Definition of Conservatism: "That government is best that governs the least."  

A definition of conservatism must recognize that, politically speaking, the terms Liberal and Conservative have traded places.

Vic Biorseth, http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com

This is the best definition of conservatism and liberalism I have found regarding the modern usage of the terms Liberal and Conservative as applied to politics. When the government began to seek to control the economy, during the "New Deal" period, beginning under President Hoover and increasing under FDR, it proved to be a pivotal point in the evolution of American liberalism and conservatism, after which conservatives could be described as the protectors of the rights of men and free markets, and liberals could be thought of as seekers of Socialist utopian idealism.

W. F. Buckley Jr.:

“It was in the United States that conservatism crystallized with a meaning that pretty well overtook competing meanings. What caused this transformation was the heavy emphasis of libertarianism, instantly distinguishing conservatism from its association with nineteenth-century social and economic standpattism of the British. The conservatives in the United States began to rally during the New Deal years (1933-45). Their reaction was against the centralizing tendencies of what in America came to be known as “liberalism.” Up until about the time of the First World War, liberalism was generally used to designate the doctrine that expanded individual liberty; and liberty was generally understood to describe protections from the legendary oppressor of the individual. Thus Woodrow Wilson’s famous, “the history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.” The tendency of New Deal liberals was to think of problems in the macrocosmic mode, fit subjects for government reform. Thus, in comprehensive ways, “liberal” government undertook to mobilize the state to combat virtually all social problems including unemployment, agricultural distress, a shortage of electricity, and illiteracy.”

(National Review, August 17, 1992; Toward a Definition of Conservatism, William F. Buckley Jr.; page 18.)

In common usage today, the older, classical meanings of the terms Liberal and Conservative have exchanged places with each other, and the term Liberal now is very nearly synonymous with Marxist.

Due to confusion over the meaning of being a conservative American, I now refer to myself and my political alignment as Pro-American rather than conservative. There are just too many people who call themselves conservative when they are merely “fiscal” conservatives or merely “moral” conservatives, or conservative on some issues but not on others. There is nothing ambiguous about my religion, political alignment or moral philosophy.

Addendum: Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Mr. Buckley’s definition above, he used an interesting quote by Woodrow Wilson, today regarded as, practically, the father of the progressive movement in America. However, in the quote, Wilson indicated that liberty involved limitation on government power, and opposition to the increase of government power. That notion is, of course, opposed to progressivism, which became the new name, or new cover, for the advance of Socialism, the clear opposite of conservatism. Perhaps Wilson “went progressive” some time after the quote Mr. Buckley used.  Or, more likely, he was telling smoke-screen lies typical of anti-Constitutionalists.  

Conservatism seeks to increase citizen liberty, which necessarily means limiting the power of government over citizens, within reason. Citizens can only be free if the market place is free, which means that conservatism must favor Capitalism, and a free and open market, again, within reason. Restrictions on citizens should be limited to keeping them from harming each other and from harming the government. Restrictions on the market should be limited to keeping it from harming citizens, competitors and the government. This means attending to contract law, limiting monopoly, business or citizen collusion in price-fixing, wage-fixing, fraud and other crimes.

The township government power should be limited by the township charter, and not be allowed to exceed it; likewise the county. The state government power and authority should be limited by the state constitution, and not allowed to exceed it. The federal government should be limited in power and authority, to tax, to spend, and to act, by the United States Constitution, and not allowed to exceed it, with particular attention paid to Article 1 Section 8. If it isn’t in the Constitution, the government should not be doing it.

No man should be above the law. No man should be able to bypass, ignore or sidestep the Constitution or any standing legislated law.

The great Tea Party awakening in America is a grass-roots movement to return America to the founding document, the Declaration of Independence, and the national constituting document, the Constitution of the United States. What lit the Tea Party fire was the economic catastrophe of the last two plus years, but the fire includes moral issues as well. People are finally looking hard at the clear, simple difference between what's right and what's wrong.

The founders and the framers and the signers of our great documents were moved, motivated and directed their lives by the Judeo-Christian Ethos. Their morality sprang from their religion (or their religious formation and upbringing,) and it provided their basis, their standard, their method for telling right from wrong. It is this common guiding ethos upon which our great documents and our civil law are based. Today, America is some 86% professed Christian by population. I submit that the national ethos has not changed, although it has been weakened.

If we are to use a new standard for telling right from wrong, upon which to base the civil law of the land, then that new standard should be clearly identified in the public square. The whole notion of Representative Government is totally dependent upon the legislation, execution and adjudication of Representative Law. If any new law is not to be representative of the American people, then, who or what is it to be representative of?

Government does not know best. The Sovereign American Citizens know best.

From the founding of America, a primary principle under-girding the complimentary notions of citizen liberty and limited government, simply stated, was that there must always be some private sphere of personal activity that is completely beyond the reach and authority of government. When the highest level of government seeks to interfere with or control the most mundane of private citizen activities, violence is done to this principle, and also to The Rule of Subsidiarity. Which means that, not only are citizen rights violated, but also the rights of all lower levels of government. The opposite political opinion, represented by the Marxist-Redistributionist Democrat Party position, sees no human activity whatsoever as being beyond the reach of government, and seeks to centralize all political power into the highest level of government, with all lower levels being replaced by vast bureaucratic hierarchy. In this view, the state not only exceeds its own legal Constitutional constraints – it completely eliminates them.

Marxist-Redistributionism has now been the dominant factor in American government for better than two years, and we are seeing the results. America is purposely being spent, borrowed and currency-inflated into national destruction, and something must be done if the American Republic, as Constituted, is to survive.

We have got to stop spending

.



=====

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Thursday, March 28, 2013
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Date:   Mon Sep 29 2014
From:  Vic Biorseth
Comment:  

Changes pursuant to changing the website URL and name from 
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.

Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages.  . 

Regards,

Vic


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