From the diaries by Erick
A paragraph in today’s Politico article detailing Mark Souder’s resignation over his affair struck me as odd:
“A hard-line conservative, Souder recently survived a tough GOP primary in the Hoosier State, edging two opponents who held him under 50 percent. Souder’s Republican rivals criticized Souder over his support for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and Cash for Clunkers programs.”
I take exception to that description: no real conservative would have voted for TARP or Cash for Clunkers. The mistake made is the assumption that because someone is pro-life means he or she is a conservative. Someone who is pro-life, but votes to expand the state and state spending, is in fact not a conservative, but a pro-life statist.
As someone who is deeply pro-life, and became even more so when my daughter was born four months premature, I absolutely believe in the sanctity of life. But I have a problem with many elected officials who call themselves social conservatives, as though that were all that mattered, and then go and vote for more government and more government spending.
The bigger government becomes, the more invasive it becomes, the more it becomes the enemy of life and freedom. So these pro-life statists show a deep ignorance of government and freedom: the greatest freedom is economic freedom. I say that because if you are an economic ward of the state, you can neither be politically or religiously free. Exhibit A: China. The invasive state dictates how many children you may have, the free flow of information, and political freedom is not even worth really discussing.
I believe one of the reasons that we have gotten to this stage as a country, with the massive growth of government, is because some have thought only one or two social issues are all that matter, and willingly give a pass on pretty much everything else. To those people I would say enough, stop living under an illusion. You must become more comprehensive in your conservatism.
But just in case libertarians, or the “I’m only a fiscal conservative” crowd think they’re off the hook, think again. Our free society rests upon certain beliefs, like, “All men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” To quote Clinton Rossiter, “. . . American democracy rests squarely on the assumption of a pious, honest, self-disciplined, moral people. For all its faults and falterings. . . American democracy has been and remains a highly moral adventure.”
Man has dignity because he is created in the image of God. Thus government should be limited in size and scope so that each man and woman can fulfill his or her potential. True limited government is based on self-government and self-discipline, which leads to self-actualization, all of which are ultimately based on higher law.