People new to this site or who are not familiar with communism in practice may not like some of my claims about big government and the leftist agenda in America… but this is probably because the idea of what government should be has never been fully thought through by regular folks out there. I mean, when times are good, when we are not being killed by enemies and our economy is humming along, no one really pays attention to politics… only when times are tough do we have a majority that start having real, hard opinions on what is happening in our country, but by the time they do start thinking critically, people start worrying about what the government should do and not questioning what the role of government should be. This is the most important question.
Ultimately, citizens must decide on how much government is best. Conservatives, true conservatives, believe that a society where government simply serves as an arbiter, as a protector of rights, contracts, and provider of national security is the best model. This belief stems from our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, that provided our nation more than two hundred years ago with one of the most effective and free forms of government ever conceived. Mistakes were made along the way and mistakes are being made as we speak, but essentially, the dream of America is what made this country great and what, God willing, will make this country even greater in the future. Conservatives answer the question of the role of government by putting faith in a balanced idea of freedom and responsibility, faith in free market competition, and faith in the first principles upon which our nation was founded.
Other nations have answered this question differently. The extreme examples are the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and Cuba. Of these countries, most of them have teetered on the verge of starvation, one collapsed without a shot being fired, and one is growing because they have embraced a limited free market model. This is the (sadly) enduring legacy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the architects of the idea of communism, i.e. absolute central government power.
The modern liberals, since FDR, answer the question of government’s role in a similar fashion. They believe that the government should be placed in charge of things beyond what government was initially intended for and this belief makes them think of themselves as “progressives“… in charge of progress. They find disparity, in any sense, unnerving and therefore see government as the only vehicle to address such disparity. The answer to pressing needs, for liberals, tends to be “more government,” with the idea behind such a belief being: if it’s important, then government should be taking care of it. This is the liberal opinion of what government’s role is. Motivations and ulterior motives aside, I believe, as do conservatives in general, that such an approach puts us on the road to a more centrally planned society… a repudiation of the American Dream.
The idea of liberty is one that most Americans believe in. Most liberals I talk to are more put off by the “social issues” espoused by the right than the ideas of fiscal responsibility or limited role of government… but I often ask these liberals if we should ignore American culture outright? Is that the nature of our republic? To ignore the beliefs of a people and deny them their right to be heard? Whether the issue is abortion rights or prayer in school, shouldn’t American citizens get a say in these types of decisions? Theocracy is as terrible as communism and true conservatives do not believe in that type of society. Right now, with the leftward swing of government, conservatism is experiencing a sort of revival, a revival that does not necessarily include socially-based politics. This is a good thing. Politics should focus more on the political than on the spiritual especially because our founding fathers erred on the side of liberty rather than the side of morality when they thought up our great system. This also applies to the left, meaning we should not impose a particular secular moral code on America either. People can choose for themselves. Conservatives are reclaiming their political power in the wake of the leftist takeover of Washington and this is something that should be cheered by all parts of the political spectrum… if successful, conservatives will hold Republicans accountable for their mismanagement and for their complicity in the culture of corruption that engulfs both parties. Conservatives believe that the solution lies in reducing the scope and size of government, for if there is nothing for the special interests to pay for, no one will get paid off. Those that would nudge us in the direction of a Big Nanny State bring us dangerously closer to a society where government gives and government takes at its own discretion, where personal freedom gets taxed, mandated, and regulated, and where people start to lose the American spirit… this I call socialism, a society based on the collective that stamps out the individual, and those who advocate for “spreading the wealth around” I call socialists. It may seem extreme to those who think that socialism represents only those dictatorships with the goose-stepping military marches and large statues of stern-looking demagogues, but in truth many of those systems were put into place by people who thought that government was the answer for all their problems… until their own governments got so out of control that it became the problem. Socialism starts somewhere… and that somewhere is the minds of everyday Americans who place more trust in a central earthly authority than in the power and endless potential of human freedom.