolling mountains and valleys of human talents. Freedom is the allowance to every human to develop every talent to its fullest, with the knowledge that such development may lead to inequality in income, fame, or in satisfaction.
The Conservative knows that human nature includes some people who want to restrict freedom unduly for their own aggrandizement: the result is that the conservative must show courage and always stand ready to make sacrifices, even the sacrifice of self, for the preservation of freedom and equality for society’s future. Conservatives cannot abide compromises with the forces restricting freedom.
The Conservative supports the life of the individual: ideas on individual expendability, regimentation, manipulation of the masses, or the idea that suppressing wrong-thinking must be enforced to protect a majority are all repugnant. By always recalling that famous line by Thomas Jefferson about our “inalienable rights” and how they include (the implication is that more than these 3 exist) “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” the Conservative steadies any rash ideas which purport to aid society (e.g. abortion “rights”), but in fact are inimical to Jefferson’s statement.
The Conservative also realizes that the words “Pursuit of Happiness” need to be carefully understood: no government or institution has given us the right to BE happy. What we are allowed, within limits respecting the rights of others, is the right to pursue what we believe will make us happy. If our lives turn out to be not so happy, it will be because of our own flawed choices, which we have been free to make. The result of this idea is that the Conservative takes responsibility for himself and those for whom he has chosen to accept a responsibility: he refuses to be forced by government to guarantee the happiness of others!
I ask the Readers here at RedState to consider exactly how such ideas are NOT moderate! For further reading I offer this link to the 10 principles delineated by Russell Kirk.