I travel far and deep across social media and have conversations with people across the political spectrum, and it has been an enlightening journey. Benjamin Franklin once said that politics was the art of the possible. By the late 20th century, it became the art of persuasion to make the impossible possible.
Psychology and slick messaging influenced many Americans to see each other as people on the “other side of the aisle.” That has allowed many to entrench deeper into their political camps and avoid listening to one another. Now, too many only listen to views in their echo chambers.
In the 1990s, a narrative began to develop as an outflow of messaging from Clinton campaign operatives. Over the last few months, it’s been a refrain I’ve heard all too often on social media. It goes something like this… “What new ideas have conservatives come up with lately? The Republican platform says ‘no’ to everything.”
For those of us who deeply care about conservative policies, we know this isn’t true. Yet, many Americans believe it to be so.
What is At The Core of Conservatism?
At the heart of conservatism is a foundation rooted in history and America’s founding documents, built with a focus on the future. For too long, our leaders have not adhered to it, causing all kinds of consequences. Yesterday, I wrote about one of them.
Our Founding Fathers built a system that demands a limited government. It’s full of checks and balances. Seven of the ten Bill of Rights tell the government what it can’t do. One day, I’ll write just on that issue. For now, suffice it to say a limited government preserves your rights under the Constitution.
That isn’t looking back.
Instead, it should empower Americans to look forward.
When the government grows beyond its scope, it inhibits personal liberties and economic freedom. Consider this, before the era of big government, America’s system led the way in innovations that changed the world and improved lives.
- Machinery made farming more efficient to feed more people.
- Electricity led to all sorts of improvements in the quality of life.
- New medications such as penicillin saved lives, and others improved them.
- Inventors and innovators were empowered to create trains, automobiles, and planes, which helped businesses to expand and provide better-paying jobs.
- Immigrants opened small businesses and helped their communities flourish.
- The internet enabled the explosion of information and new ways of doing business, empowering individuals to thrive economically.
Still, how much better could it be?
In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson enacted the Great Society. By the 1970s, America was drowning in inflation. At one point, it grew over a whopping 12%. Many people learned to live off government programs.
We learned that when the government takes care of the people, the people stop taking care of one another. Government welfare programs have played a prominent role in destroying the fabric of communities. Today, most people barely know their neighbors, let alone bother to show up when someone has a need.
Why should they?
The government will take care of them through an inefficient process of expensive taxation and redistribution. The welfare system hasn’t served as a bridge to a better tomorrow for millions of people. Instead of using their God-given talents to fulfill a dream and bettering society, the government has trapped too many in a system that forces them to consider the comfort of their lifestyle, regardless of how poor one is, over the potential for a better tomorrow. It strips them from taking a risk and living a life of service to others, leaving too many hopelessly wondering why their lives aren’t better.
The 1980s under Reagan and one single term of Trump showed us the power of reducing government taxation and regulations on businesses. In both instances, the economy flourished. The 80s were known as a decade of prosperity. Still, it was incomplete, and more could have been done to unleash opportunities for those at the bottom.
From 2017 until the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the economy experienced a significant expansion. Wages were up across the board as more jobs were available than people to fill them. At the core of the economic growth was a reduction in corporate taxes — but more importantly, Trump cut excessive regulations across the federal government.
Over the last two years of Democratic control in Washington, DC, and the reinstatement of regulations and an increase of them on energy under President Biden, the results are apparent. History has taught us that when the government empowers communities of faith and civic-minded groups to help those in need, it always works out better than the government doing it. That’s one reason Congress created tax-exempt entities.
One of the greatest protections of democracy is hope, opportunity, and happiness. When people lose hope for a better future, struggle to make ends meet, let alone find a way to fulfill their God-given purpose, and lose sight of personal liberties — that’s the prescription for disaster. Fear empowers liberals to seize on hopelessness in exchange for power.
Thomas Jefferson warned against corruption by those that would use the power of the government to turn the country into despotism:
“Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess, or may assume. The public money and public liberty, intended to have been deposited with three branches of magistracy, but found inadvertently to be in the hands of one only, will soon be discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to those who hold them… They [the assembly] should look forward to a time, and that not a distant one, when a corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price. Human nature is the same on every side of the Atlantic, and will be alike influenced by the same causes. The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.”
Conservative policies on the economy, taxes, regulations, and education help
America moves forward toward prosperity.
Instead of having substantive policy debates, we’re talking about personalities and chasing radical social whims.
The truth is, if people pay attention, Republicans aren’t saying “no to everything.” They just are saying little of anything substantive the public is hearing. That issue must be resolved, and it must be resolved quickly.
The fact is, conservative ideas are better than the Left’s when it comes to results for the American people.
The Conservative Era