Hardcore Conservative Principles

There was this young man who rode a bus to work every day. On the bus he’d always notice a pretty young woman sitting up front. Well the ride lasted about a half an hour, so his mind would typically drift off. He’d wonder what she was like, and he’d think about how they might meet one day and come to know each other better… Maybe she’d get on the bus and come sit by him, maybe she’d smile and say hi, and then he’d ask her name. If things went really well she’d probably start saving him a seat by her every day! If she did, they’d no doubt become close. Well, sure as rain one day this pretty young thing did in fact get on the bus later than normal so that the only seat available was right beside him. Just like in his mind, she came on over, smiled and gently said “Hi”—but instead of asking her name, he blurted something out about getting married and how many kids did she want. She left the bus in a hurry.

The moral of this rather awkward story is that you really do have to take your time and proceed by steps, at least if you expect things to turn out well. It’s true with life and political coalition building too. While it is important to have a vision and keep your eyes on the prize—you can dream and dream big and say “Yes We Can” till the cows come home, but there’s still no substitute for hard work and smart work. What I’m talking about is taking one thing at a time, all things in succession. And one of the first things we have to do as conservatives is to get our act together. It starts by defining what we’re about—after which, we may begin to attract a broad coalition and shape policy positions, and also lead the next conservative change making political movement. In May 2009 I laid out to the Central Texas Conservatives what I believe to be our hardcore conservative principles. We must advance from these six principles with a resoluteness of purpose and deliberate active work if we are to win back America.

To Restore the Republic meaning we demand a return to representative government. For instance we call our country what it is—a republic and not a democracy, a democratic-republic if you must. The national majority does not rule the States or the Nation in fact. Minority rights are never subject to the whim of 50% plus 1. We choose to follow the Founders’ Original Intent—their vision of peace and prosperity, virtue and happiness, that of a ‘Shining City on a Hill.’

To Reinforce adherence to the Constitution, which is to say that words mean something, that the text of the written document itself has a fixed meaning, that while enumerated powers are subject to some interpretation they are also largely defined; and there are constitutional processes for determining how best to interpret the Constitution’s meaning. There are political possibilities based upon the separation of powers amongst branches, and also based upon sovereignty inherent in the states. The Constitution moreover has an amendment procedure, and that’s the only way to legitimately change constitutional parameters. Reduction of the Constitution by the Supreme Court to a so-called “living” document amounts to a gross malfeasance on the part of judges-turned-legislators.

To Reinvigorate Federalism meaning that we recognize implicitly the compound nature of our Republic, the fact that it is and by design was made to be a Republic of republics to preclude tyranny and magnify the possibilities of Liberty. Federalism lies at the heart of the original constitutional edifice and is a primary contribution from the Father of the Constitution, James Madison. States ceded specific, enumerated powers to the federal government while retaining everything else. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are explicit in this regard. To Respect the Flag, which affirms our commitment to the Union as conceived by the Founders and discretely altered by constitutional amendment or tribunal of arms. We respect the Flag as that primary symbol of our country and that Republic for which it stands, and the nation amongst all others on earth to which we owe primary allegiance and to which we hold the love of countrymen for our native or adoptive homeland. We respect the Flag also, as symbol of the highest ideals to which men and women can aspire and to which the nation has mostly been true, as it has progressed through history at great sacrifice and expense in blood and treasure. We are proud Patriots, who celebrate also those various symbols of national and regional heritage.

To Rigorously exercise Freedom is our commitment to living according to our lights without hypocrisy and with utmost personal integrity, to do as we say and believe, to attempt in this life to implement what we have planned and visualized and worked so hard to accomplish. This is our political commitment too, to do as our ancestors did by pledging ‘our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor’ to the great project before us into which we have enlisted; to walk as freeborn individuals, possessing Rights from Heaven which no man may put asunder or play God to undo, or unduly restrict. Fundamentally this means that we insist upon self-determination, in accordance with those natural and freely chosen responsibilities we should acknowledge—chiefly those to God and conscience and family; and to our various avocations and social networks; to neighborhood and community; State and Nation.

To Remain Steadfast in Faith recognizes the indispensable relation between faith and freedom, whereby they raise and support each other. True faith presupposes a conviction of the heart made freely and without coercion by state or religious authority. Freedom moreover demands that a people exercise self-restraint, the regulation and discipline born of good conscience and drawn to perfect and Higher Law to which man is tenderly and lovingly obliged to choose. We understand that in the order of things, all the Earth is subject to Him and so we trust in the God of our Fathers. Moreover, as Americans we acknowledge the special role the Nation has fulfilled in the advancement of mankind and in the continuous unfolding of Providential Plan.